How to Harvest Salvia Seeds
Salvia, a hardy plant, requires little care after planting. Grow salvia either as an annual or perennial. While some gardeners take cuttings to propagate new salvia plants, consider harvesting salvia seeds and storing them for the following spring. As with any seed project, the key is collecting at the correct time and providing a dry environment for processing and storing the salvia seeds.
Allow your salvia to bloom naturally. Wait a week or two after blooming for the rich, vibrant blooms to begin to turn a brownish grey color. As the petals drop away you will see rounded pods, called nutlets, which will start to open and become more bell-shaped as the plant dries.
Cut off a dried stalk and stick it tip-first into a paper bag. Typically one stalk is sufficient for a home gardener, but you can collect more than one if you want to start a lot of new plants.
Gently knock each pod, or nutlet, off the stalk with your fingers and let it drop into the bag. Once all of the pods are removed, fold over the top edge of the bag and set it in a warm, dry area of your home to finish drying for one to two weeks.
Open the bag and check that the nutlets are fully dry. They should be brown and no longer green. Hold each pod individually over a jar or other container and tap on the pod to allow the few seeds inside to drop into the jar, opening the pods with your fingers when necessary.
Continue to empty out the pods until you have collected all of your salvia seeds. Close the jar or container and attach a label with the year you collected the seeds on it. Store the jar in a cool, dry place for up to three years until you are ready to plant the seeds.
If you have more than one variety of salvia, label which variety is in the jar and keep the stalks, pods and seeds separate during processing to avoid confusion.
- If you have more than one variety of salvia, label which variety is in the jar and keep the stalks, pods and seeds separate during processing to avoid confusion.
- Small paper bag
- Jar or plastic container with lid
- Self-adhesive labels
- "The Edible Herb Garden"; Rosalind Creasy; 1999
- "Seed Sowing and Saving"; Carole B. Turner; 1998