Mandrake, officinarum (Mandragora officinarum), packet of 13 seeds, fresh, undried, packed in moist medium, organic

$24.95

Family: Nightshade (Solanaceae)

Hardy to Zones 6 to 10

(White Mandrake, Mandragora officinalis) Perennial.  Native to southeastern Europe and the Mediterranean. Rare. Traditional usage (TWM): fertility, aphrodisiac, a magical totem, relieve pain, promote sleep.  Source of tropane alkaloids–do not ingest.   Plant prefers alkaline pH—deep, sandy soils, dry, in the part-shade.  The plant begins its vegetative cycle in the midwinter, flowers in the spring, fruits, and goes quickly dormant in the summer, then re-sprouts from beneath the callus in late winter.  Keep crowns in perfect drainage.  I plant mine in deep sand mulch on the shady side of rocks. Flower color is lavender.  Flower to 16 inches, giving way to green, apple-like fruits that eventually turn yellowish and soft before harvest.  The smell is exquisite.  Sow seeds as soon as possible upon receipt.  Sow about 1/4 inch deep in sandy, alkaline mix in a flat or preferably in a gallon pot.  Place flat or pot in the shadehouse or in the greenhouse in a relatively cool, shaded area.  Lacking the shadehouse or the greenhouse, you might try a sheltered spot outdoors, or even a germination setup with lights.  Fresh seed germinates at a high rate of germ in 8 months, sometimes faster. Space plants 3 feet apart.

13 fresh seeds per packet, Certified Organically Grown [USA ONLY, NO INTERNATIONAL SALES]

No replacements on mandrake seed.

NOTE:  We ran four concurrent germ tests with the fresh and newly-dried seed.  The best germination occurred in seed that was left absolutely fresh and undried, merely washed and cleaned, then planted immediately in fast-draining soil in outdoor conditions in our shadehouse.  The germination period was eight months (from July 10 to March 3). 108 seeds were planted, and 76 sprouts were observed.  This is a germ rate of 70.37%.  RAC

 

 

In stock

Share your thoughts!

5 out of 5 stars

13 reviews

Let us know what you think...

What others are saying

  1. Claire Drouault

    My very favorite plant

    Claire Drouault (verified owner)

    Got excited after watching your podcast showing you caring for actual mandrake plants in your garden! Just had to reorder more fresh seeds! I live on a heavily wooded lot and my direct sun is very limited so I’ve been transplanting baby plants to large pots on my deck. I was becoming discouraged lately because some of my mandrakes have been going dormant and others haven’t. I thought the dormant ones had died after transplanting but when I broke open the starter plugs I found roots! I was even more surprised to find roots in the starter plugs I had given up on because I thought they didn’t “take.” I transplanted them and watered them and some of them are leafing! It also occurred to me that, because the seeds are planted only 1/8″ deep, water draining into the catch trays do not mean the seed is sufficiently hydrated so I’m watering more often but a lot less each time. And I’m making sure my “water birds” aren’t buried too deep. Living and learning and loving it!

    (0) (0)

    Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

    • 4 out of 4 people found this helpful
      Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      this makes perfect sense to me. Mandragora is always full of surprises. On my side, I’m seeing out-of-season emergence on both officinarum and turcomanica, while the autumnalis, which is supposed to be showing, is largely dormant. turcomanica seeds, planted from fresh seeds, are just now germinating–a long wait! we had plenty of seeds or officinarum this year so your order for fresh seeds is appreciated. I’m playing with the idea of re-enabling potted plant sales, on the basis of a lot of officinarum seedlings resurfacing–like yours did–but its hard to justify disappointing hundreds and rewarding a few score of people on the waitlist. i need to meditate on this. r

      (4) (0)

      Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

  2. Question

    OstaraMoon (verified owner)

    Hi Richo, I have a couple of questions:
    1) With fresh seeds, would using GA3 help or hurt the germination process (if they have not germinated already during shipment)?
    2) It’s very hot and humid right now (daytime temp is mid-90s with at least 50% humidity), even in shade… Would that prevent fresh seeds from germinating? I’m trying to decide whether to get fresh seeds that need planting right now, vs dried seeds that require cold treatment (which will push the planting date to at least September when the temp is slightly cooler).
    Thank you so much in advance!
    Amy

    (0) (0)

    Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

    • 3 out of 3 people found this helpful
      Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hello Ostara, I believe GA3 would help the seeds germinate. I believe our freshly harvested seeds are more likely to provide satisfaction than the dried seeds. I believe it works best to plant them warm immediately on receipt, not wait. Richo

      (3) (0)

      Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

  3. Question

    april

    I thought one was suppose to put the seeds in the fridge for a period of time then keep them warm? Or something. I don’t know the seeds are very expensive I want to make sure I do it right.

