ok--i cut off the dead or mostly dead flowers from the zinnias in order to get more blooms--i have the flowers collected and am wondering -is this how i can get the seeds--let the flower head dry out more and collect the stuff in the middle? is it the same for most flowers?
The Zinnia seed are great ones to collect as they are so obvious...some plants make a pod or a "fruit" and some just hide away inside the shrivelled flowerhead ie salvias...you just go to where the flower was (or still is but shrivelled...and have a careful look...with a bit of practice you will learn. Yes let the flowers age and die to collect the seeds/pods or fruit etc .:)
If you already cut the flowers off though you may have done it too soon--the flower needs to stay attached to the plant in order to form seeds, so if you cut them off just after the flower finished blooming and was starting to fade, the seeds may not have had a chance to form yet. Unfortunately deadheading to get more blooms and wanting to get seeds are somewhat mutually exclusive (unless you time it just right to get one more flush of blooms and then let those stay on the plant until the seeds form)
thank you both--i think i get it now--this is my plan--dead head often for lots of blooms but leave a few on till they are really dried and dead--i love my zinnias because they are just so sturdy, colorful, easy and beautiful
Hi Plantolinda, you have the idea now, the best time to gather your flowers for seeds is when the flowers are dried and faded as if the flowers are wet from rain/watering etc, then you need to dry them off after picking or your seeds will go moldy then disease can set in, but for new folks, it is trial and error, sometimes if the flowers are damp, I gather them, hang them upside down in a warmish dry place to let all the sap from the stems go down to the flower heads, then when they are dried off, shake or rub the seeds into a bowl to gather them, or onto some kitchen tissue, if you get too much chaff (bits other than seeds) then a gentle blow usually separates this from the seeds, remember to write the name down or like me, you soon gather too many different seeds and forget what they were, easy to do as it becomes an obsession.
if you store them, you must keep them dry and either in a paper envelope or I gather small medicine plastic containers that have a nice tight fit cap and then a freezer sticky label with date, name and any other ID stuff is ready available at planting time, good luck, your gonna have fun, dont give up if things are not too good first time, you will get there in the end. WeeNel.