Sprouting seeds is a great solution for growing all kinds of plants without spending money. It is also a fun activity to share with children. But for the magic to work, it is of course essential to follow the procedure and take certain precautions. It is also worth knowing that some seeds are more difficult to germinate than others. But even if you don’t always manage to harvest fruit later, you can still get a beautiful plant. Let’s do a check in.
Germinating a nucleus: procedure to follow
First of all, the stone taken from a fruit must be:
- Completely rid of the flesh that surrounds it,
- rinsed with water,
- Wiped with a clean cloth,
- Placed in damp absorbent cotton,
- Stored in a place:
- Sheltered from light.
It is then necessary to keep the cotton always moist and to wait a certain time – between 2 and 4 weeks in general – so that the germination process begin. When the germ is strong enough, it’s time to remove the cotton and plant the kernel in a terracotta pot containing wet sand or a compost rich in humus as is the case of compost for seedlings.
Care is taken to cover the core well, but only 1 to 2 cm with sand or potting soil. Thereafter, the substrate must be sprayed very regularly in order to always maintain a good level of humidity, but above all it must not be soggy. The ambient temperature must be above 20°C, and the brightness high.
In this way you can easily germinate a number of pits, the easiest without much knowledge of botany being the pits of avocado, lychee, cherry or apricot.
Can all nuclei germinate?
The answer is no. We favor old varieties, and we avoid hybrids of course. Similarly, you should know that the pits of fruit in jars have undergone different treatments, as is the case with olives, for example. They will therefore not be able to germinate. Other than these examples, some nuclei take a long time to germinate, and may not even germinate at all. In any case, it is essential to prepare your kernels well to germinate. Removing the flesh from the surrounding fruit helps prevent rotting.
But amateur gardeners can be reassured: there is a wide choice of pits that are very easy to germinate, such as the avocado pit. As for those who like to brave the difficulties, they can try to germinate olive stones, dates or mangoes, three examples discussed below.
Germinate an olive pit
It is of course essential to recover fresh olive pits, black, that is to say at maturity, or to buy pits to plant from the producers. And to facilitate germination, the olive pits must be filed, then immersed in lukewarm water for several days. Only then can they be planted pointing to the sky, in a humus soil for seedlings, less than 2 cm deep. All that remains is to place the containers in a very bright room where the temperature is between between 22 and 25°C then to keep the soil always moist.
Germinate a date stone
The date pit is not not easy to germinate. To increase your chances of success, it is strongly recommended to plant about twenty pits at the rate of 4 or 5 per container.
But before that, the date stones must be immersed in a glass of lukewarm water for several weeks. It is therefore advisable to renew the water regularly so that it remains at the right temperature, namely around 30°C. At the end of this period, as soon as a root has formed, the date stones are taken out of the water and then planted in 3cm deep in small pots containing potting soil or cactus substrate. They must be placed in a room well exposed to the sun and where the temperature is at least 22°C.
Patience is required as it takes several years for the date palm grown from a pit to start looking great.
Germinate a mango pit
If you just clean the pit and plant it as it is, you have no chance of seeing a mango tree grow. The mango pit must first be broken with a nutcracker in order to extract the almond. This must be handled with care so that it is not damaged. Then simply plant it in a fairly large pot containing soil and keep it always moist. The pot should be placed in a bright room where the temperature is high enough.
Finally, many very experienced gardeners recommend store some kernels during two months in the fridge in order to create winter conditions, then place them in a damp substrate and expose them in a warm and well-lit place. It works with cherry pit and apricot pit. And for the latter, it is also possible to plant only the almond, but its extraction requires great delicacy.