How to Collect Dahlia Seeds

How to Collect Dahlia Seeds

Its been a busy summer with lots of out-of-town company so things kind of got behind in the garden. To my surprise, I went to water my Dahlias and saw that the finished flowers had not only turned brown but had almost a papery feel. I am usually pretty good at deadheading Dahlias as I want them to keep producing flowers. I showed hubby the spent flower as I cut it off the plant to tidy it up. The petals had fallen apart in my hand. There was what looked like a seed inside the petal. I normally propagate my plants vegetatively by dividing tubers. This is the easiest way to increase your plants. The idea of growing Dahlias from  seed intrigued me. I needed a challenge.

how to collect dahlia seeds

I asked my friends on twitter if they could be grown from seed. My friend, Joseph Tychonievich, encouraged me to try growing from seed. He is the author of the book, ‘Plant Breeding for the Home Gardener’. I have read his book and it inspired me to think out of the box. If you look at the photo above, this is what the finished flower looked like when I brought it inside. Each petal is now papery thin and inside each one is a dark seed.

how to collect dahlia seeds

I pulled each petal off the main part of the flower and placed them on  some paper towel. Using something white to place seeds on just made it easier to see them.

How to collect dahlia seeds

I carefully went through each piece and here you can see how the seed is attached to the base of the petal.

How to collect dahlia seeds

Out of three blooms I have over sixty seeds which means I could have sixty new Dahlias next year. Will they look the same as the mother plant that I took the seeds from? They could be different. The seeds came from a Dahlia by the name of Alpen Cherub, a collarette type which the bees love. It’s a soft white but Dahlias can be cross pollinated by insects so it may be completely different next year. I had a dark purple coloured collarette Dahlia close by so maybe it will have some difference in the colour. I won’t know until next year.

how to collect dahlia seeds



This is all I had left after the seeds were picked off. I am excited to try this new growing method with my Dahlias. I may just get a new plant in the future, who knows?

23 thoughts on “How to Collect Dahlia Seeds

      1. Did your new dahlias produce tubers? Would you mind posting a pic of the seed producer blossom and the new “baby” blossom. I am new with dahlias and very interested in seeing the difference. Thanks.

        1. Hi Linda, Yes, the new dahlia from seed produced tubers. I came across a unique dahlia from the white one I grew from seed so will post about it soon. It may be a keeper.

  1. Thank you so much for showing pictures. I grew Dahlias this year for my son’s wedding. First time. I bought dinner plate bulbs and a month since the wedding they keep blooming. Afraid nothing would come, I bought a few annuals early on that are smaller and bushier but hardy and very appealing. I heard I could harvest seeds. I will follow your pictures. Now if only I had another October wedding. I am carting flowers to everyone almost like zucchini but, I suspect, more appreciated.

    1. Miriam, I am glad to hear you are having success with dahlias. They make such great cut flowers. The white flowered dahlia I took seeds from was grown out but it lost the centre fringe of petals. I haven’t grown it out for a third time yet, maybe in 2018. It’s fun to collect seeds and see what we can get.

  2. I’m thrilled to see your page. Yesterday as I cleaned away the dead on my dahlias, I kept what looked like heads. I brought them in and separated them and found the seed. Finding this and your photos affirm what I found. Mine are from Popular Guest and MOTTO, my favorite! I can’t wait to hopefully have more.
    When do I plant the seed and how deep? Do they come up the same year? Central Louisiana is the area, zone 8. Thank you so much for your page!! Happy planting everyone!!!

    1. Brenda, I start my seeds inside in April so they can go out in the garden by the end of May. Planting out depends on your local weather. I plant the seeds about 1/4″ deep in 4″ pots to get the started. They do grow and bloom in the same year. Thanks for dropping by.

  3. The brilliance of the internet/Google!
    I often collect sweet pea seeds and this year I too noticed the dead flowerlike heads seemed to hold seeds. Last year was my first year to have dahlias and I’m a mum of 3 so my garden is a let’s see what happens kind of garden 😉 anyway I ended up with heaps of dahlia plants trying to grow within 1 metre of the original plants… this was my first clue that they must have seeds!
    So I have collected them all this year and thought I better search it before I waste space storing them 🙂 so nice to find your post with suchhh detail and photos!
    Feel confident to hold onto them now, so thank you!

  4. I follow a flower farmer on Instagram and I learned that the seeds will produce different flowers. She described it like a littler of lab puppies, you can a chocolate lab, yellow lab, or black lab all in the same litter. Same mom but all different types of babies. I thought it was very interesting. This is my first year growing dahlias so I’m very excited about the seeds!

    1. Yes its true with the seedling results. I would grow them out, see what you like and toss the ones you don’t like. Over time you may develop a better Dahlia.

  5. I don’t see any seeds from the spent flower I deadheaded. I pulled each petal off and no seed. One website said to wait unti fall to collect the seeds. What time of year did yours show seeds?

    1. Hi Trisha, I wait until the end of the flowering season to collect dahlia seeds. Here thats usually around late September to October. Be sure to leave the spent flowers on the plant for as long as you can so the seed ripens.

  6. Hi, Trisha,
    I love collecting seeds from my plants- and have done very well with my smaller flowering dahlias. I would love to collect the seeds from a dinner plate dahlia but either they don’t make seed pods or they are different looking from the smaller ones. The plant makes a walnut-sized hard ball or nothing and when I pull the ball apart, I don’t see any seeds. Do you have any suggestions?

    1. Hi Melinda, I have had the same issue, not all the dahlia peats have seeds. The seeds should be right in the dried petal. Mine had to go completely dry before I saw the seeds.

  7. Hi! I found the dried seed heads and seeds before looking up how I can grow them. So good to see your site and all the advice you give, most reassuring. Many thanks, I will keep looking for your ideas for other plants. Exciting!

    1. I live in zone 8 in BC so I plant dahlia seeds in late March and usually move them to the garden some time in May. I love dahlias and hope to grow lots next season.

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