Seeds FAQ

Q: What’s up with the seeds in your paper?
A: Back in the 90s we started putting seeds into paper! Why? We are not sure, but it sounded like a good idea at the time, and now almost 20 years later people are loving it! The idea goes like this…send the paper with your message on it, your recipient reads and plants it. Weeks later they have a flower or tomato plant, or maybe even a birch tree sprout. Check out our plantable seed paper website for more information.

Q: So does this paper actually grow?
A: Short answer…Yes. We do test for germination on our wildflower mix, while we have had great success, growing conditions and printing processes can have different effects on the paper. Because of this we cannot guarantee germination until a test has been done. However, we have used a wide variety of seeds over the years including but not limited to: basil, parsley, chives, dill, oregano, tomato, lettuce, and chile pepper as well as our wildflower mix and have had success germinating them. Germination rates will vary depending on the printing process used with the paper.

Q: How thick is your seed paper?
A: While we can make our seed paper in a range of thicknesses the typical thickness is between 18pt-25pt or similar to a 120lb cover. This is suitable for business cards, folded card, post card and much more.

Q: What are the planting instructions for your papers?
A: Our generic planting instructions go something like this: “the amazing handmade paper you hold in your hand is embedded with (__herb/wildflower__) seeds that will grow almost anywhere. Moisten card and plant just under the surface of some soil in a sunny spot. Water regularly until seeds germinate and watch them grow!” For specific seeds, such as tree seeds, the planting instructions may vary, ask us for details.

Q: What types of seeds work best for which projects?
A: Generally speaking, we choose seeds that are small (so the paper they go into can be printed easily) and that are easy to grow. We have made paper with a variety of seeds that range from the barely visible to the practically edible (pine and spruce seeds). If you’re interested in using larger seeds, it’s a good idea to stick them into projects that don’t involve printing. Even smaller hard seeds can damage the plates used for letterpress printing, resulting in damaged type and splotchy colors. The best way to find out whether or not a specific seed will work for your project is to contact us.

Q: What seeds are in your papers?
A: Our wildflower mix may contain a mixture of the following seeds: black-eyed susan, spurred snapdragon, shirley poppy, mexican hat, white yarrow, evening primrose, sweet alyssum, corn poppy, etc {depending on availability}. Our herb mix contains dill, thyme, oregano, parsley, chive, and basil. Our vegetable mix contains carrot, lettuce and tomato.

Q: Will using seeds affect my paper or final printed product?
A: Certain seeds can cause slight discoloration of the paper. Usually this is minimal and does not take away from the quality of the finished product. Due to the unpredictable nature of organic matter, we can’t guarantee whether or not the seeds will bleed.

Q: How does your paper compare to commercially-made seeded papers?
A: Our papers are all made by hand and air-dried. This puts the seeds through as little trauma as possible. Commercially made seeded papers are often dried with heat, which essentially roasts the seeds and prevents germination.