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They are emerald green, hang down in large numbers on the shoots and are reminiscent of budgerigars in their feathered appearance. The fruits of the parrot plant are not only useful as decoration. The seeds they contain are suitable for propagation.

In autumn, the seeds of the parrot plant can be harvested

Harvest the seeds

The seeds of the poisonous parrot plant ripen in autumn. Once ripe, the peculiar fruits burst open. Then it's time to be quick, otherwise the seeds with their silky threads will be blown away by the wind. It is not uncommon for self-sowing and successful germination to take place from March of the following year.

Stratify the seeds or not?

While some gardeners are of the opinion that the seeds of the parrot plant must be stratified for a while, other gardeners have found that they germinate even without stratification (cold stimulus).

As a precaution, it is advisable to put the seeds in the fridge for about 1 week. There they are exposed to an artificial cold stimulus. You can then soak the seeds in water before sowing.

time for sowing

Everything prepared? Then it can go:

  • Fill pots or seed trays with seed soil (mix in some sand if necessary)
  • Sow 2 seeds 4 cm apart
  • Cover seeds flat with soil (caution: light germinators)
  • Moisten the substrate carefully (e.g. use a spray bottle)
  • Place the seed pot(s) in a bright and warm place
  • if necessary, cover with a plastic bag, glass hood, etc

These seeds germinate best and fastest at an ambient temperature between 15 and 20 °C. Depending on the temperature, brightness and age of the seeds, germination takes place after 3 to 4 weeks (in rare cases after just one week).

Plant in a suitable location

Here's how to proceed with the little plants:

  • separate from 4 leaves
  • transplant into pots
  • place in a light-flooded location
  • plant outdoors after about six months
  • choose a sunny to partially shaded spot
  • It is better to protect in the first winter as it is initially sensitive to frost


If you put a glass lid or a plastic hood over the seeds so that the moisture does not evaporate so quickly, you should air the seed pot regularly to avoid mold growth.

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