How To Save Moldy Seeds

The mold on the seed’s outer casing can be removed if the casing is hard. You can use a mild hydrogen peroxide solution to treat the seeds by misting them after spreading them on a tray. The next step is to let them dry.

Although it may be possible to save some moldy seeds, it is much more efficient to learn how to avoid the problem in the first place.

How to prevent mold growth on seeds

You can prevent the return of mold by running a fan over your seed trays. It might be more efficient to water the trays from the bottom up.

Bottom watering gets water to the roots more quickly but leaves the soil surface dry. This helps increase the likelihood of mold growth.

Keep in mind that if you soak the trays for more than twenty minutes, the soil will become soggy anyway. Cleaning the seeds is important so you don’t introduce mildew or mold into your packed tray.

To clean up the moldy seeds:

  • Arrange all of the seeds on a tray, including those that do not seem moldy but may have been stored close to rotten seeds.
  • Use a diluted mixture of water, rubbing alcohol, or white vinegar to mist the seeds. The ideal ratio of cleaning solution to water is 1:10 (one part cleaner to ten parts water).
  • Make sure you soak the seeds on all sides.
  • Spread the seeds back on the tray and leave them in the sunlight.
  • The solution will dry up the seeds very quickly. But it would have had plenty of time to destroy the spores and sanitize the casing.

It’s also possible that carefully peeling off the exterior could release the mold.

Disinfecting the seeds will save at least some of the plants of the future, but remember that not all seeds will germinate after cleaning.

How to treat seeds covered with mold

After transplanting seedlings, many gardeners discover mold, which must be treated quickly to prevent severe harm to the plants. It is advised that you treat the seeds with natural mold prevention methods.

Mold on seedlings can be eliminated and prevented with the help of sphagnum moss, vinegar, sulfur, chamomile tea, and baking soda.

Mold is a type of fungus, so in order to treat mold on seedlings, a fungicide that is available for purchase may be applied. Sulfur has been used for many years as a pesticide as well as a fungicide.

You can find it in a lot of different commercial fungicides. Liquid and powder formulations of these fungicides are the most common forms you can purchase.

On the other hand, sulfur can potentially harm fragile seeds, and combining it with other fungicides or pesticides is not a good idea.

Using baking soda is another organic option to get rid of mold on seedlings, and it’s generally considered safe. It would be best if you used a mixture of around 1 quart of water and 1 teaspoon of baking soda.

Applying a few drops of very mild liquid soap is best to guarantee that this combination sticks to the leaves. Spraying the seedlings with this solution should be done frequently, perhaps once every seven days.

You can use vinegar to kill mold on seedlings, among its many other applications. The most common recommendation is apple cider vinegar.

It would be best if you made a dilute solution by adding one part apple cider vinegar to 9 parts water. You can use the combination to mist the seedlings and assist in eliminating and preventing mold growth.

It has been suggested that gardeners can use chamomile tea to kill mold on seedlings. Brewing ordinary chamomile tea and diluting it in a spray bottle is a great way to relieve stress. It would help if you sprayed the solution on the seedlings after they had cooled.

Mold on seedlings is another problem that sphagnum moss can assist in solving. The simplest option is to buy pre-ground sphagnum moss. However, you can use your fingers to crush regular sphagnum moss.

To use it, simply sprinkle it on the soil around your seedlings or seeds. The moss’ acidic qualities prevent further mold growth.

  • You can destroy the mold and stop it from spreading by making a spray with water, cinnamon powder, or hydrogen peroxide.
  • Don’t freak out if you find mold. There’s still time to stop it! Using a toothpick or similar tool, carefully scrape out as much mold as possible without damaging the roots. Then, wait for the tops to dry completely.

How do you store seeds so they don’t mold?

There is no ideal method for storing seeds; nevertheless, light exposure, temperature, and moisture level are all factors to consider.

Your seed stockpile will greatly benefit when you store it in a dry, climate-controlled environment.

If you’re worried about the amount of moisture in the air, you should store the seeds in a container that also contains some silica gel packs. They’ll soak up any excess moisture, which will aid in preventing mildew, mold, or rot from developing.

What should I use to store seeds?

Numerous commercial and do-it-yourself solutions exist for storing and organizing seeds. Seed packets, envelopes, and glass jars are some of the most commonly used containers for storing seeds.

During the growing season, you can use garden tool boxes and spice shakers to create labeled seed kits. Reusable plastic bags and even tins are good alternatives if you do not have a lot of room.

Make sure it can hold all the seeds you need to keep, can be easily labeled and cleaned, and will survive for years if you buy it.

What does mold on seeds mean?

Overwatering is typically the cause of mold on seedlings. Water the seedlings only when they have dried out. It’s tempting to give them a brief watering once a day or so “just to be certain,” but this isn’t always the best idea.

What happens if seeds get moldy?

By examining the colors or smelling the air, one can detect mold. But it can also assume a textured appearance.

You might find specks, pimples, a hairy layer, or microscopic hairs sticking up. All of these things are signs of mold, which may mean the seeds have gone rotten.

To prevent moldy seeds:

  • Mold can be avoided if your seeds get plenty of light.
  • Ideally, you shouldn’t let your trays lie in water for more than twenty minutes at a time; much longer than that, and you risk damaging them.
  • Water the seeds deeply so that the soil surface remains dry.
  • Avoid crowding your pot or tray since this will further restrict circulation.
  • Make sure your seed trays get enough air by running a fan over them. (Additionally, the soft breeze from the fan can fortify the tender shoots.)

Will seeds die if they are moldy and mildewed?

Mold on its own won’t be fatal to your seedlings, so that’s good news. Nonetheless, this is a red flag that something else is wrong and requires immediate attention.

This is because the mold in the seed trays is likely due to the same thing that could eventually kill them.

How to Properly Dry Seeds to Prevent Mold Growth

Never wait until seeds are totally dry before storing them. For optimal drying results, spread your seeds on a paper towel and let them sit for four to seven days.

The seeds need to get so hard that even the biggest ones break. After the seeds have dried, you should store them until the following year in an envelope or sealed bag.

In general, mold and mildew won’t grow on your seeds if you dry them thoroughly in the sun and then keep them in a cool, dry environment with plenty of air circulation.

Still, it’s smart to stock up on extra seeds just in case they rot. In most cases, you should store five times as many seeds as you anticipate using.


Mold on seedlings is common, but it’s easier to prevent than to remove. Mold and other fungi flourish in damp environments, so keeping the soil around your seedlings moist but not drenched is essential.

If you want your seedlings to thrive, you need to give them plenty of room to breathe. Use a low-speed fan to move air around the seedlings and help them dry up.