Grow Vegetable

Where do Carrot Seeds Come From? (Easy Answer)

Everyone knows that carrots are propagated by seeds, its small “seeds” are usually bought in bright bags in a garden store. But the following questions arises :Where do Carrot Seeds Come From?

But you can not only buy carrot seeds in a store, but also get them from your own garden, which will save you money next season and allow you to cultivate your carrots and not to look for quality seeds from a trusted manufacturer again.

Carrots are biennial plants, so they produce seed in the second year. We must have at least 15 plants to obtain good genetics in our seeds. The seeds will form in clusters.

Where do Carrot Seeds Come From?

Carrot seeds come from carrot flowers, but most carrots will never reach the flowering stage. They are planted and harvested in the same year. Flowers will only form if the carrots are left in the ground after the growing season, throughout the winter, and then allowed to grow again for a few months the following year.

Carrot is a biennial plant , which means that the plants life cycle takes two years. In the first year the plant bears fruit, and in the second year you can get seed. To obtain seeds, the carrot will have to produce its root, be stored over the winter and finally be re-sown the following spring. You will therefore not obtain any carrot seeds before the second year. 

The seed turns into a mature plant. If the carrot plant is allowed to overwinter, it will produce flowers in the spring as it grows, which in turn will produce seeds.

Carrots are sown as late as possible in the season in order to avoid them being too mature for storage in winter. Otherwise, they will have difficulty growing again the following spring.

Annual plantsBiennial plants

What Do Carrot Seeds Look Like?

Carrots are one of the vegetables that is produced with direct sowing. The seeds are elongated and very small, approximately 2mm long, and their color is light brown with a slight sheen. 

carrot seeds color

They are similar in appearance to parsley seeds, but unlike parsley seeds if you squeeze them, they will become greenish, not yellow.

Carrot seeds have a specific smell that is good when rubbed, which also helps to distinguish them from parsley.

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How Do You Get Carrot Seeds?

When the flowers with seeds begin to take on a rather brown color and you notice that they are beginning to dry, it is time to cut them and take them inside the house to finish drying, then little by little we remove the seeds with the help of the hands rubbing with our fingers.

You can also carefully assemble (cut off) the umbrellas when they start to turn brown, and ripen them already in a dry, ventilated room. When the umbrellas are dry, use your hands to collect the seeds from them.

How many seeds does a carrot have?

A gram of carrot seeds contains between 700-1200 seeds.

How to Plant Carrot for Seeds

To do this, in the spring, select a large, even carrot without signs of disease and damage. Remember biology lessons and selective breeding: the larger and healthier the parents, the better the offspring will turn out.

Once the carrots have been chosen, we must plant them again. Plant them, we will choose a secluded area of ​​the garden since they are going to take up space for a while and we must choose, as when we planted, a soil that is loose, light and drains very well.

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How to check if the carrot seeds are suitable for planting?

To check the suitability of seeds for planting, they are soaked for 2-3 hours in a container of water at room temperature. “Empty” and damaged seeds will float to the surface, while good ones will sink to the bottom. Good seeds are strained and dried, spreading on a tarp.

Steps to plant carrot for seeds:

Step 1: Put the carrots in containers and sow them into the ground only after the winter has passed. Seed carrots cannot be planted in cold soil.

Step 2: For planting in containers, a universal purchased soil is used, which contains the optimal amount of minerals.

Step 3: After such preparation, you can plant carrots in the ground. By the end of July, carrots will start to flower with white inflorescences.

Step 4: Carrot root are placed in the ground to their full length, leaving only the tail of greenery open. If the carrot is too large, it can be cut to a third of the length (leaving the end with the tops).

Step 5: Transplantation in open ground is carried out at the end of April . Holes prepared by hand or with a shovel should cover the full height of the root crop so that only the leaf growth area remains open.

Step 6: The wells are prepared in advance, their slight moistening is allowed before planting. In one row, root crops are placed at a distance of at least 30 cm for the proper development of the root system, row spacings are formed at a distance of 60-70 cm from each other.

