With its bright white petals and sunny yellow centres, Shasta daisy (Chrysanthemum maximum) is a familiar annual, but the Shasta daisy is only one of several different daisy varieties. Other familiar types of daisies include the African daisy, ox-eyed daisy, Michaelmas daisy and gloriosa daisy. Because the seeds are easily found in the centre of each daisy flower, harvesting the seeds at the end of the blooming season is a simple matter and a good starter project for beginning seed collectors.
Leave a few daisy blooms on the plants at the end of the midsummer blooming season. Tie a piece of red yarn on the stem of the healthiest bloom, as big, healthy blooms net the best seeds.
Watch for the daisy flowers to shrivel and wilt at the end of the season. When the daisy petals drop, the seedhead remains on the stem. Allow the daisy seedhead to remain on the stem and dry naturally as long as possible, but don't wait too long. The seedhead will ripen and will gradually open and spill the seed on the ground. To prevent loss of seeds, wrap a piece of netting or a paper sack around the bloom.
Snip the dry seedhead from the plant. Spread the seeds in a single layer on a large tray, then place the tray in a shady, wind-free place for at least one week. It's critical that the daisy seeds are completely dry, as green seeds that sprout in storage may rot or mould. The dry seeds will be hard and brittle and may be brown or black, depending on the variety.
Pour the dry daisy seeds into a small paper packet, such as a paper bag or paper envelope. Note the date of harvest and the variety and colour of the daisy on the outside of the packet. Alternatively, store daisy seeds in a glass jar, but don't store the seeds in plastic, as plastic may collect moisture and allow the seeds to rot.
Store the daisy seeds in a dark, cool spot until spring.
Things you need
- Red yarn
- Netting or paper sack
- Large tray
- Paper packet