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collecting seeds from a double variety - do you get that variety when you sow it?

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
by tashmoo on July 22, 2006 01:53 PM
i love collecting seed, but have alot of specific varieties and i am confused about what plant I am going to get when i sow the seeds. for example, i have madame butterfly double snaps - if i collect seed from these plants will i get doubles again, will the color range be there? also perennials, i have delphiniums and double platycodons i want to collect seed from and sow. am i better off buying seed from a seed company to make sure i get the specific variety i want???
thanks, mara
by tkhooper on July 22, 2006 02:32 PM
Well of course if you by from a reputable seller you can be reasonably sure of what you are going to get.

Using your own seeds is a bit more risky, but for some of us more fun to. Although it can be disappointing.

If you only plant yellow snapdragons then you can be assured that your seeds will produce yellow snapdragons. But if you plant a bed of snapdragons of all different colors then any seed pod may produce any color. Or at least that's the way I understand it.

Plants do have to be closely related in order to cross breed. So if you have sunflowers and snapdragons you don't have to be worried about cross breeding because the types of plants are to different.

Hope that helps. Someone with much much more experience will come by and help you much much more I'm sure.

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by tashmoo on July 23, 2006 04:21 AM
thanks again tkhooper! that helps me with color, but do you know how it works when you are trying to reproduce specific varieties. for example, i want double snap dragons, i want my a specific variety of queen annes lace ("white dill" - i assume queen anne varieties can cross breed but maybe if i keep the native variety away from my cuts????), i want double platycodon, etc.. sorry to be beating this subject to death. i'm scared to rely on my own seed collection and have poor results and then lose out on an important cut flower. i'll probably collect & buy seed and try to keep track of the results... thanks again, mara
by tkhooper on July 23, 2006 10:34 AM
I believe it's something like 200 feet of separation needed. But the best way to make sure they breed true is to hand polinate those flowers you are going to use as breeders for next years crop. And then tag and net those plants so you know which ones they are. And you keep pollinators away from it.

The same way a breeder would with hybrids they are working on.

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by Longy on July 23, 2006 12:15 PM
I only have a basic understanding of this stuff, but with hybrid plants, it may depend on their hybridization whether or not they will seed 'true to type'. It's a luckydip. Also, there are F1 breeds which can only be reproduced by specific crossing of two others. So, in short, if your plants are hybrids, the first generation may throw back to one of the parent varieties. If they are F1 hybrids, then they most certainly will throw back to some other variety. Possibly just some mongrel strain which has crap flowers or whatever. Seed saving clubs save heirloom varieties and these are the best for home gardeners to save. You know they will breed true to type. I'm sure there you could find a seed saver network you could access for your seed which you can then save for future years. They often operate on mail order and have catalogues etc. I use one for my vegie seeds and am now saving seed from a few pumpkins, tomatoes and others.

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The secret is the soil.
by tkhooper on July 24, 2006 12:37 AM
Thankyou so much for the information. You are super Longy.

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by netwiz on July 24, 2006 01:20 PM
Does this mean my coneflower seed pods might not be the color of the attached plant because I have several colors planted together? It never occurred to me that it could pollinate with neighboring plants. Next spring could be interesting!

Joanne
by tkhooper on July 24, 2006 04:17 PM
I think that is what it means. The best way to be sure is of course to research each type of plant individually. But I know for sure it is true of the zinnias. They just didn't stay the same color as their parents at all.

I hope you get some pretty ones.

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by netwiz on July 25, 2006 04:13 AM
Thanks Tk, you are always so helpful!

Joanne

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