January 03, 2016

How to Collect Jamaican Sorrel Seeds for Propagation

Just before Christmas, I created a permaculture needs and yields analysis for Jamaican sorrel and also showed how to separate the flower (from the seed pod) to make Christmas sorrel juice. As promised, I am posting an update of how I prepared the seeds for propagation.

The pod below had just been removed from the flower and therefore needs to be dried to extract the seeds inside.

A few very humid days passed since separating the petals. As you can see below, I tried to keep the seed pods as dry and warm as possible by placing them in a colander on the inside of a sunny window.

How to Collect Jamaican Sorrel Seeds for Propagation

How to Collect Jamaican Sorrel Seeds for Propagation
However, after about 4 or 5 days, the color of some pods has changed to brown and even black. In fact, some pods have some mold. I was told not to throw any of these away as they were not slimy. As you can see below, some started to split open on their own. That is a good sign. (FYI, you do not need to try splitting open Jamaica sorrel seeds. They do this naturally).


To aerate the Jamaican sorrel seed pods a little more, I rearranged the seeds to maximize the exposure to air that each seed gets.
I started to lose faith when the outside of some turned white. As you may recall, I did this exercise in a very humid and colder-than usual tropical location. I am happy I kept the pods. I would have discarded them if they were damp and slimey.



As you can see below, a few days later, we could no longer see the white. The seeds continued to split open even more and began to release a lot of the seeds. We literally did not need to do anything to get the many seeds that began to fall out.


How to Collect Jamaican Sorrel Seeds for Propagation
I opened some of the pods wider to extract even more seeds. However, doing this was time consuming. The great news is that each pod could hold as many as roughly 30 seeds, many of which are likely to fall out on their own.
How to Collect Jamaican Sorrel Seeds for Propagation

How to Collect Jamaican Sorrel Seeds for Propagation
 Furthermore, every time you move and set down the lot of pods, they leave many seeds in their wake.
How to Collect Jamaican Sorrel Seeds for Propagation
I sometimes squeezed the pods to extract a few more. However, nothing was as effective as Mother Nature's natural release of the seeds. The vast majority of the seeds in the bowl pictured below were released naturally simply by leaving the pods alone. These images (regarding preparing the seeds) span a period of 10 days. However, you may be able to complete this process sooner in conditions that are warmer and drier. Besides, time did not always allow me to tend to the seeds.
How to Collect Jamaican Sorrel Seeds for Propagation

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