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Canna seed harvesting

Posted by a.shau none (My Page) on
Wed, Aug 21, 13 at 20:42

We have some canna lilies out back (we are in a rental) and I keep checking on these seeds to see if I can harvest them. Problem is, they never seem to turn brown. I check on them every few days and then one day they are just gone. Any ideas on how to harvest them - are these seeds even harvestable? Thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Canna seed harvesting

First let me say that not all canna cultivars produce viable seed even if they produce the swollen green seed capsule. Canna Bengal Tiger (Pretoria) would be an example. Sterile cultivars sometimes abort the seed capsules but they usually wither and turn brown first.

Your green capsule should begin to dry, turn brown and brittle; allowing for any mature seeds (about the size of a small English pea) to fall from the dried capsule. The mature canna seed will of course be light brown to nearly black and HARD. The old dried seed pod will usually cling to the flower stem for some time. The pods do need to be fairly dried (brown) before harvesting because the seed will not typically survive overwintering. Seeds need to mature enough to produce the hard outer coat to prevent dehydration in storage.

If your green pods are disappearing, something or someone may be pulling them from the plant. You may choose to remove one of the larger pods and open it to see if you have undeveloped seed inside. The seed inside the larger pods (if viable) will be white, somewhat soft but the size of the English pea.

As a very last resort and after you have confirmed that the seed capsules do have viable seed inside, cut off the entire stem with the seed pods attached and place in a dry warm area to force the pods to dry. This may take two or three weeks and you may salvage a few seed. Delay this action until the green pods are the size seen in your photo or beginning to show signs of drying if possible. Good luck

Kent


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RE: Canna seed harvesting

Thanks so much, Kent!


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RE: Canna seed harvesting

Hi! I have a followup - I went back today to look at the plants, and look at what I found! Is this seed still viable even though the pod is green? And why would it start to crack if the pod is still green? Another picture to follow in the next post.


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RE: Canna seed harvesting followup

Hi! I have a followup - I went back today to look at the plants, and look at what I found! Is this seed still viable even though the pod is green? And why would it start to crack if the pod is still green? Another picture to follow in the next post.


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RE: Canna seed harvesting

Hi did you ever get an answer about the updated pic you posted on the canna seed unripened but cracked open seed pod? I have the same thing happening. I didnt see a next post for you, maybe I dont know how to find it...


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RE: Canna seed harvesting

Angel,

Unfortunately no one responded to that last post but I will try to give a belated reply. Those green seed pods pictured are very close to being mature. Assuming they do contain viable seed as described earlier, they likely need about two to five days to complete maturing. This is primarily a factor of temperature and humidity. Remember that not all the pods will mature at the same time. If unsure, you can always gently open the most mature pod. If the seed is still white it will not be quite ready. A little trial and error is the best teacher.

Kent


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RE: Canna seed harvesting

hey! sorry for the uber belated reply,but in case you're able to read this... after about a week days i went back again and the green pods had turned brown and there were nice little black seeds inside! haven't planted them yet and unsure of how successful will be since apparently canna seeds need scarification.

I got 16 seeds from these!


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RE: Canna seed harvesting

I'd read rubbing against a nail file just until you see a peek of white interior is enough to do the job. Difficulty level dependent upon size of seed in ratio to whether you have smallish fingers or large.


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