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There is a resturaunt that I purchase from near my home. It has a big plant in the front of it that looks like the datura pictures on this forum. The blooms are white and bell shaped and the plant has a kind of mounding habit. It is now getting thorny looking seed pods all over it. It is hardy here where we have extremely low temperatures for months at a time. Is it a datura? The resturaunt has given me permission to harvest as much seed as I want. How do I tell when they are ready to be harvested? What do good seeds look like as opposed to useless seeds? How do I get this started and take care of it? They said it is a very easy going plant and that they even had to mow it down when they did some work near the building. It receives no special care there.
If the pods are at least the size of a ping pong ball, you can cut the plant at the base then hang it upside down in a cool dry place. Place paper bags or panty hose over the pods because they may literally explode throwing seeds all over the place if they dry out too quickly.
If they don't want you cutting the plant, wait till the pods are good and brown and pick a couple and just leave them laying on a plate in a sunny window ... they don't need to be buried too deeply either. you can start them in the house or scratch a coupla seeds in where you want them to grow. They really are easy plants. And around here they self seed onto the ground and grow plants next spring.
Thank you so much for your replies! If I get the pods as the turn brown will the seeds be ripe enough or should I wait until the pod starts to crack open on the plant? I am sure the resturaunt will not let me cut down the plant. If I cut off a branch while the pods are still green will the seed mature?
If you wait untill the pods crack you may lose them as they soon break open and shoot seeds everywhere, if you could get a nylon footie, or hose around a couple of seeds it will catch them for you, they have loads of seeds so you wouldn't need a lot of them, they are so easy to grow, you can throw the seeds on the ground now or wait untill next spring, I drop mine now where I want them.
Got some seeds. Went to the resturaunt on Friday. They have BBQ ribs and catfish as the special that day, really good! A lot of the pods were starting to split so I cut off several of them and picked the seeds out. Ended up with quite a few so I guess I will have some datura plants next year. :^)