Ma-huang (Ephedra sinica), packet of 5 seeds, Organic [not available to AUS/NZ]

(15 customer reviews)

$6.95

Family: Ephedraceae

Hardy to Zones 3 to 9

Perennial, primitive, dioecious, nearly leafless subshrub. Native to the steppes of north and northwestern China. Rare offering of the main official species. Does well in pots.  Traditional use (TCM): One of the Chinese herbs that releases the exterior.  Dried stem is considered a natural adrenergic stimulant to the central nervous system and a bronchodilator used for treating colds and asthma. The whole herb (as opposed to concentrated tablets), dried and used in small doses, poses no threat to the health. However, the very young, the very old, and the pregnant mother would best avoid use. Cultivation:  Ma-huang prefers full sun and dry, sandy soils. Soak seeds for 2 days in willow tip tea or plain pure water in the fridge before planting.  The seed germinates best in a warm medium. Strew the seed on surface of very sandy potting soil (50% sand) and cover 1 inch deep with more of the same potting soil.  That means, plant the seed 1 inch deep.  Planting deeply increases germ rate and gives the seedling a stronger foundation against flopping over, provides resistance to damping off.  Tamp securely and keep evenly moist until germination, which in the greenhouse or under propagation lights takes 10 to 30 days.  2022 trials showed a 16 day induction period in a warm greenhouse without supplemental heat.  Water when the surface becomes dry–usually once daily.  If you are trying to do this outside in the garden it will take longer, as cold nights prolong germination times.  Once they germinate, seedlings can easily damp off–this is a dryland plant–so reduce the watering–water only once every 3 days or so.  Development is slow at first.  Work the seedlings up in 4-inch pots until they reach at least  4 inches tall.  If one of the stems becomes super leggy (6 inches or more), it is best to cut it back to about 3 inches, to encourage more stems to form.   Once the plant is sufficiently robust,  transplant to a gallon pot or plant outdoors.  Always provide a deep, fast-draining mulch of sand or pumice around the plants.  Do not use compost or fertilizer.  We grow ma-huang in a sand mulch, about 4 inches thick, in the full sun, with moderate watering. Space plants 1 to 2 feet apart.  They create, in 2 or 3 years, a stubby, woody trunk bristling with the jointed stems. The male plants make male flowers prior to the formation of female fruits on the female plants.  Female fruits are fleshy scales adhered together at the end of the branch, colored orange-red, gooey and mucilaginous.  Very sweet to the taste, they contain the paired seeds with their flattened sides lightly clasped together. Seed harvest is in the summer.  Cut back plants in October to a rounded form about 8 inches tall.

5  seeds/pkt., certified organically grown

In stock

SKU: PMAHUAOG Categories: ,

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4.83 out of 5 stars

15 reviews

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What others are saying

  1. Jennifer Powell

    Germinates well

    Jennifer Powell (verified owner)

    Happy to report that I have had 2 plants germinate. Not bad for fall in Texas. I am pleased with my purchase. Thank you.

    Photo has been removed

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  2. Question

    ChreayBoi

    The last (close up) photo:

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    • ChreayBoi

      Could someone please tell me why the green shoots keep dying back on me like this please? The green ones in the photo are now starting to do this too.

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hello Chreay, As above so below. The reason aerial parts die back is because the roots are not happy. Phytopthora will affect ma-huang if the substrate is insufficiently well-drained, or if the plant is overwatered. Potted ephedra are bound to grow slowly and may suffer–the most effective approach is to get them planted to the landscape, where they can develop a naturally shaped root system and… thus naturally shaped aerials. richo

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    • ChreayBoi

      So you’re recommending K grow them in-situ? Would it be best to wait till the Spring now do you think?

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      hi chreay, actually i recommend starting ephedra indoors and transplanting out after 6 months to a year of growth in pots. the seeds are from the current crop and will soon sell out. now is a good time to plant them. r

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    • Gail

      I watched your you tube video and you talked about needing a male and female ephedra plant. The plants you sell are not marked male/female. If I buy seeds, will I get a male and female?

