how to collect / save petunia seeds?

brian_kc0kfg(z4 MN)May 19, 2005

Hello all Im just stoping on this forum to ask a question, How do you collect-save petunia seeds? and is there petunias that this works better with? Thanks for the help Brian kc0kfg

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roxannemoskal(Z6 PA)

I save petunia seeds all the time, it's very easy. After the flower dies and falls off keep an eye on the calyx it swells with seeds then it turns brown and splits open. If you pick it off before it splits and put it in an open container you'll get all the seeds. For me it's easier to do late in the summer to early fall when the plant gets a little leggy and there are alot more seed pods. I know that the wave petunias are very easy, they even reseed themselves if you let the plants die where they are planted.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2005 at 9:50PM
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cookie8(zone 5 ON)

So, I did this, there are these little greenish balls. Do I just let them dry and then they are viable? Are most seeds green and turn brown on drying? Thanks.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2005 at 12:22PM
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The seeds I've collected have always been dark brown. Teeny tiny, like the period at the end of this sentence. I have never seen them look green--maybe you are collecting them too soon.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2005 at 10:14PM
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I collected them for the first time last year.I had a hanging basket that was just about done,so I put the basket in the shed.The plants all dried up and when they were brittle,I snapped off the dried flowers and the seed just poured out into my hand.I sowed just a few pinches of this seed and got over 200 plants.Never thought it could be that easy.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2005 at 10:00AM
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You could try leaving the calyx on the plant until it splits. To collect the seeds, I use a small tulle drawstring bag (12 for about $3.50, available in most craft stores, or even the wal-mart craft department near the wedding and baby shower section) and place it over the seed pod, pulling the drawstrings and tying loosely. When the pod splits, the seeds will be in the bag for you!!

    Bookmark   July 2, 2005 at 3:14PM
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I am collecting petunia seed this year for the first time ever. Simply because, I must satisfy my curiosity of just how well collected petunia seed will perform. I have heard mixed reviews, but most people seem to be satisfied. I just gotta know for myself!

It sure is easy enough to get the seed. I inspected some of mine that were recently severly chopped back, and then have been sort of neglected during this past week of rain. I found many many seed pods just busted open with seeds, many seeds sticking to the plant. If you are still struggling with them, just wait until that green "cone" has turned all tan and has started to split open. Its super easy. Though, if you are inspecting tiny vines, they are almost impossible to see. On all my wave plants, there are thick vines and tiny vines.

Molly, roxanne, how well have your petunias done this year from collected seed? Are you satisfied?

    Bookmark   July 18, 2005 at 4:39PM
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I have collected petunia seeds successfully but I also had a failure, apparently taking seed from a hybrid. Got plants with tiny little flowers.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2005 at 9:05PM
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sandrakclev(zone 5 OH)

I've followed your advice and gotten some seeds, but I'm wondering whether seeds from wave petunias stay true to the parent. It sounds like from what others are saying that they do, but I just want to make sure.


    Bookmark   July 21, 2005 at 9:34PM
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Kathy46(Z6 Pa)

I have one color petunia that I'm able to collect seed but another that I cannot find seed pods to save my life. Are there some that will not produce seed ?

They are HD boxstore.


    Bookmark   July 22, 2005 at 10:37AM
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I can't find any seeds in my petunias either. I opened up a few dead ones that were brown and all i see is hairlike little things. Do I have to wait later to get the real seed or is this it ?

    Bookmark   July 24, 2005 at 12:25PM
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owbist(6A-Niagara, Ont)

I have been using my own harvested Wave seeds since 2000. They still do not all come true to the original colour but I sow sufficient numbers then wait for the first bloom before potting in my baskets. My blooms are all as large as the original plant too.

This year I could not wait for the first flower to show and am pleasantly surprised at a beautiful red variety in one basket. I will harvest those separately and see what next years brings.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2005 at 10:52PM
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crash5456(North Ontario)

I know I should ask this in seed starting but here goes anyway, I am in Zone 3, when should I start planting petunia seeds so I can have flowering hanging baskets on my house in June?

