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Growing Unusual Plants from Seed

Updated on December 3, 2012

If you're anything like me, you love growing plants from seed. Have you thought about buying some of the unusual plant seeds you can buy online? In this article, we are going to be looking at some of the more unusual plants you can try growing.

Kona Coffee

Coffee Beans can be difficult to grow. The seeds MUST be fresh as old seed will not germinate.

Place the seed just under the surface of a shallow compost filled container and keep in a warm place. The compost must be sprayed daily to keep it damp.

It can take up to six months for coffee beans to sprout, so patience is the key, and don't assume the seed must have been old until at least six months have passed.

Just for the record, I myself have a coffee bean plant that took 10 months to sprout.

When germination has occurred, congratulations, you now have a baby coffee plant that will need potted on and cared for with heat, sunlight and water.

How to grow olive seeds

Fill a shallow container with compost and press the seeds onto the surface.

Water well with a spray.

Keep in a warm and sunny place, and keep the soil constantly damp.

Olive seeds may take several weeks to germinate and when they do, pot the seedlings on into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle.

Make the potting mix one part compost to 3 parts sharp sand. Continue to water but this time only when the compost feels dry to touch. Keep in a warm sunny place.

Sensitive plant

Place the seeds of this plant in a compost-filled shallow container, water in well and place in a warm and light spot. Germination is usually rapid - less than a month.

When the seedlings are large enough to handle, carefully transplant them into individual compost-filled pots.

As with all seedlings, always handle by the leaf, and NEVER by the stem. Damage to their stems at this stage will cause the plant to die.

Mimosas grow rapidly and need plenty sunlight, water and heat.

Growing Bananas

The Darjeeling Banana is hardy and used to growing 6000' above sea level in the Himalayas so is the only one here that can withstand frost.

They will all make beautiful conservatory plants, with their big green leaves, and are probably better grown in containers all year round and treated as decorative houseplants unless you live in a hot sunny and sheltered area.

The plants themselves look very 'architectural' and if they grow fruit, that is an added bonus.

The Hardy Kiwi fruit

The hardy kiwi fruit is growing in popularity throughout the world.

Unlike the normal kiwi, this vine will withstand cold and frost.

It is normally too rampant a grower for the conservatory, as it would soon take over.

However, when growing from seed, I would advise growing it in pots initially and keep it indoors at least until it's second year.

Beer Hops

This plant was traditionally used by the native Americans, mainly for its sedative effect on the body and mind.

It's botanical name is humulus lupulus and it contains four active ingredients.

  • Asparagin - a diuretic
  • Humulone and Lupulone which are antibacterial agents
  • Lupulin - a mild sedative/hypnotic

Ah, so we now we know, girls, it isn't the alcohol in beer that affects men. It's the hops! It is very relaxing. Sometimes they get so relaxed they can't stand up straight!

It has many uses therefore apart from using to make beer. It is also reputed to be an aphrodisiac.

Hop flowers can made into a tea or dried and smoked, while the fruit can be applied to boils, burns and skin infections in the form of a poultice to reduce swelling.

It is hardy in zones 4 - 9, and makes an attractive addition to the garden.

Miracle fruit

I'd never heard of the little charmer till I stumbled across it in the writing of this article, but it would certainly be in my choice of seed buying this year.

This is an indoor plant which may be moved to a sheltered outdoor spot in the summer.

The fruit itelf is not sweet, but has theĀ  peculiarity that when your mouth and tongue are coated with it's juices, you do not taste anything bitter and can in fact eat a lemon without realising it tastes anything other than sweet. The effects can last 2 hours.


What can you say?

I know it's hardly a rare plant, but I'm sure it would make an unusual house or garden plant, and what with the price of tobacco rising all the time, why not grow your own?

The castor oil plant is the source of deadly ricin so I do not advise growing this highly poisonous plant if you have children or pets around (or children or pets you don't like!) (just joking).

However, if you have a safe part of the garden away from such creatures, this makes a beautiful plant to grow with its large reddish palmate shaped leaves and bunches of bright red seed heads. It's a very architectural plant and can offset many other plants in your garden.

It grows best in zones 9 - 10 and is often treated as an annual. It is also the source of medicinal castor oil.

Cotton Plant

This is the ideal plant for those of you who wish to start your own industry.

Growing the cotton is the easy part, for then you have to pick it, pack it, reel it and whatever is done with it, to eventually make your own cotton clothes.

Then when you have the material, you will need to dye it and design it into whatever items of clothing you wish to make.

Or you could just grow it for fun.

Be the first one in your neighbourhood growing cotton!


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    • IzzyM profile image

      IzzyM 6 years ago from UK

    • profile image

      j lane 6 years ago

      I am looking for a castor bean plant that grows to about 15 ft, a trunk that is about 7 inches in diameter, large green leaves and a seed pod that resembles the seed pod of a papaya plant. Thank YYou.

    • IzzyM profile image

      IzzyM 7 years ago from UK

      If you visit your family in Galicia, (they do have olive trees there, don't they?), just pull out sucker growing from the base - preferably one with a bit of root on it, wrap it well in moist newspapers, cover it in a sealed polybag, and store at the bottom of your suitcase. Plant when you get home :)

    • LaMamaLoli profile image

      LaMamaLoli 7 years ago from London

      I've been toying with the idea of growing an olive tree. Might just give it a go now...

    • IzzyM profile image

      IzzyM 7 years ago from UK

      Most I've never tried either - but they'd make a refreshing change I think :)

    • theherbivorehippi profile image

      theherbivorehippi 7 years ago from Holly, MI

      Wonderful plants here! Some I have never heard of!! Thanks for this information!

    • IzzyM profile image

      IzzyM 7 years ago from UK

      Thanks JayJay. I like this hub. It was fun to do :)

    • jayjay40 profile image

      jayjay40 7 years ago from Bristol England

      Good advice, well written and easy to understand.