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Saving Seeds: When to collect zinnia seeds

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zinniagirl
Litchfield, ME

October 6, 2008
1:39 AM

Post #5637502

I'm brand spankin' new at trying to collect and save seeds for next year. I'm am particularly confused on when and how to collect zinnia seeds. Does it have to be done before frost hits?
I'm also curious about collecting the blue globe thistle seeds. Do you have to wait for the pods to pop while on the stem or can they be picked now and dry on their own?
Lala_Jane
North West, OH
(Zone 5b)

October 9, 2008
2:54 AM

Post #5649510

ZG I've never collected the globe thistle, but zinnias are a snap. You can collect them anytime as long as the seed heads have turned brown from maturity, not from death. LOL. In other words it's OK to wait until after a frost to collect them as long it's not the frost that turned them brown. (I think I just turned something very simple into something very confusing.)

I've been collecting mine for a few weeks now. Instead of dead-heading as soon as the blooms begin to fade I just leave them on the plant an extra week or 2 until they're good and brown and pinch them off then. Tell you what...I've got a plate of them sitting right here. I'll just snap a picture for you.

Here's what they should look like when they're mature.

Thumbnail by Lala_Jane
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Lala_Jane
North West, OH
(Zone 5b)

October 9, 2008
2:57 AM

Post #5649524

When you crumble the seed head apart you'll get a mixture of chaff and seeds. The flat black/grey discs are the seeds and the rest can be discarded. You'll probably find many seeds in one seed head so you won't need to save many (until you become an addict like the rest of us and save them just to be saving them... even long after you have more than you'll ever need.)

This message was edited Oct 8, 2008 11:01 PM

Thumbnail by Lala_Jane
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Lala_Jane
North West, OH
(Zone 5b)

October 9, 2008
3:00 AM

Post #5649533

Oh and one other thing I should add. Make sure they're completely dry before bagging them up. I usually let them sit on a plate or newspaper for at least a week after picking them to ensure dryness. There's nothing sadder than a bag full of moldy seeds.
zinniagirl
Litchfield, ME

October 11, 2008
5:49 PM

Post #5658932

Dear Lala-Jane,

Thank you so much for the information! I haven't been on Dave's Garden for a little bit so I apologize for not thanking you sooner. I am going to go out and see what I can find and get them drying. I am always nervous about doing my own seeds because I rely on them to grow big and beautiful every year because I sell cut flowers. The expense of buying new seeds every year though is outrageous! I spend a good $200 from Johnny's Selected Seeds and they are great performers but am looking for ways to be more thrifty (who isn't, right?)

The information and pictures you provided is wonderful. Thank you again. I'm going out right now to see what I can find!

Will keep you posted.

Lynn
edgeoftheworld
Conneaut, OH
(Zone 5a)

October 11, 2008
7:59 PM

Post #5659241

All seed collection is about the same.Let the seed pod turn brown,pick it,dry and store.The only way I've been able to get blue thistle to grow is by wintersowing.Visit the wintersowing forum.Try it once,you will be hooked.Start saving those jugs now.Edge
lusarytole
Fairmont, WV

October 11, 2008
8:08 PM

Post #5659263

Ok so the ones in the center are the seeds not the ones at the end of the petals??? These are profussion zinnias... I think I have been saving the wrong part. I have been saving the ones at the end of the petals.

Thumbnail by lusarytole
Click the image for an enlarged view.

edgeoftheworld
Conneaut, OH
(Zone 5a)

October 11, 2008
10:50 PM

Post #5659717

Seeds are inside the flower bud itself.Pull the petals off.Dry the dead flower.When dry crunch it up with your hands.You will get a mix of chaff and seeds.
Lala_Jane
North West, OH
(Zone 5b)

October 13, 2008
12:00 PM

Post #5665308

You are most welcome, glad I could help. Trust me you needn't be nervous, zinnias are a piece of cake. The cherry zinnias in the picture below are just a fraction of what I grew from saved seed this year.

There are so many seeds in a seed head that you can be choosy about which ones you save too. I usually keep the fattest, plumpest seeds and toss the rest. If they're really light-weight and fly-away I tend to think they're not as viable.

Thumbnail by Lala_Jane
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Lala_Jane
North West, OH
(Zone 5b)

October 13, 2008
12:05 PM

Post #5665323

Orange Profusion

Thumbnail by Lala_Jane
Click the image for an enlarged view.

kqcrna
Cincinnati, OH
(Zone 6a)

October 14, 2008
1:21 AM

Post #5668458

Pretty! I've grown the orange, cherry, and apricot profusions. Cherry has been my least favorite because the blossoms fade so much as they age.

Karen
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

October 16, 2008
12:45 PM

Post #5677951

Zinniagirl, if you've been growing hybrid zinnias, they won't come "true" from saved seeds... you'll get zinnias, and they'll probably be pretty enough, but they may not look just like the parents. I'm mentioning this mostly because you said you were purchasing expensive seeds, which made me think, "hybrid."
Potagere

October 16, 2008
12:59 PM

Post #5678001

OK, I'm about to go crazy[er] separating my zinnia seeds from the chaff.
Has anyone found a way to do this that is not mind-numbingly tedious?
I want these seeds not just to plant myself but for trading & gifts.
Lala_Jane
North West, OH
(Zone 5b)

October 16, 2008
1:56 PM

Post #5678223

Thank you Karen and I have to agree...the Cherry (and the Coral Pink) do fade much quicker than the orange and Apricot.

Critter the only zinnias from which I've collected seed are the Profusion series and Purple Prince. They may not be exactly the same as their parent plant, but the differences are too slight to be discerned with this naked eye. LOL

Potagere in a nutshell, no. There are some tricks that can make the job a little easier, but if you really want them clean it IS tedius work.

One thing you can do is crumble the heads in a bag and shake, shake, shake. The heavy stuff (hopefully the seeds) will drop to the bottom of the bag and you can scoop those out and at least have a smaller starting pile. You can then take a handful, spread a thin layer out on a cookie sheet, tray, newspaper, etc. and carefully blow very lightly on the contents. The lighter weight chaff will scatter where the heavier seed should more or less remain in place.

What you have left pretty much has to be picked through by hand. Sometimes I can lose a little more of the chaff by using 2 pieces of paper and transferring the seeds/chaff back and forth between the 2. (Again, the heavier seeds will drop and the chaff will cling to the paper.) To remove very fine chaff I put the seeds in a small strainer where the powdery stuff will fall through and the seeds will not.

