newbie gardener - lots of questions!

redthreaddiy(6a MI)April 22, 2010

I am such a newbie.

I want to be able to collect seeds/divide bulbs from my plants to save and replant the following year, but I have NO idea where to look for them or how or when to gather seeds. I don't know if I need to dig things up, or when to deadhead, or how to deadhead.

Here is a list of what I've got.

Can you even get seeds from bulbs?

Bulbs:

Amaryllis

Asiatic Lilies

Daffodils

Gladiolas

Hyacinth - Blue and Pink

Iris

Tulips

Annuals:

Alyssum

Aster

California Poppy

Celosia

Globe Amaranth

Impatiens

Marigolds

Morning Glory

Petunia

Sunflower

Zinnias

Perennials:

Bee Balm

Cannas

Columbine

Daylilies

Foxglove

Gloriosa Daisy

Hostas

Peony

Splendins Sea Pink

I have more, but I will list those as they bloom. Thanks so much for any responses!

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remy_gw

Hi Red,
I know you're enthusiastic which is great! but it is easier to deal with smaller groupings of plants when you ask a question. I hope that doesn't read mean, because I don't mean it that way, and I want to help : ) It is just that a paragraph could be written on each plant and that takes time.

Bulbs - Yes, you can get seed from bulbs. Sometimes it is best to remove the seed pod of bulbs though since you want energy to go to bulb development instead of seed production. This is especially true of tulips. Also all the babies from the bulbs you listed will not be true to the parent(some types of bulbs will come true from seed,) and they will take a long time to get to flowering size possibly like 5 years. Small bulbs can be worth seed saving like scilla for example. They will only take a couple seasons to get to bloom size.

Annuals- most of them are easy to save seed from. You need to know when the pod or dead flower is ready with ripe seeds. A search of this forum for many will bring up threads on them. Also The Seed Site(I'll link below) is an excellent resource. There's a lot there so check it out. I think you'll like it. If you still have trouble with a particular plant this summer/fall. Please ask.

Perennials - Everything you listed, you can get seeds from pretty easily. Some have good sized seeds which makes it even easier. Again, some of them have threads on this forum and some are listed on The Seed Site. And if you have trouble later this year, please please ask! : )
Hope this helps,
Remy

Here is a link that might be useful: The Seed Site

    Bookmark   April 22, 2010 at 9:55PM
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redthreaddiy(6a MI)

Thanks for your response -

I am seriously stressing out and OBSESSING over how to gather seeds and how to replant them. I've been like this for a few days and still feel really confused. I guess that's what I get for trying to learn so much in such a small amount of time!

Your response didn't read mean - I totally understand! You honestly helped though with getting my mind going in the right direction - Thank you!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 11:53PM
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remy_gw

Red,
Glad I didn't sound mean : )
Try not to stress too much. After saving a few types of seeds, you'll get the hang of it really quick. Remember there are more plants that are easy to get seed from than hard ones. Also, the more you observe you plants, and really look at them, the easier it will be.
Most seed pods look a certain way while developing and then they change color and/or open when ripe. Of flowers that make seeds in the base of where the flower was and have no pod, you can often see the base turn brown where it connects to the stem.
If you are unsure if a seed is ripe, it is best to pick one pod/dead flower and check it. Don't pick them all so in case you were wrong, you haven't ruined your chance at good seed.
Hope that helps,
Remy

    Bookmark   April 24, 2010 at 9:44PM
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llfinch

Red, i am also relatively new to seed-saving techniques and am pretty much learning with each plant as i go along. my only advice would be this:

spend time in your garden around these plants as they flower, mature and go to seed. check on them daily and observe the changes in the seed pods. not so surprisingly, i think that you will find that the seeds are fairly simple to identify once we become acquainted with them.

also, you really can't go wrong unless you "save" the seed before it is finished maturing. beyond this, the "worst" thing that can happen is that the seed will fall to the ground, rot, or some eager seed saver will come by and save your seed for you!

best of luck getting to know your plants!

enjoy,
Wren

    Bookmark   May 13, 2010 at 5:11PM
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irisnquilt(Zn 5)

I have the same thoughts and have wondered this very thing! When, where, how-to and the like. Some I feel comfortable with and others not to much. Like the other day I was looking for the seed on a Dahlia . . well hello they are tubers. I had to ask someone but she also told me for annuals not always but sometimes a thought her mom told her. It goes, "the petal is the helicopter that takes the seed away" and so far that has helped me quite a bit.
I'm definitely going to watch this thread for sure!

    Bookmark   May 26, 2010 at 8:57AM
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