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Seed Sense: How do I save Zinnia seeds?

Gift Zinnias at the Seed Library Gift Zinnias at the Seed Library

We get some pretty seedy questions on our Facebook page. We'll share our answers to the most popular ones here on our blog. If you have more suggestions to add to our answer, please feel free to leave a comment below.

Gift Zinnias, a brilliant, rare crimson variety has been blooming on the seed farm for months. As the last petals fall off with the last tree leaves and ready for winter, photos and questions from other Zinnia gardeners have been arriving on our Facebook page. Here's one from Abby Paulson:

 

photo by Abbey Paulson photo by Abbey Paulson

Q: Can you provide some advice about saving zinnia seeds? It seems like there are two kinds... a whole bunch on the cone, and then others at the tips of the large petals. Are they all the same, or is one better than the other? Thanks! (State Fair zinnias in the photo - LOVE them!)

A: Great photo! So glad you're happy with the mix! Saving seeds from zinnias is pretty easy. Just wait for the petals to fall off and the central seed head to cone up. When it's dry enough to crush or break apart with your fingers and there's no green organic matter it's ready to harvest. They will ripen in succession. Break apart the seed heads and separate the seeds from the chaff. Let the seeds dry a bit more in open air on a screen. Keep them cool, dark, and dry for the winter and plant them next year. They will have cross-pollinated so colors will be surprising!

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