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Plant These Exotic Rare Seeds For Gardening Fun

Updated on February 13, 2015
Virginia Allain profile image

Virginia has years of experience with gardening and wild pests in New Hampshire and other locales.

Gardening Should Be Fun!

Lots of people garden for lots of different reasons.

Some like to grow their own foods to save money on their grocery bills.

Some like to grow pretty flowers and shrubs to make their yard look nice. Some even garden because they like to compete at the State Fair every year.

But when you get right down to it, most people garden because it's just plain fun!

It's fun to dig in the dirt. It's fun to look at seed catalogs and dream about what you're going to plant. And it's fun watching each new little plant burst out of the ground, reaching for the sun.

You get a great sense of accomplishment when you grow something - whether it's food, flowers, bushes or trees.

But you feel even mightier when you grow something that nobody has ever seen before.

The world's largest peanut! Or a record-breaking pumpkin! Or how about the teeniest watermelon known to man?

Imagine the look on your neighbor's face when you finally win that Blue Ribbon at the State Fair this year. He'll be green with envy! And you'll just be beaming from ear to ear because you had so much fun!

Rare And Heirloom Seeds


Graphic from Zazzle: Heirloom Gardener Vintage Art Rectangular Stickers by thegardenpages

You won't find many rare or heirloom seeds at your local big box gardening center. They're too hard to produce and maintain. And the people who produce all those seeds you do see can't be bothered with the huge variety of seeds out there. They make more money if they concentrate on those little packet of petunias and let somebody else worry about all the fancier stuff.

So when your special seeds arrive you have to take a few precautions. If you're not going to plant them right away, then store them in a cool, dry place, away from sunlight. You don't want your seeds to get moldy before you get a chance to plant. Or worse yet, they might start germinating in the package.

Be sure to follow the planting directions on the seed packet. Some rare and heirloom seeds are very particular about weather and growing conditions and it would be a shame to have you lose out on that Blue Ribbon just because you over-watered.

And if you like your results, be sure to save a bloom or two, or a melon or ear of corn, so you can harvest the seeds and plant again next year!

Mexican Miniature Watermelon

Yes! These are actually miniature watermelons. Are these cool or what?!

Seriously. We planted a small patch of these last year and they're wonderful eaten right from the garden. They're crisp and juicy and just a refreshing as their full size cousin.

The flavor is kind of a cross between a cucumber and a watermelon so we thought, what the heck? Let's make a batch of Miniature Watermelon Pickles!

We used our favorite pickling recipe which included covering these little guys in brine and letting them soak for about 24 hours. Then we just put them in the jars and used a standard dill pickle recipe.

They turned out crispy on the outside and kind of soft on the inside - perfect for munching or adding to a salad.

And our friends were really surprised to get a jar of these adorable Miniature Watermelon Pickles for Christmas!

Snake Gourd - Fun for Everyone

Look at the snake like shapes these grow in. You can decorate them with paint or by cutting into the outer part of the skin to make your snake patterns.

Snake Gourd 5 Seeds - Grow your own slippery snake!
Snake Gourd 5 Seeds - Grow your own slippery snake!

You'll want to harvest a lot of these and get the whole family involved in decorating them. Look at the example shown here to see how creative you can get with this curvy gourd.


Have You Tried Unusual Plants in Your Garden?

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© 2012 Virginia Allain

What rare or exotic plant will you grow this year?

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    • askformore lm profile image

      askformore lm 

      5 years ago

      You give us a great list of exotic plants and seed. Very inspirational. Thanks!

    • Petzard profile image


      5 years ago

      I already have cactus (I hope it's enough exotic) in my room, and I love it!

    • Alana-r profile image


      5 years ago

      Wow, these look amazing, very interesting lens.

    • tonybonura profile image

      Tony Bonura 

      5 years ago from Tickfaw, Louisiana

      Probably not anything this year. Maybe next year...maybe. This was a very interesting lens. I'll be back to order some seeds...probably.


    • concept247 profile image


      6 years ago

      it got to be the mouse melons for me

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I'm not going to grow any but these are fun to look at.

