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When I Collect Climbing Lily Seeds

After your exotic Climbing Lily flower (see link for flower photo) fades you'll see an interesting seed pod develop. The seed pod that a Gloriosa Lilies will produce isn't as colorful or exotic looking as the flower but still is interesting to watch as it develops seeds. Withing a few weeks your seed pod will starting splitting at the bottom exposing round tomato-like fruits that contain the seeds you're looking for if you want to propagate by seeds.

When handling the seeds it may be a good idea to wear gloves as a precaution because all parts of the Climbing Lily are reported to be toxic. When the seed pods on my plants develop I've noticed that the stalks are already on their way to turning yellow or brown and dieing back. At this time I'll gently pull on the stem and see if it separates from the tuber below ground. If it doesn't I'll move the plant to a protected area where it won't get watered and allow it to dry before I lift the tuber for winter storage. If you don't know what to look for below ground in a previous post titled Gloriosa Superba 'Rothschildiana' I added a photo of the tuber to the entry. Once again when handling the tuber it would be a good idea to protect your hands just to be on the safe side. It should take between two and three years for a tuber grown from seeds to reach blooming age.


  1. MBT - very intersting! You seem to have the most interesting plants. How do you decide what to grow?

    I thought of you today when I collected my first Cleome seeds. That was so easy! I wish everything was as easy to identify as these. I have tons of Zinnia but I can't seem to identify the seeds.

  2. Gina,

    I usually decide what I want to grow by looking in books and catalogs. I have a big case of zone denial and am always looking for something different to grow.

    Glad you had luck with the Cleome seeds. Zinnia seeds are pretty easy once you spot them. What you do is wait for the flower to turn brown and then break it apart. The seeds to me look like arrow heads.


    See that link above for a picture of the zinnia seeds I took earlier in the year. If you still need help let me know and I'll post a new pic here.

  3. Anonymous9:14 AM

    Wow! What great pictures! I'm always afraid to grow flowers like this because we have so many cats in the neighborhood who are always willing to chomp on something.

  4. I had to harvest my lily seeds while the pods were still green because the squirrels were also harvesting them! I'm hoping that the seeds ripened alright indoors. We'll find out next spring!

  5. @ann m.

    I know what you mean. I've been worried about that too because there are a couple of cats around here but so far they've been smart enough not to munch on any of the plants that could be toxic to them.

    @old roses
    I know what you mean. Last year the neighbor's kid kept getting his soccer ball in my yard and landing directly on my plants that were still producing seed pods. So I snipped them and kept them in flower vases and they seemed to do ok. Good luck with your flowers.

  6. Okay you said to wear gloves when collecting, but do I need to wait until the seed pods open to remove them from the plant or can I remove them when they are still green and let them dry?

  7. Bridget, Collect them when the pod splits open.

  8. I've had these in my garden for years, they must have stowed away in some other plant pot a friend gave me. This year we're having an unusually cold summer and they haven't flowered yet. Normally they would have scaled the frangipani tree by now and be in full bloom. But the tallest would only be about 3 foot tall and no blooms...yet!

    "At this time I'll gently pull on the stem and see if it separates from the tuber below ground." If it does, this indicates that the tuber is ready for harvesting?

    I've heard that growing them from tubers is quicker than from seed. I'd like to dig out some of the vines, as they're spreading throughout the garden. Once I separate the tubers, how would I store them for next year, of to give away?

    1. Keep the tubers in a cool, dry area. You can cover them with shredded newspaper or something similar. Think of the way you store potatoes in your home and you can store just about any tuber and rhizome the same way.

  9. Hello, I actually went out earlier and picked some of my lily seed pods.. I didn't know that I shouldn't pick them while they were still green, some have been there fro awhile and I figured they'd be ok. I wanted to try to grow some from seeds. Is there anything I can do to still use them ??? Thanks so much any help is good advice

    1. Probably not much you can do now as the seed were probably not ripe. However, if you left any of the stem on, you could maybe put the stem in water and see if it stays alive long enough for the seed pod to finish maturing.



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