balloon flower seeds

plays_in_dirt_dirt(Z7A VA bordering NC state line)September 4, 2007

I just searched this site for "balloon flower seeds," "balloon flower pods," and "balloon flower" and came up with no matches for all three. Hard to believe, so I'll ask directly.

Many pods on my balloon flower plants have dried petals on the top. The pods are green to greenish-white and have not begun to split. Stems are green. I tested one pod and the seeds inside are black and spilled freely into my hand. Are the seeds ripe or should I wait for the pod to turn brown and crack on its own?

I collected balloon flower seeds last year very late, either November or December, and don't remember that the pod had opened even then. I don't want to trust my memory on that and ruin the harvest by snipping the pods too soon.

Advice? Thanks.

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Balloon flower pods don't split open on their own. I'd keep them on the plant as long as possible just to insure they're completely ripe - the undeadheaded plants don't look so bad once the dried up flower petals disappear. The pod will get more greenish/grayish/woody looking later in the season and that's the best time to cut them off and start harvesting seeds. I don't save the seed, but cut some pods off, split them open and just drop them in place. Not all seeds will germinate, but I get nice, big clumps coming up in quite a few places. Established plants resent being transplanted, but seem to do okay if moved when small.

The seeds need light and humidity to germinate. If you sow them inside, don't cover the seeds with soil. Cover the pot or container so the seeds don't dry out. Might take 2-3 months before you can transplant them outside. Check out the Winter Sowing forum - that seems to be the method to use to really get a jump start on the season.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2007 at 2:43PM
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plays_in_dirt_dirt(Z7A VA bordering NC state line)

Thanks, duluth ... on the plant they'll stay ... I'm in no hurry, just impatient ... good to know the pods don't split on their own ... I'm in my second year of WSing and am sold on the method ... so many plants, so little money ...

    Bookmark   September 4, 2007 at 3:11PM
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My balloon flower pods definitely open at the top when the seeds are ripe.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2007 at 8:57PM
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Interesting. Different habits for different hardiness zones? Have never seen one split on its own here even left until Thanksgiving before being cut down. The OP will have to keep an eye out then.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2007 at 1:16PM
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bakemom_gw(z6 Central Ohio)

Mine open at the top. I can shake the seeds out like salt. They pods might still be a little green, but I figure if ma nature is letting them loose, it's time. That theory seems to work and I haev harvested them for several years with good success at germination.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2007 at 4:18PM
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After you have dead headed the balloon flower pods, can you just take them and plant the fresh picked pods and plant them in the ground? If you did this will it germinate on its own?

    Bookmark   July 27, 2009 at 8:27PM
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Does anyone have Balloon Plant Seeds in the color of White or Blue who would like to trade out with Lavendar Seeds?

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 6:43PM
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I enjoyed an array of beautiful blooms several weeks ago and now the whole plant has the seed pods where the flowers were. I do want to harvest the seeds from some of them but if I cut off some of the pods, will it cause the plant to produce more beautiful flowers? Thanks

    Bookmark   June 19, 2012 at 3:37PM
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