Harvesting Bluebonnet Seeds

One of the best parts about living in Central Texas is the beautiful wildflower season.  Every family tries to get out and get their “perfect” bluebonnet family photo.  In my attempt to grow what works here, I’ve been trying to add bluebonnets to my garden.

So I started off with planting a few seedlings in the Fall a few years ago.  They made it through a really cold Winter and I had a great crop of flowers in the Spring!  The next Fall I was lazy and didn’t plant.  Luckily, my previous crop had dropped seeds and I had a spotty collection of bluebonnets.  In order to concentrate them, I decided to harvest the seeds.

I spent hours slaving away at popping out all those mini seeds and gave up when I was only a third of the way through the pile – this was tough work!  So I let the pods sit on my work bench, you know, like for four months.

And I made a wonderful discovery.

Nature doesn’t need any help from me!  The seed pods had popped open by themselves and blew seeds not only all over my workbench, but half my garage as well.  It was as if I’d decided to pop popcorn on the stove, left the lid off and just walked away.  In short, a giant mess.

So after a bit of clean up, I only had a few pods that I needed to remove the remaining seeds – what a bumper crop!  Now I only use the lazy method for harvesting seeds.

I collect all the seed pods when they turn a light brown, but haven’t opened.  If you shake them you can hear the little seeds rattling around in there.  Then I throw them all into a paint tray.

(You can see a few of the pods have already opened in this picture – these have been sitting for a few days)  I cover the paint tray with another upside down paint tray, making sure to leave a little breathing room.  

You don’t want to put them in a plastic bag!  I tried that once and they got all moldy because there wasn’t enough air circulation.  Yuck!

Now walk away and forget about them.

When you return days or weeks later, you’ll find this.

lovely, lovely little seeds at the bottom of the tray!  Throw the seed pods into the other tray and collect these lovelies from the bottom.  What a haul! 

Take these right out to the garden!  This is when nature plants, so this is when you should plant your seeds too.  The bluebonnet had a tough shell and it needs the hot heat of a Texas summer to crack it.

Now just later, rinse and repeat.  Put the now empty tray lid back on the seed pods and check it again in a few weeks.  After a few cycles, most of the seed pods will be opened.  You can do the rest by hand or just decide you’ve done enough hard work 🙂

Then sit back and wait.  The seeds should sprout in the Fall and make wonderful bluebonnets for the Spring!

–Martta

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2 thoughts on “Harvesting Bluebonnet Seeds

  1. Thanks so much for sharing this easy method of harvesting Bluebonnet seeds!! As a native Texan, this is one of my favorite flowers and now it will be easier to increase them in my garden.

  2. Pingback: How to Harvest Bluebonnet Flower Seeds | The Homestead Survival

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