Here are some very basic seed saving tips!
Some of the easiest flowers to collect seeds from include:
- Chocolate flower (Berlandieria lyrata)
- Winecups (Callirhoe involucrata)
- Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia sp.)
- Coneflowers (Echinacea sp.)
- Sunflowers (Helianthus annuus)
Be aware that there are many hybrid varieties of Black-eyed Susans, coneflowers, and sunflowers. If you save seed from a hybrid, it may be sterile, or the resulting plant may revert back to looking like one of the hybrid plant’s parents. You can save these seeds, but the plant you grow will be a surprise!
A couple of very easy herbs to save seed from include dill and cilantro.
1. Observe your plant and seed formation:
Don’t deadhead if you want to collect seed! Let the flower bloom and then go to seed. The best time to collect seed varies for each flower type, but you want to let the seeds dry on the plant as long as possible. Observe plants frequently and watch as seeds develop and ripen.
2. Collect your seed:
Shake the seed head over a paper bag to collect the seeds, or snip off the entire dried seed head and drop it into a labeled paper bag.
3. Clean your seed:
Some seeds fall freely from the seed heads or pods; others need to be rubbed to loosen them. Discard non-seed material.
4. Store your seed:
Don’t use plastic bags to store your seed long-term. Good choices for seed storage are small glass jars and envelopes. Whatever you use, label your seeds! Store your seeds in a cool place, like the refrigerator.
For more information on seed saving, check out:
Written by IBG
NELL FRAZER LINDQUIST
Nursery & Greenhouse Coordinator
Garden Tour Search Coordinator