    • Frischy profile image


      6 years ago from Kentucky, USA

      Those little watermelons look interesting. We might have to try that!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Wow I did not know that strawberries could grow that big, that is huge. Nice selection of exotic fruits too.

    • Winter52 LM profile image

      Winter52 LM 

      6 years ago

      I want one of those massive strawberries!! Learned lots and I do love that black cob of corn! :)

    • vetochemicals profile image


      6 years ago from Pittsburgh Pa

      The mini watermelon sounds perfect and lots of other great ideas too!

    • happydesertgirl profile image


      6 years ago

      I am thinking about growing some heirloom winsall tomatoes, however several items in your lens is so tempting.

    • KateHonebrink profile image


      6 years ago

      My most exotic plant will probably be rosemary in a pot on my patio. Love the info in this lens - great job!

    • BLemley profile image

      Beverly Lemley 

      6 years ago from Raleigh, NC

      Great lens ~ I had no idea there were such "exotic" fruits and veggies! Very nice! B : )

    • Elle-Dee-Esse profile image

      Lynne Schroeder 

      6 years ago from Blue Mountains Australia

      Wow, that black corn looks a little scary! Kind of goes with my black thumb. If I could succeed at growing anything I might give these a go.

    • Mim Art profile image

      Mim Art 

      6 years ago

      Great lens - with Spring in the air I'm keen for something a little 'exotic'!!

    • Diane Cass profile image

      Diane Cass 

      6 years ago from New York

      We grow Brandywine heirloom tomatoes every year. No tomato on earth is as good as Brandywine.

    • Rangoon House profile image


      6 years ago from Australia

      Gosh these are rare and exotic. Spring Blessings to you.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Stopping back to get another look at the intro picture...wishing I had a place to grow some of your rare exotic seeds!

    • norma-holt profile image


      6 years ago

      It's great to be reminded that there are so many varieties of superb food in nature's vault of wonderful plants. Love the mini watermelons. Featured on Blessed by Skiesgreem and also on Pickles. Hugs

    • MelonyVaughan profile image


      6 years ago

      What a brilliant lens! I especially love the miniature watermelons.

    • CruiseReady profile image


      6 years ago from East Central Florida

      I would really like to try the mexican miniature watermelons. And maybe the striped eggplant

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 

      6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      I'll have to share this page with my son-in-law. He likes trying out new plants. I'd like to try the miniature watermelons. Do you eat the skins too? Mum used to grow "Indian corn." Each cob had a lot of different colors. It was popping corn.

      Squid blessing this lens.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      6 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I will be sharing this page with the volunteers at our Pendleton Elementary School Memory Garden. The students would enjoy planting these exotic rare seeds.

    • birkinbag lm profile image

      birkinbag lm 

      6 years ago

      I have never saw a black corn. It is incredible!

    • BarbRad profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 

      6 years ago from Templeton, CA

      Somehow, I have the most fun looking at those catalogs. I'd have to be able to use all my land if I were to plant half of what I wanted to try. I do like heirlooms, though.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I have some Poona Keera cucumber seeds that I got from Pinetree Garden in Maine. I wanted to try them because they're never supposed to get bitter like regular cukes do! Great lens!

    • HealthfulMD profile image

      Kirsti A. Dyer 

      6 years ago from Northern California

      I've already liked this one, but am adding another comment. Lots of great ideas. Time to get the garden started again.

    • GramaBarb profile image


      6 years ago from Vancouver

      My granddaughter just bought some sunflower seeds - so we will make a journal on our progress. Fun project.

    • ZenandChic profile image


      6 years ago

      I'm not sure I will grow any, but these are cool and I will keep it in mind for when I can grow a garden again.

    • Joan Haines profile image

      Joan Haines 

      6 years ago

      I hope to grow some darn good tomatoes, but they won't be very exotic.

    • Surreymagic profile image


      6 years ago

      I'm growing catnip (Nepeta cataria) which I started in a propagator and I'm keeping inside to keep the cats (and slugs) off it!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing these wonderful plants with us, can't wait to get planting.

    • kimbesa2 profile image


      6 years ago from USA

      Which ONE? Don't think I can pick just one, but it will be a tough choice. Thanks for these great ideas!

