seeds Will plants from old seeds grow slower than fresh ones?

I need everybody to wish me luck as next week, I'll be attempting to sprout some seeds from 2015 as well as some from 2012.  Back in 2019, I had a hard time with the 2015 batch, but managed to get a few started after a hydrogen peroxide/water soak.  I can't use the one that I tried to grow out as a baseline, as a bad spring storm coupled with a growing medium without sufficient drainage killed it.  The one that I gave way made it, but took forever to develop pods.
So, assuming I'm able to get some of these started, can I expect a slower than normal grow?


Extreme Member
In my experience, old seed germinates slower and more erratically. Germination rate can be lower as well. I compensate by sowing more seeds. With really old seed (5y+), I have something of a "it's now or never" approach, and just sow whatever there's left. My climate (tropical) does not allow for prolonged seed storage anyway.
I cannot relate this to diminished plant vigour, however.
HeatMiser said:
Check out my glogs. I've been planting seeds from as far back as 2012 without issues.
Perhaps the plants developed a bit slower initially as Ahayastani mentioned, but they bounced back. I think the key is to store them properly. I do individual ziplock bags in the fridge.
Good luck!
I'll check out your glogs later today.  I did have the seeds in Ziplocs with desiccant packs and the Ziplocs were in yellow manila envelopes.  I never refrigerated them though and for the past few years, the envelopes have been in a basement closet.  It gets extremely humid in the basement, but it does look like the protection worked.

I'm going to start my glog on January 4th, as soon as I attempt sprouting.  How do you start your old seeds?  I'm thinking about putting them in a wet paper towel inside a ziploc and leaving it in a warm sunny place.  I may try a diluted hydrogen peroxide soak first.
Edited to change the date for first sprout attempt.


Extreme Member
No; a well-preserved viable seed should always grow true to its own genetic material, if conditions are good enough, no matter its age.
Bou said:
No; a well-preserved viable seed should always grow true to its own genetic material, if conditions are good enough, no matter its age.
Good to hear!  I can't wait to get started next week.  I'm planning on starting a few slow growers, so it's good I'll be in South Florida.
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Extreme Member
Hey Dragon.  Seems your season will be getting a bit longer with the move, as well as plenty of new fishing opportunities.
Like HM, I've had solid results from seeds is this age range.  As I understand it, there are some issues that become more prevalent as seeds age - especially when combined with humidity - such as increased rates of mutation, breakdowns in the chromosomal structure, etc., particularly as it affects development of the root system, from what I've read, so I do like ahayastani and plant a few extra if I have have them.  As long as they get past the very early stage they should be dependable though - and I do think the age range you're dealing with is still a very reasonable one. 
Good luck with the seeds and the grow.  Will you have more space now for additional plants?
CaneDog said:
Will you have more space now for additional plants?
Good to hear from you.

I won't know until I show up.  For at least a few months, (most-likely almost a year) I'm going to be living in a Homeowners Association community.  I wasn't planning on ground gardening anyway, but that may be prohibited.  I'm going to bucket or container garden and pray that I don't get asked to stop.  One of the residents told me that this should be permitted, as long as I'm not blocking anything. 

I need to scope out the land when I get there.  The front of the house is ideal since it faces south, but I can't grow on the driveway.  There is some free space to the side of the driveway but I can't picture the size in my head.  There is also a path in-between houses that leads to a back common area, but I'm not sure how the house layouts will affect the effective sunlight.   As I'm composing this, I'm thinking that the beginning of the common area behind the house would be ideal.  
Whatever I do, I don't want more than 3 or 4 plants anyway.  I'm not going to be living there for more than a year and it will be hard to move a lot of plants.  
We'll see what happens.  I don't want to ask a community official for permission to grow, as I'm afraid of the answer.  I'll speak to some neighbors when I arrive and try to get some answers.  
My plan is to start my Glog next Monday with pictures of the seeds I'm attempting to sprout.  Wish me luck!
dragon49 said:
.  Wish me luck!