How to Harvest Seeds From Flowers

Overview

You can harvest seeds from flowers to conserve on your budget for the next growing season. Buying flats of flowers from nurseries becomes expensive. One flower head generally contains enough seeds to grow more flowers than an entire flat of flowers generally contains. You can benefit from the savings, and you gain the added benefit of knowing how the seeds were raised.

Step 1

Wait until the flowers dry on the plant before you harvest the seeds. The flower must mature and wither before the seeds are viable. Immature blooms that died from lack of water or overexposure to sunlight contain unripened seeds. The underdeveloped seeds will not germinate.

Step 2

Snip off the spent flower heads with pruning shears. Avoid damaging the plant by making a clean cut at the base of the flower. Not all flowers will mature at the same time so allow several to remain on the plant until they are ready to harvest.

Step 3

Allow the flower heads to dry in a cool place away from indirect sunlight. Patience is a key factor when harvesting seeds from flowers. The spent flower head must dry completely before you harvest the seeds for storage or the seeds will rot.

Step 4

Split open the flower head and gently remove the seeds. Discard any damaged or defective seeds. Place the seeds in airtight containers labeled with the appropriate flower genus. Watch for moisture developing in the container. If moisture develops, the seeds are not completely dry and must be removed from the container and allowed to air dry until no moisture remains. Store the seed containers in a cool, dry place until you are ready to plant them.

Step 5

Harvest seed pods when they are brown and about to split open. Tie small paper bags around the stem of the seed pod to catch any seeds which might spill out if the pod bursts. Check to ensure the seeds from the pods are dry. Lay out the seeds to dry, if necessary. Store them in airtight containers in a cool, dry place.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning shears
  • Storage containers
  • Drying tray
  • Paper bags
  • Marker
  • Labels

References

  • You Grow Girl: Harvesting Seeds
  • The Seed Site: Harvesting, Saving, and Exchanging Seeds
  • Bella Online: Harvesting Flower Seeds
Keywords: harvesting seeds, collecting seeds, harvest flower seeds

About this Author

JulieAnn is a freelance writer from Ohio. She has been writing poetry and short stories for 30 years. Recently JulieAnn has written a variety of e-books and numerous articles on gardening, small business, and farming. JulieAnn is currently enrolled at Kent State University completing her Bachelor's degree in English.