Each gardener grows all kinds of annual flowers on his site. It would seem very good that you can renew your flower garden every year. But for this you will have to constantly buy new seeds of your favorite flowers. Fortunately, you can assemble them yourself at home. Thus, you only have to pay for the first bag of seed. Also, you do not have to go shopping in search of the flowers you like. In this article, you will learn how to harvest zinnia seeds.
In order to collect the seeds, you just need to choose the most beautiful inflorescences in your flower garden and wait until they ripen and dry. After that, you can cut off the box. The plant will take about 2 months to fully mature, so it is better to leave the very first flowers in advance. They most often grow large and lush.
Cut baskets can be dried additionally in a dry room. Then you need to carefully pull out the petals and get the seeds. After that, they are sorted out, dried again on the newspaper and laid out in paper envelopes.
Attention! Store seeds in a cool, dark place. Such a room must necessarily be dry so that mold or rot does not form.
How to select quality seeds
Large seeds germinate most quickly, the first shoots may appear already on the 3rd day. But often both semi-double and non-double inflorescences can grow from one package. Even if the seed is harvested only from terry inflorescences, there is still a risk that a large number of grown flowers will be simple or semi-double.
The only option is to select quality material for sowing. Simple flowers grow from dark brown heart-shaped seeds. It is better to get rid of such people. Leave only elongated, spear-like seeds with a pointed triangular tip. They usually have a grayish tint. Of course, such a selection does not guarantee that absolutely all inflorescences will be terry, but there will be much more of them. In addition, large and high-quality seeds have a higher germination capacity. Immediately after you take the seeds out of the flower, you can sort them out, and leave in this form for storage. Then in the spring there will be less worries with sowing.
Advice! You need to sow seeds thickly, since not all of them can sprout. It would be better to play it safe and then thin out the plants if there are a lot of them.
What are the signs to distinguish zinnia seeds
Taking a good look at the seed baskets, you can see that there are several types of seed:
- shield-shaped cordate;
- spear-shaped sharp;
- elongated with a ponytail.
Although these seeds are collected from one inflorescence, completely different zinnias can subsequently grow. Therefore, experienced florists sort out the seeds and sort each species separately. These are the flowers that can be obtained from each of these species:
- The most common zinnias can be grown from shield-like or heart-like seeds, even if the seed was harvested on a double inflorescence.
- Simple or semi-double zinnias grow from spear-like ones.
- Terry inflorescences grow from elongated seeds, at the tip of which there is a grayish tail. It is these flowers that are most appreciated.
Important! It is easiest to care for simple and semi-double inflorescences.
Terry zinnias require special careful care. So you have to consider how much time you have to take care of the flower garden.
When the seeds are harvested
The seed can be considered mature as early as 60 days after the start of flowering. Therefore, it is advisable to leave the first emerging flowers for these purposes. But even among them, you should choose only the largest and most lush. Then they will need to be dried and only suitable seeds selected. Store them in a cool dry place. It is very important that in winter it is not affected by cold and moisture, otherwise they will simply damp. Under suitable conditions, they can be stored for 3 or 4 years without losing their sowing qualities.
Important! Dry seeds are placed only in paper packages or matchboxes. Polyethylene is not suitable for these purposes.
If you are growing multiple varieties, then these seeds should be stored in separate boxes or envelopes. Do not forget to sign each bag so that you do not get confused when planting. Also indicate on the packaging the year the material was collected. Some gardeners who like to arrange their flower beds in an original way also indicate the color of zinnia. Then they plant the plants in rows or circles.
If the room temperature was not suitable or the seeds were stored in a plastic bag, germination may decrease. The shelf life will also be reduced. It will be better to sow such material next year, since in the future they may not sprout.
Zinnia are very common and beautiful flowers. Many flower growers love to grow them. It is very convenient that you can prepare the seed yourself without spending any money or time on shopping. The collection process is very simple and quick, the main thing is to wait until the inflorescences are completely dry. So be sure to harvest the zinnia seeds yourself. Then you can enjoy the results of your labor every year.