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Germinating Erythroxylum Novagranatense Seeds

Erythroxylum Novagranatense is one of the most coveted plants among those who collect  entheogenic plants. Erythroxylum novagranatense  seeds and live plants are extremely hard to find, and they can be quite expensive in comparison to other seeds. The seeds are recalcitrant, meaning they cannot be dried and stored like most seeds, so that makes it especially crucial to be successful when you finally get your hands on some. The following guide is a tutorial on how to successfully raise erythroxylum novagranatense  seeds from berries to mature seedlings.

Depending on your source, erythroxylum novagranatense seeds may come to you as woody colored seeds or as red berries. If you’ve already gotten them as seeds, you can skip this part and move on to the next.  Consider yourself lucky, as this step can be a bit time-consuming. If you got erythroxylum novagrantese  berries, then you will need to properly remove the fruit and prepare them for germination. The first step is to put the seeds in a clear plastic zip seal bag and let them sit. Let the fruit turn mushy. It is ok if the fruit develops some mold. It does not mean you’ve failed. After all, in nature, this would be typical. But you must also remember that a plant in nature puts out hundreds of berries, hoping some may be successful. You want to maximize your chances, to hopefully get 100%  success, by cleaning the fruit off well.  So if you do get some mold, your job is to catch it before it goes past the fruit to begin infecting the seed itself. Ideally, you want to catch the seed when the fruit is mushy but right before mold develops. This is the key to getting the fruit off easily while also letting the seed develop naturally.

One way of getting the fruit off the seeds is to literally mush them around in your fingers. Then take a kitchen strainer and use the spray nozzle on your sink to wash the fruit through the strainer. If you don’t have a spray nozzle, then do the best you can. You can then wipe them with dry paper towel to help remove more of the fruit. You will probably still have some fruit trapped in the ridges of the seed, which you will want to get off. So take a tooth brush and brush your seeds. With a little more washing and dry paper towel, you should be able to end up with seeds that are totally pulp-free.

When your seeds are pulp-free, you’ve removed much of the mold threat. But you’re not out of the woods. Increase your odds by soaking the seeds in some water with dish soap overnight.  Just make sure the water is reasonably sudsy as you would use to wash dishes.  The next day, soak your seeds for another 15 minutes in H202 (household peroxide).  Peroxide helps to kill any undeveloped mold spores. At this point, your seeds are fully sanitized for the germination process.

The best medium for germinating erythroxylum novagranatense seeds is long fiber (whole) spaghnum moss. It is important not to confuse this with the ground peat moss you use in soil mixtures. Ground peat looks like dirt. You want the long fiber spaghnum moss used for venus fly traps or hanging baskets, which is essentially the dried, whole moss plant. If you got your erythroxylum novagrantese as cleaned seed, they may have actually shipped them in this.  Then you need to do nothing but wait for sprouts. If not, you’ll want to take a spray bottle with a mix of water and about 1/3-1/4 H202. Use that to hydrate the spaghnum moss. You want to hydrate the moss enough so that a few drops will come out when it is squeezed, but you don’t want it sopping wet. If you had to imagine a perfect middle ground between sopping wet and dry, that’s where you want to be. If you’re familiar with mycology, then hydrate to field capacity. The H202 in the water will give an added layer of protection from pathogens. Then simply fill a plastic zip seal bag with the moss and your seeds. Then wait.

Check back on your sown seeds about every week. They will sprout fine at room temperature.  It will usually take about 1-2 weeks for the erythroxylum novagranatense sprouts to begin from berry.  Even if you leave the seeds in there sprouted for a week or two, they will still be ok. So you really do not need to check every day. Once you see sprouts, let the tap roots come out at least a half inch. You can leave them in there for quite a while. They do really well in the moss and can last for several weeks without being planted.  You can move the seeds to soil at any point after they sprout, but you maximize your chances by waiting until they are big enough that the seed won’t have to be buried under the soil.

Now you’re ready to sow your erythroxylum novagrantese seeds in soil. Ideally, you want to use a premium brand of potting soil, such as Fox Farm. It is important to avoid garden soil or any type of soil mix for outdoor use. Avoid Miracle Grow potting soil as we’ve frequently found that it contains gnats. Sowing your sprouted seeds should be fairly straightforward beyond that. You want to bury the tap root and leave the seed head above ground.  But save that spaghnum moss from the last step. You will want to use the spaghnum moss as a mulch layer. Spread your moistened moss over the top of the soil so that it fully covers the soil surface. You may need to use some extra moss besides what was in the plastic bag with your seeds.  Use your H202 solution to hydrate any new moss you use. This moss layer will help with hydrating the soil below, but it will also help keep any seed heads in contact with it hydrated. This type of hydration allows the seed coats to fall off more easily as the seedlings develop. This single step may make a difference in the success of at least some of your seedlings that would have otherwise died.

Erythroxylum novagranatense  seedlings enjoy light, so you should use the best light you can give them. LED is the cheapest to run, but a good system does require some investment. LED is often the best option for the serious homegrower. We recommend these lights if you are looking for something that will really produce well indoors. Fluorescent lighting works very well, and if you can afford to do so, put them under two T5 tubes. These are the really thin tubes, which have the best spectrum for growing plants.  If you’re on a budget, you may use one or two CFL bulbs.Place the light source directly above your seedlings.  If you plan to grow outdoors, keep the seedlings inside until they are developed into plants. You’ll then need to properly acclimate them to the outdoors as well.

Most people stop here with their setup, but a fan is essential to indoor growth and proper seedling development.  Erythroxylum novagranatense stems tend to be very thin, and they will lean without proper support. By having a fan blow on the seedlings just enough to keep them rocking back and forth, you train the stems to be strong, and they can ultimately support more foliage. The increase in airflow also increases the plants’ supply of c02.   You can even add additional c02 to your plants by mixing yeast, water and sugar and letting the fermentation process continually provide Co2 in your grow area. You will need to regularly feed the yeast with sugar and dilute the solution with water. But his can essentially be maintained for the life of your plants.

Many people do not ever reach the seedling stage when growing erythroxylum novagranatense, so we hope this guide will help many of you to have a high success rate. But we also talk to many people who end up killing their mature plants after a year or two of growing. Erythroxylum novagranatense is one of those plants that requires good conditions to be constantly maintained. Drying out once can be detrimental. So we would like to leave you off by recommending that you always make sure your plants are hydrated, but not over-watered.  Always make sure your plants are in big enough pots. That will also help keep them from drying out.  If you’re planning to be away for any length of time, check out the guide in our Cultivation Database on setting up your plants when you’re leaving on vacation.  We look forward to your success stories and pictures.