Seeds forum: Seed Harvesting Question

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Name: Dana
Canton, OH (Zone 6a)
Project Junkie & One Hit Wonder =P
Daylilies Butterflies Hummingbirder Cat Lover Dog Lover Roses
Region: Ohio Winter Sowing Composter Birds Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 1
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bloominholes2fill
Oct 17, 2017 12:33 PM CST
Hi Gang! I'm gathering seed for the seed swap, but I have somewhat of a dilemma. Now, before I ask my question, I'm a simple hobby gardener, and therefore not a Botanist or Scientist, by any stretch! So please indulge my need for an answer in the, "...For Dummies" style. I'm all ears!

So I have green and *mature size* pods on three perennials, Daylily 'Stella De Oro', Canna 'President', and Hosta 'Queen Josephine'. I'm concerned they won't dry up before our first hard frost. I asked this question about Stella, and I got an answer to clip the pod scapes, put them in a vase of water, and bring indoors, which makes sense to help,the pod reach mature size (Thank you Valerie!). I'm aware that they're to dry up and crack open, and what the pods look like, before harvesting the seed. These are already mature size, but still green, so can I skip the water step and just clip them and dry them indoors, before harvesting the seed from the pods, for all of them?

I already have quite a few Canna seeds, but there's plenty more to be harvested! Thumbs up I'm concerned there won't be any Stellas, and I only have two pods worth of Queen Josephine, from this year's harvest, to add to my swap list. Sighing! Of course the Stella seeds I picked on Saturday, blew away in the high winds on Sunday, before I could bring them in! D'Oh! D'Oh! Glare

What say you? Is it common practice to bring mature size, but still green, seed pods and, somewhat green with browning seed bracts or cone heads, etc. indoors to dry before harvesting the seed, when the first hard frost is looming around the corner, or if one needs to move or divide the perennial?

So, just to get the formality out of the way, I am fully aware that hybrid seed does not grow true. I am wondering, though, if it's worth harvesting and listing hybrid seeds for swap, or am I chasing my tail?? Confused

Thanks! Smiling
"The grass is only greener where it's watered and fertilized." - Yours Truly
Always be yourself, unless you can be Batman, then you should ALWAYS be Batman! - Unknown
Dana
https://garden.org/blogs/view/...
https://www.youtube.com/channe...
[Last edited by bloominholes2fill - Oct 20, 2017 3:31 AM (+)]
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Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Composter Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Region: Alabama
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Seedfork
Oct 17, 2017 12:57 PM CST
I think if seed pods are nearly mature then most seeds will dry and mature if they are collected and stored in a dry paper bag . Of course it all depends on just how far along the maturity of the seed pods are. If they are very green and not developed very well then the seeds will probably never ripen.
Name: Mary
Lake Stevens, WA (Zone 8a)
Near Seattle
Bookworm Garden Photography Plant and/or Seed Trader Plays in the sandbox Region: Pacific Northwest Seed Starter
Winter Sowing
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Pistil
Oct 17, 2017 2:28 PM CST
Dana I will tell you what I do about the offspring of hybrid question-
I make sure I put a comment in the tradelist that this is an open pollinated offspring of the named plant, like Stella. That way potential traders can decide for themselves if it is something they want. Dave has been steadily working at improving his swap program, it is terrific now. One thing I was hoping he would add was a check box or something to indicate this "offspring of" situation. Some seeds like this have proved popular in prior swaps, one never knows! Sometimes, like for plants where I have a bunch of named varieties that all get mixed up, like my Heleniums, I just list it as the species, then make a comment naming the parents I have.
Anyway even if nobody wants those seeds of yours, you are learning about how to do it which is useful. I would encourage you to try sprouting any that you harvested green and ripened on the counter, that way you will know for future years if your technique works.
Name: Dana
Canton, OH (Zone 6a)
Project Junkie & One Hit Wonder =P
Daylilies Butterflies Hummingbirder Cat Lover Dog Lover Roses
Region: Ohio Winter Sowing Composter Birds Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
bloominholes2fill
Oct 17, 2017 5:18 PM CST
@Larry I was able to harvest some seed from the Canna and Hosta pods, that had dried and cracked, so I have an idea as to how large-ish they get at maturity, and of course, I know how large the Stella pods get, so yeah, I'm thinking the same as you.... Thumbs up Thank You!

