Petunia is a flowering annual plant that is widely grown for its bright flowers. The petunia has many different varieties, some of which are fragrant and some with single or double blossoms. This versatility makes the petunia an ideal choice for flower beds and containers.
What Types of Petunias are Suitable for Seed Collection?
It is best to collect seeds from ordinary plain petunias, as the flowers obtained from them completely repeat the variety of the mother plant. Terry petunias are not so simple: they rarely give seeds. Even if a box with seeds is formed on such a plant, it makes no sense to collect it – the seeds do not retain varietal characteristics. To propagate terry petunias, it is more correct to use cuttings.
When to Harvest Petunia Seeds?
The time for collecting petunia seeds is the end of summer when the pods are ripe and can easily be collected from mature flowers. When the seedpods are brown and give off a rattling sound when shaken, they are ready to be harvested.
How to Harvest Petunia Seeds?
To harvest petunia seeds, first use scissors or a knife to cut the seedpod from the flower stem.
After the pods are well-dried, they should crack. Next, crack open the seedpod and collect the seeds. The process of collecting can be done manually or using a fan brush. Place the gathered seeds into paper bags, where they will require an additional period of 3-4 months to fully mature before becoming ready for use.
What do Petunia Seeds Look Like?
Petunia seeds are tiny, with each seed measuring approximately 0.5mm in diameter. They have a round shape and yellow or light brown.
Shelf Life and Storage Conditions
It is important to store petunia seeds in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. The ideal temperature range for storage of petunia seeds is between 50-68°F (10-20°C). Petunia seeds stored under optimal conditions will remain viable for up to 4 years. For longer shelf life, petunia seeds can be stored in a container or paper bag.
In no case do not use bags made of polyethylene – they do not circulate air, which negatively affects the quality of seedlings.