Monday, September 27, 2010

Seeds and Plant Parenthood

Just look at the amazing array of seeds you can collect in the woods and along the roadsides right now.  Berries, pods and fruits of all types are just at the point of dehiscence. Get out there and collect them before they fall on the ground or the birds and squirrels take them all away.  (Or, take a class in Native Plant Propagation and get a bunch from the teacher, like I did!)

First, a friendly warning:  Deciding to accept the responsibility of raising little sprouts is - we were told in our class - something to mull over.  Do we really want to feed, water, prune consistently?   Do we really want to have to get a babysitter so we can go out of town?  These babies will be quite dependent for some time.

Before we were given any seeds, we were given a little Plant Parenthood counseling!  

It is true that if plant killing were a punishable offense, I would have done jail time by now.  Should I just forget it, let someone else grow baby plants?  I love tiny little baby plants!  And mature and gorgeous grown up plants.  Even wily adolescent plants with their incessant need of pruning!

The seeds counting on me:
2.  Joe-pye weed, Eupatorium purpureum
3.  Smooth Solomon's seal, Polygonatum biflorum.
4.  Bottlebrush buckeye, Aesculus parviflora
5.  Camellia 'Tama-no-Ura.'  Pictured is a seedpod which contains two or three seeds.  They will not produce another Tama-no-Ura, but it might be interesting to see what the seedlings look like.
6.  Beauty berry, Callicarpa americana
7.  Fragrant snowbell, Styrax obassia
8.  Beardtongue, Penstemon sp.
9.  Baptisia 'Twilight Prairie Blues'
10.  Money plant, Lunaria annua
Out of sight in the bottom of my bowl are some sweet shrub seeds (Calycanthus floridus).

1.  One of the world's largest seeds is the coconut, Cocos nucifera.   The bowl holding all the seeds is made of that - a Costa Rican coconut.

I may not have a green thumb, but I do have a green heart!
Seeing seeds sprout, watching them form roots, stems and leaves is too good to pass up.  Especially with such interesting seeds.  So, I'll just do my best to be a good plant mom.  I will water my charges, feed them and change their pots when they need it.   I will practice patience and consistency as I care for them.  And I will adore them and have faith in them, most of all. 


  1. When they fall in the woods, who is the plant mom?

  2. same here, suzy, but we're going to have to wait quite a while for some of them.

    if only mother nature had seen fit to put a bottlebrush buckeye or a big leaf magnolia in my garden, les. i'm just glad she's willing to give a few up for adoption.

  3. Love your green heart! Isn't it wonderful to think about the potential in those seeds?

  4. I can't wait to see how you get on with this seed growing activity.