Thursday, August 13, 2009

Growing Tamarind Seeds

I planted three more tamarind seeds and so far two have come up. I don't think I've ever seen a seed that works quite this way. You can see the brown seeds in the upper right hand corner. They are about the size of a molar tooth.[Double click to significantly enlarge the image.]

Unlike most seeds which send up a stem, the tamarind seed itself gets sent up from the earth. In the August 6 picture (#1) you can see the now green seed has pushed up out of the ground and has a cap of dirt.

Then #2 (August 11, 3:30pm)the leaves are starting to come out of the seed. They have sprouted even further by 5:30 pm (#3).

In Thailand, these trees produce seedpods with a wonderful tootsie roll like fruit inside. You can see full grown trees (in Petchabul, Thailand, the province with the best tamarind) and fruit at this link.

16 comments:

  1. "Unlike most seeds which send up a stem, the tamarind seed itself gets sent up from the earth."

    Uh, plan some beans. They do the same thing, although they aren't as exotic as tamarinds are.

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  2. Have fun with gardening. I heard it is good for your nerves. Keeps you calm. We also have garden but it is too hot here so I don't stay out a lot. I would love to move to a cooler place as soon as possible and then I could do the gardening if I have a garden.

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  3. I'm hoping to germinate some old seeds. I live in France will the trees grow?

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  4. Anon in France, As you can see mine grew nicely. I don't know how long seeds last. But the germinate quickly, so try it. Don't let them dry out once they sprout. My seeds were from a place in Thailand in the mountains where it can get below 10C. Good luck.

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  5. Yeah I'm in Canada i'm going to grow this indoors for bonsai I germinated some seeds in a paper towel and sandwich bag for about 24h and they look kinda wierd :s as if they have tiny bubbles is this normal?(around the part they sprout from so I'm guessing it normal.

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  6. What sort of medium did you use? I got some Tamarind seeds from my mother-in-law and want to try to grow them.

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  7. Matteo, I used potting soil to start them. Stuff you buy in bags at the greenhouse. I have to say to all readers here, that our tamarind didn't survive. We were away and our house sitter didn't water them properly. So I don't know how well they would have survived if we had been there to nurture them.

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  8. Sherbet made from tamarind extract was defined as "miracle sherbet" by Ottoman sultans, and is considered as a natural detox drink. It cures many stomach disorders.

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  9. Tamarind is easy to propagate and grow. Go to any West Indian (Caribbean) food store. Buy a bag of Tambran Balls - The flesh and seeds of the tamarind fruit mixed with scotch bonnet pepper and tons of sugar. Eat and enjoy; try dipping them in salt. Keep the seeds and remove any membrane covering them. These seeds are good to go.
    Rub them with sand paper or cut shallow notches. Soak speeds in water overnight or until outer shell is softened. Plant one seed per 4 inch pot, barely covering with soil, water well and cover with plastic wrap secured with rubber band. Keep as warm as you can.
    Seeds will sprout in 3 - 7 days. Allow to dry out between watering. Transplant to larger pot when fully rooted. Immature trees are easily burnt by direct summer sunlight.

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  10. To Anon (2013) - Thanks for the health note.

    Julian - Thanks for your additional advice to sandpaper the seed. At this point I don't remember if I did that or made cuts or just planted as is. But I know that's good advice for hard seeds like these.

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  11. Tamarind seed also used in number of food processing industries and applied largely in baked foods, instant noodles, ice creams, ketchups, meat products, etc.

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  12. Tamarind are fun to grow from seed. I have grown several which I hope to use as bonsai material down the road. I like how their leaves open during the day and close at night.

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  13. I grew up in Thailand and love tamarinds, as a child my sister and I would climb the trees and eat the fruit, but did you know you can eat the leaves? Choose the new ones, the small baby leaves (the older ones are tough but can be chewed too), and chew them. They're sour and kids love the idea of eating tree leaves. :) I grew a seed from Thai candy 22 years ago and the tree has always grown indoors, and now it's about 7 feet tall and almost as wide. i'd include a pic but don't think it's possible here. It has brought lots of pleasure. I, too, love how it opens and closes its leaves. Today, for the first time ever, there is a blossom. I've never had fruit on it and assumed it wouldn't produce any, but I'm excited over the blossom.

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  14. Brenda, great story. I just planted a few more seeds the other day. They're five years old now so I don't know if they'll germinate.

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    Replies
    1. I brought back some tamarind seeds from India in 2007 and have just germinated one from the two planted. I soaked them overnight in tap water, put them in an unheated propagator cell amongst some nasturtium seeds back in April. It's been very slow growing, leaves have not emerged yet, but when I uncover it I see the green seed and stem are healthy enough. It's in a pot out in the polytunnel now. From what I read online, I need to treat it just as any other seedling.

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    2. Sue, love yourt story. One of the three seeds I planted April 28 this year, just sprouted yesterday - May 28, the same day you posted your comment.

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