The Q&A Archives: Sowing Clove Seeds

Question: I recently purchased cloves in bulk and found a seed pod among the cloves. The pod had two seeds in it and, even though I know this is not the right climate, I'd like to see if I can get these seeds to sprout and grow. Do you have any information on growing Clove (bushes?) from seed?

Answer: According to the American Horticultural Society's book, "Plant Propagation," Syzygium aromaticum seeds are sown at 70 degrees from the fleshy fruits when they are ripe, so it may be difficult to get your dried seeds to germinate. If they have a hard seed coat, you might try soaking them in water overnight (but they'd have to be planted immediately after) or scratching them lightly with sandpaper or a file to encourage germination. Since they are native to tropical areas, sow in a fine, soilless potting mix and provide humidity (such as plastic wrap around the pot). Good luck!

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