Moonflower seeds

donnamarienjNovember 3, 2013

I would like to save the seeds from my moonflower vine. At what point should I do this? The frost is going to kill the vine soon (zone 6). I gather that the seeds are in the part of the vine that looks like a pod? If not, where shall I find the seeds and when can I collect them? The vine is an ipomoea alba.

Any info is appreciated - THANK YOU!


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Does anyone know? I found the purple pods. A google search informs me to wait for the pods to "sundry" and only then cut the seeds out of them. My problem is, all of my pods are fresh, moist, and still purple. To make matters worse, we are expecting a freeze tonight. Can I cut these pods and bring them in now, while still fresh and wait until the pods dry in the house and THEN take the seeds out?

Any help please?

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 10:51AM
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Well, leaving them out doesn't make them ripen well. If the vine will be killed outright, then taking the seedpods off before ripeness amounts to the same thing, except that you have the seeds. If the vine is close and you can cover it, and you want seeds, then by all means cover it. Every day they can ripen on the vine will help, and it looks like next week will be warmer for you.

The problem is that these Ipomeas are true tropicals. It takes them forever to get going, then they bloom late and the seeds take a long time to ripen. Here in PA, I grew them for many years and some years I got no viable seed. You can tell if the seed is good or not because if they shrivel into tiny wrinkled spheres, you don't have viable seed.

For best results, get the oldest (lowest, usually) pods and don't open them until they are crinkly. Then extract the seeds. If you get shiny brown odd shapes, that is good. If they continue to shrive, not so goodl. I found that here in Cen. PA seed is not reliably produced every year. I still grow Moonflower some years, and find that the best pollinators are Manduca species of moths.

Edit: Seeds for me are brown, not black as I originally wrote. In haste, or when you are tired, you write things that are weird.

This post was edited by Dzitmoidonc on Sat, Nov 9, 13 at 18:14

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 1:36PM
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The seeds are sticky and white. The pods are green, white or purple. Only one of the pods is dry.

When I opened the pod (freshly picked today), the seeds were embedded inside and I had to pry them out. I'm not certain that is the correct way. The inside of the pod was white and sticky.

I had a feeling it was my zone. I didn't know that these were tropical.

Thanks for the info.


    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 2:08PM
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You will need to leave them on the plant until they start to turn brown. You can then snip the whole limb off and put it in a brown paper bag to finish ripening. Next spring they will be ready to plant. Put them someplace that the mice and rats can't get too them, because they LOVE them!

    Bookmark   November 6, 2013 at 8:44PM
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Need2SeeGreen(10 (SoCal))

My seeds from last year, which I left on the plant until they were starting to drop, were white.

I am not saying the other person is wrong, just that mine were not black. I don't know what it means. Maybe I'll try starting a few.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 3:31PM
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I've only seen white seeds, but other people swear they are brown. It doesn't matter now anyway. I had to pull the vine due to a freeze. The pods are not dry. When I dig for the seeds, sap runs out. I will try to grow them just for the heck of it - I have nothing to lose. Thanks for the info!

    Bookmark   November 8, 2013 at 12:04AM
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littleonefb(zone 5, MA)

Wish I had seen this thread sooner, but for the future, next year etc. you can do the following before a freeze to help ripen the seeds.

Cut the stems of the vines with the seed pods on them, leaving a long enough stem of the vine to put in water and not get the pods wet.

Bring them in the house, place them in a glass, glass vase etc and give them as much light as possible.
Change the water every couple of days to keep it fresh and enough water in the containers to keep the stems submerged.

It may take several weeks for the seed pods to ripen for you, and you may have to continue to snip the ends of the vines to keep a fresh end of the vine open to absorb the water, but don't give up on the pods ripening. Most, if not all of them will ripen for you.

And yes, moonflower vine seeds are a light tanish color, that really could be called a white.


    Bookmark   November 8, 2013 at 1:34AM
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Fran - it doesn't matter that you missed this thread. What's done is done and I'll not be able to salvage what I cut off the vine already. HOWEVER, your info will help me in future years. I assumed that because I was in Zone 6 and these were tropicals (for the Florida, etc. area), that the pods would never produce mature seeds.

With your info, there will be hope for next year!



    Bookmark   November 8, 2013 at 2:53PM
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Fran, that is exactly what I do with my moon-vine seeds. Works like a charm! :) Arum

    Bookmark   November 20, 2013 at 6:02AM
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littleonefb(zone 5, MA)

With the crazy weather swings we have now, this is becoming more and more how I get to save late blooming morning glory seeds.
Works every time, doesn't Arum?

Should have added to my post that it can work for a lot of other annual plants as well.

Have done it with sunflowers, zinnias, carnations, just to name a few.

The pods where still ripening, the seeds still forming and the freeze was coming, so figured I had nothing to lose by bringing out the trusty scissors and cutting the stems and bringing them in the house.

In the water they went and presto seeds ripened and where perfect for the next year and produced the same plants as the parent.

One thing to remember though, label the stems so that you know what each one is. Don't trust your memory. It doesn't work well, believe me.

And most of all, Thanks Ron for telling me about cutting the MG vines and bringing and what to do so that the pods could finish ripening.


    Bookmark   December 1, 2013 at 2:05AM
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