The million bells plant is an annual hybrid that resembles a miniature petunia. Million bells stays small, making it suitable for containers, and it produces petite flowers in a variety of colours. You can get seeds from million bells plants, but because million bells is a hybrid, the only way to get a "true" new plant is by taking cuttings. If you want to experiment with million bells hybrid seeds, take your time collecting, drying and storing your seeds before planting.
Leave your million bells plants to flower and form seedpods, which rest near the tip of the stem directly behind the flower. Wait three to four weeks after you see flowers, and look for the seedpods that have turned brown and dried.
Open a paper bag, and hold it under the dry seedpods, which requires some agility because the plants can range from only 6 to 12 inches tall. Clip the seedpods off the plant with scissors or pinch the pods off with your fingers. Collect as many pods as desired.
Crack open the seedpods with your hands over a paper plate. Pick out any pod fragments until you only have seeds left on the paper plate. Leave the seeds to dry further on the plate in a warm, dry area of your home for one to two weeks until they are brittle and lightweight.
Pour the dried million bells seeds into an envelope and seal it. Label the envelope "million bells" and write the month and year when you collected the seeds. Store the envelope in a cool, dry area of your home or place it in the refrigerator if you plant to store the seeds for more than a year.
- "Success with Seeds"; Chris Wheeler and Valerie Wheeler; 2004
- "Seed Sowing and Saving"; Carole B. Turner; 1998
- Always label your envelopes with as much information as possible about the plant, such as sun and water requirements or pruning information.
- Take cuttings from million bells by clipping a stem from the plant that is 6 inches long. Strip off the leaves from the bottom half of the stem, and slip the stem halfway into a pot of moist potting soil. In a few weeks, you should see new growth.
- Hybrid plants often produce seeds that grow into weak plants that don't resemble the hybrid "parent" plant if the seeds are viable enough to sprout at all.
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