How to Save Hosta Seeds from the Garden

How to Save Hosta Seeds from the Garden

Today I am going to show you how to save Hosta seeds from your garden. Hostas are such great plants for the garden. They are often grown for their foliage and are amazing plants for the shade garden. Many people cut off the flowers on their Hosta plants as they prefer them for their foliage. If you are a seed saver you may want to leave the flowers on as nature intended. Behind each Hosta flower is a seed pod waiting to be explored.

How to Save Hosta Seeds from the Garden

Above is a flower stalk from one of my Hosta plants. Now that August is here many of the flowers are starting to dry up on the plants leaving behind the green pods. Each pod contain a few Hosta seeds. The pods above are too green to harvest the seeds so I will place them in a paper bag and let them dry. The seed pods need to be a tan colour and dry before harvesting your seeds.

How to Save Hosta Seeds from the Garden

When the pods are dry you will need to be very careful when opening them as the seeds are paper thin and break easily. Above you can see black Hosta seeds which are about 1/4″ long. I will place the seeds on a saucer to dry for a few days before planting. What’s important when growing Hostas from seed is to use fresh seed. This seed will be planted in early September so that the plant can get its root system developed before going into winter. If the winter is cold I will bring my seedlings into a protected area such as a greenhouse or cold frame. Plant each seed into a 4″ pot filled with moistened seed starter mix. In a couple of weeks you should see tiny Hosta seedlings germinate.

How to Save Hosta Seeds from the Garden

By starting your seeds now you will have a good sized plant next year. Above is a seedling from Hosta ‘Empress Wu’ which is a large plant growing to six feet across. When I saw it produced seed I had to try to grow the seeds out. This plant isn’t even a year old and it’s eight inches across and fills a one gallon pot.

How to Save Hosta Seeds from the Garden

I picked the seeds shown in the video below from this variegated Hosta. Will the resulting plants be the same? Maybe not as this plant has probably been hybridized and comes from two different parent plants. So I may end up with a Hosta that isn’t the same but that’s okay. I will still have a new Hosta. If you want to get exactly the same plant it’s best to dig and divide your Hostas this month. Division of plants always gives you the exact same plant as the original one. Its fun to experiment with seeds. If the plant isn’t the same maybe it will be one you can name yourself.

This week I started doing some live videos on seed saving over on my¬†That Bloomin Garden Facebook page. I think the hardest part about seed saving is finding the seeds. It takes time to figure out where the seeds are produced on each plant so I will continue to share my techniques. Why save seeds? All I can say is free plants, that’s a good thing.

10 thoughts on “How to Save Hosta Seeds from the Garden

  1. Can you divide a Hosta by talking a clump from one end rather than digging it up. I have a huge Hosta in a good position and would really like to leave it in the ground but just reduce its size at one end.

    Thank you

    1. Hi David, yes you can dig up a bit of Hosta from one end. I have done that but in the first year you may only get a couple of leaves. It may take a few years to fill out. Its hard to dig up large Hostas so I can totally relate.

        1. I would start the hosta seeds inside and transplant in the spring. I’m in zone 8 and start most seeds inside. It gives them a better chance.

    1. Hosta seeds don’t need a cold period or stratification to germinate. Let the seed dry on the plant and them collect it. It can be planted right away or stored until spring.Since most Hostas are hybrids the seeds will take on the characteristics of one of the parent plants. Mine turned out to be a green leaved Hosta with nice ribbing.

    1. I’ve read that hosta seeds should be planted while fresh so a fall planting in a small pot should work best. They are pretty hardy plants but I recall bringing my seedlings into the greenhouse during cold spells. I keep my seeds in a cool dry place once the seeds are throughly dry.

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