The Q&A Archives: Seed Collecting

Question: How do I know when seeds on perennials are ripe enough to collect and are there any that cannot be started from seed?

Answer: It's generally best to keep the blossoms cut off the plants during the summer so the plants will continue to produce new flowers. If you let the first flowers go to seed, the plant will put most of its energy into developing seeds instead of producing additional blooms. In the late summer you can allow the spent flowers to remain on the plant. After the petals fall, a seedhead will develop. When it's dry, harvest it and allow it to thoroughly dry in an airy place. Then shake the seeds out, or crumple the seedhead between your fingers to release the seeds. The seeds can be stored when thoroughly dry. Place them in an airtight container and store them in a cool dark location until next spring. Most garden perennials can be started from seed, but some seeds have specific germination requirements. When you're ready to start your seeds, we'll be happy to provide information on successful germinating.

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