Growing and Saving Seed Of Safflower

Latin name Carthamus Tinctorius is an annual that thrives in super hot, dry conditions. Its blazing golden orange blooms make this a stunning ornamental.



Native to the Mediterranean. The plants were originally grown as a dye plant to impart a bold golden yellow color to food and textiles.


  • Ornamental
  • Beds, borders, containers
  • Dye plant
  • Edible flower petals



  • Seeds germinate in 7-14 days.
  • Start seeds 8-10 weeks before last frost date or sow directly outdoors after the last frost date.
  • Sow seeds 1/4 inch deep.
  • Ideal germination temperature is 60-70 F.
  • Keep seeds moist until germinated.
  • Plants prefer full sun and are very drought tolerant.
  • Provide well-drained soil.
  • Space plants 6-10 inches apart.
  • Deadhead to encourage continued blooming.


  • Generally pest free, it is sometimes prone to rots and fungus if planted in poorly drained, excessively soggy soil or if humidity remains too high.


  • Allow flowers to fade and large, pointy seed pods to form.
  • Seed pods will turn brown and dry.
  • Wearing gloves, carefully pry seeds free from pods and store in a cool, dry, dark location until spring.