I love expanding my burgeoning plant collection by gathering seeds from my favorite plants. It’s cost effective, extremely rewarding and very mysterious yes – mysterious…
Seeds often don’t resemble their parents, just like people are not exact duplicates of theirs. I’ve grown some pretty cool hellebores from my Lenten roses that don’t resemble their mother plant. That’s how new exciting varieties come about from plant breeders. These plants are referred to as hybrids. How do you know if the seeds you have will grow into exact replicas of their parent or a different version? Seeds from hybrid plants will not be identical to the parents, however, seeds from plants that are non-hybrids should look like their parents. If you don’t know what you have, experiment and enjoy the mystery.
|Collect hellebores (Lenten & Christmas rose), when the flower centers dry out and become papery.
|Ripe hellebore are big and black.
How to save Seeds
- Collect seed from flowers, fruit and veggies when the seed heads and seeds are fully mature. They should be brown and papery, not green, as they won’t germinate.
- Harvest the seeds when they are totally dry to the touch, to prevent them from rotting.
- Cover the heads of nodding sunflowers with a paper bag to protect the seeds from birds and to collect them as they ripen.
- When removing seeds heads, place a bowl underneath to catch any seeds that fall.
- Place collected seeds in paper envelopes and seal.
- Label with the name of the plant (if you know it, if you don’t describe it – ‘yellow daisy flowers’) and the date.
- Store all seeds in a frost-free, dry place.
|These hollyhocks seed capsules are not ready as they are still green.
|Hollyhocks seed capsules are brown and ready to collect.
|Many disk-shaped seeds surround a central disk within a hollyhock seed capsule.
Tomatoes & Cucumbers
- save seeds from mature fruits that are fully ripe
- remove seeds with the pulp and juice and place into a container
- allow seeds to ferment in their own juices for three days at room temperature
- in a few days remove any mould and seeds that floats to the surface
- after a week, rinse the seeds that remain on the bottom
- allow seeds to dry on paper towels, then store
- remove seeds from mature red and orange peppers, green peppers are immature
- select plump, mature pods