Experimentation is part of the fun of gardening. Saving seeds from your favorite flower for next year’s garden or even the next generation is something you might like to try.
Keep in mind that all flowers will not come true from seed. Hybrids and those pollinated by the wind or insects may produce offspring unlike the parent plant. But the surprise offspring can add to the fun. Use heirloom or older varieties when looking for consistency.
Timing is critical. The seeds, not the flower, need to be full sized and mature. This is usually when the seedpod that houses the seeds turns brown and brittle.
Collect the seedheads and separate the seeds from the pod. Then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Label the container with the name of the plant and the year it was collected. This will make spring planting go much easier.
A bit more information: The International Seed Saving Institute’s website, seedsave.org, and Seed Saver’s Exchange, http://www.seedsavers.org, has lots of useful information on collecting and storing seeds. Check out these books and see what best meets your needs: Saving Seeds, a Gardener’s Guide to Growing and Saving Vegetable and Flower Seeds by Marc Rogers; Saving Seeds, Seed Sowing and Saving by Carole Turner and Basic Seed Saving by Bill McDorman.
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