Annual Seed Exchange

Annual Seed Exchange

The annual Seed Exchange is an opportunity for Cal Hort members to share their plants. Participation in the Seed Exchange is a benefit of membership; to receive seeds, you must be a current member of Cal Hort.


September–November: Members submit properly prepared seeds collected from their gardens. If you plan to submit seeds that ripen later send Dave a list so he can prepare for the.
January: A list of the donated seeds with a request form is made available to members.

February: Completed request forms along with $5 for supplies and postage must be received by the end of the month.
March: Seeds are distributed by mail.

If you would like to help with cataloging and mailing the seeds please email us at and type “Volunteer” in the subject line.

Basic Steps for Preparing Your Seeds for Sharing:

  • Allow flowers or seed pods to ripen on the plant until they are dry and starting to brown.
  • Separate the seeds from surrounding plant material—petals, pods, leaves, stems. You can use a plastic bag to shake the seeds into but do not store the seeds in plastic as they can mold.
  • Spread the seeds out to dry.
  • Collect the seeds in a paper envelope or other paper wrapping and write the plant name on the outside. Do NOT send or store seeds in plastic.

For more detailed information on harvesting and saving seeds visit:

Hampshire College, Massachusettes (down-loadable PDF)
Haskell Guide to Saving Seeds

Better Homes & Gardens:
How to Save Seeds from Your Garden to Plant Next Year

DIY Network:
How to Collect and Harvest Seeds

Seeds types we are looking for this year:

Humulus japonicum ‘Variegatum’
Hesperis matronalis


edible plants

California natives in general, particularly wild flowers and annuals
South African native bulbs and shrubs
Mediterranean natives

drought, heat, shade

Of course, donations of any and all kinds of seeds are welcome! Plants which have given you pleasure will please others of our members, too, especially in these times of epidemic and fire, when our gardens can be a source of refuge and comfort.

See what kinds of seeds have been exchanged in the past:
Recent Seed Exchange posts: