Tarahumara Chia ( Salvia Tiliafolia)

Kensington, NY

These seeds are listed as "traditional, rare" by Seeds of Change and I think I know why, they don't make it out of infancy and childhood.

I have tried
sprouting indoors in those little brown peat moss packets you soak in water with the plastic top over it
sprouting indoors in those little brown peat moss packets you soak in water with no top
sprouting indoors in a 1and 1/2 inch plastic container with no top

I water all indoor sprouts with a mister twice a day to moisten the top of the soil

planting direct sow fashion in sunny well drained soil RECENTLY after low temps went no lower than one 39 degrees F
planting direct sow fashion in partly shaded well drained soil RECENTLY after low temps went no lower than one 39 degrees F

I water the front yard out door plants with a watering can about five gallons for a small not tiny urban front yard ONCE a day in the daylight
when it has NOT rained, which is most of the time this year.
I am over cautious about over watering after the WET SEASON we had last year back East

I have gotten tiny two leaf little sprout- one out of twelve, I planted it outside and now I can't find it. I think it died.

My location: Brooklyn NY--does anyone know anything about this plant that can improve my chances?

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

Have you tried the "on a paper towel or coffee filter" method?

Maybe a pre-soak with dilute hydrogen peroxide ... that gave me much better reusklts with several kinds of Salvia.
1 ml peroxide + 1 ounce of water or
1 1/2 teaspoons peroxide + 1 cup of water

They swelled up with a gel-likke coating until they looked like frog-eggs and germinatged much faster.

Rancho Santa Rita, TX(Zone 8a)

Chia seeds are ediblee and when nixed with
water and a kittle sweetener and ice ,makes
a refresging gel-ish beverage.

The Tarahumara Indians used it as beverage
or a food for long-lasting ebergy when running
or walking long distances for stamina and is
still consumed.

Kensington, NY

Thank you Rick! I will try this method!
Thank you, BajaBlue!
The lore is great- this is exactly why I wanted to grow this very chia-do you know anything about the climate
where these folks and this plant live?

Rancho Santa Rita, TX(Zone 8a)

lf you end up wlth seeds I sure
would love some !

pls keep posttng your progress

Kensington, NY

Sure, Blue, I will let you know about seeds in 110 days!..you can get them via Seeds of Change in the meantime.
My soaked seeds get the gel- coating described above, and I put those seeds in with watering crystals soaked up with water soluable fertilizer in the water. I will plant them in soil sometime this week and see how they do, some outdoors, some in jiffy sprout kits. -

Colima, Mexico(Zone 11)

sorry to hear about your difficulty getting the tarahumara chia seeds to grow. it seems that everyone has a seed nemesis (mine until very recently has been rudbeckia) i believe the tarahumara plants are native to mexico and are grown and used for food in many different parts of the country. i bought my seeds from an organic food store down the street (which has now disappeared), tossed them on some soil, and two or three plants grew. the flowers are small but electric blue...just stunning. the company here in mexico that markets these seeds is called Agroecologicas and there is an email address on the back of the packet which got wet and washed out. the first word of the email address is casades...that is all i can see. there is an ebay type selling/buying place here in mexico at mercadolibre.com and i checked that site to see if i could find some tarahumara chia seeds there, but there were none listed.

remember that the seeds that you eventually will receive are probably "wild" seeds and the rules for growing plants from wild seed are somewhat different. the website smartseedstore.com has a very good page about germinating wild seed...i didn't check to see if they had tarahumara chia, but they might well have it.

i grew this chia only once...only because i have limited space and it was not high on my priority list. good luck...your efforts will be worth it!

Rancho Santa Rita, TX(Zone 8a)

any news ?

Kensington, NY

any news? Yes. the news is PHOOEY!
Using the method of softening with H2O2 I was able to get tiny sprouts.
Although I got tiny sprouts, when I planted them, they died. I kept the soil moist. I tried them inside, outside, and first inside then outside. I moistened faithfully. I was careful not to drown them. They died. I tried to sprout some in a medium of degradable poly gel ( modified hydroponic) but they did nothing.

I am in zone 7, quite a bit north of most folks responding to this thread.
Brooklyn NY is an environment more like coastal New Jersey in temperature than it is like the rest of the Empire State - we could never ski even if we had the slopes for it! But the moisture is nothing at all like Mexico and Texas ( I don't mean rainforest Mexico, obviously!)
Just for the heck of it I also tried direct seeding to see if they would sprout as the weather got warmer, thinking I would try to make a space indoors if only I could get a plant to grow. No Nope Nein Nada Nyet!

Pity- I really do love blue flowers.
I have seen discussion of a seed called " Mexican Chia". is this the same plant?

Colima, Mexico(Zone 11)

"Mexican Chia" is most often and correctly the name used for Salvia hispanica.

Working with "wild seed", in your case Tarahumara Chia, is a long way from trying to grow rutabegas, especially out of their "comfort zone". I do know that these seeds are grown at elevations of about 7000 feet in Mexico where it does get cold, but not so cold as New York probably. I don't know how they would respond (as seeds) to freezing temps. I've germinated a wide variety of wild seeds. Sometimes it takes a year for germination to take place. I have been through almost all the germination methods. What has worked for me, when all else has failed is to toss the seeds into a pot with fairly decent soil and keep them moist but not wet, and then wait and wonder. I mean literally "toss" (i.e. don't cover with dirt), allowing them natural light and good air circulation. The reason I generally use a pot, as opposed to dumping them on some outside soil, is so that i will know, if something comes up, it is probably what i planted. The plants that are genetically accustomed to my climate, i toss on the ground but you need to know what the seedlings look like if you use this method. So you might want to give it a try. Or you might want to explore other salvias that are more suited to your zone...salvias do come in some spectacular blues. Still, there is a mystic about Taraumara Chia which was important crop as far back as pre-Columbian Mexico.

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