Thursday, June 3, 2010

The secret to growing myrtaceous fruits from seeds

Almost all the myrtaceous fruit seeds I have bought have played the same trick on me.

This includes:

1. Surinam cherry
2. Grumichama
3. Uvalha
4. Cabelluda
5. Blue Grape

and I am pretty sure the same holds for most of the others with large seeds, like jaboticaba, pitomba ...

I plant the seeds in well drained loamy soil, place the container in some shade, but where it will receive some sunlight, keep it moist, not too wet, then wait for what feels like forever. Normally after about 2 - 4 weeks (for some even 2 - 4 months), you should see the first little shoot push trough the soil.

What happens next is very disheartening, almost without fault, the very first shoot dies within a few days and turns brown and rots away.

I made the mistake to throw out some of those seeds, but accidentally left a few grumichammas and discovered to my amazement that a new shoot (or sometimes more than one) started growing ! This later happened to most of the seeds I bought online. If I hadn't known, I would have lost all of them. Some of these seeds run $3 each ! (Uvalha).

My latest seed, a Uvalha, germinated and started growing a shoot, but within a day or two, the shoot died. So with a lot of faith, I left it, placed it in deeper shade and didn't water it too much, and sure as hell, today, about 2 weeks later, I discovered the new little shoot ! You really have to zoom into the picture to see it. To the right of the green little shoot, the dead brown shoot is barely visible.

Its important to never expose the new little shoots to direct sun, they will get scorched and die within a day.


  1. Very interesting, I wonder what is going on here. I want to do some growing from seed, so please post on how this proceeds for you.

  2. I grew a surinam cherry from seed and was surprised to see a second shoot emerge from the soil just a week after the first! I'll keep both shoots and tip prune one for a neat multitrunked look later. I grow mine in full shade and its doing fine. Thanks for the tips!

  3. I remember some of the very first seeds I grew were surinam cherries, I bought black and red seeds. I let them dry out and all 1 of the black one's survived, all 3 of the red ones germinated and they all grew extra shoots, they are very, pretty, the shoots emerge a burgandy color if I remember correctly.