How to Collect Seeds From Your Summer Flowers


Summer flowers provide bright color and sometimes sweet fragrance to your garden. Many summer flowers are annuals, so they must be replaced with new plants each spring. Saving the seeds from these summer flowers and growing them yourself each year allows you to plant your favorite flowers without the expense of purchasing seeds or plants. Flowers either produce seeds encased in pods or in small clusters. The pods or clusters form where the flower was before it wilted and died.

Step 1

Cut off the flower stalk after the flower has wilted with a pair of shears. Harvest when the seed pods or clusters have begun to dry and change color (usually to brown or tan), but before the clusters begin breaking apart or the pods start splitting open.

Step 2

Place the gathered seed heads into a paper bag. Leave the bag open and set it in a warm well-ventilated room for two weeks so the seeds finish drying.

Step 3

Separate the seeds from the stems once they are finished drying. Hold the seed heads over a bowl. Break apart seed clusters with your fingers or split open seed pods and shake the seeds out into the bowl.

Step 4

Sort through the seeds and remove the chafe, or non-seed plant material, from the bowl. If there is a lot of fine chafe in the bowl, take it outside on a breezy day and pour the seeds slowly into a second bowl, allowing the wind to carry away the chafe.

Step 5

Label an envelope with the flower variety, color and year harvested. Include any planting instructions or other desired information. Place the seeds inside and seal the envelope closed. Store in a dry, cool area until you are ready to plant the seeds.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not collect seeds from hybrid varieties, as these often do not produce viable seed. It is also illegal to propagate patented flower hybrids by seed or any other method.

Things You'll Need

  • Shears
  • Paper bag
  • Bowls
  • Envelope


  • Oregon State Extension: Collecting and Storing Seeds from Your Garden
  • South Dakota State University: Saving Seed for Next Year
Keywords: collecting flower seed, summer flower seeds, seed saving

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.