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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Seed Saving Purple Coneflowers

Purple coneflowers are great for my area. We can have a frost before Memorial Day. We can have a frost by Labor Day. The purple coneflowers don't care!

The first year the coneflowers bloomed the butterflies showed up.

And the bumble bees too !

I start coneflowers in the Winter of the next planting season. They establish their roots in the first growing season. I don't usually get any blooms. In the 2nd outdoor growing season the plants really take off. They grow even larger with more blooms the next year.

Here is how to seed save purple coneflowers. Here are some purple coneflowers finished for the year.
Close up of one of the seed heads.
Another one.
Another one. You can see the white seeds on top of the seed head.
Remove the seed head from the stem by holding the stem firmly with one hand and pulling the seed head from the stem with the other.

Collect the seed heads in one container.
Bring them inside and let them dry out.
A close up of the seed heads.
Roll your fingers around the seed head. The seeds fall off the seed head. You can see the seeds. They are the white things.
Another close-up. The seeds are easy to separate once they are dry.
Put the seeds in a ventilated container and put them in the refrigerator or a few months. This simulates the cold winter. I will post a blog in a couple of months on seed starting.

They are beautiful, hardy, long blooming flowers!

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