A FEAST FOR BIRDS

Kids Go Gardening - - News -

In spring the kowhai trees drip with golden blos­som. In­side each flower is the favourite en­ergy food for tui and other na­tive birds - sweet nec­tar! Once flow­er­ing is fin­ished, long dan­gly seed pods dec­o­rate the branches. Look in­side a pod and you will find the yel­low seeds. But don’t put them in your mouth be­cause they’re poi­sonous! You can grow your own lit­tle kowhai trees from these seeds. First, soak them in warm wa­ter overnight. Then fill a con­tainer with seed rais­ing mix. Us­ing the end of a paint brush or small stick, make holes in the mix, about 5mm deep and about 5cm apart. Drop a seed into each hole and cover over with seed rain­ing mix. Wa­ter gen­tly and place your seeds in a warm place. Keep the mix just damp (not soak­ing wet) while you wait for the seeds to sprout. This can take up to 20 days. When the seedlings are grow­ing strongly (about 10cm tall) care­fully plant them into big­ger pots.

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