Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ghetto Windowsill Gardener Finds Petunia Seeds

A few weeks ago I showed you pictures of my girlfriends petunias, and my spider plants. As you may have noticed, the petunias were in bloom, and when a plant is in bloom, it usually means that the plant will produce seeds (if it is a self seeding plant). I wasn't sure if petunias fell into this category, until I found proof.

Now, just to remind you of how the petunias look like (pink) here is a picture:

And as you can tell, I am growing the plant on the windowsill, and it seems to be doing well (although I break branches by mistake every once in a while). I water the petunia every other day (as needed), although I forgot to water it for a few days. The plant reacts quickly to drought. I have noticed its leaves drooping, and leaves closer to the base of the plant (older leaves) turning wrinkly and drying out.

I have also been informed by Ernie DeMarie in my previous post, that these plants are prone to being attacked by spider mites! Ever since that information I have been vigilantly looking at the plant closely, to ensure no herbivores graze upon my girlfriends precious petunias.

These petunias are also important because of where we got them. They were obtained during an event at UVM, during our last year at the University. The ALANA student center put on an event and there was a petunia at each table. The people who put on the event told the people who were at the event that if we wanted the plants, we could take them home. Donna (my girlfriend) did. So now I have to take care of it.

While closely examining the plant one day I noticed a small dried seed pod.

I am actually surprised that I did not find this seed pod earlier, being that I was looking so hard, but I did find it, and I decided (after realizing there were seeds in it) to put it in a zip lock bag.

Now before people start shouting like mad in the comments section and start sending me emails about how paper bags were best for storing seeds, I must say, I KNOW. I know paper bags help keep the moisture out, and so if I use them I could have greater seed viability. I know that seeds in plastic bags are more prone to fungal attack. And lastly, I know that small paper bags are better because they are easier to store and write on, than big zip lock bags. The reason I used a ziplock bag is because I have no money for paper bags, and because this is Jonathan's Ghetto Windowsill gardening, I have to improvise whenever possible.

So I took a sharpie to a ziplock bag and threw it in my small fridge. Since that day, looking for petunia seeds on the windowsill has been a common occurrence. I have been storing all the seeds in one bag, however if you have the money I recommend putting the seeds in small paper bags, which are easier to label and store, and will protect your seeds better. I have been getting so many seeds that I actually made a video about it:

So there you have it. Nail clipping off the petunia seed pods, and opening them up to obtain the seeds was fun, now if only I had some way to grow them (and possibly) sell them. I am willing to let small plantlets go for cheap, and if you want a bare root spider plant, I am willing to sell them (I have about 20). Please contact me at

Now, I know I promised you all an update on my big spider plant, but that would just have to wait a bit more. You would never come back to read my blog if I gave you everything you wanted now. So stay tuned, more plant updates coming soon!


  1. Hit me up for some actual seed envelopes, I use the coin envelopes from Staples for my seeds. But be careful not to show them in your area, some of your less than friendly neighbors probably use the same envelopes for various sorts of white powders!

  2. You can fold seed envelopes from any brown paper grocery store bag, and close them with a bit of masking tape. I used to save petunia seed too. In Brooklyn ages ago we had "wild petunias" that were bright fuchsia in color, they self-seeded all over the neighborhood in any patch of dirt.

  3. Hi there!
    I actually cut every envelope that comes in my mail box - in half. The unopened end - I use for seed saving. The opened end, I cut entirely open and use for scrap paper. If I run out of envelopes, I tape the scrap paper into pockets for my seed saving!
    Cheers and keep up the great work!