How To Harvest Globe Thistle Seeds?

Collecting your seeds to grow the following year will not only save you money, but it will also give you a great sense of achievement. Are you wondering how to harvest globe thistle seeds? Then you’re not alone! We have gathered together all the information you are likely to need.

How To Harvest Globe Thistle Seeds

how to harvest globe thistle seeds

You may wish to collect seeds from your globe thistle to plant in the years to come – and who can blame you? It’s cheap, easy and effective to grow your own globe thistles from seeds.

Saving seeds from a thistle plant is a really simple process, and one that you can repeat for years:

  1. After your globe thistle has well and truly finished flowering in the late autumn, go out and collect the seed heads.
  2. These are the rounded blooms that you would have been enjoying for the whole summer long – they drop their petals and turn brown, but this is exactly what they’re meant to do!
  3. Remove each seed head carefully so that you don’t accidentally spill any seeds out onto the ground.
  4. Place the seed heads into a paper bag, and shake them gently so that the seeds fall into the bag.
  5. Remove any pieces of the dried plant that may have fallen into the seeds.
  6. Store the seeds in their paper bag, in a cool dark place until you are ready to plant them again.

Here is a good video explaining how you remove the seeds from the head of your globe thistle:

How Long Do Globe Thistle Seeds Take To Germinate?

It can be a nerve wracking time, waiting for seeds to germinate, right? Once we’ve planted we tend to want to see results straight away!

However, you will have to get a bit more patient when germinating globe thistle sees – these tend to take a little longer than most.

As a general rule, you won’t see anything of your globe thistles until 21-35 days after you have planted them.

Don’t be tempted to go poking around in the soil looking for them, as you run the risk of damaging the seeds and not ending up with any plants anyway.

As long as they have the right conditions, you can definitely expect to see results from your globe thistle planting – just don’t get too impatient!

What Do Thistle Seeds Look Like?

Thistle seeds, although they can be the bane of a gardener’s life because they are so good at spreading, are actually really beautiful.

There’s a reason that children call them “fairies” – they are delicate and gossamer-like, and they float on the smallest current of air.

Globe thistle seeds are very similar to your standard thistle seed; although they are a little heavier and tend not to float quite so well!

Echinops seeds look more like grass seeds, or miniature trees, and although they can still spread very easily they tend not to “fly” quite so well.

Every thistle is different, therefore every seed is different – but you can’t miss these little beauties scattered around beneath your globe thistle patch!

How Do I Save Thistle Seeds?

Saving thistle seeds is easy, but you have to get the timing right so they don’t end up just blowing all over your garden!

  • Keep an eye on your flowering thistle heads. They will go to seed quickly after the flowering is done.
  • Once the flower is over, you will start to see white, papery seeds start to appear.
  • It is important that you remove the heads as soon as you see the seeds starting, as it won’t take much for them to all blow away.
  • Remove the entire flowering head of the thistle, and place it in a paper bag (don’t use plastic as this can trap the moisture and cause rotting and mold).
  • After a few days of keeping the bag in a cool, dry place, give the heads a gentle shake, and you should start to see the seeds falling out into the bag.
  • Once you have removed all the seeds, discard the flower heads either in the bin or your compost pile.
  • Store the seeds in their bag in a cool dark place (your kitchen drawer is fine) until it is time to plant them in the spring.

Is Thistle Good For Anything?

Is Thistle Good For Anything

There are a great many different thistles in this world, and each of them has their place in the ecosystem.

Although no one wants to put their hands or bare feet onto a thistle because of the spines, they are a really good thing to have in your garden.

  • They are attractive. Spiky leaves notwithstanding, many thistles flower in a spectacular way which is a real asset to your garden.
  • Pollinators love them. Bees and butterflies are drawn to the colorful flowers, and can really help with pollinating as well as contributing to the natural world.
  • They are edible. The leaves of a young thistle can be steamed or boiled, and apparently taste a little like celery. The roots are also edible.
  • Thistles have been used in medicine for a long time, and different types have different uses. Always do your research before you decide to munch on one though!
  • They’re great for cut flower displays. The cut and dried thistle heads add great color and texture to a bouquet, and will last longer than most other flowers.

As you can see, thistles are great for not only your garden, but also for the wider ecosystem, and possibly even your own health!

If you are interested in how to harvest thistle for eating or medicinal purposes, have a look at this little article.

Final Thoughts

Globe thistles are a great addition to any garden – they are so pretty, easy to grow, and you can simply collect the seeds from one year to grow more the following one!

Harvesting globe thistle seeds, as you can hopefully see, is easy to do and very rewarding, when you look around at your self-planted garden!

2 thoughts on “How To Harvest Globe Thistle Seeds?”

    • The plant itself is spiky all over, but the seed heads are not. You might want to wear your gloves while you are picking them off the plant though, so that you don’t get an accidental prickle.


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