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Ultimate Guide to Collecting Dahlia Seeds

Dahlia plants are tuberous perennials that boast different flower forms ranging from peony-like to curled petals.

Even after wilting, Dahlia flowers can offer seeds for later propagation, and you can collect the seeds easily. 

To collect the Dahlia seeds, let the flower mature for four weeks and snip off the dried straw color head. Use the index finger and thumb to separate the seeds from the grouped petals and let them dry over a plate before storing them in a cool, dark place.

A number of dried dahlias head is lying in the container.
The flower head of Dahlia is the seed pod, which stores seed and allows it to develop fully.

Dahlias serve as the symbol of love and beauty, and Egyptians considered them sacred. 

So, if you want to grow Dahlias from seeds, you need to harvest them first, and this article can be the perfect guide for you. 

What Do Dahlia Seeds Look like?

After eight months of planting, Dahlias can have beautiful flowers blooming throughout the summer and autumn.

When the flowers dry up, they produce some seeds. 

Dahlia’s disc floret encloses small seed pellets, thinner from one side and wider from the other. They have a thick and sturdy texture that ultimately turns gray to dark brown over time.

A bulk of dahlias seed is put over a container.
The Dahlias seed can produce tubers at the end of its first growing season.

The seeds remain attached to the flower head when you do not use deadheading in Dahlias after they have wilted.

You can take the help of the table below if you find seeds to distinguish.

Seed AttributesFeatures
ColorLight tan-green in immature state
Grey to dark brown after ripening.
ShapeOval outline with with thinner at one end and wider at the other end
SizeAbout 0.5 inch long
Harvest TimeFall
Weight0.009072 - 0.009080 g
Sowing MethodInside the soil by poking with finger or digging a 0.5 inches deep hole
Seed Sowing Time6 to 8 weeks before the last frost or in the early spring.
Germination Time7 to 12 days after sowing
ToxicityToxic to pets and can be mildly toxic to human if ingested in large amount

The number of seeds you get might vary head to head as some Dahlias have around 4 to 5 seeds while some have 20 to 30 seeds.

When you finish collecting the seeds, you might only focus on using them for the next growing season and beautifying your garden, but Dahlias have more to offer.

Dahlias are rich in fiber which helps in reducing cholesterol levels, losing weight, treating rashes, and lowering pressure.

When to Collect Seeds from Dahlias?

Dahlias undergo fertilization and start producing berries after they have attained maturity within two months of blooming, which is around mid-summer.

After seed formation, it is perfect for collecting the seeds of Dahlia in the late fall when the rays of petals have left the disc.

Dried cut flowers of Dahlias in a red vase
When Dahlias produce seeds, the blooming gets affected.

If you find it difficult to recognize the perfect time, Dahlia shows specific signs that they are ready to shed the seeds.

  • All the ray-like petals of flowers have fallen off.
  • The pod color changes to light tan-green color.
  • Flowers of Dahlias have wilted and have been drooping.
  • The seeds have turned grey to dark brown and have ripened.
  • Some of the petals have dried up, giving a dark brown color.

How to Collect Dahlia Seeds?

The seeds of Dahlias hide between the petals, so you need to be careful and wise while collecting them.

Also, you have to harvest the seeds indoors to prevent the seeds from being lost by the winds. Of course, you should never do it on rainy days, just like I did and regretted it later.

You can follow the steps to make the harvesting successful.

  • Look out for spent flowers showing the signs of drooping and the petals turned to straw color.
  • Use your hand to snip off the head of the dried flowers and the disc floret attached.
  • You can also use shears or scissors to cut off the spent flowers.
  • Put the heads over a plate and start rubbing off the petals gently.
  • The seeds are hidden deep between the papery petals, so be alert while rubbing the heads. Place dried petals in a clear plastic zipper bag and shake it.
Cut stalks with seed pod of Dahlias is kept inn vases containing water
Avoid cutting and harvesting seeds in a dry atmosphere and in a colder zone.
  • Then separate the seeds from the group of petals.

You can also collect seeds if the cut flowers or the pods show symptoms of watery fluid from their flower head.

The flowery heads produce watery fluid when they are on the verge of decay. So it is never a waste to prevent the dying flowers and see if they can give you a fruitful result under proper care.

For that, cut the heads along with the stalks, and keep them in a glass containing water.

Let them dry out by keeping them in a warm place, untouched for four weeks at least. 

Let this video clear your confusion.

How to Store Dahlia Seeds?

You can store Dahlia seeds by letting the seeds attain full maturity for at least a month in the pods or flower heads attached to the plant body.

Take quick instructions if you are struggling to store!

  • Firstly, space out the collected seeds in the plate and allow them to dry.
  • After four to five days of drying, transfer the seeds into storage containers like plastic bags or paper envelopes and jars since the Dahlias seed are viable for only two years.
The seeds of Dahhlia is in a plastic bag and also in a bowl with a single stalk of flower with its pod attached.
You can use the stored seeds for germination by both the paper towel method or directly in the ground in its growing season.
  • To get the best result, try using the paper envelope as it allows the water to dry out and prevents the molding of seeds.
  • Label the bags with a permanent marker with their harvest date to leave no room for confusion.
  • Place the seed in a cool, dry place away from the reach of the water.

You need to keep the storage bag away from the reach of insects and pests. Also, avoid plastic bags as they capture moisture and lead to molding and decaying seeds.

Dahlia Seeds for sale

Do not panic if you are new to growing Dahlias or if your Dahlias have failed to produce seeds.

Look at the links below to buy the best quality seeds of Dahlias.

Sites/ ShopsDelivery Period
AmazonWithin 2 to 3 days after placing an order in fast delivery
Johnny SeedsWithin 1 to 2 days after placing an order
Swallow Tail Garden SeedsWithin 1 to 2 days after placing an order
Eden BrothersWithin 4 to 6 days after placing an order
EtsyWithin 3 weeks after placing an order

Conclusion

A single head of Dahlia flower can provide 20-30 seeds if you have grown the plant successfully.

Leave the flower blooms attached to the plant for one month before the first frost and harvest pods in the late frost.

Moreover, store the seeds in a dark and dry place for the best result in preserving their viability.

If you have also grown Snapdragon plants, check if your plant is ready to harvest.

Keep collecting and enjoy gardening!

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