Hope that helps.
:-)
Potagere

October 16, 2008
2:00 PM

Post #5678237

Thanks, Lala Jane! Even getting rid of the bulk of the chaff would be a big help to start. I'll try the bag and the strainer. Then the habd separation should be easier, huh?
LiliMerci
North of Atlanta, GA
(Zone 8a)

October 16, 2008
2:03 PM

Post #5678243

Yes, seeds collections are tedious work. I do it while watching TV at night. I just them on a paper plate and then brush out the chaff to one side and seeds on the other. Sometime I use a plastic knife to sort them. I just harvested an envelope full of lavender Rose of Sharon. There are tons of seeds on the tree still, but I don't think I'm going to harvest anymore.

I have great appreciation for all those people that gave me seeds at the beginning of the year!
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

October 16, 2008
2:21 PM

Post #5678309

With zinnia seeds, I get out whatever chaff is easy to remove and leave the rest. I let people know it'll be a mix of chaff and seed, and I make sure there's a generous amount of seed in the packet. I often direct-sow zinnias, so the chaff helps me see where I've scattered my seeds. If I want to start a few plants in cell packs, it's not a big deal to pick a dozen seeds out from among the chaff.
LiliMerci
North of Atlanta, GA
(Zone 8a)

October 16, 2008
2:26 PM

Post #5678324

Yes, the chaff doesn't hurt anything, just harder to see how many seeds there are if you have lots of chaff. But I pull everything off of the head just to make sure I get all the seeds.
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

October 16, 2008
2:46 PM

Post #5678404

LaLa, thanks for letting me know about Profusion and Purple Prince coming pretty much true from seed... I think I've got some seeds of both of those for sowing next year!

Potagere

October 16, 2008
3:42 PM

Post #5678608

You know, I do mostly vegetable gardening, and I long ago discovered something that has been confirmed by Carol Deppe [Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties] and agronomists at the University of Idaho:
Some seed companies have marketed OP varieties of tomatoes as "F1 hybrids". Why? Well, there is, as yet, no "Truth-in-labeling" for seeds AND labeling a variety as a hybrid discourages seed saving and encourages new seed purchases at high prices.
I wonder if the same might apply to some "hybrid" flowers?
dahlianut
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3a)

October 16, 2008
3:53 PM

Post #5678660

OMG is that really true mon ami? Can they legally do that? I'm gonna check out the Canadian Seeds Act.
Potagere

October 16, 2008
3:55 PM

Post #5678670

Seems to work in the USA. But they deregulated a few years ago. See where that got us?
Tabacum
Mantua, OH
(Zone 5a)

October 21, 2008
12:31 AM

Post #5696749

Getting rid of zinna chaff...I went to a hardware store and purchased several sizes of window
screening to filter the zinnia seeds through. They cut me a 12 inch square off their rolls of
screening in three different sizes I wanted to try with the zinna seeds. This has worked for me
over the years.
Harvesting zinnia seeds...I harvest the seeds by color and size. I have harvested these just as
soon as the flowerheads start looking brown and with enough color left for identification. These
seedheads are then dried for a couple of weeks in the sun. I never let them get damp.
I trim the seedheads of the flowerpetals with scissors prior to taking the seeds out. Germination
rate has been great with this method.
gemini_sage
Winchester, KY
(Zone 6a)

October 26, 2008
11:11 AM

Post #5717556

Lynn, have you checked out Swallowtail Garden seeds?

http://www.swallowtailgardenseeds.com/

They have great prices on larger quantities of seed. I got individual colors of large, cutting zinnias from them last year, and still have plenty of seed for next year. I was very impressed with the percentage of large, fully doubled blooms too.
kqcrna
Cincinnati, OH
(Zone 6a)

October 26, 2008
11:29 AM

Post #5717567

Wow, I'm surprised that window screen would remove the chaff. Most of my zinnia seeds are way too big to fit through a window screen, as is the chaff. Do you screen the chaff from the seeds, or vice versa? In other words, which falls thruough the screen, and which doesn't?

I use several sizes of colanders to remove chaff from many seeds, but I've not come up with anything that works well for zinnias. For those, I just plant seeds with a lot of chaff.

Karen
Anitabryk2
Long Island, NY
(Zone 6b)

October 26, 2008
12:26 PM

Post #5717665

I have found that the easiest way to get rid of chaff is by gently blowing. I put the chaff in a small plastic bowl and lightly shake it while gently blowing. The seed is heavier than the chaff and stays at the bottom. The key is gently blowing - if you blow too hard then everything will blow out of the bowl.
kqcrna
Cincinnati, OH
(Zone 6a)

October 26, 2008
7:39 PM

Post #5718918

I'm not too good at that Anita. Seeds go everywhere!
gemini_sage
Winchester, KY
(Zone 6a)

October 26, 2008
7:57 PM

Post #5718959

I was just looking through leftover seeds from spring, and realized I got the zinnias for cutting from Pinetree Gardens. They were 50 seed packs for $1.10.
shihtzumom
Pearisburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

October 27, 2008
8:25 PM

Post #5722967

I just asked the profusion true to color question on another thread - glad to know they come true. I have tons of Cherry Profusion if anyone is interested.
Anitabryk2
Long Island, NY
(Zone 6b)

October 28, 2008
10:55 AM

Post #5725019

I would love some! Is there anything you are looking for? I might be able to trade. If not, I'll gladly send you postage.
shihtzumom
Pearisburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

October 28, 2008
1:32 PM

Post #5725373

Anita, I'll send you some. Not looking for anything right now. Are you in the address exchange? If not please dmail me your addy.
Anitabryk2
Long Island, NY
(Zone 6b)

October 29, 2008
11:16 AM

Post #5728809

yes I am - Thank you!

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

November 5, 2008
1:21 AM

Post #5753225

does anyone have a good, easy way of cleaning Zinnias?

there is so much chaff, that it takes forever and a day to find the seeds.
Potagere

November 5, 2008
2:26 AM

Post #5753488

OK. Didn't we cover this above?
If not, it's just as easy as following us zinnia seed sorters!

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

November 5, 2008
2:34 AM

Post #5753521

LOL Jim -- i guess i didnt read all of the thread. Just saw it now.

but it is tedious work!! and I honestly do not find a lot of seeds with all the 'stuff'.
Potagere

November 5, 2008
3:03 AM

Post #5753673

Sometimes you don't get a lot. Depends on timing, weather, etc.
But, how many do you need?
In general, I find fewer seeds in a commercial packet than in a single flower head.

But, yeah, it's tedious!
Still, if you are not giving or trading but just planting, the quantity of chaff doesn't hardly matter, It's just "natural compost".

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

November 5, 2008
3:14 AM

Post #5753727

i'm giving and trading... and planting.

