Growing and Saving the Seed Of Cumin

Latin name Cuminum cyminum is an annual member of the Apiaceae, or carrot, family. The seeds of the cumin plant are popular in a range of cuisines, from the Middle East to Mexico and Asia. This annual grows best in USDA zones 5-10; plants prefer a hot summer. 



Native to the regions of the Mediterranean and northern Africa. Cumin has been a popular spice among ancient Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and Chinese civilizations for thousands of years.


  • The seeds have many culinary uses.




  • Seeds germinate in 7-14 days.
  • Plant 1/4-1/2 inch deep.
  • If you live in an area with long, hot summers, you can direct seed after soil has reliably warmed past 60 F.
  • In shorter season regions, start indoors and transplant after soil has warmed to 60 F.
  • Ideal germination temperature is 65-70 F.


  • Prefers full sun and hot weather.
  • Provide average to rich, well-drained soil.
  • Space plants 4-6 inches apart.


  • A relatively pest-free plant, it can sometimes be affected by root rot and powdery mildew. Avoid these by not over watering and giving the plants good air circulation.

  • Allow seed heads to turn brown and dry; seeds will easily release when shaken over a bag.
  • Store seeds in a cool, dark dry place over winter.