    • Showpup LM profile image

      Showpup LM 

      6 years ago

      If that cotton will grow anywhere dandelions will grow, that looks like a winner to me! ;-) Bet the birds would love it. Really enjoyed the variety shown here. Thanks for sharing them. Sharing on Facebook and pinterest.

    • davenjilli lm profile image

      davenjilli lm 

      6 years ago

      Wonderful tour through the slightly different things to grow. We love growing soy beans around here. Every year in the garden is an adventure. *blessed*

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Thanks for the different exotic plants to try. It's getting close to time to go "dig in the dirt" again and I can hardly wait! I've been going through catalogs but going to 'pin' this so I can come back to it.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Nice lens as a family we like to grow something new each year and now we have a great list to work from nice thanks

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 

      6 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      Unfortunately, none this year or for the past eight years, ever since I moved to northern Arizona. Back when I lived in New England and then Pennsylvania, I grew nearly all my own food and a bunch for the farmers market. Loved it! And much of what I grew was heirloom. But veggie gardening is a LOT harder here in the high desert, especially without a greenhouse, which I don't have. *sigh* I miss it, though.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      6 years ago from Canada

      I think that I will stick to basics like beets, beans, and podded peas, but I also want to include in some sunflowers this year.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Nice lens with some awesome photos and links I like the mong tomato it's huge

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Great lens some beautiful flowers i love the blue meconopsis best

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Wow, love the strawberry. Love this lens, thanks

    • glenbrook profile image


      6 years ago

      I don't know if it's rare or exotic, but I'm going to grow salsify this summer.

    • Squidrocket profile image


      6 years ago

      I am going to try a few of these fruits and seeds out! Thanks for the links and for the blessing. Wish you a good day! The next lense.... LED with Exotic Plants!

    • Scraps2treasures profile image


      6 years ago

      I am growing pineapple strawberries this year. Other weird plants I am trying are purple asparagus (I have an odd affinity for purple veggies!), pink banana (as a houseplant), and paprika peppers (so I can dry and grind my own paprika).

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Wow! Those are so cool!!!! I wish I knew how to grow these in Kuwait! Blessed!

    • Holley Web profile image

      Holley Web 

      6 years ago

      Oh, just WOW! As a new organic gardener (crossing fingers for a good planting this year) I am thrilled to find all these resources! Thank you!

    • LouisaDembul profile image


      6 years ago

      Since I only have a small balcony I will go for herbs this year!

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 

      6 years ago from Seattle, WA

      So many exotics I've never seen or heard of before. Thanks for the info!

    • chezchazz profile image


      6 years ago from New York

      I grow heirloom plants and veggies as much as possible - the heirloom tomatoes taste so much better than newer hybrids - which may be why they aren't quite as rare as they used to be.

    • GonnaFly profile image


      6 years ago from Australia

      I haven't really grown anything that rare or exotic. Probably the most unusual food I have grown are peanuts and vegetable spaghetti.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      @anonymous: Art, I sent this lens to a friend who loves planting new and unusual verities of fruits and vegetables. Was hoping to see a comment by them, but no. Anyway they did gain some insights into planting their gardens this spring with something different for a change. :)

    • dahlia369 profile image


      6 years ago

      I'm always looking for new plants that would do good in my part of Central Florida and definitely prefer heirloom seeds. Goof info, thank you! :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I love exotic tropical plants, and would like to grow an exciting vine this year, maybe an unusual type of Passion flower, then I can use it to grab some special phorographs.

      It would be such fun to grow a giant strawberry such as the one featured here!

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 

      6 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Wow! I'd love a strawberry that big! The Watermelons I might leave, but some of the others looked really cool!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Gardening should be fun and you sure found a way to do that on the way to the fruits of our labors!

    • SecondHandJoe LM profile image

      SecondHandJoe LM 

      6 years ago

      I really want to eat that strawberry now and not in 6 months...but it may be worth the wait! We love growing heirloom tomatoes but your lens has inspired me to try something new this year! :-D

    • nightbear lm profile image

      nightbear lm 

      6 years ago

      I think those tiny watermelon look very interesting. Rare plants can sometimes lead to really great new finds. thank you! Blessed


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