Experimenting with seeds

December has been a month of experimentation. It was time to plant all the seeds that I had collected during fall in India and Japan. I carefully selected two to three of various fruits and flower seeds that I had assiduously collected and arranged them in my seed planter as below, and charted the description of sheets in an Excel sheet.


Assorted seeds

Seeds arranged and ready for sowing


Unknown (2) Hibiscus (2) Beach (1) Persimmon (2)
+ Camelia 1
Komatsuna (7) Beach (2)
Dec. 3 Dec. 3 Dec. 3 Dec. 3 Dec. 13 Dec. 3
Donguri (1) Donguri (1) Curry Leaf (2) Saradana Komatsuna (7) Orange (3)
Dec. 3 Dec. 3 Dec. 3 Dec. 13 Dec. 13 Dec. 3
Donguri (S)(2) Camelia (2) Sapota (2) Nadeshiko (5) Komatsuna (7) Sweet lime (2)
Dec. 3 Dec. 3 Dec. 3 Dec. 3 Dec. 13 Dec. 3

Chart corresponding to photo above showing details of seeds sown  Name (No. of seeds) and date planted

Covered the entire arrangement with a plastic lid having a few holes and kept them at room temperature.

I had picked up some seeds on the beach at Izu – I have no idea where they have come from (first row columns with the captions “Unknown” and “Beach”). Maybe they have been carried across the ocean or have been thrown overboard from a ship.

I had picked up some orange, sweet lime and Sapota (a delicious fruit in India) seeds on my trip to India. Others are from various locations in Japan (Hibiscus; from my trip to the Izu Peninsula).


To my delight,  I found young saplings appearing after about a week. I was happy with the germination of Hibiscus, which I promptly removed and placed in a separate container. This plant grows in frost-free environment to several meters in height, and I’m hoping to grow it in a large planter, so that I can move it within the house when it gets too cold. Hibiscus is a popular plant in the islands of Okinawa, where the weather is much warmer than in the rest of Japan generally. It would be wonderful if I can raise these in the colder climate of Kisarazu. I also found that another Hibiscus seed has germinated after I removed the first one to its own small pot. Isn’t it exciting to grow plants from seeds?


Hibiscus – hoping for safe passage through the winter Ginger lily-like plant                 Ginger lily like plant (below)


I had picked up a few seeds of a pink flowering plant, which resembled the Ginger Lily in Mumbai, India. One fine day, I found this seed had germinated and shot up quite quickly. Again, I promptly took it off from the seed pot and gave this plant its own new home.

I found that it was important to transplant it as soon as the sapling is capable of being transplanted. This encourages growth of the seeds remaining in the pot. I found another seed germinating soon after I transplanted this Ginger Lily-like sapling. 



Encouraged by the success of the above seeds, I bought a plastic trays, filled them with used ubiquitous plastic pots in which plants are sold, filled them with seed mix and started off with other kinds of seeds. Note I have no idea whether any will germinate, but I’m sure some of them will!

GulMohar (2) Rose (2) La France (Pear)(4) La France (Pear)(5)   Green Peas Green Peas Noibara (Wild rose) Manryou (Coral Ardisia)
Dec. 4 Dec. 4 Dec. 4 Dec. 4   Dec.13 Dec.13 Dec.13 Dec.13
Like GulMohar Papaya (small) Camelia (2) Nasturtium (2)   Green Peas Green Peas Bittersweet(4) Red seeds
(Orange (4))   Dec. 8 Dec. 9       Dec.13 Dec.13
Dec. 4 Dec. 4       Dec.13 Dec.13    
Dates (2) Misc. Flwr (2) Nasturtium (2) Nasturtium (2)   Yellow flwr (2) Red seeds (4) Apple (4) Senryo (Sarcandra)(4)
Dec. 4 Dec. 4 Dec. 9 Dec. 9   Dec. 14 Dec. 14 Dec. 15 Dec. 15
          (Near canal) (Near canal)    
            (Pink cover)    
Ginger like (4) Grape (4) Lemon (2) Apple (4) +
Holly (1)
  Hair-like seeds (2) Aoki (Japanese Aucuba) (3) Tulsi (Holy Basil  (10) Tulsi (Holy Basil (10)
Dec. 4 Dec. 4 Dec. 4 Dec. 17   Dec. 15 Dec. 15 Dec. 16 Dec. 16

Chart showing details of eight 4×4 pots with various seeds sown in them


Holy Basil

On Christmas day, I was delighted to find many small green leaves of Holy Basil appear in two of the pots. Holy Basil is a plant with good medicinal properties, too numerous to mention here, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed! If they do grow well, I hope to consume two Holy Basil leaves a day every morning, along with copious amounts of copper water, followed by Pranayama and Yoga.



