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Wednesday, April 20, 2022

The Thrill of Saving Flower Seeds

one of several petunia plants I grew from seeds collected from last year's purchased plants--
it's even beginning to bloom!

You all know that I save seeds from one season's plants to grow vegetables in the next season. It's not a huge savings, but it's one of those satisfaction things. But do you know what I find really exciting in the gardening realm? Saving seeds from flowers that I bought in the garden center and growing them the next year into actual flowering plants. It's as if I made something. So exciting!

a bundle of marigold seedlings --
I can already see where they will be setting flower buds in a month or so.

This last year I saved nasturtiums (but those fall into the edible category for our house, so not as exciting), "Patriot Mix" (red, white, purple) petunias, and autumn-colored marigolds. I started the seeds for the petunias and marigolds in March under lights. The plants look wonderful. Last summer, I wasn't even sure what to save -- what was a seed for both of these plants. I looked both plants up online to see what to look for as seeds. And I luckily found them on both plants.

Now I have annual plants for my pots and garden for zero cost! I would have bought the petunias for sure, as I plant these every year in a couple of pots in the front yard. The autumn marigolds will give me end of summer color to enjoy, once again.

Free annuals grown from my own collected seeds -- now this is excitement!


  1. I also find great satisfaction in saving seeds and planting them next year. However, this year I didn't start anything because of the jumble the house is in from the construction. I do have a few things that are coming up from seeding themselves-some if places I want them and some not.

    1. That must be fun to find some volunteers in your garden, Live and Learn. I hope next year you can plant what you want where you want it.

  2. I don't plant petunias anymore, but when I did, they tended to self-seed in the oddest places. It was always fun to watch them bloom from cracks in the sidewalk. Enjoy your burgeoning blooms!

    1. Hi Kris,
      Petunias blooming in the cracks in the sidewalk -- how very charming.
      So far, white is the only color of the three in my mix that has blossomed. I'm keeping fingers crossed for some red and purple, too.

  3. I’d love to see photos of what the seed bearing parts are to these plants you are collecting from.
    I have mainly perennials.
    Ones that can be separated in clumps like Iris , cana lilies, calla lilies and hen’s chicks are frequently at fundraising garden events.
    Individuals also start vegetables from saved seeds. Sunflower, nasturtiums, Hollyhocks, and morning glories are some of the seeds I’ve seen at these events.
    One of the libraries near me prior to covid did a seed exchange. It’s how we started so many heirloom vegetable plants that we now save the seeds from.
    In my house I have the old standby plants like spider, rubber, ivy, African violet, tradescantia.I start the rooted slips in thrifted plant pots and donate back to my favourite thrift shops. There actually is a person on FB who collects old pots to give to people who want to donate plants to good causes.
    The thrift shops told me originally that plant donations in ready planted pots fly off the shelves and can demand a better price. So now I rummage around my home looking for items that I’m ready to donate and seeing if I could place a potted plant(flower/veg.) in it.

    1. Hi Teresa,
      I'll do some photos in the next week of what the seeds look like. The geraniums especially threw me for a loop. I really didn't think these were the seeds. The petunias, too, surprised me as they were so very tiny. I wasn't sure I actually had seeds. But they sprouted and are looking healthy. It's amazing how a plant can grow from a tiny seed.

      I had no idea that thrift shops would take plants. I'll ask at ours and see if they do, too. What a great idea -- beautify someone's home at a low price while earning some money for a favorite cause.

      I think a seed exchange at a public place like a library is another great idea. It would be nice to get and share some seeds with others.

  4. That is exciting! More plants for free is always a great bonus. Years ago, I planted some old petunia seeds given to me by a friend (in a packet, not homegrown). The first year, they grew, but I wasn't that impressed as they were a pale lavender. But it was in an area that we were trying to perennialize for the most part, and they self seeded and grew more plants the next year. Over time, they produced various shades of purple and pink, some quite bright. It felt like watching a real-time science experiment. Anyhow, they were still coming back from seed last year, but over the fall/winter/early spring, we finally redid that area to make more growing space and make it look nicer. So I'm not sure we'll get any this year.

    1. Hi Cat,
      What a wonderful experience to see the petunias not only grow from seeds, but also to watch them produce different colors.
      As I was tending the geraniums today I noticed 2 large buds. I'm excited to see what colors they produce for me.


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