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      hi gail, some of the seeds will make males and others will make females. its about 50/50. it would be easier if one could quickly tell but really you need to wait to maturity and then you can sex them. r

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  3. 2 out of 2 people found this helpful

    Question

    ChreayBoi

    Hello everyone. I live in England, U.K. Please see the photos attached…
    As you can see, germination has been successful.
    What I would now like to know is how to grow these on. Are they still too small for transplant? What growing medium (besides sharp sand) should I use? And most importantly, can I grow these outside in the U.K., and if so shall I grow them indoors for a few years first?

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    • One person found this helpful
      Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      hello chreay, thanks for staying in touch. I only see one seedling in your photo. It looks like it just came up, you’ll probably get more. YEs, these are extremely cold hardy. if planted in sufficiently well-drained conditions, you can grow them in england, outdoors. I scrolled down to find more info, I’ll paste it here. Seed planting and germination for Ma-huang (Ephedra sinica): The seed is easy to germinate in a warm, sandy medium. Strew the seed on surface of very sandy potting soil (50% sand) and barely cover with more of the same potting soil. Tamp securely and keep evenly moist until germination, which in the greenhouse or under propagation lights should take about 11 days. If you are trying to do this outside in the garden it might take longer, as cold nights will prolong germination times. Also, planting directly in the garden is chancy and not really recommended. Basically you want to provide as much control as possible (ie plant in flats) because the seedlings are small and you need to work them up to about 4 inches before they can survive the rigors of transplant and growing outdoors. After germination, back off on the watering because the young seedlings can easily damp off–this is a desert plant. We grow the plants in a sand mulch, about 4 inches thick, in the full sun, with moderate watering. They create, in 2 or 3 years, a stubby, woody trunk bristling with the jointed stems. The flower is inconspicuous, but the fruits are quite fascinating–fleshy scales adhered together at the end of the branch, colored orange, gooey and mucilaginous, and very sweet to the taste, containing the paired seeds with their flattened sides lightly clasped together. Space plants 2 feet apart. richo

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    • ChreayBoi

      Thank you for your response Richo, much appreciated. I tried to upload 2 photos originally, which showed 4 seedlings in total, but for some reason it only allows 1 photo to upload.

      Anyway, I shall try the advice here in your post.

      Thanks again,
      Chris

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  4. Jason Brunner

    Fresh seeds

    Jason Brunner (verified owner)

    Hi , I just got some seeds today after an email notification. I am wondering how old they are and what should I do with them. Do they need to be stratified? Can i put them in a pot outside and they will come up next spring? thank you

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    • One person found this helpful
      Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      hi jason, ma-huang seeds should be planted on receipt according to the directions on the packet. Well-buried in coarse, sharp sand, watered daily and kept very warm and in bright light seems to do the trick. They come up within 3 weeks. they don’t need stratification. richo

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    • Anonymous

      How deep should the seeds planted?

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      an inch

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    • spacerabbit (verified owner)

      I have been trying to locate sand like you use, but I am not finding the right thing. Perhaps you have a recommendation? I’m in Oregon, too, but the Willamette Valley. When I search for river sand, all I find is decorative small bags or non-food grade paving materials. This might be a bit outside the periphery of your teachings. I thought I’d ask just in case. The seeds are so precious and I want to start them right.

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    • One person found this helpful
      Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      hi space, you want course, sharp sand. this can be purchased by the truckload at local quarries. Another option is to use poultry flint grit, available at your local feed and seed. do not use other poultry products like cherrystone, or medicated grit, etc. Another option is horticultural potting grit. here’s a link https://www.gardenhealth.com/westland-potting-grit
      richo

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    • Amy (verified owner)

      Oh thank you so much! I intensely appreciate this information!

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  5. One person found this helpful
    Sadja Ortega

    Great seeds.

    Sadja Ortega (verified owner)

    I followed your directions exactly as written and got 7 out of 10 seeds to germinate! The seeds took 3 months to germinate. Great seeds, made great plants. I have really enjoyed watching them grow and am excited for the fruits.
    I read from people’s comments that they are having issues with different potting soils. Here is my recipe: 50% river sand, 25% coco coir (rinsed), a couple handfuls of woody compost and 25% perlite.
    I have been wanting to grow this for a long time, thank you for these seeds!