    (0) (0)

    Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi April,
      You can put the seeds in a jar of water in the fridge with frequent water changing for a couple of weeks if you want. You’re on the fresh seed item here and so if you get the fresh seed then you don’t really need to do that, especially if the seed has already sprouted by the time you get it, in which case it should be planted, not put in the fridge. Here’s the directions for the fresh seed:  Sow seeds as soon as possible upon receipt.  Sow about 1/4 inch deep in sandy, alkaline mix in a flat or preferably in a gallon pot.  Place flat or pot in the shadehouse or in the greenhouse in a relatively cool, shaded area.  Lacking the shadehouse or the greenhouse, you might try a sheltered spot outdoors, or even a germination setup with lights.  Fresh seed germinates at a high rate of germ in 8 months, sometimes faster.

      (0) (0)

      Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

  4. Question

    Amethyst Trotter

    I was considering getting some of these fresh seeds but I’m worried that i would have the incorrect soil mix when they arrived. It seems from the listing and the previous Q&As that fast draining and alkalinity are important factors. I am much more weighted towards the empirical side of this whole plant business and I was wondering if you would have a more specific suggestion as to what components in what ratios/percentages would be appropriate if one were to try and build a growing medium from scratch. For example proportions of elements like fine sand, soil/dirt, whether powdered lime or limestone chunks are better, and so on.

    (0) (0)

    Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

    • One person found this helpful
      Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      hello amethyst, thanks for staying in touch. the recipe for cactus mix is 50% fast-draining and 50% compost. I understand the desire for a very specific recipe and i’ve that and have done so in “the medicinal herb grower” yet the freedom to use local materials that will vary regionally as well as the need to adapt methodology to local conditions precludes the applicability of a universal mix. Many will simply buy cactus mix at the store and mix it 50-50 with potting soil from the store and add in a handful of ground limestone (dolomite) to alkylanize and call it good. Others will use coarse, sharp sand from a local quarry mixed with white pumice and home compost with eggshell and call it good. The best advice i can give is to move forward with faith and learn as you go. the fresh mandrake seeds are quite viable and have given good results on a balcony in new jersey as well as an open bed in santa fe. plant lots of seeds with love. richo

      (1) (0)

      Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

    • Amethyst Trotter

      Thank you for your insight and quick reply. I’ll see what i can craft soon.

      (0) (0)

      Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

  5. Question

    jasperdshide (verified owner)

    I’m trying to wrap my head around the dormancy period of the mandrake – is it necessary for the plant’s health or optional if kept in greenhouse conditions? Is it triggered by some external factor (day length, temperature) or is it innate?

    Also here are my two favorites from seed – it’s interesting how their leaves are different shapes and colors!

    Photo has been removed

    (0) (0)

    Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

    • 3 out of 3 people found this helpful
      Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hello, yes, the dormancy is normal and necessary. However, any given population won’t be completely consistent, there are often particularly robust individuals that appear, as per your photo, good going, some came to you–its a bit like Bilbo’s ring, may play one last trick before giving in to ownership, may emerge in fall unexpectedly and overwinter in leafy form, may retain leaves into summer, especially if kept free of pathogens and watered and weakly fertilized. Growing them for a longer period in veg will result in a bigger root, as the leaves feed the underground portions. Ultimately these plants will do better planted in-situ, not in pots, and keep an eye out to our youtube channel in the next few days, a new video “on the wings of the dragon” will be posted, and this will serve to better answer your questions. r

      (3) (0)

      Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

  6. One person found this helpful
    jasperdshide

    The Magical Mandrake

    jasperdshide (verified owner)

    These fresh seeds are 200% the way to go. Four of them had roots poking out upon arrival and the rest are no doubt not far behind. I’ve messed around with dried mandrake seeds with mediocre results and noticeably less vigor in the seedlings. As far as I’m concerned the price difference between dried and fresh seeds was justified the second I opened the package and pulled out the germinating seeds. Fingers crossed I can keep the seedlings happy!

