Canna seed harvesting

a_shau(San Francisco 8b)August 21, 2013

We have some canna lilies out back (we are in a rental) and I keep checking on these seeds to see if I can harvest them. Problem is, they never seem to turn brown. I check on them every few days and then one day they are just gone. Any ideas on how to harvest them - are these seeds even harvestable? Thanks!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
canna2grow

First let me say that not all canna cultivars produce viable seed even if they produce the swollen green seed capsule. Canna Bengal Tiger (Pretoria) would be an example. Sterile cultivars sometimes abort the seed capsules but they usually wither and turn brown first.

Your green capsule should begin to dry, turn brown and brittle; allowing for any mature seeds (about the size of a small English pea) to fall from the dried capsule. The mature canna seed will of course be light brown to nearly black and HARD. The old dried seed pod will usually cling to the flower stem for some time. The pods do need to be fairly dried (brown) before harvesting because the seed will not typically survive overwintering. Seeds need to mature enough to produce the hard outer coat to prevent dehydration in storage.

If your green pods are disappearing, something or someone may be pulling them from the plant. You may choose to remove one of the larger pods and open it to see if you have undeveloped seed inside. The seed inside the larger pods (if viable) will be white, somewhat soft but the size of the English pea.

As a very last resort and after you have confirmed that the seed capsules do have viable seed inside, cut off the entire stem with the seed pods attached and place in a dry warm area to force the pods to dry. This may take two or three weeks and you may salvage a few seed. Delay this action until the green pods are the size seen in your photo or beginning to show signs of drying if possible. Good luck

Kent

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 1:15AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
a_shau(San Francisco 8b)

Thanks so much, Kent!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 12:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
a_shau(San Francisco 8b)

Hi! I have a followup - I went back today to look at the plants, and look at what I found! Is this seed still viable even though the pod is green? And why would it start to crack if the pod is still green? Another picture to follow in the next post.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 7:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
a_shau(San Francisco 8b)

Hi! I have a followup - I went back today to look at the plants, and look at what I found! Is this seed still viable even though the pod is green? And why would it start to crack if the pod is still green? Another picture to follow in the next post.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 7:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Angel1272(5a)

Hi did you ever get an answer about the updated pic you posted on the canna seed unripened but cracked open seed pod? I have the same thing happening. I didnt see a next post for you, maybe I dont know how to find it...

    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 9:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
canna2grow

Angel,

Unfortunately no one responded to that last post but I will try to give a belated reply. Those green seed pods pictured are very close to being mature. Assuming they do contain viable seed as described earlier, they likely need about two to five days to complete maturing. This is primarily a factor of temperature and humidity. Remember that not all the pods will mature at the same time. If unsure, you can always gently open the most mature pod. If the seed is still white it will not be quite ready. A little trial and error is the best teacher.

Kent

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 1:54AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
a_shau(San Francisco 8b)

hey! sorry for the uber belated reply,but in case you're able to read this... after about a week days i went back again and the green pods had turned brown and there were nice little black seeds inside! haven't planted them yet and unsure of how successful will be since apparently canna seeds need scarification.

I got 16 seeds from these!

    Bookmark   December 25, 2013 at 8:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kioni(3)

I'd read rubbing against a nail file just until you see a peek of white interior is enough to do the job. Difficulty level dependent upon size of seed in ratio to whether you have smallish fingers or large.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2014 at 10:05PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
my cannas are only producing very small seeds
So ive been waiting for weeks for the seed pods on...
MissKayle10-3-13
i have seeds if you would like some
not sure how it works on here but i have plenty of...
knobrocker
canna ratty
Hello my canna were divided and split and cut back...
dennisoates
Canna - Clay Soil _ Fertilizer
I have a clay soil. What type of fertilizer would help...
canna1915
my Canna look horrible, please help
New homeowner here, and I a ton of Canna growing on...
bgaviator
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™