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      hello sadja, thank you for reporting your success. richo

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  6. Question

    Catherine French

    when will product be available… ma hung seeds

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Catherine, these are coming along nicely. new crop will be ready around July or so. r

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  7. Question

    Maria Batista (verified owner)

    I think I have a sprout!!! Can you review the picture and see if it looks about right. I’m hoping nothing else jumped into my potting cup. Thank you! How do I send a photo?

    Video has been removed

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      hi maria, you can send a photo to my e-mail <> Either that or check the gallery and match your plant to the several photos of the ephedra seedlings in the gallery. richo

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    • Jared michaels (verified owner)

      Ricco I have 4 sprouts with a warmer and grow bulb in cactus soil. But now they are stunted and havnt grown at all in 2 weeks. Any help would be great before they die.

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      hi jared, these are extremely slow growing. take them off the bottom heat, leave the light on (on at dawn, off at dusk) and they will thro a true leaf in a month or three. r

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    • Fernando Ab

      Hello! I have a plant that is over a year old in a small pot (outdooors in a humid climate). It’s basically a small stick (around 12 cm) and now is starting to branch out.

      I was wondering which time of the year would be best for transplanting this little friend of mine into a bigger pot.

      Best!,
      F

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Fernando, they can be transplanted spring, summer or fall. As below so above–if you give it more root room, it will produce more aerials. r

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  8. Question

    Cameron

    Are these seeds actually viable? I gotten many seeds before, and have not had even one germinate!??

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    • One person found this helpful
      Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Cameron,
      Yes, we just tested these and they germinated really well in deep sand under lights. I recommend hitting “waitlist” on the potted plants, we’re going to enable these as soon as the seedlings size up. Sometimes if the right conditions are not available for seed germination, it makes sense to jump for the plant. Thats basically why we do nursery work here, to give people that option. r

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  9. Question

    Maria Batista (verified owner)

    Hello- can you give more information on what is a Sandy soil? Or show us what brand/type? Thank you! These seeds are precious so I don’t want to ruin them

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Maria,
      Yes, you can go online or to your neighborhood feed and seed and purchase poultry grit (crushed granite) and mix that 50/50 with standard potting soil.
      Make sure you buy pure product with no additives or antibiotics. richo

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    • Maria Batista (verified owner)

      Thank you! Can I use a soil recommended for Cactus? I’m confused on the poultry grit because some say poultry grit feed. Is that correct?

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      no not correct, not any kind of feed, just plain crushed granite. You can use plain sand if you want, not salty sand from the ocean, but river sand. Cactus mix probably won’t work, but people make all kinds of things work. richo

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    • Maria Batista (verified owner)

      I still can’t get them to germinate. You mention light… sunlight, red, blue, purple. Which do you use? I was wondering if you might sell the soil mixture you use to germinate/plant these seeds?

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    • One person found this helpful
      Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Maria,
      The light should be an 8-bulb T-5 set 18 inches above the flat. This is a full-spectrum light. Sorry, we don’t sell soil amendments but you can just use coarse, sharp sand. We just potted up 150 plants from our last planting of this seed–it gave 75% germ rate. Please hit “waitlist” on potted ephedra plants–we will enable these as soon as they size up.
      Richo

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    • Maria Batista (verified owner)

      You mention light… sunlight, red, blue, purple. Which do you use? I was wondering if you might sell the soil mixture you use to germinate/plant these seeds?

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  10. One person found this helpful
    Cathy

    Ephedra plants

    Cathy (verified owner)

    I am so excited. I have 3 baby plants!!! Two came up , and I thought maybe that was all I was getting ( I planted 5) but the third one popped up almost a month later. I am giving the most of sun through a window. It’s cold here now, bit they are warm inside.

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  11. SD

    Hard to grow

    SD

    This is the 3rd time trying to grow this shrub. I have 10 5″ tall plants this season.

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hello SD, nice going. As you note persistence is extremely important, not only due to lessens learned, but due to the different conditions afforded by season, soil, even moonlight. Richo

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  12. Question

    jasperdshide (verified owner)

    I’ve found these seedlings very finicky, and it seems like half of my casualties are fatally under-watered and the other half lost to root rot. Do you have any advice (beyond what’s written in the description) for shepherding them through this difficult period? I’ve been germinating them in 1.5″ x 2″ starter cells and wonder if deeper pots might be better for development of the taproot.

