How to ger­mi­nate Paw­paw seeds at home

The Punch - - INDUSTRY -

Source: https://home­guides.sf­ he in­side of paw­paw fruits con­tain tiny black seeds that you can plant to grow your own pa­paya plant. A ge­lati­nous sac, called a sar­cotesta, pro­tects the seeds, but must be bro­ken as it con­tains ger­mi­na­tion in­hibitors to slow or pre­vent seed ger­mi­na­tion.

To ger­mi­nate

• Cut the long slen­der fruit in half length­wise to ac­cess the seeds in the cen­ter of the fruit

• Scoop out the seeds

• Break the sac

Press the seeds against the sides of a colan­der or wire mesh strainer to break the sar­cotesta. The sides of the sac will split, and the seeds will burst out of the slit.

• Rinse the seeds thor­oughly with warm wa­ter

• Dry and store the seeds by spread­ing them on a tray lined with servi­ette pa­per, turn them at least once to dry them on all side

• Store the seeds in a sealed con­tainer in a re­frig­er­a­tor for up to three years or un­til you’re ready to plant

• Dry­ing is not re­quired if you plan to ger­mi­nate the seeds im­me­di­ately

• Pre­pare the salt­peter

Mix about 3 1/2 ounces of potas­sium ni­trate (com­monly known as salt­peter) in one quart of wa­ter. Potas­sium ni­trate is avail­able in most gar­den cen­tres as a fer­til­izer.

this so­lu­tion helps to de­crease ger­mi­na­tion time, while in­creas­ing the to­tal per­cent­age of seeds that suc­cess­fully ger­mi­nate.

• Soak the pa­paya seeds in the potas­sium ni­trate so­lu­tion for about 30 min­utes. If you have trou­ble find­ing potas­sium ni­trate, soak the seeds in hot wa­ter at 158 de­grees Fahren­heit for 15 sec­onds; then soak them in dis­tilled wa­ter at room tem­per­a­ture for 24 hours to in­crease the ger­mi­na­tion rate

• Fill one gal­lon con­tain­ers with a ster­ile, soil-less pot­ting mix­ture of equal parts sphag­num moss and per­lite or ver­mi­culite

Use at least three con­tain­ers for best suc­cess be­cause pa­paya plants might be fe­male, bi­sex­ual or male, and only the fe­males and bi­sex­u­als pro­duce fruit.

Do not start seeds in seedling trays be­cause pa­payas trans­plant poorly; one gal­lon con­tain­ers en­sure the plant re­quires trans­plant­ing only once from the con­tainer to the ground.

• Evenly space two to four seeds in each con­tainer and cover the seeds with 1/4 to 1/2 inch of pot­ting mix

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