Seed Saving – Bachelor’s Buttons

Hi Lovelies,

Blue Bachelor’s Buttons are one of my favorites! Though they are somewhat difficult to cut in large quantities, I think they’re worth the effort!

Today’s post was definitely one of those spur of the moment, random ideas that I get. I started seed saving back when I started growing veggies. In fact, seed saving is important for many reasons – but alas, I’ll save that for another day.

I was walking through the garden today when I noticed that almost all of my bachelor’s buttons plants have succumb to the hot, hot heat.  I’d stopped cutting them quite a few weeks ago without any intention of saving their seeds.  When summer was in full swing, things simply started looking on the shabby side, so I just ignored them.  Cornflowers are so stinkin’ cute, and I’m definitely envious of those folks who don’t have the 105 degree temperatures that make them fizzle out so quickly!

These cornflower (Bachelor’s Button) stems have completely turned brown. It’s time to collect the seeds before they begin to drop on the ground and self-seed for next spring.

I’ve seen a few forums where people have asked how to know when to stop deadheading these beauties. I honestly don’t have an answer to that question, but the general guideline I use is when I finally feel “tired of them.” That may come sooner or later, depending upon how much you totally love them. That’s actually the great thing about growing flowers, it’s not rocket science. I think it’s safe to say that most gardeners learn quite a bit from experiences of trial and error.

Bachelor buttons are considered hardy annuals. This would explain why they’re a great candidate to be directly sown in the fall or in the spring as soon as you soil can be worked. These dudes are tough. Those fortunate enough to have mild summers may even be lucky enough to plant seeds in mid summer for fall blooms. This is something I’ll definitely try in the future, but I have a hunch that my July/August heat would be a major issue when it comes to germination. If you’ve got any experience getting fall blooms, I’d love to hear all about it in the comments!

So, what now? I’ve successfully grown my cornflower plants, stopped deadheading them, now what? Well, now just wait. I like to wait until the entire plant has dried.

It looks like I may have waited too long, the round “circles” you see in the middle of this spent flower are seeds which are still attached. Empty spaces where there are no “circles” are areas where the seeds have already been eaten or have fallen to the ground.

Bachelor’s buttons seeds develop at the base of spent flowers, hence the importance of not chopping off the old blooms! In the center of the old flower heads, tiny hair-like bits stick up. Simply rolling or rubbing will release the seeds.

These seeds fell out very easily. As you can see, they kind of look like teeny tiny “squids”. Be sure to store these in a dry, cool place until planting.

Seeds are easy to identify once you know that they look like. Of course, a quick Google search can help get a better idea of what to look for, too. Lastly, I let the seeds dry for a bit just to ensure that they’ll keep and store them in a coin envelope in a dry, cool, place. I plant the seeds in the fall and then again in the spring!

Hope this helps! Have you ever saved these seeds? I’d love to hear about your experience!

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