Collecting seeds and berries from plants is a fun way to increase your plant collection and you could stumble across a new variety! This is because you are never quite sure what plant the pollen has come from. Whether your seeds are coming from seed heads or berries you will need to wait until they are ripe. There are a number of large seed swapping events which happen throughout the year, however often the best way to discover and swap new seeds is to join your local horticultural society.
Most herbaceous perennials such as lupins (lupines), fox gloves (digitalis) and delphiniums will produce their seeds in large quantities where the flowers were, this is called a seed head. The seeds will be ripe and ready for collection from late autumn onwards.
- Cut seed heads into manageable sizes.
- Place into a paper bag and gently shake.
- The seeds will collect in the bottom of the bag ready for storage or sowing.
Berries will be ready to harvest once they achieve their ripe colour, in most cases this will be during the winter. To harvest berry seeds:
- Squeeze the berry between your fingers until the seed pops out - be careful not to lose your seed.
- Dry all the flesh of the seed with a paper towel and either store in a cool location or begin sowing.
- Some berry seeds will take a couple of months to germinate so it is best to sow the seeds as soon as you harvest them. If this is not possible, store your seeds in an envelope in a cool, dry location for up to 12 months.
Any questions about anything you’re growing? Give one of our Gardening Angels a call on 0845 602 3774 or drop us an email firstname.lastname@example.org.