How to Collect Rhododendron Seeds
Although rhododendron seeds fall to the ground, it is not common for them to germinate on their own because the garden environment is usually not ideal. Instead, you can gather your own seeds at the end of the growing season. By using seeds from an existing plant in your garden -- assuming your favorite rhodie isn't a hybrid -- you will be using a variety that does well in your garden, area's climate, soil and environmental conditions. Understand the key steps needed to collect your rhododendron seeds to successfully sow this flowering plant.
Wait until fall approaches before collecting rhododendron seeds. Seeds are best when they come from mature flowers and the seed pods are brown.
Collect the seed pods that protrude from the center of the flower by grasping them and breaking them off. Place the pods in a container such as an envelope. Write the variety of the rhododendron on the container so that you do not forget what you have.
Check your envelope in a few weeks to see if the pod has broken open, releasing the seeds. Each pod typically holds up to 500 seeds each.
Place the seeds onto a sieve and allow water to run over the seeds to remove any debris. Cleaning and drying the seeds ensures that mold does not develop. Allow the seeds to thoroughly air dry, for at least one week.
Put your seeds in a labeled container with a lid and then leave them in a freezer for two days to kill any pests. When finished, keep your seeds in the refrigerator until the next growing season.
This technique also works for non-hybrid azaleas, which represent various species of rhododendron.
Brandy Alexander has been writing professionally since 2001. She is a glass artist with a Web design and technical writing background. Alexander runs her own art-glass business and has been a contributor to "Glass Line Magazine" as well as various online publications.