Saving Zinnia Seeds

Hi Lovelies,

Ugh, it’s hard to believe that this bed used to be gorgeous. Hopefully, I’ll find the time soon to clean it out and take up the plastic.

With fall in full swing, it’s a good time to learn how to save seeds of some of my favorite flowers. Luckily for me, collecting seeds from many plants is super easy – one of these being, zinnias.

This flower head has turned brown and looks like the perfect candidate to look for some seeds.

When saving seeds of anything, it’s important that the varieties that you’re saving aren’t hybrids. You’ll want to save seed from open-pollinated or heirloom varieties. I see zinnias as the rockstars of my garden. For months and months they put on an amazing show and keep on blooming, without fail. However, if you want to save seeds, you’ll have to stop cutting the flowers at some point to let the blooms pass. As this happens, your plants will get really, really ugly. No, like seriously ugly. When you combine that with a case of powdery mildew (like I usually get in fall), it’s best to have the zinnia bed hidden where your neighbors won’t judge you for your seemingly neglectful gardening.

When rubbing it between my fingers, lots of stuff came out – seeds and dried petals. The seeds feel noticeably harder and plump. Dried petals usually floated away when I gently blew on them.

To save seed, I simply pick the dried flower heads and rub them in my hand. Some people go to the trouble of tagging flowers with specific qualities that they like and others even try to pollinate and breed their own! Unfortunately, my life isn’t that organized, and I’ve accepted that it probably will never be.

The darker seed is mature and can be saved. The lighter seed is either immature or wasn’t pollinated.

Once I get my seeds, I throw them in a coin envelope and store them in a cool drawer until spring planting.

Have you ever saved zinnia seeds? What your favorite type? How did you do it?

9 thoughts on “Saving Zinnia Seeds

  1. You need to stop telling me about all these lovely flowers. My lust list is growing constantly. 😜 Have you favourites of the zinnia?
    But loving these free propagation tips. My gladioli were amazing this year and I’ve left seed heads on them to try and save seeds this year.

    1. Oh! I should do a post about gladiolus! You can just pull the bulbs after your frost If they don’t survive the winter where you live. Plus, the little cormels will eventually grow to produce a flower! As for my favorite zinnia, definitely benary’s salmon!

  2. Oh, my goodness, you and your site are answers to my prayers. I planted Zinnia’s for the first time ever this year, and they were awesome. Now I know how to save the seeds. Yeah!!! Thanks for visiting my blog. 🙂 Keep posting and I will keep reading.

  3. Hi Freshcutky. Do you find your seeds come true when you save them like this? Do they not all get muddled up by the bees? Or is that part of the fun, and you buy ‘special’ ones new each year (like Benary Salmon), but otherwise go with the flow of how the saved ones turn out?

    1. Great point! This is one of the big reasons that I always buy new seed every year. I grow pretty much every color zinnia and the bees certainly have their way with the field. In the future, when I have more space, I definitely foresee a lot more seed saving and fun when it comes to planting. 🙂 🙂

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