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Jasper, My thought is that there’s too much moisture variation going on within the cell. I would stop using cells and go for a 6 inch deep flat of coarse, sharp sand. Check my youtube channel for a new video (not yet up) called “Creating Environment” or some such thing. This shows the deep flat of ma-huang with the sand and the healthy seedlings. Understand that the roots of ma-huang are thin and spindly–if you plant the seed 1 inch deep then this gives them a better root and keeps the seedling from flopping over. Try it with our Ephedra equisetina–new crop in stock. Richo

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  13. Question

    DON TRUJILLO

    Ma-huang (Ephedra sinica), packet of 20 seeds, Organic [AUS/NZ no] not finding what zone these grow in

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    • One person found this helpful
      Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hardy to Zones 3 to 9

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    • DON TRUJILLO

      please notify me the minute you get seeds or plants I believe there’s plants here also I am in a good zone for these plants

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      OK, I hope you hit “waitlist”

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    • Luke

      Hi Richo, hope all is well. When will these seeds potentially be available?

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hello Luke, We won’t have more organic ma-huang until next year’s harvest (August 2021). I encourage you to avail yourself of the organic Ephedra equisetina that is still available. This is medicinally comparable to Ephedra sinica and is easier to grow with better yields. Richo

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    • Leslie Baker

      What is the difference of these 2

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hello Leslie, Not sure which two you’re talking about, but Ephedra equisetina is somewhat larger and more robust than Ephedra sinica. In terms of constituent analysis, E. equisetina is higher in pseudoephedrine. Richo

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  14. One person found this helpful
    nrc3neal

    Reliable, fun & educational

    nrc3neal

    This current batch, 4 of 5 seeds germinated in 8 days, and are now starting to grow a 3rd a 4th leaf by 3 weeks time. Of the ones that do eventually germinate, like 70% germ in 8-10 days, and the rest trickle in for weeks. I think Richo’s description might say something to that effect? I’ve done the wrong thing, situating them on the wet side of the greenhouse. While Ive not had mass dampoff, the Ephedras stunt and turn yellow for me when irrigated. I dessicate the hell outta those and they bounce back. In the wet tropics (windward Hawaii) I plant them in cinders with a bit of compost, but I need to keep them covered during 4″-per-hour rains! Ive rarely gotten fruits since I tend to eat my plants down faster than they grow! Ive been growing Strictly’s Ephedra seeds (various taxa) for myself and for clients, for at least a decade and I find them to be reliable (contrasted with other vendors’ E. seeds which are normally duds, perhaps not fresh). Fascinating gymnosperm “succulent” shrubs from an intersting time in plant evolution.
    Somebody stop me…

    Photo has been removed

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    • Adbt

      what is your exact method of growing, going to be growing a lot soon. just doing some research.

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Seed planting and germination for Ma-huang (Ephedra sinica): The seed is easy to germinate in a warm, sandy medium. Strew the seed on surface of very sandy potting soil (50% sand) and barely cover with more of the same potting soil. Tamp securely and keep evenly moist until germination, which in the greenhouse or under propagation lights should take about 11 days. If you are trying to do this outside in the garden it might take longer, as cold nights will prolong germination times. Also, planting directly in the garden is chancy and not really recommended. Basically you want to provide as much control as possible (ie plant in flats) because the seedlings are small and you need to work them up to about 4 inches before they can survive the rigors of transplant and growing outdoors. After germination, back off on the watering because the young seedlings can easily damp off–this is a desert plant. We grow the plants in a sand mulch, about 4 inches thick, in the full sun, with moderate watering. They create, in 2 or 3 years, a stubby, woody trunk bristling with the jointed stems. The flower is inconspicuous, but the fruits are quite fascinating–fleshy scales adhered together at the end of the branch, colored orange, gooey and mucilaginous, and very sweet to the taste, containing the paired seeds with their flattened sides lightly clasped together. Space plants 2 feet apart.

