Eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus), packet of 10 dried berries, organic

(1 customer review)

$4.95

Family:  Ginseng (Araliaceae)

Hardy to Zones 3 to 7

(Ci-wu-jia, Siberian Ginseng) Woody perennial shrub with ginseng-like leaves and white flowers giving way to the blue-black fruits. Rare in cultivation. Native to North Korea, northern China and Siberia. The plant is self-fertile and the flowers are hermaphroditic.  The root and root bark are the parts used.  Traditional usage: adaptogen.  Source of eleutherosides. The plant will thrive in full sun and moist soil in the north, but prefers shade and moist soil in hotter, more southerly locations.  Plant does well growing in  standard garden soil or woodland soils.  Good drainage is not necessary–they do well with wet feet.  Cultivation from seeds:  These are dried berries from our own plants here on the farm.  In a 10-berry packet you should end up with 60 seeds, more or less.  Once removed from the fruit, the seeds require 6 months of warm treatment followed by at least a month of cold treatment, with germination in cold soils.  Soak the berries in water overnight and smash them in a tea strainer under the faucet until pure seed is obtained.  Put seed in a sealed plastic bag containing moist coir and store indoors (70 degrees F) in warm conditions for 6 months, then move to cold conditions in the refrigerator (40 degrees F), with germination in a month of cold treatment. Check the baggie frequently and remove seeds that are sprouting and pot them up outdoors in cool, moist shade conditions.  Alternatively, the natural approach is often most reliable:  sow seed in a cool greenhouse or in flats left in the shadehouse, shade garden, or in moist, cool woods. Sowing in flats in the  greenhouse is advised, because this gives better control.  Keep the flat screened against mice.  Use a potting soil that is water-retentive, containing plenty of peat or coir.  Plant the seeds 1/2 inch deep and tamp securely.  Germination occurs usually within 7 months of sowing, but depending on local conditions may require 2 vernal cycles before germination takes place.  Work seedlings up in pots in the cool shade, and transplant once they have sized-up, when their roots fill a gallon pot.  Space plants 3 to 10 feet apart.

10 dried berries per packet, open-pollinated, untreated, NO GMO’s

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  1. Question

    thenaekedgardener (verified owner)

    Hi!
    Richo will you have Eleuthero seeds soon once again??!?…..
    Will you ever have or do you know of Eleuthero seeds that mostly guarantees horrendously spiny seedlings??
    I’m in love with the idea of a mass diverse multilayer hedge screen of the most gruesomely thorny, barbed and spiny plants that will succeed in my neck of the woods!!
    Eleuthero is a key shade loving element in this primarily sun loving assortment of gruesome boundary hedge guilds……
    Richo, any other suggestions on shade tolerant hedging/screening plants? companion guilds?
    For sun lovers I’ve got Two species of Buffaloberries, Honey and Black Locusts, Maclura pomifera, Trifolate Orange, Spiny Bamboo, Stinging Nettle, Thorny Brambles, etc….
    Northern East Arkansas minimum winter temps:-10F
    -naeked

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Well, the eleuthero as you probably know requires cool, moist conditions. I just went down and checked some of our spiny eleuthero mother plants and they did more than usual in terms of fruit production this year. Harvest is after first frost. r

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  2. Megan

    Patience Rewarded

    Megan (verified owner)

    Seeds planted in winter 2019 have finally sprouted! I am glad I didn’t give up on them! I nearly forgot that I planted these, perhaps that’s just what they were waiting for. Thank you for putting up photos of the young seedlings, helped me verify my hunch

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Melody,
      Yes, the violet seeds are planted in outdoor conditions in the fall and germinate in the spring. Indoor plantings generally fail. I believe we still have plants in stock on this–purchasing plants would put you way ahead–they are the same type, the seeds and the plants.
      Richo

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  3. Question

    mariecantu88

    I notice the hardiness zone is up to 7; will it thrive in PNW 8b or does it need longer/colder winters?

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    • One person found this helpful
      Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Marie, I believe that more than a winter dormancy requirement the plant simply needs protection from sun and heat. In a Zone 4 Alaska you can give more sun, but down on coastal or inland PNW it is a shade plant. You can try it–one doesn’t need to be a cosmonaut to try it–choose that cool and shady niche.
      Richo

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    • mariecantu88

      Thank you, plenty of shady corners here I could tuck it in! Sounds like it’s worth a shot.

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  4. Question

    Steph

    Could you please show us a photo of the first leaves and first true leaves of Eleutherococus ? I have finally got some seeds sprouting after several months and want to be sure before colder months arrive. Thanks

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      I’ll endeavor to do this. One slight issue is that I’ve lost my camera for the nonce.

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  5. Question

    Matt (verified owner)

    Do you have a spiny variety? I’m in Alaska and plants that have their own defense against browsing are greatly appreciated. The moose here are huge, hungry and basically unstoppable. Any variety with terrible spines, thorns and bristles will be welcome here. I have ordered some seed already, maybe I’ll get some spikes out of some of them, one can hope. Just wondering if you have any plants that are too viscous for civilization and look up for a challenge. Thanks

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      MAtt, I have spiny eleuthero in plants only, not in seeds. You could buy a spineless plant and request that I send you a spiny one for the same price. They do well in extreme conditions but they do need shade. richo

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    • Dustin Burch

      Hey Richo any plans on having this seed available again?

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Dustin, Actually, yes, hit “waitlist,” I’m going to enable this very soon.
      Richo

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    • kelebecs

      Hi! Why is this plant rare in cultivation? Does it have a lot of problems like pests etc..thank you

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi there, Pests do not much bother Eleutherococcus. Its rare in cultivation because its difficult to germinate the seeds and requires specific growth conditions that are not typical to most cultivated plants. Plants become rare because of overharvest, loss of habitat and difficulty of cultivation. Richo

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