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Dicentra/Bleeding Heart - How to collect seeds?

Posted by pixie_lou 5 (My Page) on
Sat, Apr 28, 12 at 10:02

I'm looking for input on how to collect my Dicentra seeds. I know that after the plant flowers little green pods will form. As the pods turn brown, they pop open and spill out little black seeds. So - what is the best way to collect those seeds as the pods open? Or is it possible to collect the green pods and let them ripen somewhere else?

I have so much shade in my yard and really can't afford to go out and buy 50 dicentra plants. But I do have patience, and a 5 year plan for my gardens, so collecting seeds sounds like my best solution.

Thanks, ~pixie (who normally hangs out in Preserving the Harvest and New England Gardening)

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Dicentra/Bleeding Heart - How to collect seeds?

I collected seed from Lamprocapnos spectabilis (formerly Dicentra spectabilis) last year. I waited until the pods began to look a bit beige coloured and then tied small plastic bags over then loosely. Paper or fabric would be better but paper wouldn't survive our weather and I didn't have fabric to hand. So I used plastic but made sure they were very loose. When the pods ripened the seed simply fell into the bags. I then sowed them immediately into a pot of seed compost and left them outside for the whole winter. I finally saw sprouts in late March this year. They have now been potted into small pots to grow on. I find that I don't get much ripe seed even though they flower well and from the 10 or so seeds I sowed I have only 4 baby Bleeding Hearts.

RE: Dicentra/Bleeding Heart - How to collect seeds?

Thanks flora. I have some tulle bags - I think I can slide those right over the stems and tie them on to collect the seeds. Even with low germination rates, it will still be cheaper than buying new plants!

RE: Dicentra/Bleeding Heart - How to collect seeds?

  • Posted by lois PA Zone 6 (My Page) on
    Sun, May 6, 12 at 18:58

If you have any old nylons or knee-highs, you can use them to 'bag' the seed pods as they ripen.

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