Gardening on a Budget - Collecting and Growing from Seeds
How to Grow Cannas from Seed
How to Grow Cannas from Seed (Collect your own seeds!)
Growing cannas from seed is a really rewarding process and it can greatly increase the volume of flowers in your garden at very little cost. To grow cannas from seed, merely collect the seeds from your own existing cannas and save them until it is time to plant. When the time comes to plant your canna seeds, follow these steps:
1. Scarify each seed carefully. Using pliers and a knife or file, you want to break through the hard coating of the canna seeds to reveal the white layer underneath. Be careful not to cut in too deep! To find the correct place to start filing and cutting, look for the little bump or dimple on one end. You want to AVOID that part and work at the opposite end of the seed.
2. Once you've exposed just the slightest bit of white undercoating, place the seed aside and continue with any remaining seeds you would like to plant.
3. Soak the canna seeds in hot water for a little while to prep them for planting.
4. Using a seed starting kit or germination station (or simply some potting mix and flower pots), gently press one or two seeds into each cell, depending on the size of it.
5. Water the seeds and leave them be for about a week until they start peeking through the surface.
6. When the last frost has passed, plant your new cannas outside. If you started them early enough (about 8 - 12 weeks before the last frost), they will probably flower for you in the first year.
7. Don't forget to collect and store new seeds for next year!
Tip: Depending on where you live, consider bringing your cannas inside for the winter so you don't lose them. They are only hardy in mild winters.
Growing cannas from seed is not that hard once you know how to do it. Germination rates have proved pretty good so far, and I'm sure you will be pleased with your own efforts should you decide to try growing cannas from seed.
How to Collect Seeds from Your Outdoor Plants and Save Them for the Spring
Last year I got really into the idea of growing my own flowers from seeds that I collected in the fall. I don't know what possessed me but it is such an exciting concept to me and I'm glad to be trying it out. Here is a list of what I've tried to collect and grow from seed and I'll be sure to continually update it as new baby plants sprout up.
- Pink Begonia
- Shasta Daisy
- Arizona Sun Blanket Flower
- Coral Bells
- Floral bean plant (purple, not sure of its real name)
- Pink Rhododendron
- Purple Rhododendron
- Pink and White Striped flower... no idea what it is, but lovely!
- Pink and White Striped flower... no idea what it is, but lovely! (within 6 days)
- Zinnia (within 6 days) - Ugh, they died on me! I just planted more...
- Dianthus (within 6 days)
- Floral bean plant (1 seed within 7 days - the others are lazy)
- Vinca (within 7 days)
- Shasta Daisy (within 7 days)
- Impatiens (within 8-9 days)
- Coral Bells (within 10 days)
- Pink Petunia (within 9-10 days)
- White Petunia (within 12-14 days)
- Allium (within 12-14 days)
Here are some tips to help you collect your own seeds and grow them the following year:
- Get to know what each plant or flower's seeds look like. Once you know what you are looking for, the seeds and seed pods become so much easier to find.
- Find a good way of storing each particular type of seed. Some seeds store better in containers while others store better in envelopes. Canna seeds, for example, store great in small jars or plastic containers. Begonia seeds store best, in my opinion, when the dried flower / seed pod is still in tact. Each seed is different so find what works best in your own experience.
- Label each envelope or container clearly. Imagine all the time you would waste trying to remember what every type of seed actually is.
- Do some research on methods of starting each type of seed. Some may need to have a good freeze before planting in order for the seeds to germinate. Knowing each seed's preference can save you time and frustration in the long run.
- Try to be patient. Don't plant your seeds too soon or you might run out of room before everything can go outside.