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How to Plant Jack in a Pulpit Seeds

By Debra L Turner ; Updated September 21, 2017

The unusual foliage and blooms of Jack-in-the-pulpit, or Arisaema triphyllum, make it a charming addition to any shade garden. These wildflowers--native o the central and eastern United States--grow and self-propagate readily in rich, moist, well-draining locations and are virtually carefree once established. Easily grown from seed by even the beginner and winter hardy in Zones 2-9, Jack-in-the-pulpit thrives best when seeds are sown in the fall.

Harvest the ripe, bright red berries from Jack-in-the-pulpit plants in the fall. They’ll be very soft and full of juice and pulp, and the skin will be very fragile.

Squeeze a ripe berry between your fingers. Hold it over a bowl, because it’s very juicy and can make a mess. Each berry contains one or more large seeds. Rinse the seeds in a kitchen strainer to remove the juice and pulp. Pat excess water from them with a paper towel so that they’re easier to handle.

Plant jack in the pulpit seeds in your garden immediately. Don’t let them dry out. Choose a rich, moist, well-draining location in partial or full shade, and space them about 6 to 12 inches apart. Cover the seeds with ¼ to ½ inch of soil. No further care is needed, and your Jack-in-the-pulpit plants will come up in April or early May.

Refrigerate freshly cleaned Jack-in-the-pulpit seeds in a plastic bag with a little moist potting soil or sand for 6 weeks if you can’t plant them right away. It’s very important that they not be allowed to dry out.

Pot the seeds in 2-inch containers and place in a cool spot out of direct light. Keep the medium evenly moist. Move seedlings to their outdoor garden spots when all danger of frost has passed.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Kitchen strainer
  • Paper towels
  • Plastic bag
  • Potting soil or sand
  • 2-inch pots

Tip

  • Don't dig up wild Jack-in-the-pulpit plants, which are becoming somewhat rare in their native habitats. Just harvest some of their berries.

About the Author

 

A full-time writer since 2007, Axl J. Amistaadt is a DMS 2013 Outstanding Contributor Award recipient. He publishes online articles with major focus on pets, wildlife, gardening and fitness. He also covers parenting, juvenile science experiments, cooking and alternative/home remedies. Amistaadt has written book reviews for Work At Home Truth.