Zinnias are definitely the workhorse in a cutting garden and lucky for us they are also one of the easiest plants to harvest and save seeds from. Today we’re gonna head out in the garden and we are going to harvest some zinnia seeds, that way we don’t have to buy any next year. And like I said Saving Zinnia Seeds is EASY!!
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Open-Pollinated Vs. Hybrid
Before you begin, it’s important to know whether your zinnias are open-pollinated plants or hybrids. Seeds from hybrid plants typically do not come true to the parent plant, so if you love a specific attribute of the zinnia, such as its double flowers or special colorings, you might be disappointed by the offspring of hybrid zinnias. Seeds from open-pollinated plants, though, will grow true to the parent plant, so it makes sense to harvest those seeds.
I’m so excited that you guys are here today to harvest some zinnia seeds with us before we head out into the garden let’s make sure we have all of our supplies so we’re not running around like a crazy person.
Harvesting Zinnia Seeds
When you are harvesting zinnia seeds you want to make sure that you let the flower completely dry on the plant. If you cut the flower too soon you’re going to have immature seeds that will not germinate.
When choosing what flower heads to cut, any that still have some color are not going to be dry enough, so skip over them. You want to cut the flower heads that are completely dry and start to crumble in your hand. Some might have even lost all of their petals.
Just a reminder, you want the flower heads (which contain all the seeds) to completely dry on the plant. If they are not left to dry on the plant the seeds will be immature and will likely not germinate when planted.
Once you have cut the flower heads start pulling all of the seeds out and laying them on the drying rack. Let them dry on the rack for a week.
I want to mention that when you are taking your flowers apart and you’re harvesting the seeds if keeping the variety separated is really important to you make sure that you are using different drying racks and make sure that you are labeling everything so you don’t get anything mixed up. The seeds are going to look very much alike.
We really don’t care if they’re all mixed up. I love experimenting and I love seeing what grows from the seeds, So I put everything on the same tray. That being said I love trying new varieties of really anything so let me know your favorite zinnia variety. Send me a DM on Instagram or comment below.
After letting your Zinnia seeds dry on a mesh rack for about a week, go through and pick out all of the seeds, placing them on the paper towel. Let them sit for another day or two. We want to make sure they are DRY before we put them away.
Once the seeds are completely dry, put them in their envelope and store them for winter.
I love making paper seed envelopes. I print them, cut them out, and tape them. You can get them for FREE as part of our simple farmhouse living resource library.
Join the Resource Library for the FREE Seed Saving Envelopes
On the front there’s a spot for the variety so if you are separating your zinnia seeds by the different varieties you can document it. There is also a place for you to write the date that they are collected so that you remember. The black is completely empty if you want to write any notes about the seeds.
Once you have your envelope transfer your zinnia seeds to the envelope.
Your seeds will last for a couple of years if stored in a cool, dark place. We keep all of our seeds in photo storage boxes in the closet. Check out how we store seeds HERE.
And if you use our FREE Printable Seed Envelopes they fit in the storage boxes with all of your other seed packs.
Zinnia seeds are one of the easiest to harvest and a great seed to start with when you are looking to get into the world of seed saving.