Although harvesting the seeds of carnations is a rather simple task, but the high market value of flowers mostly leads to the removal of the flowers much before the maturation of seeds.
The flowers need to be left on the plant for a while in order to harvest the seeds. An even better alternative is to identify certain plants if one has access to many or to allocate a few stalks of a plant for this purpose.Therefore, the preliminary step towards the harvesting of carnation seeds is to identify and mark those plants or flowers that would be utilized for the purpose. As a precautionary measure against callous cutting of these reserved pieces, a ribbon or a string could be tied around the same. Some people prefer using spray paint as an identification mark for the plant or flower isolated for harvest of seeds. Once the chosen flowers are in bloom, they have to be allowed to dry. Preventive measures need to be taken against any damage caused to the seeds through strong winds. A bag can come handy to secure the flower heads from losing the seeds to the wind.
Once the drying process is complete, the flower heads can be cut and brought indoors to eliminate the risk factor of wind. The flowers should be laid on a table covered with any paper. The table is covered to avoid littering the place with the flower remains left after the seeds are obtained. The actual process of collecting the seeds from the flowers is rather easy. All it requires is to rub or roll the carnations flower heads between the fingers or hands. Along with the petals falling apart, the seeds also gather in one’s hands or pile up the table.
The harvested seeds can be packaged in a Ziploc bag, small paper or plastic bag, empty film canister or small container. The bag or container used for storage of seeds should be marked with the name of the plant and other details such as the color of the flowers and date of harvest. It is advisable to use a permanent marker or whiteout pen on the plastic bag or film canister respectively. Labels could also be used to mark paper or plastic bags of storage.
There are certain factors that can help to ensure good harvesting of seeds. The flower heads should be properly dried before commencing with the process of harvesting. Wet flower heads end up rotting instead of producing seeds. Also, it must be kept in mind that all seeds may not reproduce due to hybridization. Due to the same reason, at times, seeds propagate flowers dissimilar in color to the parent plant.
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