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How to Harvest and Save Papaya Seeds

To store papaya seeds, you need to:

  • Wash the seeds
  • Squeeze them out of the sac they live in
  • Rinse
  • Dry 

Then, once dry, place the seeds in an airtight container and keep them in the fridge for up to three years.

It’s essential to store your papaya seeds properly if you want them to last well and remain viable for a long time. 

Papayas are popular fruits, but their seeds do not last forever, and you need to handle them correctly after harvest. 

If you don’t, you won’t be able to plant them when the next season comes around. 

How to Harvest Papaya Seeds?

To harvest papaya seeds, you will first need a ripe papaya.

You can take one of your own fruits or one bought from a store.

Just make sure you choose a nice, healthy fruit so you can increase your chances of the seeds germinating and producing strong plants.

Then, cut the fruit in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scrape the seeds out.

Next, transfer them into a sieve.

Read Also >> Why Save Seeds?

How to Prepare Papaya Seeds for Storage?

To prepare papaya seeds for storage, you first need to break the sarcotesta, the jelly-like coating on the seed. 

This part is crucial because the seeds will not germinate if you don’t break this coating and remove the seeds from it.

To remove the sarcotesta, all you need to do is use a wooden spoon to press the seeds against the sides of your sieve.

Now that you’ve broken the seed coating, you can scoop the inner seed out. 

Then, rinse the seeds with lukewarm water to remove any remaining jelly coating or juice.

Be thorough about rinsing to ensure that your seeds will dry properly and go into storage clean, with no residue around them.

When you are satisfied that the seeds are ready, line a tray with paper towels and spread the seeds on the tray.

You should space them out so that there is airflow over each seed, as this will encourage them to dry quickly and thoroughly.

Next, place the tray in a warm location, but not in sunlight, as this may destroy the seeds’ viability.

After a few days of drying, turn the seeds over so the other side can dry properly too.

Let them sit for another few days and then check whether they seem fully dry.

If they do, it’s time to store them.

If not, let the seeds continue to sit. 

Read Also >> How to Harvest and Save Carolina Reaper Seeds

How to Store Papaya Seeds?

To store papaya seeds, you will need at least one airtight container that will stop any moisture from getting to the seeds and ruining them.

Using the correct container is particularly important because you will be storing the seeds in the fridge, which is a damp environment.

Thus, you need to protect your seeds from any hint of moisture.

If your papaya seeds do get wet, they will either try to germinate too early or rot and become unviable. 

Therefore, finding a suitable moisture barrier is crucial to prevent wetness from getting to the seeds.

Many people will use two layers of protection, a bag and a container, to ensure the seeds stay completely dry while in storage.

The bag you use can be either paper or plastic, but plastic will provide a better moisture barrier.

Your container should also be plastic and should preferably have a locking, sealing lid to stop the insides from getting wet.

Additionally, after you’ve found the right container, make sure you write the name and date of the seeds onto your packaging before you store them to prevent confusion later. 

Then, fill the bags (or other containers) with your seeds and place them in the airtight container.

As an extra precaution, some people also choose to add silica gel packets to the container or a bit of dry rice.

Thus, if any moisture does get in, the silica gel or rice will absorb it before the seeds, which will minimize the risk of your seeds getting damaged.

You can save silica gel packets when you buy items like shoes or bags, but you can also just use some dried rice twisted in tissue paper, and it should work similarly.

Finally, once you have done all these steps, place the seeds near the back of your fridge, where temperatures are cool and stable.

Read Also >> How to Harvest and Store Seeds?

How Long Can You Keep Papaya Seeds?

You can store papaya seeds for up to three years in the fridge because the cool environment will help to keep the seeds fresh and viable.

However, you should be aware that the viability of the seeds will decrease each year. 

Thus, the longer you keep the seeds, the fewer will germinate when you do plant them.

Also, remember that it is unlikely that the papaya seeds will germinate after three years.

But there is no harm in trying to plant them if you have forgotten about some at the back of your fridge and only found them later.

Read Also >> How to Store Seeds Long Term?

Conclusion

You can harvest papaya seeds by cutting open a ripe fruit and scooping out the flesh. 

You then need to remove the seeds from their jelly, dry them, and store them in the fridge until planting.

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