I've got a lot on my DR table ... it's just a lot of sorting.
LiliMerci
North of Atlanta, GA
(Zone 8a)

November 5, 2008
3:19 AM

Post #5753745

Just don't sort it. Considered it a "mixed". I personally would not mind getting the chaff. I know it's good etiquette. Just ask the person and sort it then if they have a problem with it.
Potagere

November 5, 2008
3:22 AM

Post #5753750

Yeah, I know how that goes! A lot more energy goes into "their" seeds than into "mine".

I am not "au courant" with all the "accepted" DG abbreviations/acronyms. In fact, I have a rather strong aversion to acronyms. Some I can work out, but DR in reference to a table eludes me.

Oh, gosh! She means dining room! What? You don't eat there?

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

November 5, 2008
3:31 AM

Post #5753779

>>Oh, gosh! She means dining room! What? You don't eat there?

LOL...no we dont eat on the dining room table.

We use the kitchen table. DR table is for holidays... and seeds... and mail when i'm out of town.
Potagere

November 5, 2008
4:27 AM

Post #5754023

Hon,
Take it from a guy who does all the cooking and home stuff:
The DR table is AT LEAST for 1 meal a week ( I try to do both Sat & Sun) if for nothing more than to show your partner (or even yourself, if you are single) that she/he(you) is/are special.

Gramma always fed us on the round oak table in the dining room when us kids came to visit. It not only added to her 'mystique', it made us feel special; and I think that at least once a week we who tend the home fires need to let our "others" feel special.

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

November 5, 2008
4:32 AM

Post #5754044

OK -- i have to admit... i'll use it more than for just on holidays... and they all think i'm weird
Mom, why are we eating in the Dining Room ?

I also have to admit... i dont cook much anymore... after 23 yrs, no one really appreciates it... well, my youngest does.

DH prefers to eat out, and the kids are either working or with girlfriends... BUT - i am trying to get the seeds cleaned up, really I am.
dahlianut
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3a)

November 5, 2008
4:02 PM

Post #5755191

Mon ami then where do you put all your drying seeds, and piles of gardening notes and your Book of Lists??? I need all the flat surfaces in the big thing in the middle of the garden for this tres important stuff.
Potagere

November 5, 2008
5:25 PM

Post #5755457

All over the place!
Lala_Jane
North West, OH
(Zone 5b)

November 6, 2008
8:38 PM

Post #5759868

It truly can be tedious Terese if you really want it clean. But I usually whip my tray out whilst watching a favorite TV show and I can usually get a few bags cleaned and packaged in an hour.

(I'm trying to recall the last time I used the dining room table and I'm afraid it's been so long ago that it's escaped my memory banks. I think I'll eat at Jim's this weekend.)

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

November 6, 2008
8:55 PM

Post #5759955

>>I think I'll eat at Jim's this weekend

ROFLMAO !! oh he'd love that... all of us coming for a nice home cooked meal to sit at a DR table.

I have to say... back to the Zinnias...

yesterday, being windy ... i took all my seed heads, about 10 big ones and put it all in one of those 5qt Ice Cream plastic buckets... and went out to sit at the picnic table. Just by 'sifting' thru and with the help of the wind... all the 'other stuff' was blown away, and possibly a few seeds... but oh well.

i have to admit, not much was left. I did see a lot of what looked like the seeds, but they were almost a transparent white .. so i'm guessing they were underdeveloped seeds.

Should they have been left on the plant longer, so the seeds could mature? There is still A LOT out there

My neighbor [bless her heart] came over with 2 paper bags of seed heads. The Orange Profusion Zinnias and a tons of marigolds -- like i need more marigolds... but 90 of 'em were still 'damp' even the colorful petals were still attached.

will these dry like they would out on the plants? again .. they are spread out on paper plates on the DR table.
dahlianut
Calgary, AB
(Zone 3a)

November 6, 2008
9:02 PM

Post #5759985

Should work if you leave the flower head intact (or as much as you have) and keep turning them to make sure they dry evenly. Wait til they're crispy before harvesting the seeds.

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

November 6, 2008
9:07 PM

Post #5760006

gotcha
gemini_sage
Winchester, KY
(Zone 6a)

November 6, 2008
11:08 PM

Post #5760380

I've noticed zinnias have little white papery husks between the seeds, so that may be what looked like underdeveloped seeds.
Potagere

November 7, 2008
10:01 AM

Post #5762019

I love to cook, so just give me 24 hours notice!

I also gave a VERY large aquarium, and the top of that, which is heated by the lights, is a most excellent spot for drying seeds. Steam radiators, kept down low are also good. Top of the computer tower. My desk. The summer kitchen counters.

But, can't let anything interfere with cooking and eating!
zinniagirl
Litchfield, ME

November 7, 2008
3:35 PM

Post #5762795

gemini sage - thank you for the referral to swallowtail gardens and Pinetree Gardens. They are definitely cheaper than the place I buy them from. I will give them a try next spring. Here's where I've been buying my seeds: www.johnnyseeds.com
They are located in Maine so I feel good about supporting them.


The quality is excellent, however the price is a little steep. My seeds have been coming in a packet of 50 for $2.65 give or take a little.

I posted some pics on the cut flowers forum of the last cut of the season. :(

Lynn

gemini_sage
Winchester, KY
(Zone 6a)

November 7, 2008
4:38 PM

Post #5763080

zinniagirl, I have leftover seed from this spring of individual colors, and still have more than I'll need for next spring if you'd like some. I'm sure I can spare at least a dozen seed from each color: Cherry Queen, Purity (white), Lavender Queen, Enchantress (pink), Royal Purple, Scarlet King, and Aztec Orange. They were all nice, full doubles, and all tall for cutting.
zinniagirl
Litchfield, ME

November 7, 2008
7:07 PM

Post #5763565

I would love them! Would you be interested in trading? I have some moon flower seeds I could send you. I haven't been a seed collector but am learning now. I will definitely start collecting seeds next year. I have lots of unusual native plants that I wish I would have collected the seeds from. I also have some bug bane seeds.

