Things You'll Need
Phlox (Phlox paniculata L.) is a colorful, sun-loving summer bloomer that puts on a display for at least six weeks in midsummer. Phlox is available in pastels such as pink and lavender, and more intense shades of red, purple, rose and white. Some varieties are bicolors and some have a sweet scent. Saving seeds from phlox at the end of the season isn't difficult, and the harvested phlox seeds can be planted in your flower garden the following spring.
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Allow a few phlox blooms to remain on the plant when the flowers begin to fade at the end of summer. Choose blooms from healthy phlox plants.
Leave the phlox alone until the petals drop off and the seed pod located behind the petals shrivels and turns brown. Don't leave the seed pods too long, as the pod can break and expel the seeds on the ground.
Snip the seed pods from the plant and drop the pods into a paper sack. Place the sack in a warm, well-ventilated place until the seeds are completely dry. If the seeds are dry, they break when you poke them with your fingernail. If the seeds are soft, they aren't dry enough.
Pour the contents of the bag onto a pie plate and and break open the pods. Pick out any large pieces of leaves, petals or stems.
Place the phlox seeds in a paper envelope. Write the name, date and color of the plant on the envelope, then store the seeds in a dark, well-ventilated spot until you plant them in the next growing season.
M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing.