Saving lobelia seed

willwillis(5b)

Hello, this is my first post on here. I have been following this site forever though. I bought a few cardinal flower plants this year. One died, one is still a rosette and one did really well. It is covered with seed pods. They have taken forever to dry down. They are beside a pond in a protected location from wind and under a large oak tree. I guess this is contributing to the slow ripening of the seeds but from reading another thread on here it is also the nature of the plant. I don't want to dig the plant up or stress the plant because I have read cardinal flowers don't really tolerate that. Does anyone have any ideas. It's getting pretty late here and I'm afraid I won't get any viable seed. There are about fifty pods on the plant. About five look dry. Of those five I stripped a couple off and the seeds were formed but very wet. Thanks for any help. Willie

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Iris GW

At some point you can cut off the top of the stalk (where the pods are) and put that in paper bag to let them finish drying. The bag will capture any seeds that fall out during the process.

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willwillis(5b)

Thanks that's good advice we are supposed to get some rain soon I will be sure to do that before then

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Iris GW

Leave the top of the bag open for good air circulation. I use one of those large paper grocery bags.

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willwillis(5b)

Hi I wanted to update this. That method worked great I have plants to replace the ones I lost this past winter. I'm hoping this winter will be a little more mild than the last. Thanks again

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Wildflowergma

Hi Willie, Here is some information I received concerning Cardinal Flower. Don't let all your Cardinal Flowers go to seed. Once your plants have finished blooming cut off most of the flower stalks, but leave the stalk on some of your plants to retain the seed for future plantings. After about 3 years or so, if plants are allowed to go to seed each year, they will die out.

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