I have gone on and on about how much I love Zinnias. I have grown a few in the past but this year I had three different types. As I reflect on the ones that did well, I keep coming back to the mixed Lilliput Zinnias.
The Lilliput Zinnias bloomed in reds, oranges and pinks from this package of seeds.What I liked about them is they bloomed for months with no deadheading required. I know, that’s one less thing to worry about, right?
This hot pink Zinnia really stole the show. I only planted about eight plants but they branched out nicely with loads of new blooms each week. The blooms that were on the plants had real staying power. So when I wanted to collect seeds I had to really look for a few totally brown blossoms. Lets see, its been almost three months since they were planted and they are still going strong. I am a seed collector and through a bit of research I found out that I could collect seed from this Lilliput Zinnia and it would still come true from collected seed. Was I excited!
I went out with scissors in hand and had to really look down below the clump of Zinnias to find three blooms to pick. Notice the two on the right are nice and brown. The one on the left was faded but not brown enough. Grab a large dish and let’s get started.
All you have to do is pull the petals apart carefully on the dried up bloom. There is a lot of chaff left from all the petals so use a knife or spoon to sort through it all. What you are looking for is the arrow shaped seeds. Each seed is attached to the base of a petal.
I placed a sheet of paper next to my dish of seeds and carefully picked each one out. See the seed on the bottom center of the photo? Each seed will look like that. The Zinnia seed should be black on one end. You can even see a few seeds with the pink petals still attached. There are also a few green seeds in the photo that I will not keep. They came from the flower that wasn’t totally dried up. The green seeds are not fully ripened and I doubt they will mature at this point.
This is the seed you want to keep. Out of just two dried up blooms I found about thirty seeds. I will continue to collect the seeds as the plants die back. You can separate your seeds by colour if you can remember which ones they were. I don’t mind a mix of colour in the garden so mine are all blended together. I loved the Lilliput Zinnias so much I am determined to have them everywhere next year. Place your seeds in an envelope and store them in a cool dry place until they can be planted. Remember to label your seeds with the name of the flower and date you packaged them. If you are unsure if you can save seeds from your Zinnias, look at the old seed package to see if it’s an open pollinated seed. If it’s a hybrid the seeds will not come true but open pollinated seeds can be collected and saved from year to year.