Saving Zinnia Seeds

oboyzmomOctober 5, 2007

Hi All,

I'm wanting to save seed from my beautiful Benary Zinnia's this year and I know to wait until the blooms fade on the stem. BUT a gardening friend of mine said that I could also save seed from blooms that I have cut for use in displays in my house. I wondered if this was true and if so, how exactly do I do that?

Thanks in advance for any and all information!

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Hi oboyzmom - I would recommend against it for a couple of reasons.

First, since successful germination of healthy plants the following season is the goal, it helps to understand how a seed matures and why waiting for nature to take its course is important. Without getting too "botany complex" ;), the link below shows the difference between a mature, well pollenized seed and an immature seed. Note the difference in the embryo in the seeds.

Flowers that have been cut may or may not have been adequately pollenized but most definitely have been cut off from the nutrient supply needed to develop successful embryos.

Secondly, genetic characteristics. The seed from cut flowers, if not adequately pollinated before cutting will lack a full genetic code. If any germinates they are far more likely to be "throwbacks".

Try an experiment. Save some seed from your cut flowers (just let them dry well, stick the head in a sack and bash the heads a bit so the seed falls out) but keep it separate from that harvested in the normal manner. When you plant the seeds compare the germination rate and overall health of the seedlings.

I know it can be difficult to wait for those mature seeds some times but it is the best way to go. ;) Hope this helps.

Dave

Here is a link that might be useful: Optimizing Seed Germination

    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 9:59AM
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oboyzmom

Dave - thanks for the information - it was extremely helpful! I think I'll just go with what I know and do it the old fashioned, mother nature way!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2007 at 11:19AM
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