Can i keep deadheaded Dianthus heads to harvest seeds?

Hi all

i have a gorgeous, but small, scarlet red dianthus plant and i would love to keep the seeds and grow lots more of these next year.  I have been saving all the flower heads after deadheading them for last few weeks but will these dead heads still ripen fully and produce the dark seeds i need for germination? At the mo the seeds are more cream coloured so not ripe Yet.

any advice on where i should store the flower heads (greenhouse or airing cupboard?),  when the seeds should be ready to extract etc... would be great imageimage


  • waterbuttswaterbutts Posts: 1,221

    I'm not sure if your seeds would come true to the original, though you might get something wonderful and new.

    It's not difficult to take cuttings of the plant that you have and like already. Just pull off a happy looking bit, strip the lower leaves off it and push it into some gritty soil.image

  • BerghillBerghill Posts: 2,805

    Unless the seeds were already formed then they will not mature in removed flower heads. Since you get a lot of seeds from  just one Dianthus flower, then why not just leave few on the plant to ripen proprerly ?

    Storage is easy, once dry, put the seeds in an envelope and store in the Salad compartment of a fridge. Or, sow them straight away. They normally germinate within a couple of days and will survive the winter as long as they do not get too wet or frozen solid.

    As said hybrids do not come true and a fair number do not set seed at all. Cuttings are the only way to get true plants.

  • tattiannatattianna Posts: 174

    I took 12 cuttings from my bright red Dianthus on 6 June this year and all of them are potted up and growing beautifully. I seem to remember they rooted withing  a week or so...believe me if I can be sucessful with cuttings like this then I'm sure anyone can do it image

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 11,092

    If you want the plants to be the same then I would take cuttings (pipings). they root easily in  sandy compost at this time of year.

    It's not a mess, it's a nature reserve.
  • Hi all, can i get some more advice with taking some cuttings, what size cutting should i be taking?? will each cutting grow into its own full plant? And should i use rooting powder?

    thanks again chaps!

  • Ooh and also where should i keep my cuttings? greenhouse? Kitchen windowsill? Outside?


  • tattiannatattianna Posts: 174

    All I did was take non flowering stems about 4 inches long,

    Strip most of the leaves off leaving a bare stalk but make sure to leave about 5-6 leaves at the top and dip the bottom in a little bit of rooting power.

    Put them against the wall of a pot containing multi purpose compost and cover with a clear plastic bag to keep the moisture in and leave them to do their thing.

    I kept mine outside in a bright spot but not in direct sun and as I said within a week or so they began to root. 

    I potted them on into individual 3" pots just over a week ago and they're doing great. Each cutting will be an individual plant. 

    Give it a go. It's really easy. I've also done lots of lavander cuttings this way too. 


  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 11,092

    I would mix in some grit or perlite with the compost to increase drainage. If the cuttings compost holds too much water the cuttings can rot before rooting.

    It's not a mess, it's a nature reserve.
  • BerghillBerghill Posts: 2,805

    And remember the golden rule about cuttings, ONE never roots, SIX, all of them do. image

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,029


    Berghill wrote (see)

    And remember the golden rule about cuttings, ONE never roots, SIX, all of them do. image


    Or in my case 6 of them all don't. I'll get the hang of one day.


  • Brilliant replies again everyone, i will get cracking with some cuttings tomorrow and hopefully should have lots of nice flowers to see me through the remainder of summer And to collect seed from for next year!



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