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Propagating karaka

I WANT to know the best way to germinate karaka seeds. I've collected quite a few seeds from the ground under trees at our local beach over the last two years. I dry them, then plant them in spring, but many of them don't grow. Can you help?


THE seed is mature when the flesh has turned from green to orange, which is usually around late summer, but may vary, depending on your area and weather.

Don't dry the seed, but clean as much of the flesh off as you can, which is mimicking what happens when the berry is eaten by the native wood pigeon. Sow the cleaned seeds straight away in a freedraining mix, burying them about 2cm deep. It doesn't matter which way you lay them, but on their sides is probably how they would land on the ground naturally. Put the pots or trays of seeds in a sheltered spot, indoors or out, protected from frost over winter. Keep them moist, but not constantly soaking wet, and wait patiently.

You may have to protect them from hungry rats and mice over winter, but by next summer many of the seeds should have germinated.

Weekend Gardener, Issue 196, 2006, Page 39

Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.

Andrew Maloy Weekend Gardener

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Last updated: November 29, 2006