Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Pipevine Seed Pods

People have been asking me what the fruits of Aristolochia californica look like, so here they are. They are ridged and about 2-3" at maturity. I am more excited that ever that my vine is fruiting because I have learned how to propagate the seeds. It's easy! But you do have to do a little work. The main problem is that the wasps like to eat the seeds. They clean out everyone if you let them. So, when the pods get to be full size, protect them with a bag. I tied some netting around them last year.
Then, when they break open, collect the seeds. Most seeds are collected when hard and dry. These are wet and weird when ready. They don't seem to have a full shell. It is like a tiny boat in a half-shell. And wet! And gooey! So weird!
Then plant immediately. I started mine in a four-inch pot filled 3/4 full with normal potting soil. Then I added a bit of seed mix at the top. I Spread the wet seed on the surface of the seed mix. Next, I sifted  some seed mix over the top to cover. Then I used a spoon to press the seeds into the soil. I watered once/day for 5 months. Yes! Five months! The directions I read said three months, but I saw nothing at the three month mark. I decided to wait a little longer, and wow! Success! Almost every seed sprouted!

The short version: Protect the fruit from wasps. Be patient! It takes five months for the seeds to sprout!

And let me know if your seeds spout. I'd like to know if my method works for others. Thanks!

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