Zinnias are beautiful perennial plants that sport amazing flowers that come in a wide variety of colors, including pink, yellow, purple and orange. You will find that when you grow them in your garden, you will want to grow more flowers in the future. This can easily be done by collecting seeds from your existing zinnias, and you can save them for future use. This is a great way to produce more plants as well as save yourself a few trips to the nursery, not to mention money.
When your zinnias are beginning to fade in preparation for the dormant season, you can collect seeds from the flowers. Wait until the flowerheads have completely dried out from your healthy plants. You can use a small pair of scissors or your thumb and forefinger to pull the flowerheads from their stems. This should easily come off of the plant if it is ready for harvesting.
Once you have your zinnia flowerheads off of their stems, you can then crumple them on a piece of paper or even a plate. This will loosen the zinnia seeds from the cone area, which is located behind the flower petals. Check for still more seeds at the petals' bases. You can easily distinguish the seeds by their arrowhead appearance, and their fuzzy coating.
After you have all of the seeds, you should remove all the debris from them. You can do this by hand or place them in a container that has tiny holes and set it before a fan so that the matter can be blown off of the zinnia seeds. Afterward, you can spread the seeds on newspaper or in an open paper bag and store them in a cool, dark area so that they can dry. This should take around one to two weeks.
Once the zinnia seeds are dry, you can then move them, still in their paper bag, into a container with a lid sealed on top. Add a desiccant or silica to the container to retain the dryness and store everything in your refrigerator until you plant the seeds.