When it comes to gathering petunia seeds, there are only three stages involved. Petunias can be propagated in two ways, but if you prefer to start from seeds, it’s a good idea to learn how to harvest them. If you prefer to buy your seeds, you can still do so, but the process of collecting them from existing plants is a breeze.
If your petunias permit, you can also save the flowers for later use. You’ll be able to enjoy beautiful, fragrant flowers from your own backyard for no cost. Why not take advantage of your existing plants and generate even more beautiful petunias for your garden’s landscape?
How To Collect Petunia Seeds For Beginners
Step #1. Plant preparation
You can grow your parent plants in a greenhouse regardless of the method of propagation. Seeds, cuttings, and divisions can be guaranteed to be healthy since they are grown in an ideal environment. If your petunias are healthy and producing flowers that are capable of producing seeds, you will be more successful in gathering them.
Also, make sure to pick a petunia variety that thrives in your area. You won’t have to deal with too many issues this way, and you’ll be able to harvest your plants’ seeds on a regular basis. Stop deadheading petunias as the growing season winds down to allow the plant to concentrate on seed production.
Step #2. Collecting seeds
You can begin the collection at the conclusion of the growth season because the plants will be ready to produce seeds at this time. As previously said, if you avoid deadheading petunias, you’ll witness an increase in the number of seed pods. The seed pods of petunias can be observed after their flowers fade and die.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to get rid of any dead flowers. Before gathering the seed pods, you must wait for them to dry out. Look for swelling and browning of the bulb-like calyx near the base, which is an indication of seed development.
Because you don’t want the seed pods to mature too early or too late, you must keep an eye out for a challenging aspect. The seeds are mature enough when the pod begins to crack. Cut it off now. Additionally, you don’t want them to leak, be harmed, or grow mold in any way.
Step #3. Storing seeds
Collecting pods in soft or moist conditions is a waste of time since mold will destroy them. Spread the dried pods out on a piece of paper towel once you’ve finished drying them all. Make sure there is enough room for air circulation and store them in a cool, dry setting, such as a greenhouse.
For a week, they need to dry thoroughly, so find a location with stable temperatures. Using a hammer or mallet, smash a seed pod over a bowl of water. If you shake the pod and hear a rattling sound within, the seeds may be dry, making it simpler to crack open the pod.
When all the seeds have been removed,
- Empty the dish of any and all waste and husk.
- In a paper envelope, save the seeds for later use.
- Place the envelope in a plastic bag and mark it before storing it in a cold, dark, and dry location for planting in the following season.
Seed packets should not be exposed to freezing or wet conditions. As a desiccant, some gardeners also use dried milk. Seeds can be preserved by putting a spoonful of dry milk in a paper towel folded seed bag.
How To Germinate Petunia Seeds
Petunia seeds should be started inside, according to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. The greenhouse will provide the ideal conditions for seed germination, avoiding the dangers of a harsh environment. The seeds of petunias don’t need to be covered if you use a moist starting mix.
Cover the jar with a plastic bag to keep the medium moist. As a last step, keep the soil temperature between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. You can count on the petunia seeds to germinate in four days as long as you keep them dry.
How to Grow Petunia Seeds
Since petunia seeds are so tiny and delicate, it is difficult to properly plant them. Small plantlets are available for propagation at most nurseries. A new type of pelleted seed has been developed by commercial seed producers. Because they’re larger and easier to sow, pelleted seeds are an excellent option. If you plan to collect petunia seeds on your own, the quality of the seeds depends heavily on how you care for, harvest, and store the parent plants. The following are some pointers for successfully cultivating petunia seeds in your own backyard:
Selecting the Seeds
Both single and multi-colored types of petunia flowers are available. Wave petunia seed, a popular type, with a spreading and trailing growth pattern. Visit your neighborhood nursery to see what colors they have to offer. Petunia seeds come in a variety of colors, and you may use them to create a pattern in your yard. Additionally, inquire as to the germination rate, the height of the plants, and their susceptibility to disease of the specific types.
Buying the Seeds
There are 25-65 seeds per packet in petunia seed packages, which are available in little packets at garden centers. You can buy pure seeds in bulk (uncoated form) or pelleted ones, depending on your desire. Pelletized seeds are more expensive than normal seeds since they have been processed and packaged. Despite their high cost, these pelleted seeds are simple to work with. They have a better chance of surviving and thriving in the field than untreated ones.
Growing Petunia Seeds
Petunia seeds can be sown directly in the flower garden or in seed trays indoors when the weather is good. Sow spring-blooming cultivars inside six to eight weeks before the first frost. Cover the seeds with approximately an eighth of an inch of dirt and lightly moisten. To hasten the germination process, place a plastic sheet over the pot or tray. Also, place it in an area that receives some indirect sunlight.
Petunia Seeds Germination
Some petunia seeds germinate within ten days of being sown, while others take up to three weeks to sprout. As soon as the seeds begin to sprout, remove the plastic sheet. Keep the seedlings out of direct sunlight, but in a bright, well-ventilated location. Seedlings should be kept at a temperature of 65° F during the day and 55° F at night. Once the plantlets have developed their real leaves, you can begin transplanting them.
Maintaining Petunia Plants
Eight to ten weeks after seeding, petunia seedlings are ready for transplant. Place them outside during the day to harden them up for transplantation. Fertilize petunia plants in a well-drained garden soil after the frost has melted and when the temperature has reached 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Depending on the kind, the plants can reach a height of 12–15 inches. Get them to bring you flowers.
Harvesting the Seeds
To produce seeds, the petunia flower produces a seed pod on its lower half. Pinching the blooms will help them last longer in bloom. For seed collection, allow some of the plants to die back naturally. The blossoms should be stored in an airtight container once they have dried out. The seeds will be released when the pods open. You may collect petunia seeds this way.
Until better growing conditions return, keep these seeds cool and dry. Sow petunia seeds and transfer petunia plantlets in the same manner as described above. Petunia seeds were all that was discussed in this post.
Using your garden as a source of new plants is one of the most enjoyable aspects of gardening. The only cost is the time it takes to learn how to collect petunia seeds if you already have existing petunia plants. Even the process of preparing healthy seed sources to ensure that they can produce seeds is straightforward.
Stop deadheading and inspect your fading and withering flowers for signs of rot. If you wait until the pods are about to split apart, you’ll be able to take them home. Spread them out on a paper towel and store them in a dark, cool place for a week before serving.
After the initial drying, you should be able to crush and crack the pods and store them in a cool, dry, and dark area.