Let me know!
gemini_sage
Winchester, KY
(Zone 6a)

November 7, 2008
8:21 PM

Post #5763807

Sure, I'd love some Moonflower seeds! I had both the vining Ipomoea and Datura types growing this year, but the drought kept the vines from going to seed, and the Datura was in the way of the backhoe man just as the seeds were ripening. Hmmm...I think I would like to try the bugbane too. It grew wild at my old home in the woods, it would be nice to see it in the garden again.
Neal
Anitabryk2
Long Island, NY
(Zone 6b)

November 7, 2008
10:33 PM

Post #5764204

Hey Neal - do you find they all come true? I have a few that I love, but unfortunately they are hybrids. The other varieties don' t mention anything about hybrid so I am not sure.
gemini_sage
Winchester, KY
(Zone 6a)

November 7, 2008
10:46 PM

Post #5764231

Anita, with most of the hybrid zinnias they won't come true, or some may, but a percentage will usually vary- typically smaller blooms and fewer petals. I really like my big, fully double zinnias, so will probably continue to purchase seed. As an experiment I collected seeds from my Magellan zinnias this summer. I'm pretty sure the offspring won't be nearly as compact as the parents, but I'm curious what they'll do. I think some of the older varieties, like Thumbelina, come true, or at least I know people save seed from them. The little profusion zinnias come true from seed- I'd like to try more colors of those (I have Cherry), very forgiving little plants.
kqcrna
Cincinnati, OH
(Zone 6a)

November 8, 2008
3:00 AM

Post #5765065

I had similar results. With my profusions the offspring were identical to the parents. Dreamland series (similar to Magellan) produced many different seedlings. The parents were beautiful coral color. Most offspring were the same color but one was the ugliest bright orange! The parents were about a foot tall, but babies ranged from one to four feet. Some were singles, some double.

Other than profusions, if there were a type I really wanted, I'd buy new commercial seeds.

Karen
Anitabryk2
Long Island, NY
(Zone 6b)

November 8, 2008
11:07 AM

Post #5765602

I figured that. It's a lot easier to know when the labeling of the seed indicates whether it's hybrid or not. thanks.
shihtzumom
Pearisburg, VA
(Zone 7a)

November 8, 2008
1:35 PM

Post #5765812

I buy all seeds from Johnnys seed. The Va Tech Hort gardens buy their seeds from them and I've used them with great results. Go to the commercial side vs. the home gardener side and you can buy in bulk. I got purple giant zinnia in 1/4 pound size and had a huge patch of one color - stunning. Every seed you get from them will promise a great plant.

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

November 8, 2008
1:39 PM

Post #5765827

so -- if i understand this correctly, a Hybrid seed is an open pollinated seed [when folks use the OP]
and the Commercial Seeds, would then come true to color ?? and the OP is just wishful hoping on what you will get?
kqcrna
Cincinnati, OH
(Zone 6a)

November 8, 2008
2:18 PM

Post #5765962

Hybrids are created deliberately by growers, often hand pollinating one plant with another to carry desirable traits to the new plant. They can also be formed by open pollinated plants within a garden.

Heirlooms, on the other hand, have been found stable through successive generations, bringing their traits along even when open pollinated. If you sow seeds from heirlooms you will most likely get offspring exactly like the parent.

At least, that's my understanding. But my understanding of plant genetics is very limited.

Karen

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

November 8, 2008
2:47 PM

Post #5766064

thanks Karen... Heirloom was the term that escaped me.

makes sense... thanks.
Anitabryk2
Long Island, NY
(Zone 6b)

November 8, 2008
10:11 PM

Post #5767574

yes - hybrids do not occur naturally. I found this. It is very interesting. http://plantanswers.tamu.edu/vegetables/seed.html

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

November 8, 2008
10:23 PM

Post #5767622

thanks -- I've picked out a few new Zinnias in the Seed Co-op... i figure, since it's one of the last co-ops, i wanted to participate.
gemini_sage
Winchester, KY
(Zone 6a)

November 12, 2008
5:05 PM

Post #5782648

zinniagirl, I've got your seeds ready to mail, just need your addy. You've got dmail.
dryad57
Scottsburg, IN
(Zone 6a)

November 22, 2008
4:38 PM

Post #5819379

Hey gang - glad to see that I'm not the only one who was in her front yard peering at Zinnias and trying to figure out where in the heck the seeds were. Oh well - I got mine in a little late, so while they did bloom they weren't out long enough to set seeds. The Snaps, on the other hand...

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

November 22, 2008
5:17 PM

Post #5819513

Heya Dryad... been wondering where you have been?

still out in the garden, huh? too dang cold here...
dryad57
Scottsburg, IN
(Zone 6a)

November 23, 2008
1:15 AM

Post #5820882

nah, finally out of the garden - now we're doing the "Fall House Cleanup"; garage, windows, basement - the works :-) Once I get done updating my spreadsheets I'll finally be able to dump my Piggie List on the other thread. And it's too dang cold here - but still at least close to 32 and not into single digits.

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

November 29, 2008
10:34 PM

Post #5842088

I was just sortign thru all my zinnia packets, when i stumbled upon one that read "Jumbo Tetra" and when i peeked at the "seeds", i realized they are not the seeds, but i believe the outer 'shell' of the spent flower head...

I am correct, aren't I? [that they are not seeds?]


This message was edited Nov 29, 2008 5:06 PM

Thumbnail by tcs1366
Click the image for an enlarged view.

gemini_sage
Winchester, KY
(Zone 6a)

November 29, 2008
10:43 PM

Post #5842136

Therese, those look like the seeds to me. They look pretty typical of the larger flowered zinnias. The profusion types and species have smaller, flatter seed.

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

November 29, 2008
11:06 PM

Post #5842241

When ever i'm separating seeds from the 'other stuff' ... i was always throwing that stuff away!! no wonder i always thought there were not a lot of seeds.

I just opened the Zinnia packs i got from Summerhill.

"Red spider" and "Giant Cactus"

The Giant Cactus has the ones that i always knew were seeds, plus the ones that look like 'arrow heads'
like the image i posted above.

Thumbnail by tcs1366
Click the image for an enlarged view.

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

November 29, 2008
11:07 PM

Post #5842245

so -- now i have to assume that BOTH are the seeds??
Potagere

November 29, 2008
11:24 PM

Post #5842284

Basically, yes! They are both the seeds. If you look at them closely enough (like under a good magnifying glass like old guys like me use to to almost everything these days!) you'll see that they are really all the same!

How do you plant to sow them? How many are you expecting to sow? What germination rate do you need to get what you want? Answers to these questions will suggest what you do next (and what you can learn from it for next year).
gemini_sage
Winchester, KY
(Zone 6a)

November 29, 2008
11:26 PM

Post #5842299

Those red spider have odd little seeds don't they?

I've noticed the seeds to vary quite a bit from each other sometimes. And with some it seemed like the ray flowers produced bigger seeds than the disc flowers- that may be what you're seeing.

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

November 30, 2008
12:21 AM

Post #5842511

Jim -- last year, Mar 2008, i attempted to sow them indoors. all but 1 died as seedlings.
I did Candy Cane and Green Envy. the ONE candy cane survived.

Around here, they best is just to direct sow. If they sprout tll early, a late frost will kill them.

Maybe i'll do a few as WS and some Direct, as i do have A LOT of seeds now.
but either way... i will not do them in doors ... i dont have much room, only a southern window in my DR [dining room] *wink*

just glad i did not dump that baggie that i thought was junk.

