Definition of go (or run) to seed in US English:

go (or run) to seed


  • 1(of a plant) cease flowering as the seeds develop.

    • ‘This is something I have a hard time doing, but I am going to try to at least cut back the flowers before the pale-stemmed plants go to seed this year!’
    • ‘Be sure to harvest before the plant gets woody and goes to seed, which happens quickly in nice weather.’
    • ‘He doesn't particularly choose his varieties for hardiness either, but rather grows a number of brands, including those from his own garden plants gone to seed.’
    • ‘Roots are harvested in the fall when the tops have gone to seed and the plants have experienced a couple of hard frosts.’
    • ‘Make sure to remove any flower heads, as this will stop any leaves from forming and the plant will go to seed.’
    • ‘The plants were going to seed and had attracted a small convention of sparrows: savannah, song, swamp, white-throated, and chipping sparrows.’
    • ‘In contrast the flowers of European chives, which are purple, are never used, and the buds are picked off to stop the plant from going to seed.’
    • ‘It should be picked and dried as soon as it has gone to seed and while the plant is still green.’
    • ‘In the fall, the milkweed plants have already gone to seed but the dried pods will still be attached to the plant.’
    • ‘When the plant's about to go to seed, the leaves become lacy and thread-like and they're just too strong to eat.’
    1. 1.1 Deteriorate in condition, strength, or efficiency.
      ‘Mark knows he has allowed himself to go to seed’
      deteriorate, degenerate, decline, decay, fall into decay, run to seed, go to rack and ruin, become dilapidated, go downhill, break down, waste away, wither away, languish, moulder, rot
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