Growing plants from seed is not only easy but also economical. It is an opportunity to increase the number of plants in your garden for free and once you know how to do it you will have a cost effective way of ensuring a garden full of beautiful blooms year after year. Knowing when to harvest garden seeds is the first step to saving plants for future use. Once flowers begin to fade at the close of the season, most flower seeds are ripe for picking.
Flower Seeds Worth Harvesting
This video shows you 10 flowers seeds to save year after year for spectacular blooms during the growing season.
Some General Tips
- Seed harvesting should be done on a dry and sunny day as soon as the seed heads (e.g. capsules or pods) ripen. This is often indicated by a colour change from green to brown, black or red but before they open and shed their contents
- Pick the seed heads, either singly or on stalks, and lay them out to dry on a greenhouse bench, warm windowsill or in an airing cupboard. This enables seed to be more easily extracted from pods, cones or capsules. If they don’t open when dry, gently crush pods and capsules to release the seed
- Collect seed from fleshy fruits and berries by mashing them in a fine sieve and then rinsing away the pulp in cold water. Leave the seed to dry for a few days on paper towels.
- Exploding seed heads need checking every few days. Place a bag over them and shake – this will usually cause the ripe seed heads to explode into the bag. Alternatively, remove the seed heads on their stems as they turn brown and place in a labelled paper bag
- Label all of your bags so that you do not forget which seeds are which. It is important to use only paper bags, as seeds can spoil in plastic.
- Once you have collected your seeds, you can spread them out on a screen or a piece of newspaper and dry them at room temperature for a week.
Store seeds in a cool and dark spot for the winter. A temperature around 40 F. (5 C.) is best. Do not crush or damage seeds or allow seeds to freeze or overheat while in storage. Keep seeds dry at all times.