When we open a package of lettuce seeds and use some of the seeds, then keep the remaining seeds in their package at room temperature, does it affect their viability?

2 Answers 2


Yes, this will affect the seeds' viability but depending on your climate, it may not be enough to worry you. In general, lettuce seeds last about 2-5 years. If your climate is hot and humid, the shorter end of that period will apply. If it is cool and dry, they might last longer.

If you are in a hot, humid climate and want to extend their life, you can store them in an air-tight container in your refrigerator. If you have any silica packets on hand, you can place those in the container to help keep the humidity inside the container low. If you do not have any silica packets, you can wrap a little powdered milk or rice in a facial tissue and place this packet in the container to control the humidity.

  • 2
    Or salt in little packets, that's a good dessicant too...
    – Bamboo
    Commented May 11, 2016 at 15:57
  • I'm planning to get some foam coolers for my seeds (to prevent severe fluctuations in temperature), and put pouches of diatomaceous earth (which is essentially silica) inside. Commented May 12, 2016 at 7:42
  • Why would you store in an air tight container in the fridge? The fridge works very hard to dessicate its contents by maintaining a very dry environment. That's what I use to dry leaves. Commented May 17, 2016 at 12:00
  • I believe humidity levels can vary greatly from fridge to fridge - and from one section of the fridge to another. It also rises temporarily any time you open the fridge door, which in some households happens frequently, and when you put food into the fridge while still warm (not something we should do, but sometimes it happens). The airtight container just ensures that the humidity level stays a bit more steady over time.
    – michelle
    Commented May 17, 2016 at 13:04

I used lettuce seeds from a year ago and got them to germinate this year so I guess they worked for me. All I did was keep them in the original package and wrapped a rubberband around it

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