How to store seeds properly in the tropics

How to store seeds properly in the tropics

Storing seeds is a challenge in any country, but a few extra ones are in the tropics. Constant heat. Daily humidity. Sunshine. The 3 big killers of seed viability.

How to store seeds properly in the tropics

These days, the ability to store viable seeds for months – and potentially years – is a huge part of being sustainable. Without seed, there’s nothing. Are you trying to learn How to store seeds properly in the tropics?

Seeds can last a long time. Years, even. Luke from MIGardener germinated and grew seeds that were 87 years old. Stored right, seeds are portable food. Stored poorly, they’ll last less than a year.

How to store seeds properly in the tropics

Start with good seed

To store viable seeds, you need to start with high-quality seeds. When purchasing seeds, look at how old they are, where they are sitting in relation to the sunlight and the air quality of the store. The seed’s packaging is important too. Seeds in plastic bags will last longer than seeds in paper or wax-coated packaging.

Old see isn’t necessarily bad. But when it is old combined with sitting in the sunlight with plenty of access to humidity or temperature fluctuations, it loses quality quickly.

Does the company have a reputation for high-quality seeds? What is the germination rate on the package?

And remember, your garden is a great spot to save seeds from. Jess from Roots & Refuge has these great videos on seed saving. (here and here.)

Protecting your seeds

Seeds are hardy little gems, but there are a few things they don’t handle well.

  • heat
  • humidity
  • changing temperatures
  • sitting in sunlight

Heat & changing temps

Always, always store seeds away from hot areas. If possible, keep them in a fridge, air-conditioned room, or in a place that doesn’t get too hot. The middle of a box of clothes or towels works well. The goal is to keep heat from getting to them. Storing inside multiple boxes and layers of ‘insulation’ is a cheap way to protect your seeds. Keep seeds in air-tight containers if at all possible. Good storage temps to aim for are 35-40*F.


Store seeds inside of plastic. Whether that be a sealed box, Ziploc bags, or tightly wound-up baggies, plastic helps keep moisture where it belongs. On the outside. Moisture will ruin seeds before your eyes, with mould, mildew, or a seed trying to grow and then dying. A few silica gels (desiccants) are also beneficial to add to a storage bucket. Always start with DRY seeds when storing them.


Sunlight will cook your seeds just like heat will. Even if they are inside an air-conditioned building. If sunlight can reach them through the window, their viability is dropping. Store seeds in a dark area away from any sunlight.

How to store seeds properly in the tropics
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Seeds are an investment

Up front, it may seem like an expensive thing to do. But seeds are a long-term investment. Learn how to save seeds, and after your initial purchase, you’ll have seeds for years!

Learning how to properly store seeds is the first step. Do that and you’re well on your way to food security!

What is your biggest struggle with keeping seed good? Comment below, I’d love to hear from you.

~ Megan

How to store seeds properly in the tropics

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