 Holy Basil




I did not expect Persimmon to root; I accidentally poked around the pot with persimmon seeds and found that one of them had rooted. I also found that the root had come out of a hole at the side of the seed. Conclusion – make a slit in hard, flat seeds at the side to accelerate germination. I dug up all the hard seeds I had planted and promptly made nicks at the side using a sharp knife. Let’s see what transpires. It appears that one can rarely expect fruits from a tree grown after planting a seed from the fruit; but hey, its fun watching a plant grow in front of your eyes, and I enjoy growing plants!


Komatsuna Avacado

Komatsuna – transplanted                                                          Avacado – cracking up from top

I have transplated Komatsuna to a planter and have also placed Avacado. I read somewhere that Avacado roots faster if placed in warm water and in bright sunshine.

In addition to the above, green peas and Saradana (spinach) seeds have already germinated. Should any of my readers have more information on the seeds I have planted, on how to improve germination, do comment and show me the way. I’ll be everlastingly indebted to you!

Happy Holidays!

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9 Responses to “Experimenting with seeds”

  1. December 31, 2009 at 6:53 am

    I just recently got some avocados to sprout. So far they are doing great. I didn’t do them in water but placed them in a pot of soil and covered with a plastic bag. It looks like you are getting a great start on your seeds!

  2. 3 KevinK
    January 1, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    No particular information or advice about your germination techniques, but I really like your approach in collecting, organizing, and trying out seeds.
    I’ve been drinking Tulsi tea for a couple of years now (that’s the Holy Basil, right?) but I’m yet to see the plant. Updates about that would be good. And how did the edamame go? They would have been harvested a few months back I guess?

  3. January 2, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    @Kevin: Yes, Tulsi is Holy Basil. It is worshiped all over India, and is a common household plant. I’ll post photos as the plant grows. The edamame didn’t grow as well as I expected this year – I think I planted it at a location where I had grown plants of the same family earlier. I hope to do better next year.

  4. January 4, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    Hello Gururajr!
    I found your beautiful blog at the Blotanica community, first of all, have a great 2010 over there and I wish a great new year for you. Great blog yours, wow. I am sure I will learn lots of great things here! I have just built my first greenhouse, so I thought I could share this great experience with others and join people with similar interests. Cheers!

  5. January 5, 2010 at 8:43 am

    Rick, wish you a happy 2010 too. Thanks for your nice comments. All the best with your greenhouse – look forward to reading your gardening adventures.

  6. January 9, 2010 at 11:35 am

    Hi, Gururajr, I really admire your endeavors. You are so organized and that is impressive. I plant my seeds in the ground after all danger of frost has past. You inspire me to try germinating the seeds indoors and getting an early start on the growing season! Pam

  7. 8 Marcela
    February 18, 2010 at 6:41 am

    lovely blog. Good to find a translator who shares my love for flowers, shrubs and even weeds (some).

    re the avocado seed. I gave up trying to make them shoot with the toothpick method and threw the seeds on a patch of poor soil and no direct sunlight (it’s an indoor patio) and no watering (only when it rains) and –voilá– after you forget all about them, one day you find a 30 cm shoot which you can then transplant.

    I have even had an araucaria and an oak seed shoot in that soil.

    Montevideo, Uruguay

    • February 18, 2010 at 10:04 pm

      Hi Marcela, thanks for your nice comments. I agree with you about the avocado. I planted one in the bushes in front of my house in Mumbai, India and forgot all about it. It seems (after returning to Japan) that is not a 3-feet tall plant. I think the right timing is what matters. I am looking forward to spring when chances will be better.
      Hope you put up photos of your seeding adventures on the Web. Happy gardening!

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