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Here's what I did....

Posted by jodie74 5 ( on
Fri, Nov 19, 10 at 12:39

So this year was my first time EVER gathering seed & drying them. (I am new to this whole gardening thing & planted only a handful of plants)

I want to make sure I did it right. On a dry day about 2-3 weeks ago I went out & gathered the following:

celosia giant plume: The flowers were brown & I just shook them into a paper bag & TONS of seed went into the bag!

white zinnia/marigold- I had both of these in white & once the heads turned brown I forgot which was which-OOOPS! I crushed the very brown flowers (stem was brown too!)into a paper bag. I can't tell by looking at the seed any difference! I think I got mostly zinias w/ very little marigold! My marigolds didn't do well!!

painted daisy/tricolor daisy- ANOTHER OOPS! once they were brown I forgot to look at the plant to see which was which! And again... seed looks the same. But I crushed the brown flower heads into a paper bag.

gayfeather-once flower heads were very brown I cut off the spike & put it into the bag & slid my fingers along the spike & the seed went into the bag. If I read up on this right, these don't put off alot of viable seed so I need to give out generously in trades, correct?

cannas-very easy to gather those large seeds. once pod started to open up I hand plucked them & into a paper bag they went.

morning glory-these were pretty easy too. The pod was slightly split open so I would just open it up & get the seeds & into a paper bag they went.

So, now for the last 2-3 weeks they have been in the lunch size, brown, paper bags. From time to time I would go and shake the bag to shuffle things around a bit.

Are they dry now? Can I baggie them up? Did I do it right? I'm afraid to offer them up to seed trades unless I know I did it right & seeds should be viable!!

Thanks for your help!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Here's what I did....

  • Posted by remy 6WNY (My Page) on
    Fri, Nov 19, 10 at 21:20

Hi Jodie,
It sounds like you are doing good.
Celosia- Fine
White Zinnia -gray arrowhead looking things that are not thin and bendy.
Marigold - black very thin sticks that are not bendy
Painted Daisy- I don't know off the top of my head.
Gayfeather- the good seeds are hard and decent sized so feel around in your chaff for those or you may be trading just junk which is not good.
Cannas- fine
MGs- fine

If your house is very dry, you are probably fine. Large seeds like canna and morning glory, I like to wait for a month before sealing in plastic.
Hope that helps,

RE: Here's what I did....

Hi Jodie - I'll echo what Remy said--you're doing a good job so far. I use brown paper bags for things like astilbe where I harvest the entire dried flower stalk. For loose seeds I spread them on paper plates or in paper bowls and set them to dry inside my garage for a few weeks where critters can't get them.

With gayfeather/liatris, I just plucked the tufts of ripe seeds off the stalks and put them in a paper bowl.

If you know the botanical names of the plants, you can search for images of the seeds on website. Chances are if you Google seed images it'll bring up a link to that site. I'm in the process of creating my own library of seed images including the pods for future reference & to have available when questions are posted on the forum.

Good job!!

RE: Here's what I did....

And then can these seeds be planted THIS year? Meaning in 6-8 weeks, Or do they need to be stored for at least a certain amount of time?

RE: Here's what I did....

  • Posted by remy 6WNY (My Page) on
    Sat, Jan 15, 11 at 19:29

Firsthouse MP,
Yes, they can be planted this year. Most of the time, seeds can be fresh sown. Sometime seeds need certain temperature requirements before they will germinate, but it has nothing to do with the age of the seed.

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