My neighbor is a zinnia nut ... she just scatters seeds in all the beds... so between the two of us... there are hundreds of plants.

Neal -- thanks for the info. I would have thought they would all be similar.

Uggg, i can't believe how many seeds i actually threw away thinking they were junk.

Terese
Potagere

November 30, 2008
12:43 AM

Post #5842567

Terese:

Well, actually, I was thinking that if you were only going to sow a few, you could do some comparative germination testing during the winter.
Sounds to me like you had "damping off", which has nothing to do with the seed but with the growing conditions.

I've had differing results with "open-seeding" of zinnias. Down my old dog's memorial garden, her zinnias reseed freely; but they often do not germinate until so late that, this year, the blooms came at the same time as the frost. In other cases, broadcast seeds don't germinate at all or are eaten by birds.
Other broadcast seeds produce so thickly that they "drown" one another out.

I basically have abandoned the broadcast sowing of zinnias that my grandmother relied upon. For the last couple of years, I've done the "indoors-under-lights" sowing that I have done with my tender veggies. That has worked well, and been far cheaper than buying them as bedding plants!

This year, I will try some WS, some broadcast Spring planting (because I have LOTS of seed this year) and some indoor sowing and see how it all goes and compares.

I always throw my old seed in the compost bin. Amazing how many transplants I get from there!

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

November 30, 2008
1:13 AM

Post #5842640

Drown out like this image


that is what my neighbor does.

aside from the broadcasting of seeds... she did sow seeds in a pot... not necessarily WS, but in the spring, she sprinkled a bunch of seeds in a rectangular pot ... which she then transplanted into the flower beds. All the Zinnias bloomed at the same time.

I do recall my 1[indoor sown] Candy Cane bloomed before all the others.

I will try to keep better tack of the germination of my seeds this year... every year, i try to do better. I had kept good track of some data, but lost it this June when i had some PC troubles.

This message was edited Nov 29, 2008 7:14 PM

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Potagere

November 30, 2008
2:48 AM

Post #5842888

Hey, Terese:

Unless you are doing hybridization or have other essential reasons for charting dates/temps, etc., I have become convinced by nearly 6 decades of gardening that such journalization is useless.

I can say that in 199X I transplanted Veg Q on 5 May, when temps were 65 high and 48 low; and, so what?
Is that a guide to transplant Veg Q on 5 May in 200X? Or to transplant when temps are between 65 and 48? Or what?

With zinnias, we are thinking in terms of WIDE ranges of germination, flowering, etc.!

As a gardener, you will have a feel for what worked last year; and you will repeat it this year.

No, I was just thinking like this:
If you are not sure whether to use one "shape" of seed or the other, you could do a simple germination test to see if there were any difference between the shapes and then sow accordingly, Easier if you only plan to sow a few seeds. On the other hand, if you want a big zinnia bed, you might want to broadcast and WS as backup (I think that some WSers overestimate the "disruptive" effects of wind, precipitation, birds and other "predators". I have "winter-sown" onions for years, and any gaps in my "lines" can also easily be credited to normal "failure to germinate".)

In fact, at the moment, I am approaching WS as a backup to "broadcast" and a possible alternative to indoor sowing under lights.

This is one case where I will maintain a journal, just to be sure I have treated all alternatives fairly and that I know why I am doing what I am doing in later years (one of the scariest things about aging is finding yourself repeating last year's failures!)

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

November 30, 2008
2:55 AM

Post #5842902

>>(one of the scariest things about aging is finding yourself repeating last year's failures!)

LOL -- Jim -- thanks for that observation.

that is also something i'm trying to keep from happening.

and i dont chart temps... just dates. I was going to use this info for the WS database here on Daves.
I track dates sown and dates germinated... like last year, i noticed it took MONTHS for columbine to germinate, where other things were weeks, once it was warming up... so i will know that if i do columbine again...not to expect seedlings until June or July.

I dont have much of a scientific approach to sowing.
kqcrna
Cincinnati, OH
(Zone 6a)

November 30, 2008
3:08 AM

Post #5842953

I do my zinnias in jugs, just like all the others, I just wait until about April to start them. By then the weather is fairly warm and they usually germinate in a few days. I do them just like WSown, maybe add a few extra vent holes. I just wait until spring to avoid those late frosts. If a frost should occur, I close up the jug, and, if temps are really low, I might throw a sheet over them too. This has worked pretty well for me.

Karen
Potagere

November 30, 2008
3:14 AM

Post #5842974

When are you WS your columbine?
Even in your zone, I'd expect seedlings in April/May.
Up the mountain here, they are flowering in June/July,
Potagere

November 30, 2008
3:26 AM

Post #5843000

You know, the more I hear from Karen and other "winter sowers" the less I think there is much difference between this approach and that of us "traditionalists" who have broadcast seeds outdoors or used a coldframe in winter and seeded under glass and/or lights in Spring.

It seems that you plan/time your plantings/sowings about the same as we do.

But, I mostly do veg.
Flowers are likely another trip entirely.
But maybe not!

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

November 30, 2008
4:12 AM

Post #5843121

I was going to start after Thanksgiving for a few seeds, some Columbine and Joe Pye Weed
everything else will not get started until Jan or Early Feb. with the tender ones, like Karen mentioned... not until April.

checking my notes from last year... the Columbine was sown on 3/19/2008 and i did not have a germination date ... but it was into the summer. [i was gone most of the summer... I came home one day, and there were seedlings.] Had to have been end of June, early July.

Jim **looking at the clock** when do you sleep?
Potagere

November 30, 2008
4:30 AM

Post #5843159

I guess I'd feel more comfortable if I could address tou as something other than tcs1366 (very Bradbury, that is!)

Sleep?

At my age one needs to spend more time medicating and removing aesthetically offensive hair than isleeping

To tell the truth, I don't think I OWN a clock!

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

November 30, 2008
4:35 AM

Post #5843169

OH... I usually add it... name's Terese.

well, i'm off to bed. it's about that time. 10.35pm
Potagere

November 30, 2008
4:52 AM

Post #5843196

Sleep well, Terese!
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

November 30, 2008
6:42 AM

Post #5843311

I think the timing is very similar between winter sowing in vented containers and sowing in cold frames or direct sowing in winter... but the containers give you that mini greenhouse environment to protect the seeds/seedlings, and unlike a cold frame the containers are self-watering (mostly, anyway... in spring when it gets warmer, we don't always get enough rain & have to occasionally water the WS containers to keep the seedlings happy).
kqcrna
Cincinnati, OH
(Zone 6a)

November 30, 2008
10:51 AM

Post #5843435

Jim,

I've done my columbines in winter. I wintersow all perennials and hardy annuals like poppies or bachelor buttons, larkspur then. I've had them germinate very early, like the first of march, and subsequent frost doesn't bother them a bit. It's only the real tender things, like zinnias, that I hold back until spring.

