Lettuce be grateful that we can save seeds from these incredible plants! Part 8 Of Seed Saving Series

Can one obtain seeds from Lettuce plants? The answer is yes!

Before getting started.  Make sure that the seeds you save are only from heirloom or open pollinated varieties as these plants will both grow true to seed e.g. Little Gem Butterhead Lettuce, Maravilla di Verona Lettuce (infact any of Seeds for Africa's Lettuce plants as we only sell heirloom / open pollinated lettuce seeds

How do I know when to save lettuce seeds? You’ll know it’s time to start saving lettuce seeds when the flower head turns yellow, or dries out, and the white cotton puffs come out around the top. If you’re still unsure, gently tug at one of the white puffs. If they are ready, the seeds will come out with very little effort. 

How many seeds can one lettuce plant produce? Each daisy - like flower should produce about 15 to 25 seeds, making this a simple, quick method for gathering enough seeds for home use. 

How can I harvest lettuce seeds? Once the flower heads are fluffy and dry, it is  time to harvest the seeds. To do  this, hold a brown paper or plastic bag near the plant and every day shake the flower head into the bag until most of the ripened seed is collect. 

Another option of harvesting the lettuce seeds is to wait until most of the seed heads look ready to harvest, cut and remove the entire flower stalk, and shake it over a bucket or bag to dislodge any fully ripened seeds.

Both of these methods will work, but the first method takes more time and effort, and the second method yields fewer seeds because you uproot the plant before all seeds are ripe.

Storing Lettuce seeds.  Once you remove the chaff from the seeds, place your seeds in a clean, dry plastic food storage container, glass jar or plastic / paper envelopes, seal it, label it, and store it in a cool, dry place.

About the Author

Kelly Dini is the Seeds for Africa customer service guru! Kelly is a qualified horticulturist with 20 years of hands on experience and loves to assist customers with recommendations and giving excellent advice.