I'll keep an eye on the forecast in order to keep those pods on their plant as long as possible, of course, but I think if they aren't dried up by the end of the week, I'm bringing in what I can. Crossing Fingers! The seed swap is closing in, and I gotta get final quantities locked in and all the packets filled and ready! Blinking I'd prefer to have had it all done and ready by now, but Mother Nature sure has a mind of her own! Glare Glare Been unusual weather patterns for the last 12 months, for sure, here in NE Ohio! I think the mildest July and August we've had in years!! Thumbs up

@Mary, Thank You! for the info! I will do that! I tip my hat to you. I am undoubtedly learning a lot, just doing the seed harvesting! Learned something about hybrid rose seed today, that I had no idea! Thumbs up I just love this community! So much knowledge to tap, and so little time! Smiling Group hug
"The grass is only greener where it's watered and fertilized." - Yours Truly
Always be yourself, unless you can be Batman, then you should ALWAYS be Batman! - Unknown
Dana
https://garden.org/blogs/view/...
https://www.youtube.com/channe...
Name: Rick R.
Minneapolis, MN, USA zone 4
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Sages The WITWIT Badge Garden Photography Region: Minnesota Hybridizer
Seed Starter Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Leftwood
Oct 18, 2017 2:29 PM CST
If the seeds inside a green pod are colored brown or black like the color they normally would be when mature, then they are ready to be harvested. Depending on the type of plant, the seed inside might be ready at the tiniest tint of brown on the green pod, or when the all green pod is soft rather than firm, or when the pod turns brown. Occasionally, some types of seed don't really turn their "normal" mature color until exposed to air, but if the pod begins to crack open naturally, then the seed is ready, whatever the color.

You might also find this interesting:
https://garden.org/thread/view...

Name: Dana
Canton, OH (Zone 6a)
Project Junkie & One Hit Wonder =P
Daylilies Butterflies Hummingbirder Cat Lover Dog Lover Roses
Region: Ohio Winter Sowing Composter Birds Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
bloominholes2fill
Oct 24, 2017 12:52 PM CST
So I've harvested the ready pods and some green pods from these three plants to experiment. I gave it a week. The hosta pods crack open when they're half brown and half green whether on or off the stem, and in both instances, the seeds were still not fully mature, so I think they need to remain on the stem until the pods brown up completely. I really don't think that any of my 'Queen Josephine' hosta plants would have had any seed ready for collecting, even if left on the stems, this year. They seemed to have bloomed extremely late, I think, bc of the strange weather, this growing season, and I missed the few pods that actually matured on the stem. D'Oh! D'Oh!

There were daylily pods that were all sizes, and no matter the size, even mature size pods, the ones that cracked open and the ones that were still very light green but not cracked open, had seed, but they weren't the normal size. Just a little too small. So clearly they have to be kept on the stem and turning brown before picking pods, to yield mature seed. So, in my case, there was no more Stella seed added to my swap list, since before I began this little exercize.

The Canna pods that dried up wound up with mature size and color seed in them. Any pods that didn't dry up completely, had underdeveloped seed that was light brown, like the color of chocolate milk, or even lighter to almost white. So I got a few more from 'President' Canna.

This was a good experiment in seed collecting, for these three specific plants. Glad I did it! Thumbs up Thumbs up
"The grass is only greener where it's watered and fertilized." - Yours Truly
Always be yourself, unless you can be Batman, then you should ALWAYS be Batman! - Unknown
Dana
https://garden.org/blogs/view/...
https://www.youtube.com/channe...

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