Adventures in Gardening: Harvesting Celosia Seeds

A year ago, a forgotten bundle of dried celosia flowers paved the way to the growing from seed journey that was 2020 for me. I was able to harvest a bunch of seeds from the flowers, all the while not being so sure that it would end up working out. I planted the seeds in the spring thinking that there was a good possibility that none of them would ever sprout. However, sprout they did & the flowers later followed. These were the first plants that I have ever grown from seeds that I harvested myself! It goes without saying that I was so proud of those little flowers & I couldn’t wait to start the process all over again this year.

dried red celosia flower
Here’s one of the celosia flowers that dried & used Christmas decorations. Check out that vibrant red!

Like I said in my drying celosia flowers article, I ended up harvesting the seeds as an experiment last year. For the past few years, I’ve been drying my celosia flowers in the fall so I can use them in Christmas decorations. I ended up harvesting the flowers too late in 2019. They were already browning due to an early cold snap. I hung them to dry anyway, hoping that they would still dry a pretty red color. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen & they ended up drying brown, so I couldn’t use them in my holiday decor. Luckily, I didn’t throw them out immediately & ended up hanging them back up in the garage to be thrown out later. I came across them again a few months later after I had already been bit by the growing from seed bug.

browned & dried celosia flowers
& this is what it looks like when you dry them once they have already started to brown. They turn browner.

I wondered if I would be able to harvest viable seeds from flowers that had dried out months prior. I tried to find information about harvesting from dried celosias in particular, but there really wasn’t a lot of information out there. So, I figured that I had nothing to lose & might as well just give it a try. I was able to shake out a bunch of the tiniest seeds you ever did see. I tried to sort out any extra fluff & saved them in an envelope. I had plans to test them in water to see if they were viable, but I never got around to it. I also planned on writing an article about it last year, but considering that I wasn’t sure it would work, I didn’t want to give out bad advice if it didn’t.

dried celosia petals
A little bit of flower petal shake.

But, you already know by now that it worked! You bet your biddy that I did it all over again this year. Last fall, I clipped a couple of bundles of brilliantly red celosia flowers, dried them to perfection & used them in my Christmas wreaths. I was also able to harvest the rest of the celosia flowers that had already hit brown town. I bundled them up & let them dry upside down in my garage for a few months. Finally, the time came when holiday season was behind me & I had time for a gardening project.

Just like last time, I put down a napkin on my workbench & carefully shook each flower over it. A few of the seeds easily release from the flowers this way. But, I took it a step further & rustled up the flowers with my hand in order to get more seeds. Next up, was pulling the flowers completely apart to get as many seeds as possible. That was a messy endeavor! I pretty much need all of the flower seeds, even if it means that I have to handpick out flower petals & stems. If I’m going to do something then I’m going to make it worth it.

Pile of dried celosia petals
A tiny hill of celosia flower shake.

I was able to get about 130 seeds this year! Far more than I was able to harvest last year. I poured all of them in a labeled envelope & put them in a cool, dry place with all of the rest of the seeds that I saved this year. I can’t wait to plant them, spring can’t come soon enough over here! This means that I repurposed every single celosia flower that I grew in 2020. All of them were either reused in Christmas decorations or were used to harvest seeds. Furthermore, the celosia flowers that I will grow this year will be grown from seeds that I harvested from flowers that were grown from seeds that I harvested! What a mouthful! Basically, the 2021 celosia flowers will be the grandflowers of the 2019 flowers. How fun is that?!?!

celosia seeds
Some of the teeny tiny celosia seeds.

Hopefully, this taught you a thing or two about not only harvesting celosia seeds, but also giving a gardening project a go even if you have your doubts. It’s always worth a try, especially if the project won’t cost you a cent. Gardening, after all, is just one colossal experiment where you just learn as you go. Who cares if you fail? Success doesn’t exist without failure anyway. Go ahead & take that gardening leap! Happy gardening, everyone!

7 thoughts on “Adventures in Gardening: Harvesting Celosia Seeds

  1. I’m always surprised by how many celosia volunteers I get in my borders each year. Most of them resemble their parents, but occasionally there is an odd one, because I do grow a variety of celosias. I don’t save seed because I want what I want, not oddities, since space is at a premium. When I was a flower grower commercially, I did save the seed of the huge Amish deep red giants, that often became the size of basketballs!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This made me smile. I also enjoy growing plants from seed. Flowers are particularlh nice. We had celosias last year, too, but they did not live long! Sad, because it would have been nice to collect seeds, just as you have. Oh well, maybe next time.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m sorry, but I don’t have any experience growing celosias in boggy conditions. Maybe try growing them in hanging baskets that drain quickly? That way they won’t have to sit in water.

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