Here's some WSown zinnias just starting to bloom in June.

Karen

Thumbnail by kqcrna
Click the image for an enlarged view.

kqcrna
Cincinnati, OH
(Zone 6a)

November 30, 2008
11:06 AM

Post #5843448

In early summer I rely on the perennials and hardy annuals for some color. This is in June, too.

Karen

Thumbnail by kqcrna
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kqcrna
Cincinnati, OH
(Zone 6a)

November 30, 2008
11:08 AM

Post #5843450

In late summer they explode

Thumbnail by kqcrna
Click the image for an enlarged view.

kqcrna
Cincinnati, OH
(Zone 6a)

November 30, 2008
11:21 AM

Post #5843460

Here you can see a wintersown tomato plant, about 6 ft. tall, to the left of the hibiscus. It has become my favorite tomato- "Snow White"

Karen

Thumbnail by kqcrna
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kqcrna
Cincinnati, OH
(Zone 6a)

November 30, 2008
11:26 AM

Post #5843462

Here are my tomatoes, along the 4 ft. fence. Some are WSown, a few store bought. The ones in front which are very small are those that the deer enjoyed.

Thumbnail by kqcrna
Click the image for an enlarged view.

kqcrna
Cincinnati, OH
(Zone 6a)

November 30, 2008
11:29 AM

Post #5843470

Last pic, the tomatoes when planted out, Memorial Day,

Thumbnail by kqcrna
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Potagere

November 30, 2008
12:37 PM

Post #5843539

Great, Karen!
dryad57
Scottsburg, IN
(Zone 6a)

November 30, 2008
1:04 PM

Post #5843592

While I've only done WS for one year, one thing I really like is being able to move the plants quite easily - I try to keep the number of containers I have to as small an amount as possible - under 35 - so that I can move them if needed. Watering is easier too - but if there's some seed that I know will germinate well (requires a bit of study) then I go ahead and sow it insitu, as it were.

I do use the Journal in DG for tracking seeds I start, so I can easily recall what worked when, and what didn't. Otherwise, the only thing I track in a paper journal are things specific to the yard, so I'll have a record of work, etc. My own spreadsheets are ridiculous...

I don't have a note in the DG Journal that I started Zinnias, yet I know I did, which means they were part of the "last round" which was in very early April. They went out into the yard as soon as they were ready, but still didn't have enough time to set seed. This coming year I plan to just do some broadcast sowing and see what I get :)

When you look at the "tail end" of both types of seeds, you can see on some the base of the petal that didn't quite break off - that's what I use to ID those puppies when I do get some seed to sort.

Robin
booplants
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

July 19, 2009
4:25 AM

Post #6836792

This has been so helpful! Thanks so much everyone!
I have giant purple zinnias that looked deep purple on the seed pack but are more lilac/pink. Love them anyway...they also seem to re-seed themselves a bit. I have new seedlings everywhere.

Thumbnail by booplants
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booplants
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

July 19, 2009
4:27 AM

Post #6836796

these next two photos show zinnias from the same seed packet.

Thumbnail by booplants
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booplants
Phoenix, AZ
(Zone 9b)

July 19, 2009
4:27 AM

Post #6836798

.

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critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

July 19, 2009
12:13 PM

Post #6837211

Beautiful!!
Lala_Jane
North West, OH
(Zone 5b)

July 19, 2009
1:55 PM

Post #6837422

I will throw out one more thing regarding the 2 different shapes of seeds. If I understand correctly they are ray seeds and disc seeds. Here's an article that explains it.
http://www.backyardnature.net/fl_comps.htm
Pippi21
Silver Spring, MD
(Zone 6b)

July 22, 2010
1:00 AM

Post #7987513

Folks this thread has been most informative for me. Booplants, we must have bought the same brand zinnia seeds. Did you get yours from Crosman seeds? I bought the Dream Giant dahlia flowered and that one has yet to bloom. Ferry-Morse seeds had a beautiful dark purple one called Violet queen that has yet to bloom. I just looked at my handwritten record keeping of the flowers I wintersowed and I must have got tired of writing them down as I have no zinnias listed at all, but came across the empty seed packets mentioned above. Can't find the one that you picture but I have same one. Do you find that the birds are picking off the petals? I really am looking forward to seeing the other two colors bloom. The one that you pictured is a real tall one, how about yours? It really needed to be planted in the back of the border but when it came time to plant them, I was so overwhelmed, I didn't pay attention to hgt. or color, I just planted where there was blank space of soil available!
I will wintersow less this year and pay more close attention to the height dtetails. (Famous last words?)

I bought one plant of purlane(yellow)but planted it in the border. It seems to be in the succulent family? I'd never heard of it before, thought it was pretty but they do look better planted in a your containers. Maybe I should transplant mine to a container pot. I have it planted so it kind of creeping close or over the scallopped edging bricks, next to creeping yellow sedum that my daughter gave me. Just made myself a note to dig it up and plant into a container pot today, sort of 6-8 in. size? I don't think it needs a lot of water.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

August 27, 2010
5:27 PM

Post #8066001

If window screening is too fine for seeds you save, MSCdirect.com sells hundreds of varieties of wire cloth for $4-$8 per 12" square. There is wire cloth with openings from 1" down to 0.0037".

I think the best bet should be "Stainless Steel Bolting Cloth" , but "Galvanized Steel After-Weaving wire cloth" also looks good, especially for coarser mesh sizes. The plain steel wire cloth on page 1808 is cheap but rusts VERY easily and I don't recommend it. Brass is classy but expensive.

You could go here and search for "wire cloth", then filter by opening size, or mesh per inch:
http://www1.mscdirect.com/CGI/N2DRVSH?SISHNO=14262710&SISRCH=1&SIS0NO=1492404&SIT4NO=92536880&SIOR=2

I prefer to go right to pages 1809 or 1810, and see them all at once:
http://www1.mscdirect.com/CGI/NNPDFF?PMPAGE=1806&PMITEM=52431277&PMCTLG=00

On page 1810, for around $5 per square foot, "Stainless Steel Bolting Cloth" looks designed for fine sifting. It lists 16, 18, 20, 24, 30, 40, 50, 60 & 74 mesh. The openings are 0.0037" to 0.053".

"Galvanized Steel After-Weaving wire cloth" on page 1809 has some cheap coarser options at 10, 14, 16 and 24 mesh (openings 0.014" to 0.080"). Mostly $4 but 12 mesh is $7.38 with 0.065" openings.

