Most gardeners on their own backyards prefer to plant ornamental plants such as marigolds. It is enough to just plant them and take care of them - they are not at all demanding to care for. Therefore, once having planted these plants, many are wondering how to acquire planting material for the next season. And here the question arises about the correct collection of marigold seeds and whether it is possible to do it yourself.
Marigolds are mainly annual plants, therefore, to preserve the extraordinary decorative effect of the flower, you need to make very little time and effort, following the recommendations and rules of experienced florists to collect seeds. And then good shoots with the preservation of all varietal characteristics are guaranteed to you.
What the seed looks like: photo
Formation of marigold seeds occurs in the basket, which consists of a blooming bud and sepals. When such a basket is opened, you can see black, light-edged, elongated, thin seeds.
Such a rather unusual appearance of the seeds makes it easy to distinguish them from the planting material of other plants.
Look at the photo, they look like black oblong sticks with a white tip. The seed basket is located in the very center of the dried bud.
Since seed germination lasts for 4 or more years, flowers can be sown independently.
In the case of unauthorized dispersal, all breeding characteristics and decorative features of a particular variety are lost.
When can you collect?
In order to harvest quality seed correctly, you need to know when to do it best. Marigolds bloom in June and end their flowering at the first frost. From flowering to the moment when the seeds become fully ripe, it takes 40-45 days.
The advantage of this plant is that its flowers do not bloom all at the same time, but gradually. Therefore, if the gardener was unable to collect the seed from the first buds, it can be collected from the next batch of inflorescences.
It is very important to wait until the seeds are fully ripe, that is, they become hard and dark. In an immature form, they cannot be stored and there will be no seedlings from them.
As the inflorescences wither, a basket of seeds gradually forms on the plant. It is a very flat black-brown (less often black) fruit. One such basket contains a huge number of seeds - 270-700 pieces.
To collect ripe seed in the fall, or rather, in late September - early October, you must carefully observe the behavior of plants. When the petals begin to dry, and the cups become much lighter and become beige, you should start harvesting the seeds.
How to do it?
Summer residents' forums are full of questions about how to collect seed for marigolds. It is not difficult enough to do this, and even an inexperienced amateur gardener can cope with such a task. You only need a small plastic bowl to collect the seed. If you plan to collect raw buds, it will not be superfluous to get scissors. There are two ways to collect marigold seeds: outdoors (directly from the bush) and at home.
Let's consider each of these methods:
- Outside. Dried seed pods should be torn off the stems by hand and put into a container. After that, the collected material is scattered for drying. However, the task can be greatly simplified. The seed pods are gently opened with the fingers, and the seeds themselves are shaken out into the container. At the same time, the boxes themselves remain on the bushes. The latter method allows you to significantly save time for cleaning the seed.
- At home. If it is not possible to collect seed material directly from the bushes, you can use the following method: without waiting for the complete wilting of the bush, the stems are cut from it along with the seed pods, tied in bunches and suspended indoors. It is better if it is a shaded place where direct sunlight does not fall.
It is necessary to spread paper or cloth under the suspended bunches so that when the seed pods dry, the spilling seeds fall exactly there and it is easier to collect them.
If not all the seeds have spilled out of the boxes, the first ones can be slightly wrinkled with your fingers or lightly knocked with dry stems on a table covered with a cloth or paper.
From the video you will learn how to collect marigold seeds:
How to prepare for storage?
In order to preserve the planting material until the next season, it must be properly prepared. Incorrectly prepared marigold seeds have the property of becoming moldy, rotting and, thereby, becoming unusable.
Proper preparation is as follows:
- The largest seeds should be selected, which are more likely to give excellent shoots for the next season, and the plants from them will be healthier and stronger.
- The seeds calibrated in this way should be immersed in a solution prepared from a liter of not cold water and one spoon (table) salt. Keep them there for 2 hours. Empty seeds will float, good ones will remain at the bottom. The floating instances must be removed.
- The specimens that have settled to the bottom should be washed with clean warm water and dried thoroughly in the fresh air.
Do not dry seeds with an oven or other heating devices. They will simply deteriorate and will not sprout. The seed is ready for storage.
How to store at home?
Storing targetes seeds (the botanical name for marigolds) is very simple and does not require any complicated techniques. It is enough to follow these steps:
- Pack the planting material in paper bags. If it does not matter to you what color or height the plants will be in the flowerbed, you can pour all the seeds of the targetes into one bag.
- On each of the paper bags with seed, make inscriptions in which the date of collection, the variety and the main distinguishing features of the plant should be indicated.
As you can see, the storage process is extremely simple. However, there are several more fairly important recommendations that allow you to achieve 100% safety:
- Do not store seed in plastic containers, plastic bags or other similar packaging.
During storage, seeds need to "breathe".
- Maximum safety is achieved at a temperature of 12-15 degrees above zero.
- Warm and humid air is harmful when storing seeds. Therefore, the humidity in the room where they are stored must be lowered, and the air must be fresh.
- The shelf life should not be exceeded. In marigolds, depending on the variety, they are from 4 to 6 years old.
In order for the shrub to please you with a long and beautiful flowering, there are a few more important rules to remember:
- Marigolds of different varieties should be planted as far apart as possible. Otherwise, they will mutually pollinate and the result will be an unsightly hybrid.
- When the plant has bloomed, it is necessary to notice in advance the buds you especially like and leave them specially for the seeds.
- When the flowering is over and the seed pod is fully formed, you need to wait for dry and clear weather, and only under such weather conditions can you start harvesting. If the rainy season has come, the plant is cut by the root and dried indoors.
- The collected material must be carefully disposed of from existing debris, rinsed and dried thoroughly.
Having familiarized yourself with the nuances of collecting seed material for targetes (marigolds), you can make sure that this process is very, very not complicated, and the seeds collected independently are no worse in quality than purchased ones.