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Mailbag: Planting salvaged zinnia seeds

Hi Jessica:  My friend received a bouquet of brightly colored beautiful large zinnias.  I asked her to give them to me after they died.  I then rubbed the seeds off the flowers and put them in a plastic container which I placed in the refrigerator.  Can I safely plant these seeds in the burpee pellet mixture I bought at Home Depot where you just add water and it expands.  I haven't had much luck with just throwing seeds in the ground.  I would like to start these indoors soon.  Thank you.  I certainly enjoy reading your column, you are an excellent writer!  -- Carol

Why, thank you, Carol. And you are an excellent reader!  Those expanding pellets are fine for starting seeds. Problem is, I'm not sure those flower-shop zinnias will grow as you expect in any medium. Florist-bought flowers often are treated, force-bloomed and/or hybrids that might not grow true from seed. And they might not grow at all. It's worth a try, though. Let me know how your experiment turns out. -- Jessica

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