Page 1808 has Stainless steel "milling grade wire cloth", mostly for $8 / square foot.

I don't really know how to measure something like poppy seed down to the thousandth of an inch, but at this price, it's not too painful to buy a spread of mesh sizes

Katlian's blog has a great article on building a graduated SERIES of sieves from 3" or 4" PVC drain adaptors.
http://davesgarden.com/community/blogs/t/Katlian/10997/

If I do that this winter, I'll offer to trade some 3" or 4" wire cloth squares, and post what seeds pass through what opening sizes.

RickCorey_WA
atalanta
Sherman, CT

August 29, 2010
11:13 AM

Post #8068772

Great information! I've been looking in vain for red and white Candy Cane seeds, but all the places I've checked offer a mix, rather than only red and white. If anybody has a suggestion, would be happy to know. Also, if I collect seeds from the two red and white flowers I have, will they come true?

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

August 29, 2010
12:26 PM

Post #8068856

I had Candy Cane once... i was not impressed with the color.
I also have Green Envy, and again, not impressed.

I do think most - if not all the seeds i've collected, do come true to the parent.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

August 30, 2010
7:13 PM

Post #8071622

MSC must have re-organized their page numbers.

The best page for wire cloth for seives is now 1900:
http://www1.mscdirect.com/CGI/NNPDFF?PMPAGE=1806&PMITEM=52431277&PMCTLG=00

That has both "Stainless Steel Bolting Cloth"and
"Galvanized Steel After-Weaving wire cloth".

Page 1899 has "Milling Grade" wire cloth, with more open area and heavier than bolting cloth. But it is a little more expensive: $8 to $11 for a 12" x 12" square.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

September 13, 2010
6:04 PM

Post #8097605

Last year I kept dead-heading until near the end of the season, then took Zinnia seed heads that had survived, even though the rainy season had started by then. I practically had to wring water out of each head before starting to dry them, and most were squishy-moldy and only good for compost.

Is it practical to stop dead-heading a few plants right now? Leave the blooms on a few good plants right now (while they are still growing vigorously, but rain is infrequent)?

I don't mind if the plants I stop deadheading "go to seed" and I have to pull them out after getting several heads each.

Or does the whole plant have to decide to die at the end of the year, to produce viable seeds?

The Zinnia seeds I saved from last year did well this year, even though last year was a mess of mongrel hybridization from several different inter-mixed packets. It will be interesting to see what the F3 generation looks like!

Corey
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

September 13, 2010
6:30 PM

Post #8097650

I don't think I've ever deadheaded zinnias, and they seem to bloom well enough for me without it. Maybe I'd get even more blooms if I deadheaded, but I'm lazy that way. :-)

I've had the same problem not being able to save seeds if the weather turns wet.
NisiNJ
Bordentown, NJ
(Zone 7a)

March 14, 2012
8:00 AM

Post #9042316

Okay, I know this is an old thread, but some of you posters are still active. So I have a question about zinnia seed saving?

If you plant a plot of zinnias that are OP but a mix of colors, will the saved seeds be a repeat mix of the same colors, or will the colors be "muddied" from cross pollination? I am thinking of Benary Giants mixed, which I believe is OP.

The pick is from last year's garden. I thought it was Benary Giant Pink, but after I looked at the enlargement of the thumbnail I think it's Double Click. Just wanted to "decorate my page."

Thanks,

Denise

Thumbnail by NisiNJ
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tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 14, 2012
1:43 PM

Post #9042748

Denise... I have to admit... i never think that 'deep' -- for me any bloom zinn is a beautiful zinn ... and I plant willy nilly.
I couldnt do color schemes if i tried.

hopefully someone would know...

but i think it they are cross pollinating - it could be anyone's guess what color they turn out to be. I could be totally wrong though. ;-)
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

March 14, 2012
7:45 PM

Post #9043146

There are OP mixes ("State Fair" and others) that can be grown year after year from seeds harvested the previous year, and although they probably do cross, I don't think "muddy" colors result. I think Bernary Giants are hybrids, aren't they? So I don't know if they come quite "true"... guessing colors wouldn't be muddy anyway, but maybe flowers could be a little different, not quite as double or not quite as big? On the other hand, the Profusion series (which I think are also hybrids) are supposed to come as close to true as makes no difference.. I'll see about them this year, as I have several trade packs of F2 seeds.
NisiNJ
Bordentown, NJ
(Zone 7a)

March 15, 2012
6:29 AM

Post #9043428

Thanks for your responses. I have to confess that my purpose is to save the seeds and sell them on eBay, so they have to be true. I purchase bulk packets of commercial seeds, split them and offer them on eBay. It's just a sideline hobby business; I probably don't even make any profit. (DH is retired and wants me to stay home, too, so I want to do SOMETHING!)

Many of the other eBayers produce their own seed, so I thought I would try that with something easy...like marigolds and zinnias. I'm considering planting a back yard full of ONE color.

It seems that Benary's Giant is an heirloom after all...

http://www.cherrygal.com/flowerannualzinniabenarysgiantheirloomseeds2012-p-5149.html

I just learned (from youTube!) how to pick the little arrowhead seeds out of the zinnia cone (is that the term?) I went out to our garden and picked a few cones from the dead-but-not-cleared zinnia plants. Will plant them just for fun to see if they grow.

After participating for the first time in the Hog swap (thanks Terese) I noticed that most of the contributions were gathered from people's own gardens. So I decided to investigate how to do that with the easiest seeds. This summer I will try to summon the fortitude to ferment tomato seeds. (I know you do that, Jill...I already wintersowed Limbaugh's Potato Top.)
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

March 15, 2012
7:01 AM

Post #9043475

Sorry, I should have looked the Bernarys up before responding! Why not offer them as a mix? Or do individual colors just sell lots better? I really don't think you're going to get a bunch of muddy colors, although of course the most certain course might be to grow them out at least one year to see what happens.

I've split packs a couple of times and sold some extras on Marketplace -- basically, enough to pay for the bigger packet and give me some "free" packs then to share with friends. When Joyanna gets old enough to be more of a help than not, LOL, we may do a little more of that sort of thing.
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

March 15, 2012
7:03 AM

Post #9043480

wanted to add... this isn't zinnias, but the way you mentioned cleaning the seeds reminded me... those newer fancy-colored coneflowers are mostly hybrids (mostly patented, also), and from what I've read their seeds usually grow out as "regular" purple coneflowers.

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

March 15, 2012
11:13 AM

Post #9043803

Jill -- it's funny you mentioned Coneflower... i have several varieties - at least 4 in the back, and they all seem to be the same color.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

March 15, 2012
1:14 PM

Post #9043890

I've been saving and sowing a variety of Zinnias for a few years. As far as I can tell, even things like giants and Lilliput cross-pollinate.

