The Q&A Archives: Care Of Seed From Unknown Plant

Question: I was given a seed from an unknown plant and don't know how to take care of it. The flower is about 30" tall, has a 2" diameter stem coming out of the ground, large daylily-like leaves, and a white "spider" bloom. The seed resembles a chestnut and seems to have a little "bump" forming on it. All the information given to me when I received it was to let it dry out some more. Do you have any recommendations for what I should do to help this seed turn into a beautiful plant like its parent?

Answer: Based on your description I am not sure exactly what you have there, either, but it sounds like it might be some sort of a bulb, perhaps a form of lycoris or one of its relatives. The large "chestnut" is probably more like a seed pod with numerous seeds inside it. In order for the seed to be viable it must be completely ripe, so I would wait to harvest it until the pod seems quite dry, even papery dry, and all but splitting open all on its own. Then I would plant the seed lightly in a barely damp seed starting mix, cover it with plastic to maintain humidity, and set it in a bright spot away from direct sunlight. Keep it fairly warm, and use plenty of patience. If you can figure out what type of plant you have we may be able to give you more specific planting instructions for the seeds -- for example, if it is a hardy plant it may need a chilling period in order to germinate but with the information you gave there is no way to tell.

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