Romaine Lettuce Seeds

How to Save Lettuce Seeds

Saving seeds is a fun hobby to have and lettuce is an easy to grow vegetable that is a staple in most home gardens. That’s why saving lettuce seeds is a great way to ensure that you have a steady supply of fresh, homegrown lettuce year after year.

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Lettuce is a cool-season crop that is typically grown in the spring and fall, and the seeds can be harvested at the end of the spring season when the plants flower for use in the following year.

Lettuce plant beginning to bolt and go to flower.
Lettuce plant beginning to bolt and go to flower.

Let the Lettuce Plant Flower

Lettuce plants grow best in cool weather. When the temperature starts to warm up in your area your lettuce plants will naturally want to flower. Allow your lettuce plants to bolt (which means flower) and go to seed. The plants will start to produce tall stalks, up to 6 feet tall, with small, yellow flowers. The flowers will eventually give way to seed pods.

Lettuce plant that has bolted and is going to flower
Lettuce flower forming

This process will usually take a month or two before the flowers dry out once it s. Ours were ready to be harvested at the end of August when we planted our lettuce in March.

If you harvest your lettuce and use it as a cut and come again source it will still flower as long as you leave it in the ground.

How To Harvest Lettuce Seeds?

Once the seed pods have turned brown and are dry, it’s time to harvest them. Collect lettuce seeds by cutting the stalks and place them in a container, either a paper bag or large bowl. The flower heads will be attached to a long branch.

Lettuce Starting To Seed
Lettuce flowers starting to dry out

To remove the seeds, squeeze the branch between two fingers at the bottom and gently run your fingers up along it removing the seeds as you go. They should come off easily. Put them into a bowl to be cleaned for storage.

If the seeds don’t come off easily they will need additional time to dry. To dry them, place your container in a warm, dry place for a few weeks to allow the seeds to fully dry.

How To Clean Lettuce Seeds?

Once the seeds are dry, gently crush the seed pods to release the seeds. Use a sieve or strainer to separate the seeds from the chaff.

Using Colander To Clean Lettuce Seeds
Using Colander To Clean Lettuce Seeds

This can be a tedious process as the chaff and seeds get caught together. Don’t worry about being perfect with this, a little chaff leftover won’t hurt anything.

How To Store Lettuce Seeds?

Store the seeds in a cool, dry place in an airtight container. Label the container with the date and variety of lettuce. This doesn’t have to be anything fancy. I use a Ziploc bag to store our seeds.

Storing dried lettuce seeds in Ziploc bag.
Storing Lettuce Seeds

A good tip that I use to make sure all my seeds stay dry. I always save the silica gel pouches I find and put them in with my saved seeds to absorb moisture.


Harvesting lettuce seeds is a simple step that any beginner gardener can accomplish and we hope this seed saving guide help you accomplish your gardening goals.

If you enjoyed this post make sure you check out the other growing guides, seed saving guides and our recipes. We are growing our website with more articles all the time, and we invite you to grow with us. If you have any questions about Lettuce or would like to share some of your knowledge with us please leave a comment below.

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