I get some clear colors and some blurs, with purple/red/lavender being the blurriest. A few orange or yellow plants came out with clear colors.

I also got some variety of forms, but what mainly happened was that unusual forms like big double ginats and tiny bal--shaped Lilliput disapeared. Int he second and third year, I got mostly undistinguished shapes a little like daisies and medium-sized blooms predominated.

I had started selecting plants for TENDING to conserve certain colors, when I realized (or Zen_Man reminded me) that I could get much faster results by selecting one or another seed packet from a catalog, than by spending years and lots of garden space growing slowly towards what I did wnat. I don;t have any spare garden space!



critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

March 15, 2012
3:04 PM

Post #9044035

ROFL! Yes, sometimes it's easier just to buy the seeds. A friend of mine has been growing "State Fair Mix" (pretty sure that's what she started with) for years and years, just by crushing and scattering the seedheads each year. So I think there are some OP mixes that are pretty stable.

Thanks for sharing your experience, especially with the big doubles and the Lilliputs!

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

March 15, 2012
4:50 PM

Post #9044167

My guess is that some traits and colors are dominant, and they come through clearly.

I noticed with Petunias from many different sources that white often came back very clear, but blue-red-pink-purple tended to run together.

Maybe I shouldn't say that "white stayed white", since many of the light blues, pinks and lavenders were undoubtedly a mix of white and some dark color. But "white" just looked very distinct from all those pale colors.


I looked it up, and these were some of the zinnia sources that went into my mongrel blend:

Zinnia California Giant Mix Zinnia elegans (these disapeared and were totally diluted in the next generation)
(I guess that extra-large and dramatic forms are only expressed when genetically pure. But, in the next 2 years, some somewhat odd-looking things did pop up.)

Zinnia Cut & Come Again Zinnia elegans pumila dome shape double pumila type
(The "little ball" blooms disapeared and most blooms were flat and, I guess, "single".)






critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

March 15, 2012
6:27 PM

Post #9044298

Makes sense when you look at the higher price for some of the big hybrids... some of it's just name-marketing, I think, but those big dahlia-looking ones are worth paying for. I'm going to sow a whole lot of different zinnias (mostly saved seeds from various sources) around our mini-orchard, but I'm also going to sow some "special" (named/hybrids) ones in winter sowing jugs. :-)

I guess ebay buyers might care, but the butterflies like pretty much any size/color/form of zinnia! LOL

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

March 16, 2012
1:25 PM

Post #9045130

>> I guess ebay buyers might care, but the butterflies like pretty much any size/color/form of zinnia! LOL

I agree: names and ancestry matters more when selling or trqading, or if you are a breeder like Zen_Man. I became fond of the "double" form, or "spherical" blooms, maybe just beucase that was one of the earliest cutflowers I succeeded in producing.

What I like best about Zinnias is that they look cheerful, the plant is sturdy, and produces lots of blooms for a long time. And they last long in a vase.
kantzklan
Edinboro, PA
(Zone 5a)

August 5, 2012
7:45 AM

Post #9230161

Can anyone tell me where to find the seeds on annual geraniums, celosia and salvia? Thanks in advance

tcs1366

tcs1366
Leesburg, FL
(Zone 9a)

August 5, 2012
3:17 PM

Post #9230650

I've never had geraniums, but Salvias and Celosias are easy... celosias - the little seeds, looks like poppy seeds - small and round, either brownish or reddish... they just shake out of the spent fluffy foliage.

salvias, the spent blooms form a 'cup like seed holder' so to speak... each cup like dried 'holder' [i dont know the proper terms] will hold about 4 seeds in each. I either grab the stems from the bottom and gently pull upwards pulling the cup like things off, and put them in a jar or coffee can... with Salvias, the timing needs to be just right... once dry, the seeds will fall out on their own, if not dry they may still be white-ish and not fully ready -- I think they need to be brownish or black to be fully dry ... could mold if not fully dry -- at least, that is my experience with them.

hope this helps,

Terese
kantzklan
Edinboro, PA
(Zone 5a)

August 6, 2012
6:26 AM

Post #9231319

Great, thanks for the info on celosia and salvia...still looking for geranium help...

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

August 6, 2012
12:23 PM

Post #9231834

One way to catch Salvia seeds while waiting for them to be fully mature is to "bag" a spike. You can use the bottom part of panty hose or nylons, or buy "organza bags" big enough to hold a bottle of wine.

Slip the bag or nylon over the flower spike well before the seeds fall out. Secure the bottom as tightly as possible without bruising the stem: organza nags have drawstrings. Nylons need string or ribbon to hold the bottom tightly closed so seeds don't fall out.

Then you can shake the flower spikes and see whether the seeds are mature enoguh to rattle, or mature enouigh that they already fell out of their pods and are trying to sneak out of the nec k of the bag.

My Salvia only had one small seed per bloom. NOT many per plant!

(Or park newspapers or paper plates under the plant, hoping to catch a few when they fall)

BTW, Delphiniums were very well-behaved seed bearers. The spent bloom formed a stiff upright cup, and the seeds stayed IN the cup until they were fully mature. Then I just had to cut or gently TIP the stem over, and they poured out of their cups, 100% clean.

I don't know abiout gardenias, but here is my rule for zinnias and marigolds: good luck finding mature seeds (dead, dry, brown flowerheads) before the fall rains make them rot!

With petunias I had better luck: the pods formed and turned dry and brown before fall rains got bad. Maybe being root-bound in small planters encouraged them to go to seed. The petunia pods held together strongly enough that I could harvest them whole, while the seeds seemed mature enough.

With my Italian leaf broccoli that over-wintered and THEN bloomed and went to seed, most of the pods held together very well. They got to sit out in pretty dry summer sun for months.

After most turned brown or gray, and then some turned yellow, I harvested just a few yellow pods and germinated seeds on coffee filters to see if they were viable yet. 50% sprouted in 3-4 days, and ~90% sprouted within 6 days. That was plenty mature for me, so I harvested every pod that looked light brown or yellow, and collected around 4 ounces of seeds already!

I left some gray-green or dark brown pods on the plants to see if they would get lighter in color.

In general, I want the pods or flower heads to look as dead and dry as possible.

If no pods at all have split and dumped their seeds, I twist one pod open to see if the seeds are green, white or black.

If black, are they hard?

If black and hard, will they germinate?

(Seeds that need stratification, I have no way of guessing ripeness.)



This message was edited Aug 6, 2012 6:43 PM

This message was edited Aug 6, 2012 6:52 PM

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