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    • sam

      I need some ma huang for my asthma, How can I order some seeds, or a live plant? Thanx…

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      As long as you’re in the USA then you click on the “buy” option for seeds (immediate delivery) or plants (spring delivery). r

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    • DZ

      When you say back off watering, I water sprouts (~2″) about twice a week but they are starting to turn yellow and sag. Am I over watering or under watering them at this point? Thank you!

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      over-watering. is there lots of course, sharp sand in the substrate?

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  15. Question

    Tharin

    I would like to try growing this plant from seed in Eastern Kansas. Would this be suitable to grow in a container?

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Yes, MA-huang does great in containers. Give fast-draining soil and a 1-inch mulch of pure white pumice around the crown.

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    • Tharin

      That’s good news! I’m starting an appartment balcony herb garden this year. Do you know if any more seeds will be available this spring? I’m excited to give them a try.

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Hello Tharin,
      OK, not sure how good your luck will be with seeds, I find they work best in sand under lights. I did check stock and was able to add 5 packets, so you can order if yuou hurry. You can also get plants, which I do recommend, at this link https://strictlymedicinalseeds.com/product/ma-huang-ephedra-sinica-potted-plant-organic/–as of 5/1/19 there were still about 20 left in stock.
      Richo

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    • Roq

      Hey RIcho,
      Do you know if seeds for Ephedra-sinica and Goto Kula will be come available sometime soon? It is mid-February 2020 now. Thank you!

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Roq,
      Thanks for alerting me that the inventory on ma-huang had run down. We do have it, I enabled it. Gotu kola still waiting on seed maturation on mother plants. It’ll be awhile. Please click “waitlist”
      Richo

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    • Jeremy Long

      So do you not ship to Australia? email me if you want my dude! jezzaownz@gmail.com Cheers

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      double-whammy. Australia is not accepting post right now due to COVID, and Australia considers ma-huang to be a disallowed species. r

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  16. Question

    Janice Storss

    I need some ma huang for my asthma, How can I order some seeds, or a live plant? Thanx…

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    • One person found this helpful
      Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Hi Janice, The plants are about 6 inches tall with several stems. They wouldn’t go very far for tea use and are slow growing. I will put you on the list and e-mail you soon. r

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    • janicestorss

      Even A little would be ok. Thanks….

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Hi There, I’m interpreting this as a request for a ma-huang packet. I checked inventory–I have 2–I enabled them–you may order–please hurry or someone else will get the seeds. r

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    • gray

      Is there a way to get these to me in Australia? Little by little our government is banning and removing medicinal plants and forces us to use big pharma non working junk medicine

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi, I can relate. . . However, we cannot get ma-huang to AUS, it is illegal there. r

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  17. Question

    Serina

    Will these seeds be available in the spring? Your collection had captivated me, and I feel so grateful to learn more.

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      hi serina, thanks for staying in touch. we do have plans to offer ma-huang seed again in the spring. please check back frequently and also make sure you’re signed up for the new 2019 paper catalog, which we are currently formulating and will issue in the new year. richo

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    • Nicole Prowse

      I had previously asked about the availability of your plants…I would definitely be interested in some of the seeds assuming they would be available sooner & more affordable for me as a single parent. Thank you!

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      OK, good, we’ll stay in touch.

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    • Alice Hodge

      Hi Richo, any updates on your Ma-huang seeds!! Please, please!!

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Hello Alice,
      OK, I had a small stash of these, I’ve enabled 10 packets, you should be able to purchase. Richo

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  18. Question

    Phoenix

    Can the seeds be sent to NZ?

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    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Sorry, no, these are disallowed in AUS and NZ.

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    • JerseyHighlander

      Would love some information on how to care for these plants beyond the seedlings. Trimming/pruning, encouraging growth & spreading, any specific nutrient requirements/recommendations to feed them and make them as healthy as possible.

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    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Jersey,
      I have to recommend my new book that has a monograph on cultivation of ma-huang. All the details are there. in essence, one concentrates on preparing a full sun site with fast-draining soil and fertilizer is not needed, not recommended. Pruning is done in October. Yes, the various methods of increase are covered in the book–Growing Plant Medicine at this link https://strictlymedicinalseeds.com/product/growing-plant-medicine-book-vol-1/
      richo

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