Step 7: Once planted we will let the plant follow its cycle and develop, we must monitor the risks and provide them with some moisture in their development, monitoring the risks will be the only care we will need to obtain our seeds.

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How to Get Seeds From Carrots

To get your carrot seeds, you need to plant the root crop in the spring. Carrots choose a medium size, smooth and beautiful. If the summer in your area is short, then you can plant carrots first in a pot with soil at home, and then transplant them to a sunny area. 

Carrots will sprout and flowers. The leaves must be cut off, leaving only the umbrella inflorescences. After they fade and the seeds ripen, it is necessary to peel the inflorescences with seeds. So that the seeds do not crumble, you can tie them with gauze.

Since it is very difficult for us to perceive the moment in which the seeds are ready to collect, without many already falling to the ground or being eaten by birds, we must do the following:

  1. Once we see that the flowers have given way to the seeds, we will place a breathable bag around the umbel inflorescences, to prevent the carrot seeds from being lost. In addition, it is convenient to secure the flower stem to a stake so that the wind does not shake it too much.
  2. We will leave the flowers hanging for a few weeks and later we can prepare and clean our carrot seeds of impurities to store them, we can use a sieve or a colander that is not very fine to remove the impurities and with the hand the rest of the large branches.
  3. In this way, we only have to periodically check if the seeds are already ripe. Normally we will notice it because the plant loses vitality and begins to wither. When the time comes, we cut the flower stem and take the umbel wrapped in the bag to a clean table to proceed to separate the seeds from the plant debris.
  4. After letting them dry for a day on paper or cardboard, in a cool and dry environment, we can store them until planting time.

Well, we already saw the first way we have to get carrot seeds. We must say that it is the most economical but, honestly, it is not worth it if we take into account the care that must be devoted to it and the low price of certified seed.

Label the bag or container where we keep the carrot seeds and put the date we extracted the seeds, because carrots only have a durability or viability of three years.

How to Store Carrot Seeds

Store carrot seeds in small paper or fabric bags that allow air to pass through, always in a dry, dark, cool place. For convenience, on each package, indicate the variety of carrots and the year the seeds were collected.

Seeds can also be stored in a glass container with a tight lid or a cloth bag, in a dry, dark place at a temperature of 53-59°F (12-18°C) .

Properly harvested and dried carrot seeds, when stored in the right conditions, do not lose normal germination for 2-3 years.

In a box you can store all the seeds that you get from the garden to always have them on hand in a dark, cool and dry place. Large size and capacity to store all season seeds, possibility of labeling them and finding them easily.

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How Do You Plant Carrot Seeds

Already next spring, you can plant the carrot seeds you collected last season on the beds in the usual way. To begin with, discard the “illiquid” by filling the seeds with warm water and leaving for 10 hours. 

Those that, after the expiration of the term, will float on the surface, are unsuitable for sowing and can be thrown away. High-quality seeds should be spread out on wet gauze or a cotton pad and left for 2-3 days, periodically re-moisturizing. 

After that, the seeds will have small roots, a sign of readiness for sowing.

Does the carrot have seeds?

Yes, the carrot has seeds but they appear in the second year of growing after it flowers. Once the carrot flowers have dried up, the seeds appear.

When to harvest carrots seeds?

They should be harvested when they are brown, then placed in a paper bag to finish drying. The seeds are cleaned and stored in an airtight jar, labeled with the name, variety and date. Finally, keep the jar in a cool and dry place, where they can be stored for up to 3 years, after which their germination percentage will decrease.

What is the germination time of carrot seeds?

Shelf life of approximately 4 to 5 years.

Andreea Tapu

Andreea TAPU is a passionate gardener with over 5 years of experience in cultivating a wide variety of plants and flowers in her garden. As the author and creator of, she is dedicated to sharing her knowledge and expertise with others, providing practical tips and advice to help gardeners of all levels achieve success and enjoyment in their gardening pursuits.