Sunday, February 24, 2013

Schizandra from seed

Chinese magnolia vine is another name for Schisandra Chinensis.

It is a medicinal plant with red berries that grow in clusters a little like grapes and a little like currants. Its also called the "5 flavor berry" as the berry has the tastes of sweet, sour, bitter, salty and pungent. The berry is basically supposed to be good for just about everything and contains antioxidants, trace vit/min and other goodnesses that i can't think of off the top of my head.  Basically,  its considered another of the "Superfruits".

Ok,  that said,  i'm going to try growing it from seed.  I bought a packet of seeds from Bountiful Gardens the year before last and just never got to do anything with them.  The price was around $2.00.

 photo 2013-02-23_19-21-23_500_zpsac73e5c5.jpg

 photo 2013-02-23_19-21-47_166_zpsa96cb881.jpg

I looked around online to get more ideas on how to germinate the seeds,  they are considered difficult.  Apparently it can take over a year with some seeds,  but can be just a few weeks in others.  Hopefully i have good luck.  The other thing with this plant is that there are 2 sexes and both are needed for berries.  I need enough to germinate so i have a chance at getting at least one male or at least one female.  They grow well from cuttings i understand,  so if i get one of each,  i'll be fine.  I tried searching online to see how to tell the sexes apart visually (before berries, of course) but i didn't find anything,  so i'm working blind.

Dried berries:

 photo 2013-02-23_19-23-44_154_zps8bf992f4.jpg

Soaking the dried berries.

 photo 2013-02-23_19-22-11_993_zpsff358bfb.jpg

 photo 2013-02-23_19-24-10_691_zps9bc25093.jpg

I'm using one of my seed sprouting jar toppers.

 photo 2013-02-23_19-24-28_576_zpsbe87d3a0.jpg

Berries after about 12 hours of soaking in room temp water.

 photo 2013-02-24_11-41-42_361_zpsec4d631d.jpg

Seeds removed from the pulp.
 photo 2013-02-24_11-46-44_907_zps64d49c4c.jpg

Some of the berries had 2 seeds and others had one.  I ended up with 26 seeds to work with.

I'm also following some directions given here:  How to grow Schizandra from seed.  They say to soak the seeds for about 5 days,  changing the water daily. 
Back in the jar they go. 
 photo 2013-02-24_11-48-09_879_zps4893d3da.jpg

A bunch of them  are floating though.  I hope that is not a bad sign.  Usually floating seed is bad seed...  who knows?   A packet only costs $2.50 now,  i could always try again if this does not work...  but it will set me back in the time it will take to get berries.

We'll see how it goes!