Coming true from seed

‘Coming true’ from seed is a phrase used to describe whether or not seeds collected from a plant will grow into a plant with the same characteristics (‘true’) or not. The seeds from many plants will grow into slightly different forms than the parents, perhaps because they were pollinated by a different variety or because they are cultivars which will only produce the same results if propagated vegetatively.

Some cultivars may be sterile and not grow from seed at all. Always make sure you collect and store your seeds to maximise their viability.

Don’t get too hung up about whether a plant will come true from seed! The ‘child’ plants you get may be a slightly different colour or grow a bit taller, but you might end up with something you prefer as a result. If you are bothered about getting an exact match to the parent plant, then propagate vegetatively and you’ll have a clone of the original plant.