How to Harvest Flower Seeds

Overview

There's a particular satisfaction that comes from growing big, beautiful plants from flower seeds that you harvested the year before. It's a fascinating way to take part in the entire growth cycle, and if you're never tried it, you may be surprised how simple it is. It can also be fun to trade seeds with other seed harvesters and expand the variety and colors of flowers in your landscape very inexpensively.

Step 1

Select a few healthy blooms that will make good candidates for harvesting seeds. Tie a brightly colored piece of string around the stem so you won't accidentally cut the bloom for a bouquet.

Step 2

Harvest the seeds on a dry day, in the middle of the day, after the blooms have withered. Hold a large paper bag under the bloom. Snip the bloom with a pair of scissors and let it fall into the bag. Be sure to use a separate paper bag for each type and color of bloom, and label the bag immediately.

Step 3

Put the paper bag in a warm, dry place, with the top of the bag open so air can circulate. Shake the bag daily, and check to see if the seeds are dry and ready to come out of the blooms. Depending on the type of flower, you may need to crush the seedpods with your fingers to get the seeds out. Keep in mind that the seeds will always be in or behind the flower.

Step 4

Pour the contents of the paper bag onto a large piece of paper. Be sure to do this job inside where there's no wind. Use a pair of tweezers to pick out the seeds if they're large. For small seeds, use the tweezers to remove pieces of leaves, stems or petals, leaving the tiny seeds behind. Don't worry if small debris remains with the seeds.

Step 5

Label a white paper envelope for each type of seed, and pour the seeds carefully into the envelopes. Store the envelopes in a dry, cool place until you're ready to use them in spring. Don't put the seeds in sealed containers, which can gather moisture.

Things You'll Need

  • Colored string
  • Paper bag
  • Scissors
  • Large piece of paper
  • Tweezers
  • White envelopes

References

  • Harvesting, Saving and Exchanging Seed
  • Saving Seed for Next Year
  • Harvesting Seeds From Your Garden
Keywords: flower seeds, harvest seeds, seedpod

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.