To harvest hollyhock seeds, you need to snap the seed pods off the main plant when they have started to shrivel up.
Then, clean and dry the seeds.
Next, you should store them in a dry, dark spot or keep them in the freezer.
Hollyhocks are beautiful garden plants, and many people love them, but it can be challenging to know how to save their seeds for planting year after year.
If you want to keep growing hollyhocks, the most economical and satisfying way is to harvest seeds from your current plant.
How Do You Harvest Hollyhock Seeds?
You can harvest hollyhock seeds when the flowers have died, and the petals have wilted, turned brown, and dropped off the plant.
You will then find fuzzy brown pods, which contain the plant’s seeds.
However, you should wait until the seed pods have dried to a medium brown color before you harvest them.
Then, when they’re ready, take a hollyhock seed pod between your fingers, firmly snap it off the main plant, and place it in a bag.
Next, take the bag inside when you have harvested as many of the seeds as you want.
Now, it is time to clean and dry the seeds.
But just make sure you collect the seeds fairly promptly once the pods have turned brown.
If you leave the pods on the plant for too long, the seeds may scatter, and you will lose them to the soil.
How Do You Prepare Hollyhock Seeds for Storage?
To prepare hollyhock seeds for storage, pick up one seed pod and carefully crack it open so that the seeds pour out.
Then, shake the seeds into a container, and discard the pod.
You can compost the pod if you want or throw it in the trash.
Now that you’ve shaken the seeds out, you’ll probably find that some have stuck together inside the pod.
If so, gently separate them, either using your fingernail or another tool.
You should also clean off the chaff.
Chaff is llittle bits of plant debris sticking to the seeds.
Chaff could cause seeds to mold if you do not remove it.
Fortunately, the seeds are quite large, so removing chaff shouldn’t be too difficult.
You can usually use your fingers or a pair of tweezers to pull the chaff off.
Next, place the seeds on some paper towels with space between each seed.
Put them in a warm spot away from direct sunlight, and leave them to dry for about a week or a week and a half.
This drying period ensures the seeds will not mold when you store them because you will have gotten rid of all the moisture.
Finally, you may find that it helps to turn and disturb the seeds every few days to ensure air flows evenly over the whole seed so that it can dry entirely.
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How Should You Store Hollyhock Seeds?
When you are ready to store your seeds, prepare some paper envelopes for them.
Write the name of the variety and the harvesting date on this envelope so you can easily tell what is in it the following year.
Then, tip a small number of seeds into each envelope, or distribute one seed into each if you prefer.
You can also store the seeds in a glass jar, but it’s best to avoid plastic containers.
Once the seeds are in their envelopes, place them in an airtight container.
You can also consider including a silica gel packet to further absorb moisture and prevent the seeds from getting damp.
With this finished, you can put the seeds in either your fridge or your freezer, and they should keep well.
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How Long Do Hollyhock Seeds Last?
If you store them in a cool place, hollyhock seeds can last for a surprising amount of time – some remain viable for as long as nine years after storage.
But, if you keep your seeds in the freezer, they will generally last better than in the fridge.
So, if you want a long-term storage solution, make sure you put them in the freezer.
Additionally, it’s worth noting that the longer you store your seeds, the fewer will germinate.
Thus, it’s better to use them up every year or every couple of years and harvest more, rather than keeping the same seed stock for a long time.
However, if you do find some old hollyhock seeds, it may be worth trying to germinate them, even if you think they are past the point of growing.
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Harvesting and saving hollyhock seeds is a straightforward process, and you can do it with almost no equipment – just some paper envelopes and an airtight container.
Overall, harvesting and storing seeds is a great way to enjoy these beautiful plants year after year, so it’s well worth having a go at it.