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How to Collect Seeds From Annual Flowers

Updated on July 28, 2011

While annual flowers give a shot of color and fragrance to many garden beds, they need to be grown from seed each year. Collecting the seeds from these annual flowers is a way to save the varieties that perform especially well for you, and to save money when gardening. If you have many different types of flowers in your garden, it is fun to follow each flower's growing season, from seedling to harvest.

Things Needed for Collecting Flower Seeds

  • Annual flowers
  • Garden shears
  • Paper bags
  • Newspaper, if needed
  • Wire, if needed
  • Paper plates or towels, if needed
  • Storage containers for the seed

Start your collection from healthy annuals. Choose the flowers that have gone to seed, but select only the healthiest flower plants. Choose the seed heads that are light brown in color. Remove seed heads before they open up by cutting with garden shears several inches from the heads to allow for easy handling and hanging.

Carefully put the seed heads in a paper sack and loosely close and hang upside down to fully dry. The bag helps to collect any fallen seeds, and some seed heads actually pop open when they are dried, ready to reproduce, and the bag helps to contain the sprayed seeds. Bundle the together, hang them upside down in a warm place. Use a wire if necessary to tie around the bag to hang up. Allow the seed head pods to dry and open up, checking on them after about a week.

Open the bag over a newspaper or paper towels, and separate the seeds from the plant itself. Transfer seeds to a paper plate and allow to fully dry out for several more days. Transfer the seeds into an airtight container, label and store in a dry, cool place for next year's garden.


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