I love growing an annual cut flower garden from seed, but the costs can quickly add up. Every year I spend over $200 on flower seeds–and that’s after I try and pare down my choices!! Over the last couple of years I’ve been saving seed from more and more of the flowers that I grow, and it’s really starting to make a difference in my budget.
Seed saving cut flowers doesn’t have to be complicated. In this post I’m going to share 3 super easy annual flowers that you can save from seed. Can you imagine buying cut flower seeds once, and never having to buy them again? Here’s my picks. . .
P.S. For those of you who prefer to watch videos, you can watch this YouTube video instead.
To save snapdragons, wait until the flower has almost finished blooming and there are little balls all the way up the stem. We want a few blooms left just so we know what colour we’re collecting! Cut off the stem, keeping as many of those little balls as possible–they contain our future seeds!
Let the snapdragons dry until they are golden brown. I leave mine indoors on a paper plate for around 2 months before I try to collect the seeds. The plant should be very brittle and dry at this point. Then, you can lightly shake the seeds out of the little pods.
Snapdragon seeds are very small, so make sure you shake them on the paper plate or some other spot where they are easy to collect. Store the seeds in an envelope and label for future use.
I love saving marigold seeds–they’re so easy to collect and I almost always have good germination. Once the marigold is finished blooming and ready for deadheading, cut it off and leave in a hot and sunny location. Once the head is dry and brittle, tear it apart. You’ll be left with lots of marigold seeds like these below. . .
Zinnias are one of my favourite flowers in the cut flower garden, and they’re also so easy to save from seed. Let your favourite zinnia grow so that it looks either like a big cone or a stack of pancakes (it will depend on the variety). Cut it off (or leave it on if it’s the end of the season) and leave it to dry for at least two months. Once it’s completely dry, tear the cone (or pancake) apart and you’ll see little seeds that look kind of like daggers or trowels. Those are your new zinnia seeds!
Love Cut Flowers? Here’s Where to Find the Best Seeds, The 10 Easiest Cut Flowers to Grow, and how to arrange the prettiest bouquets.
Cut Flower Seed Saving Tips
Some of these tips are going to seem painfully obvious to more experienced gardeners, but I include these tips only because I have actually made these mistakes when I should have known better.
Save the Best Flowers
Is there a flower that’s really large, has a unique colour, or some other quality that you like? Earmark that flower and make sure you save that one!
The Bees Might Have Other Plans
Last year I saved a lot of Calendula seeds, expecting them to look a certain way. Little did I know that the bees had cross pollinated my 4 different varieties and the calendula that came up looked different than I expected them to. Thankfully I loved the looks of them, so it wasn’t a big deal. Just know that unless you put a mesh bag around them to avoid cross pollination, you might get some surprises.
Don’t Leave Seeds Outside to Dry
Yes, you can leave some seeds outside to dry and they’ll be just fine. However, some seeds like sunflowers make amazing snacks for birds and mice–ruining your future flower garden. So don’t let your seeds get eaten and take them indoors.
Learn to save even more cut flower seeds
Honestly, there’s so many more seeds you could save from seed, easily saving you more than $200 on your cut flower gardening bill. If you’re tired of spending so much money on your flower garden every Spring, you need Savvy Seed Saving. It will teach you how to save 18 different annual cut flower seeds, putting money back in your pocket.
Grab your copy now or learn more here.
Kristen is a former farm kid turned urban gardener who owns the popular gardening website, Shifting Roots. She is obsessed with growing flowers and pushing the limits of what can be grown in her zone 3b garden. She also loves to grow tomatoes, but oddly enough, dislikes eating them raw.