Storing Your Seeds For the Long-Term…in the Freezer

Posted on Jan 18 2012 - 1:10am by Mike Lieberman

The strangest posts wind up causing some controversy.

It doesn’t make sense to me.

When I wrote about why having an emergency seed bank is important, I didn’t quite get the reaction that I’d expect.

I received emails, Facebook comments and Tweets saying that I couldn’t be more wrong about storing the seeds and that freezing them was a horrible idea.

I’ll admit that I have never frozen seeds before and then used them. It is a recommendation that I’ve seen countless time before.

So I did a bit of research and here’s some excerpts from sites:

Last year we planted a variety of different seeds that we had put in the freezer over 10 years ago and forgotten about and they came up just fine. They were just in ziplock bags. — via Survivalist Boards

Seeds dried to a low moisture content with silica gel and then stored in a freezer can usually retain viability for many years. — via

Freezing seeds will put the embryo into suspended animation reducing its need to consume the sugars that are encased in the seed. This increases it’s storage life immensely… — via Ready Nutrition

Takeaways for Storing Your Seeds in the Freezer

The main takeaways that I got in my research were the following:

  • Make sure the seeds are dry when placed in the freezer. Using a silica gel pack can help with this.
  • Put the seeds in an airtight container. This can be a mason jar or even a ziplock bag. Vacuum sealing works well too.
  • Allow the seeds to thaw before planting. These are for long-term storage, but good to keep this tip in mind.

How do you store your seeds for the short or long-term?

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