Thursday, August 4, 2011

New Additions to the Caper Collection

I think it's finally safe to unveil the latest additions to my collection of caper plants. It was a long hard road from seed to seedling this time around. Last fall I sowed 3 6-packs with 2 seeds in each cell for a total of 36 seeds sown. These four hearty survivors are all I have to show for my efforts. 

My first mistake was to put the sown pots in a spot that wasn't as protected from the rain as I thought and some of the soil was splashed out of the cells. I didn't seem to lose too many seeds and come spring when I moved the pots to a warm sunny spot a lot of seedlings started to emerge, even in the cells that had lost a fair amount of soil. Then the little seedlings started to disappear, I couldn't figure it out, birds perhaps? I put the pots in a spot where I thought the birds couldn't get to them. The losses continued and didn't stop until I put the pots up on a table. I stopped blaming the birds, the seedlings were in plain sight of the birds and they weren't touching them. As it turns out, those losses were the first indication of the huge problems that were to come from an explosion in the local rat population. But the rats weren't entirely to blame, the table top turned out to be a bit too warm and sunny. We had a rather novel weather event for this year - a mini heat wave! And, duh, I didn't water those poor little babies enough and a bunch of them shriveled up and died. At least I managed to rescue four little tough guys.

Speaking of tough, do you see what I see? These guys are living up to the spinosa part of their latin name.

And they come in pairs...

It will be interesting to harvest buds from these plants! I hope, someday...

Thanks to Robert in Novato for swapping some of his Spanish caper seeds with me. He did a better job of nurturing the seeds that I sent him in trade. Here are some photos that he sent to me of the pink flowering and Croatian plants that he started.

His pink flowering plants are even developing flower buds already.

I think I could take some lessons from Robert about growing capers!


  1. I'm not too knowledgable about capers! I've just started trying to add them to my menu. Seems your doing pretty good growing them.

  2. Michelle,

    Sounds like a tough road getting these seeds to go. I started some camellia seeds and had about the same results, I have 6 babies from to batches of 12 pots.

  3. Congrats for getting the seeds germinated and the seedlings survived rat attach, I didn't get that far, I sowed 2 pk of seeds and not a single seed germinated.

  4. where can i get good caper seed to germinate? i've been trying with amazon's but no luck at all...maybe 120 seeds or more. i live in santo domingo, dominican republic, our climate is similar to meditarraneo.
    any advice or help?. thanks a lot in advance


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