perrenial plants reproduction - Knowledgebase Question

Marblehead, Ma
Question by jodymagee
August 9, 2010
If I plant phlox, black-eyed susan, cone flower, aster, beebaum, and balloon plant seeds from my existing plants, will they reproduce? Do I need to wait for the seeds to totally mature (how can I tell that) before I pick and plant them? or can I do that as soon as the flowers wilt? If they will reproduce, how far in the ground should I plant the seeds? Thank you very much. Jody Magee


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Answer from NGA
August 9, 2010

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The plants you mention will self-sow if you leave the spent flowers on the plant and they develop seedpods. As the seeds mature the pod will split open and spill the seeds on the ground. They will sit patiently until next spring and then they'll sprout. You can leave them where they sprout or you can dig and transplant them in the spring. Or, you can collect and store the seeds for planting next spring. Allow the flower petals to fall and then watch as the seed pods form. When they turn a tannish-brown they will be ripe and you can collect the seed pods. At that time you can either open the seed pods and empty the seeds into a paper envelop or you can simply place the seed pods in the paper envelope. Let them sit in a dry place for about a week and then place the envelopes into a glass jar with a screw on lid. Set the jar in a cool, dark place until the spring. You can sprinkle the seeds onto the soil in the garden or you can start the seeds in trays or pots filled with moistened potting soil. Either way, just barely cover over the seeds with a thin layer of potting soil or peat moss. Keep the seeds moist and they should sprout in 7-10 days. Hope this answers all your questions.

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