Collecting seeds from summer flowers provides ample seeds to start new flowerbeds in the spring, or to start seedlings inside in late winter for spring planting. Although it takes a little time and effort, the process is surprisingly easy and can be rewarding. Care must be taken, however, in identifying the cultivar planted, as some hybrid varieties will not reproduce from seed, and others do not reproduce true to form. Experimenting with seeds from hybrid plants may produce some interesting varieties and stunning results.
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Things you need
- Plastic storage bags
- Paper envelops (optional)
Gather seed pods once they have dried and turned brown. Monitor seedpods carefully, as they open quickly and may disperse the seeds before you can gather them. Generally, pods do not open at the same time, so you can easily gather pods from the next bloom if you miss the set of seeds.
Check dried pods by picking a pod and opening it by hand. If the seeds have turned colour and are hard, they are ready to gather. Many seeds turn dark brown or black, but some remain white or pale. Most will be hard to the touch when ready to gather.
Pick seedpods on a clear, dry day to prevent moisture. Spread the pods on a tray lined with newspaper or paper towels, and set in a dry, well-ventilated area to dry completely. Remove pods and plant debris from the seeds. Store dried seeds in paper envelops or plastic storage bags. Label the contents and the date to avoid confusion at planting time.
Plant in the spring in a location that matches the growing conditions of the flower. Most seedlings suffer from frosts or freezing temperatures. It is best to wait until the danger of frost has passed and the soil has warmed.