How to Save Lettuce (Lactuva sativa) Seeds

Seed Saving Guide #2717
Family: Asteraceae
Binomial name: Lactuva sativa

Flower Type Perfect, self-fertile
Pollination Self-pollinated
Isolation Distance 3m
Other Isolation Methods Isolation bags (can also be used to collect seeds).
Population Required for Viable Seeds 1
Population Required to Maintain Variety 5-10
When to Harvest When seed heads (called 'pappasus', similar to dandelion seed heads) emerge.
How to Harvest

Pick the seeds from individual seed heads before they blow away in the wind, or place a bag over flowering branches and shake them to dislodge the seeds. Separate the seeds from the pappuses by rubbing them gently.

How to Clean

Screen and winnow to remove chaff.

Image of Seeds Lettuce (Lactuva sativa)

What is Seed Saving?

Seed saving is the practice of collecting and storing mature seeds from open-pollinated plants. By allowing plants to reach full maturity and harvesting the seeds, they can be cleaned, dried, and stored for future use. 

  • To learn the techniques and methods needed to save seeds in your garden, we recommend reading our seed saving series.
  • To view a combined table of all our seed saving guides view our Seed Saving Chart.
  • To browse our seed saving guides individually click here.