    (1) (0)

    Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

    • Bradford Speck

      My question is: If (as the description says in line 3 & 4) Mandrake is a “Source of Tropane alkaloids–do not ingest ” why would the fruits be harvested & how would they be used for fertility, as an aphrodisiac, or to promote sleep if not ingested? Thank you in advance for your answer & for making these wonderful plants available.

      (0) (0)

      Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Bradford,
      The quote leaves out a critical part. Here it is in full: “Traditional usage (TWM): fertility, aphrodisiac, a magical totem, relieve pain, promote sleep.” In other words, these were the traditional applications of the plant which we now know to be antique and relegated to the past. As an example, doctors once freely employed calomel (mercury chloride) as a treatment for various ills but we now know this substance to be extremely toxic and would never use it. That still doesn’t change the fact that it was once widely used. Hope that helps clear up any confusion. r 

      (0) (0)

      Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

  7. Question

    Donna

    How warm should I keep the pots after I plant my mandrake seeds? And what method is best?

    (0) (0)

    Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      70 to 80 degrees F. These are already sprouting in the fridge. plant them root down in standard greenhouse conditions. if you don’t have that, a t-5 grow light trained 18 inches above the planting will do nicely, and you might even get away with a sunny windowsill.

      (0) (0)

      Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

    • Erica Reyes

      Hi richo..I was checking out t5 grow lights on this recommendation but find them to be out of my price range. Any suggestions on smaller/less expensive alternatives? Thanks so much!

      (0) (0)

      Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

    • Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hi Erica,
      Nice to hear from you again. At this season the grow lights become less and less useful, as there is more and more natural light available. I would drop the idea and use more natural approaches. The season is nigh. Good gardeners can direct-seed almost anything into the garden, or lacking a garden can plant in gallon pots and so-forth.
      Richo

      (0) (0)

      Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

  8. Question

    Dee Hill

    Are you not able to ship these to the uk?

    (0) (0)

    Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Hello Dee,
      Not really, because they are packaged in moist medium and may be sprouting by the time they get to you–sprouted seeds are considered to be “plants” by customs and may be confiscated. The dried seeds can be delivered internationally. You can speed their germination by keeping in a jar of water in the fridge for several weeks prior to planting in a very warm location (like under grow lights).
      Richo

      (0) (0)

      Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

    • Kim

      When is the best time of year to plant these?

      (0) (0)

      Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

    • One person found this helpful
      Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Hi Kim,
      These must be planted immediately on receipt. Several growers have even mentioned they had germinated seeds in with the shipment.
      Richo

      (1) (0)

      Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

  9. Eddie Spohn

    Magnificent Mandrakes

    Eddie Spohn (verified owner)

    I was hesitant at first to write this review. The reason was that once before I ordered a packet of dried White Mandrake seed from this company and they took a while to come up. I think the quickest seedling took months to show. Just part of the Mandrake process. The Nightshade family is notorious for long dormancies in their dried seeds.

    Not this time. When I ordered my first packet of undried seed they already had taproots upon arrival. I gently pried them apart and planted them in gallon pots and within weeks the first cotyledons were showing above ground. This made me happy but I figured it was just some rare occurrence. What the hell do I know?

    I ordered two more packets a short time after because I really like this plant. Both packets had germinating seeds inside the plastic wrap upon arrival. Have put them in pots and am awaiting the above ground appearance of this newest batch. Been cold and rainy in my vicinity lately so they may not show for a bit.

    I think the best bet for those wanting Mandrakes is to order the fresh, undried seed.

    Thanks Richo for making these plants available.

    (0) (0)

    Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

  10. Question

    Aaron

    Hi! Since these are fresh seeds, is it still necessary to cold stratify them? If so, do you recommend a month in the fridge? Thank you!

