My zinnias won't turn brown!

Ruth_MI(z5MI)October 4, 2013

I haven't deadheaded since August, and didn't do much even then. I swear these zinnias are frozen in time! :-) The flowers that were pink six weeks ago are just a little faded now.

I still have new buds and flowers, although since the weather has turned cooler, the flowers are more reddish.

How long should it be taking these to dry out and turn brown?

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docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

Ruth,
Unlike most other flowers, zinnia seeds can be collected before the flower has turned brown. If you pull out the basal petals and they have a thickened seed at the end, you can harvest them while still green and let them dry a bit longer than if they were brown already. I was skeptical when I first heard this, but that is how I collected my seed last year and I had excellent germination this spring.

Martha

    Bookmark   October 5, 2013 at 9:43PM
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Ruth_MI(z5MI)

Martha,

Thanks! It just seems so weird that they're not turning brown. But on the most faded one, I pulled a few petals out today, and the seeds look like they're maturing.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2013 at 2:14PM
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chervil2(z5 MA)

My Oklahoma Zinnias have the same experience. I love this variety and really want to save the seed from some of the nicer plants. The heads seem immature after spending three months on the stem. With the upcoming freeze I am hoping they will mature to ripeness inside in a paper bag. I think the cool and cloudy weather is to blame for the slow maturity of the seed heads. I have had trouble obtaining viable zinnia seeds in past years and hope this yield will work out.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 12:00PM
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