It's getting that time to start your seeds. For those new to growing datura, please be aware that all parts of datura are poisonous. Roots, stems, leaves, flowers and seeds. They contain the drugs atropine, scopolamine, and hyoscyamine in varying concentrations.
If you have small children or critters that like to sample plants or eat things off the floor, you must be extra vigilant about dropping seeds and keeping them away from the plants and make it a point to wash your hands after handling datura in any form.
I knew datura (Jimson Weed) were toxic. They are famous out here in the west for being a problem for cattle. Nor do I think they should be planted around small children. On the other hand, most animals, except cows, seem to know not to eat them. Irises, a common enough plant, are also toxic but I have never known any critter, including dogs to eat them and I have grown them for too many years to count.
I guess I would worry about cows, very small children, teenagers and druggies when it comes to Datura, and in that order. If you don't have any of those, not to worry, at least as I understand it.
Yikes again. A few years ago we had a MAJOR problem in my peds icu with Jimson Weed. It never hit me until now with what paj mentioned that it is a Datura. I guess at the time, I didn't know that much about the plant, I just now remember looking it up.
edited to remove link.
Thanks X for all your extra info. I knew this plant was poisonous, but it doesn't hurt to be reminded now and again about it. I do have another word of caution, even if you keep young ones and animals away be also very careful none of the plant gets into animals drinking water or small pools that the children will get into. Little ones will fish out the plant parts and the animals will drink it up with their water.
I went into panic mode when I found white datura in the pasture with my new cows. I'd heard it was very toxic to cows. I madly pulled it up, and all seemed well. Then later in the season, I noticed that there were even more of them and they'd been there awhile, because they were blooming. I guess these cows don't like them? Not sure what to do about it this year, anyone know more? They also nibbled the daffodils, but seemed none the worse for wear. Sigh. Interested in any ideas,
I'll be pulling it out as I find it, and possibly re-planting it well away from the moos. The "infected" pasture is about 4 acres, but the Datura seems to be in one area, at least it was last year.
X, do you usually have a pretty good germination rate with datura seeds?
I'm growing my first ones this year; started them from seed back in Jan/Feb shortly after purchasing them (T&M '07). Well, I seem to only have had success with about 1/4 of them. Mind you, I did not use a heat matt. I have them under lights in my cellar. I'm not complaining, just curious if this is typical or not.
On a side note, I have read some unfavorable reviews of T&M germination rates in general, not just datura. I think I saw those reviews on DG somewhere...
I just potted up seedlings that I had sown in January, I don't use a heat mat or soak them. They had only started coming up a week or two ago. Datura seeds can take a very long time to come up. Some pop out quick and others take months. I've only bought dat seeds once and that was from Park Seed. My germination rate from my seeds and trade are running about 90%.
T&M does have a reputation for bad germination rates on some of their seeds. What kind of dats did you buy from them?
PS There is always my Curse n Stir method for stubborn datura seeds. Other datura enthusiast have tried it and it works! What you do is curse at the pot that the datura seeds are in, then stir up the soil really good with a spoon or something then plant a totally different type of seed. Usually the datura appear within a few days to a week. Now quit laughing .. it works and I can provide testimonials too!
Holy cow. Mine are the black currant swirl seeds as well. If you haven't trashed them yet, it might be worthwhile trying the curse n stir. Speaking of which, X, I screamed obscenities at my empty trays last night, but there's been no action overnight. I'm sure that if I'd stir them, they'd be sprouting by now... lol
Maybe my seeds just didn't like me. ;-) If they still hope to germinate, they better learn to do it in the compost pile. hehe I didn't give them more than a month because I've had similarly dismal germ. rates with the T&M seeds I purchased this year. Live and learn... Tamara
I too, am new to Datura. I've a cuttings last year during the heat of summer, and they promptly rooted, flowered, and set seed where I poked a hole and put the cutting down. Thank-you, X for sharing the info.
I spoke with someone that has had experience with sowing Datura seeds; he mentioned that datura seeds require light for germination. I found that's true, for those that I covered up didn't do a thing for me. Those that I sprinkling on top of the soil did.
With the young seedlings, by experience. Does the double-purple bloom has purplish stems (likes that of X's posted above on 4/14?), because I potted some seedling, some shows purplish stems, other do not.
Tamara, bear in mind that mine have been outside in the sunshine for the past 6 days and have definitely put on more 'size' since moving outside. Before that, they were under a fluorescent light in a 60 degree basement.
In taking your seedlings out to "harden" them off, on your zone where temp. maybe cooler at night (?). I would bring them back in during the night to prevent wilting due to sudden changes of temp. Also, gradually expose them to more sun light, don't let them bask under the sun all at once. Have fun and good luck with yours. I love mine. Though, I'm careful handling them as suggested.
Being so close to Wash. D.C. did you visit during Cherry Blossoms Festival? I used to live there around Baltimore area. I missed the Cherry Blossoms Festival once again this year. But will visit with relatives there soon, I hope. At the meantime, spring time is best here in the SE. :-)
Hi Lily. Yes, I pass the tidal basin area on my way to work each day. I also run the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile race, which is a very scenic route. This year, the race coincided well with the blossoms. I don't think that I could possibly live further south than I already am - it's just too hot! I'm a wimp. :~)
Someone sent me double yellow Datura seeds last year and every one of them sprouted. I cannot remember who! :o(
Now I have about 40 of them transplanted in 4" pots. My friends will love me!
I know from experience that Daturas hate to have their roots messed with and like to be well established (about 6" tall) before being planted in beds for the season. Mine are now about 1 1/2" tall and have one set of true leaves. I transplanted them in the 4" pots about 3 days ago when we had some cool, windy weather. To help them out, I brought all the pots in and put them back under my grow lights until the weather settles down a bit----in about 2 days!
My own seeds from my double purple Metel were not all that fertile. From all the ones I planted, only 6 came through. I think the pods were not ripe enough, but I had to pick them off before they froze. I dried them and all, but they the seeds were pale and anemic looking.
I also found that when my one and only pod that had naturally ripened and split open, the Earwig bugs beat me to it. They ate every seed--except 8. Now I know to put a piece of nylon stocking around the seed pods to protect them.