Saving Seed

You can save seed from all types of plants but this is how I save seed from Dahlias, with photos.

  1. First you need to choose the flower you are going to save the seed from. This is a Collerette type Dahlia. The bees love this type of flower with the big yellow centre.
  1. As the flower gets past its best (old) let the petals drop out or take them out yourself. Leave them on the plant.
  2. Leave them on the plant until all the petals are removed from the old flower head.
  1. Keep squeezing the old flower head to get all the water out of the head. This will help it to dry.
  1. If you are interested in Dahlias and like to know what Dahlia you have saved the seed from, put a label on the stem with the name of the Dahlia before you cut of the plant. Cut the stem as long as if you are going to cut it to put in a vase about 16inch long. Then leave for 2 weeks then you are ready to take the seed from this dry head.
  1. This is a collection of seed heads ready to have the seed removed from them.
  1. Here you can see the black seed taken out of the seed head ready to be packed into seed packets with the name and type of Dahlia you have saved the seed from. By saving seed this way you do not know the type of Dahlia you are going to have for the following year.

As we say: if you save seed from a dahlia it will not come true to the flower you saved the seed from, to put the name of dahlia you saved the seed from is a reference to see if that dahlia will give you a good new type of dahlia, that is how we get new types. Some types do not give good flowers so you have to select good seed parents. The bees do the pollinating, they transfer pollen from one dahlia to another, that is cross-pollinating. The only way you can build your stock of a dahlia you like is to split the tuber up once dug up or take cuttings from the tuber in the spring. We take cuttings in the spring to make us tubers to sell the following year. We plant the seed in trays on the 1st April, they will flower about the end of July, if we have any seedlings that flower that look good we will put a label on the stem and save the plant that will make a tuber to grow on for the next year to see how it looks.