How long do seeds keep for?

The question we’re most frequently asked about seeds is how long they remain viable.
How long do seeds keep for? What happens when they’re old? When should I throw seeds out and replace them? The date you’ll find on the back of our seed packets shows when the packets were filled. We deliberately don’t give a ‘use by’ or ‘best before’ date, because seed lifespans can vary greatly from one plant variety to another – and because seed viability also depends on other factors which we can’t influence or control once the seeds have left our premises.

In order to fulfil retail marketing requirements seeds need to have a germination rate of at least 50%. Our seeds regularly undergo germination testing – a quality control check that ensures these minimum requirements are fulfilled. However most of our seeds have a germination rate of 80-98% at the time of packing: we want to ensure that our customers enjoy an easy and successful growing experience.