    (0) (0)

    Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Hi Aaron,
      The fresh seeds can be planted immediately without cold stratification, although removing from coir packing and soaking in pure water in the refrigerator for a week before planting might help spur germination. If you have a fast-draining mix and lights you can even probably get them to come up in 3 weeks. There are are many approaches that yield results. “Sow seeds as soon as possible upon receipt. Sow about 1/4 inch deep in sandy, alkaline mix in a flat or preferably in a gallon pot. Place flat or pot in the shadehouse or in the greenhouse in a relatively cool, shaded area. Lacking the shadehouse or the greenhouse, you might try a sheltered spot outdoors, or even a germination setup with lights. “

      (0) (0)

      Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

  11. Question

    Seamus Black

    Are the preorders for the next batch of fresh Mandrake, officinalis seeds already done?

    (0) (0)

    Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

    • One person found this helpful
      Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Hi there Seamus, They are not. I won’t be enabling mandrake seeds until I actually have them in hand. This is the best year I’ve ever had on these, but I don’t want to jinx it. We’ll have them in July of 2019. Stay tuned. Richo

      (1) (0)

      Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

    • nefarious_black

      I can not wait. My wife and I are so looking forward to these! 🙂

      (0) (0)

      Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

    • One person found this helpful
      Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      OK, I’ll make sure to e-mail you, the fruits are swelling…

      (1) (0)

      Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

    • One person found this helpful

      M (verified owner)

      Imagine my surprise when I went to plant my mandrake seeds, and some had already sprouted! Thanks so much Richo!

      (1) (0)

      Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      They really like that cold storage–it stimulates them. I didn’t know any of them had actually sprouted in the coir. Thanks for letting me know. r

      (0) (0)

      Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

    • Michelle (verified owner)

      I would say maybe half had sprouted. I immediately transferred them into peat pellets in one of those Jiffy mini greenhouses. I also have your stratified ginseng seeds-what is the best way to get them to sprout? Unfortunately we will have to grow in above ground planters.

      (0) (0)

      Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      The stratified ginseng seed directions are on the packet, but in short the seed must be planted immediately about 1 inch deep in outdoor shade conditions and germination is in the spring. Although you can force germination in the fridge, germinated ginseng seeds don’t transplant well, so don’t do that.

      (0) (0)

      Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

    • Michelle

      Richo, I want to order another set of these mandrake seeds, but if they come sprouted again, how do I plant them?

      (0) (0)

      Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

    • One person found this helpful
      Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Hi Michelle,
      If you receive a sprouted seed that is great good luck! Use a very sandy mix (I like to combine 50% standard fast-draining potting soil with 50% cactus mix) and push the seed in root tip down until it resides barely below surface, then cover with more of your mix and tamp. Keep in strong light and very warm, and water only when the surface becomes dry. Germination is in a few days. Richo

      (1) (0)

      Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

  12. Question

    Jordan Welling

    When will these be in stock?

    (0) (0)

    Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

    • One person found this helpful
      Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      Hi Jordan, Mandrake looks good so far this year. Last year first harvest was on 6/18/18 and this year will probably be about the same (mid-june harvest). Check back at that time–for a limited time we sell fresh, undried seeds that germinate faster than the dried seeds.
      Richo

      (1) (0)

      Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

    • Maria

      Hello, is it any chance you could notify me when its available to buy? Thank you!

      (0) (0)

      Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

    • Richo Cech

      Admin Richo Cech

      I don’t understand. I checked the item online and there are still 7 packets left in stock.

      (0) (0)

      Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

    • Bobbi

      Richo.. I’m hopeful that you’ll see this and respond?I planted my mandrake seeds in july of last year, 1 seed to 1 gallon pot following your planting suggestions. I’ve had great success! My question is, the seed hoods have any begun popping up and opening a bit, but I have inches long roots running out of the bottom of my containers. Are they hardy enough, when this young, to transplant? Also, what kind of temps do the established plants prefer? Thank you sssoooo much for all your guidance.

      (0) (0)

      Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

    • One person found this helpful
      Richo Cech

      Richo Cech

      Hello Bobbi,
      If the roots are running out the bottom of a gallon pot, then the plants are big enough to transplant. I recommend transplanting while the plants have green leaves on them–they seem to be very grouchy if transplanted during dormancy, and may not re-emerge for a year or more.
      Richo

      (1) (0)

      Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

×

Login

Continue as a Guest