Can I Plant Pumpkin Seeds From a Store-Bought Pumpkin?

Have you ever decided to carve a few pumpkins and found yourself with a large pile of pumpkin seeds and guts? It seems like a waste to throw them away, but what can you do with them?

Perhaps you’ve wondered if pumpkin seeds from a pumpkin you bought in the store can be planted? Pumpkins can be grown from seeds of pumpkins you buy in a store, but the kind of pumpkin you get out of them may be surprising.

However, there are some things to know before you start planting those seeds into the ground. If you have an heirloom pumpkin, you will produce pumpkins that look very similar to the kind you have. If the seeds are from a hybrid, they may not produce the pumpkins you think they will. This is due to a mix of genetics from the various parent plants.

If you don’t mind the gamble, and just want some pumpkins in your garden, then keep reading to learn more about planting pumpkin seeds, and what to expect when planting them.

Can You Grow Pumpkins From Edible Pumpkin Seeds?

Bowl of Pumpkin Seeds

Unfortunately, edible pumpkin seeds are unable to be grown into pumpkins. This is because they were cooked, and they are no longer able to grow and produce other plants.

However, pumpkins that you would eat from the store, and whose seeds you can turn into roasted pumpkin seeds, can also sprout inside of your garden. Even though they are edible, they are not yet cooked, so a plant has a chance to grow from the seed.

You may not know what kind of pumpkins you will get from your plant unless you specifically choose an heirloom pumpkin. However, you may get a wide variety of different shapes, flavors, and textures, so you may be in for a guessing game when it comes time for harvesting. They may not all be pie pumpkins, but you can get a variety of edible and decorative pumpkins.

How To Plant Pumpkin Seeds

The first step is to figure out your timeline. If you want pumpkins for food, you can start immediately. However, if you want to use them for decorations around Halloween, you will want to create a timeline.

After that, it is pretty easy to plant pumpkin seeds:

  1. Make sure the soil is ready with good drainage, pH, and is tilled
  2. Plant seeds 1 inch (2-3 centimeters) deep and 4-8 feet (1-3 meters) apart
  3. Water regularly, but don’t soak. The general rule of thumb is to water 1 inch (2-3 centimeters) per week. You want to soak the ground all at once, instead of watering shallowly every day, so once per week is ideal unless it is dry out.
  4. Thin and weed plants as needed

When To Plant Pumpkin Seeds

You may get your pumpkin seeds around Halloween, but when do you plant pumpkin seeds?

Pumpkin seeds can be planted all year round. The best time to plant the seeds depends heavily on when you want the pumpkins to be ready. If you don’t care when they grow, you can plant them immediately.

If you want them to be more ready around Halloween, you will have to calculate roughly how long it will take for the plant to grow and work backwards from there.

For the most part, pumpkins take anywhere between 75 to 100 days to grow. They will also grow faster in hotter weather. This means you will want to plant them around 3 months or a little less before you want your pumpkins to be ready.

If you live in a colder climate, it may be best to try and plant shortly after the last freeze, since they will take a little longer. In hotter areas, you can plant them closer to the end of July.

When Can I Transplant Pumpkin Seedlings?

So you live in a cold area and want your plants to be ready to go when that last freeze hits. What do you do?

Getting pumpkin plants ready for transplanting takes about three weeks. Estimating when the last freeze ends will let you know when you should start growing your pumpkin seeds inside so they will be ready to go into the ground as soon as they can.

How Long Does It Take a Pumpkin to Grow From a Seed?

There is a lot of variety between pumpkin breeds, and if you have a hybrid breed, you may not know what kind you are getting. This makes it a little difficult to determine how long the pumpkins will take to grow, but there are some estimations you can use.

However, the general estimation is anywhere between 75 to 130 days. Some can go up to 130 days but around 90 days is usually the average.

Can You Grow Pumpkins In a Container?

Not everyone has the space to plant a full garden. If you don’t have the space, you may wonder if pumpkins will fit in a container.

In short, yes, pumpkin plants can grow in a container. They need a minimum of 10 gallons but do better in a pot that can hold 15 to 25 gallons (57-95 liters) and are at least 2 feet (½ meter) deep.

If you want to get creative, you can even plant them in a child’s swimming pool.

How To Germinate Pumpkin Seeds From Inside a Pumpkin

Germinating pumpkin seeds allows you to see if they will actually grow before you go through the effort of placing them into the ground.

To germinate pumpkin seeds, you need to follow a few steps:

  1. Place pumpkin seeds into a wet paper towel, making sure they are all covered
  2. Roll up the paper towel with the seeds inside into a cylinder shape
  3. Insert the seeds into a sealable plastic bag
  4. Place in a warm area
  5. After a week, check the seeds
  6. If they aren’t growing yet, check again in 2 to 3 days

Can You Put Pumpkin Seeds Straight Into Soil?

Taking time to transplant and germinate seeds before planting them into the soil may seem like a waste of time and effort. So can you plant pumpkin seeds into the soil and skip a few steps?

Yes, growing pumpkins from seed put straight into your garden is entirely possible. Many people prefer to germinate their seeds first, so they know if they are viable, but it isn’t necessary.

Overall, it just depends on your preferences.


So now you know that yes it is possible to take those pumpkin seeds after carving Jack O’ Lanterns and use them in your garden, and how to best plant the seeds.

If done right, you may only have to wait about 3 months before getting beautiful pumpkins from the seeds.

Planting pumpkin plants is pretty easy, and they may not require as much space as you might think. You may also have a variety of different pumpkin breeds just from one pumpkin, due to hybridization.

What are you waiting for? Go save those seeds!