To harvest dianthus seeds, you will need to gather some finished flowers, dry them, and squeeze the seeds out.
However, many flower heads do not have seeds in them, so make sure you harvest plenty, or you may not get enough seeds.
Dianthus plants are popular and lovely, and if you want some more of these plants, it can be fun and exciting to gather the seeds and re-plant them yourself.
Yet, unfortunately, dianthus plants are some of the hardest to harvest.
But, if you take the right approach, you will most likely be successful.
How Do You Harvest Dianthus Seeds?
To harvest dianthus seeds, you will first need to collect some flower heads from a plant when it has finished flowering.
You must wait until the flowers have faded and started to turn brown before collecting from them.
Then, cut the whole bloom off the flower and take it indoors to dry.
And at this stage, you’ll want to collect multiple flowers to increase your chances of getting seeds because only 1 in 20 dianthus flower heads have seeds.
Next, once you have several flowers, place them on some white paper and allow them to dry for a while.
After that, squeeze each bloom carefully between your fingers and wait for the seeds to drop out.
The seeds are small and rounded, usually brown or nearly black in color.
Once you’ve identified the seeds, spread them out on the sheet of paper and allow them to dry further.
The seeds are usually about 1 or 2 mm in diameter, so they should dry relatively quickly.
Thus, they generally only need to dry for a day or two on each side.
The Best Way to Store Dianthus Seeds
Once the seeds are dry, you need to store them correctly, so they can remain viable until you plant them next year.
To store dianthus seeds, you must place them in a paper or plastic envelope.
But just make sure the seeds are truly dry if you are going to use a plastic one, or they may rot inside the envelope or develop mold.
Then, after you have the seeds in the envelope of your choice, place them somewhere cool and dry for storage.
Many people store dianthus seeds in the bottom part of their fridge, but if you don’t want to put them there, you can also place them in a cool, dark cupboard.
Also, ensure the seeds stay dry in their storage area, as dampness will either cause them to rot or prompt them to germinate too early.
It’s, therefore, best to put the envelopes in an airtight container and consider adding some packets of silica gel to absorb any remaining water in the air.
Overall, if you follow these steps, your seeds should remain free from moisture and last until the next season.
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Will Dianthus Seeds Come True?
Not all dianthus seeds will come true, as these plants are often hybrids, and therefore the parents will not produce identical offspring.
Thus, if you harvest seeds from your dianthus plants and re-plant them, you should expect that at least some of the seedlings will produce different colored flowers from the parents.
Additionally, some dianthus plants will not even produce viable seeds, so many people recommend taking cuttings instead of seeds.
And generally, cuttings are great because you can easily re-plant and winterize them, which increases your number of plants for the next season.
However, you certainly can collect the seeds and try germinating them.
But, remember that re-planting seeds from your dianthus plants may not always work.
When Should You Plant Dianthus Seeds?
Typically, you should plant dianthus seeds eight weeks before the last frost in spring.
But, you can sow at least some of your dianthus seeds when you first harvest them, even if the end of the season is approaching.
Dianthus plants tend to be fairly easy to grow and are usually robust enough to get through the winter.
However, if you have young seedlings growing when winter hits, consider bringing them indoors to protect them from hard frosts and heavy weather, as this could kill or damage the plants.
Remember too that you can take cuttings from dianthus plants any time you want to if you would like to increase the numbers of these plants.
Finally, you can expect it to take about three to four months for your plants to grow, depending on the conditions in your area.
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Dianthus plants are not particularly easy to grow from seed, but you can often have success if you take the right approach.
But, just remember that the new plants may not be true to their parents.
However, they will still look lovely, and you may even get an interesting new variety.