Floating vs Non-Floating Seeds

7 comments by Juanita Schulze

Floating vs non-floating seeds is a misleading concept on YouTube videos. Just because someone who does not have a real job says it is true on YouTube, doesn't make it true.

Floating VS Non Floating Seeds

Recently I had a customer contact me and ask me about the seed floating test. Basically if you put the seeds in water and they float after 15 minutes, then they are not any good.

I have actually had customers who received the seeds they ordered from us, performed this test, and when the seeds floated, they demanded a refund. I delete these and move on.

I have been gardening for 40 years and have never heard of this before so I went to YouTube and sure enough, there were several videos on the subject.

First of all, the videos were new and the ones that I saw, were made in England. The idea is you put the seeds in water and if they float, then they are no good. They did not, however, take the floating seeds out of the water, and plant them just to see if they grew.

This leads me to identify this process as false and misleading. You cannot believe everything you read on the web, especially, what you see on YouTube. People get money for posting on YouTube. There are lots of people posting stuff about gardening that simply is not true.

I noticed that I have been gardening longer than these people have been alive.

There is only one way to determine if a seed is good or not. That is to plant and care for it correctly. We have put together a list of germination tips that I find works best for us. Any time someone tells me that a seed is not growing, I pull a pack off the shelf and plant it. Every time, we have achieved the germination rate we advertise. You can see our germination tips here.

One guy goes on to say that "Any seed seller will put the date the seeds are good for on the packet."  This is a sales gimmick, in my opinion. We do not put the date on the seeds because seeds do not have an expiration date. If stored correctly, they will last for years. That is why some survival seeds companies advertise that their seeds have a 25 year shelf life. I do not believe this.

What seeds have is a germination rate. Each year, seed sellers will pull a sample and plant them. Depending on how many come up versus the number planted, gives the germination rate. We need to keep in mind that this is done in a perfect environment. This is done with the idea temperature, moisture and other factors. Your results will vary.

While there are many gardening videos on YouTube, watch them with the knowledge that you may know more than the person doing the video. Keep in mind, that sometimes they sanitize their videos to make it look like they are only having success. We do not do that here at David's Garden Seeds®. We show and tell the good, the bad and the ugly.

Happy Gardening!

Planting And Growing Cauliflower


  • Erwin L Wood

    I take my seeds and put in HOT water with a little Peroxide and let sit for 8 Hours . Then I put them in my 72 trays .Put in my utility room where it gets up to 87 degrees .Been doing this for 44 years . Have planted floaters and they came up . So they will come up just like ones that sank and I have had some of those that did not germinate . So my answer is they will com up.

  • Kim C.

    Wow, that just blew my mind since I’ve been relying on this tip. Thank you sincerely for the correct information. I look forward to changing my germination routine and see how we do! 💚

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