Add more color to your flower garden by collecting and growing flower seeds from the spent blooms in the flowerbed. Most annuals produce seeds from the flowers grown each year. These seeds yield hundreds of flowers when grown properly. Harvesting seeds throughout the summer will give you a good supply of flower seeds to start in the early spring for planting.
Gather seeds from healthy plants. Flowers that are diseased or infested with pests may not produce a good quality seed for planting. For flowers that produce a seed pod, wait until the pod starts to dry before collecting them from the plant. Pods susceptible to bursting when dried should have a small paper bag tied over the pod while it is ripening. If the pod bursts, the bag will catch the seeds.
Collect other seeds from gathering flowers. Allow the flowers to die and dry on the plant, if possible, so the seeds form to maturity. Collecting the seeds from the plant before the bloom dies keeps the seeds from fully developing. Cut the dried flower heads off with a pair of pruning shears to ensure a clean cut and reduce the risk of damage to the plant.
Lay out the spent blooms in a cool dry place so they can dry completely. Once they are dry, open the flower heads and remove the seeds. Put the seeds in a glass or plastic jar. Watch for condensation forming on the inside of the jar, signifying the seeds are not fully dry. If this happens, remove the seeds and allow them to dry more thoroughly. Store the seeds in sealed containers until ready for planting.
Start seeds indoors 3 to 4 weeks before the last frost date for your area to have early blooms. Most flower seeds require a planting depth of about ¼ inch in a quality potting soil. Cover the growing tray with plastic to retain moisture in the tray. Uncover the growing tray when most of the seeds have germinated.
Sow other flower seeds directly into the garden as soon as the weather permits. Water the growing area daily until the flower seeds germinate. Thin the flower plants as desired and continue watering weekly. Apply a standard plant fertilizer once the flowers have become established and are growing well.