Make sure that pods are old enough for fertilisation of seeds to have occurred. Times can vary considerably by species and the growing conditions, so use this as a very rough guide only
When removing the pod from the plant, be sure to leave enough of the stem in tact for us to worth with. Around 2-3cm of stem is sufficient. Pack pods to protect them from damage during transit. A small box filled with shredded paper is ideal. Do not seal pods in plastic containers or bags as this will promote fungal growth. Make sure you label each pod appropriately.
Express Post or other expedited service should be used to ensure that the pods get to us as soon as possible. Pods are however very delicate, so should never be sent in an envelope or padded bag. To avoid crushing, use a small box or something similar to prevent crushing by postal machinery. Avoid posting before a weekend if possible to reduce travel time. Please do check with us before posting to ensure that we will be available to receive the package.
If you are collecting dry seed it is imperative that you try to keep the seed dry at all times to avoid disappointment. First, try to find out roughly how long the pod will take to reach maturity. You will need to start checking the pod regularly for signs of splitting shortly before maturity. A change of colour in the pod is a good indication that it is going to dehisce (split) soon. You may find it helpful to move the plant to a sheltered location where you can keep an eye on it and where the pod won’t get wet. For terrestrial species, we find it helpful to cut off the whole flower stem and put it in a jar of water on a sunny windowsill just before maturity. Once the pod starts to split, cut it off and place it on a piece of paper in a dry location. Over about one week to two weeks, the pod will completely dry and the seed will fall out onto the paper. Now, please discard the seed pod. You can then pour the seed into a paper envelope. Multi-fold the envelope to assure effective seed containment and label it accordingly (be sure to include the collection date). Please avoid plastics, as they are a pain to get seed out from and can cause fungal issues if the seed is not completely dry before storing.
Regular postal services are fine for dry seed, as it is not imperative that delivery be fast. Seeds are however very delicate, so should never be sent in an envelope or padded bag. To avoid crushing, use a small box or something similar to prevent crushing by postal machinery. Please do check with us before posting to ensure that we will be available to receive the package.