    Bookmark   July 25, 2005 at 12:16PM
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cookie8(zone 5 ON)

I believe I started mine in March and got flowers by mid-June. I think if you check out the McKenzie website, there are some wave petunias and the suggested plant date was March/April.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2005 at 8:38AM
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I have hanging baskets around my covered porch and one year after the growing season I put all of them on the fence for the winter. The next growing season I dumped all of my soil out of my baskets to start over (like a dummy) because all of the soil was dumped under a tree that we were trying to build up for a raised bed later. Guess what? The following growing season I had petunias galore under that tree.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2006 at 2:26PM
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danaoh(SWOhio zone 6)

I was trying to get some seeds from the beautiful petunias the city has downtown. I couldn't find seeds anywhere. They are well taken care of, but I did manage to find some dead areas underneath. Any ideas?

    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 1:20PM
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Crafty Gardener(ON 5b)

Seed saving info at my website ... pictures of plants, seed pods, seeds etc.

Here is a link that might be useful: Country Roads Gardens & Crafts

    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 6:45PM
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For "clairdo2" are looking at the actual flower. The seed pod is the part the flower falls off of. There will be a green pod inside the little star like part that holds the flower. This will grow bigger after you remove the flower. Wait to harvest until the pod turns light brown. You just crack it open and there will be a BUNCH of tiny dark brown seeds inside.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2007 at 4:54PM
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Can you harvest the pods when they are green or slightly yellow/brown and allow them to dry? Will the brownish/green seeds darken and be viable? This seems easier than trying to get them before they split and dissappear. Has anyone tried this?

    Bookmark   August 8, 2007 at 6:09PM
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freshair2townsquare(z7/8, D/FW)

This thread answers the question I posted earlier today.

The post from pennyonwings to clairdo2 was the most helpful to me b/c nothing else I found said anything about the "pod" that was left behind after the flower fell off. I was collecting the collapsed/dried flowers.

I am interested in hearing the answer to excalibur01's question about green seed pods - anyone?

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 6:06PM
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kqcrna(z6 SW Oh)

Some, like supertunias, are propagated vegetatively and don't produce seeds. Most petunias do produce seeds though.
Seeds for all plants are supposed to dry thoroughly on the plant, i.e. turn brown or black.

Petunias can also be started from cuttings.

Since they tolerate relatively cold temperatures well, petunias are a prime candidates for wintersowing. I tried Laura Bush petunias this year for the first time and they quickly became a favorite.


    Bookmark   August 10, 2008 at 6:17AM
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Can I just clip off the dies petunia flowers/petals and leave the pod on the plant to dry and collect them later for seeds?

    Bookmark   August 19, 2009 at 1:24PM
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pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)

Winston, yes, you can.
I do that sometimes, but I like to collect the seeds as they ripen to make sure that I get as many as I like.
If you wait too long, some of the seeds will spill out of the pods and you may not get as many as you like.

For some favorite petunia, I cover green pods with a piece of nylon stocking and tie it around the stem to make sure I get the seeds before they spill out.
The same idea as tull bags mentioned above.
It has worked very well for me.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2009 at 8:59PM
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I am aware of collecting various flower seeds some are easier then other due to size such as Sun Flowers. In the case of petunias when collected seeds are planted do they produce the same flower as the parent plant? Anyone who is familiar with petunias is aware of the great variety hybrids out there. Hybrids rarely if ever breed true. And given the time involved in collecting seeds and growing petunias to discover that you get only a small flower with a pale color would be disappointing for me and not worth the time and trouble involved.

Has anyone here collected petunia seeds which resulted in getting the same flower as the parent plant? If so what petunia type was it?

    Bookmark   April 5, 2011 at 12:31AM
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what do you do with petunias in the winter time when the frost is on?

    Bookmark   May 3, 2011 at 1:16PM
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I've grown wave petunias since 2000...
For the first 10 years, I would allow the petunias to drop seed and die out completely before removing them. Every spring, I would have several new plants that would spring up but they were more leggy (scraggly, really) than the parent plants so I would wind up buying a flat and supplementing.
This year I was pleasantly surprised when early in April I had little seedlings (much earlier than past years) and they're getting quite big and very full/bushy. The only difference is that they have deep purple flowers and the parent plants were fuschia. No complaints here. I'm not supplementing this year - they're going to turn out nicely with no help.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2011 at 6:08PM
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I was very surprised to find this was all possible. I am going to harvest my seeds. Thank you.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2011 at 4:42PM
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Hi everyone. I almost do my own seeds in my large containers, I just pull the dead plants out after the hard freezes, lay them in the container. Come March or when the snow melts , I grind the dead plants with my hands to remove all the seed, stir up the dirt and wait for warmer weather. I've posted a pic of a seed pod of a Petunia and what it looks like..

Seed Pod

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 12:36AM
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