The seed pods of a hosta have dried and turned brown. Some have even cracked open and are waiting for a hard rain or strong wind to knock the seeds to the ground.
Many plants are getting ready to drop seeds this time of the year in an effort to perpetuate the species.
It's fun to save seeds, plant them next season and see what sprouts.
Every plant has a different time and way to distribute its seeds.
There are two basic plant types, hybrid and open pollinated. Hybrid seeds might be sterile and won't produce the same plant, it reverts to a parent. OP seeds will produce something almost identical as the plant which it was saved from.
Sometimes hybrid seeds can sprout something interesting. In the case of the hosta, one of those seeds could create a brand new cultivar. That's what I hope anyway. In the past, my seedlings always look identical to the plant I've saved the seeds from.
It's easy enough to see that this hosta is ripe for the picking. Examine each species in an effort to harvest seeds just before the plant drops them. Seeds are living, breathing organisms, it's important they are mature. When they are, it insures the seed will have what ti needs to produce a plant next year.
I'll gently pick apart the hosta seed pods, dropping the black seeds into a paper bag.
Storage might be the most important aspect of seed saving besides maturity. It's imperative the seeds stay dry after being harvested.
After dropping into the paper bag, the seeds are brought inside, allowed to dry and then put into small paper envelopes.
Those envelopes are then put into a glass mason jar. Each one of my jars has silica gel in the bottom to be sure the seeds remain dry.
The jars are stored in the basement where they stay cool and it's dark.
Each species has different requirements for germinating. Some need a period of cold, others need it to be dark and some want light to sprout.
The hostas will be sown in late winter under lights. I'll know what I have as soon as they sprout. It's fun to tell garden visitors "those were started from seed."
I also love to give away seedlings.
Take a look around your garden and find some seeds to save, it's fun and you might discover the next great variety.