Mandrake root is a perennial herb that was a commonly used ingredient in herbal folklore. Due to its toxicity, though, it is rarely used in modern herbalism. However, according to George Mason University, some research has indicated the chemical makeup of mandrake root may be beneficial in treating some forms of cancer. Due to its long, bulbous taproot, it is recommended to plant mandrake root seeds in biodegradable pots to prevent any root disturbance.
Preparing the Seeds
Pour the seeding mix into a strainer to sift the mix free of any particles such as pebbles or pieces of wood.
Scoop the sifted seeding mix into a heat-proof tray. Cook the seeding mix in an oven that has been preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit to properly sterilize it for 30 minutes. Let the mix cool entirely before you use it.
Scoop the sifted seeding mix into 6-inch biodegradable pots.
Firm the mix into the pots using the back of a metal spoon. The mix should be about 1 inch below the top of the pots.
Place the mandrake root seeds into a bowl that has about 1 inch of water in it. Set the bowl into a refrigerator at a temperature of about 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Leave the bowl in the refrigerator for two weeks. Doing this cold storage can soften the hard seed coat of the mandrake seeds and decrease the length of germination. Change the water daily to prevent spoilage.
Mist the pots with water until drenched with moisture.
Plant two to three mandrake root seeds in each biodegradable pot. Sprinkle about 1/2 inch of seeding mix over the mandrake seeds. Keep the pots moistened with a light misting of water as needed to keep the pots evenly moist. Germination can be sporadic, taking just two to three weeks or as long as several months.
Transplant the mandrake seedlings when they are well developed in about six months to a year.
Find a sunny planting site for the mandrake seedlings.
Turn over the soil to about 12 to 16 inches deep using a shovel or a garden fork. Pick out weeds, roots and rocks as you work the soil.
Dig holes for each mandrake seedling the approximate size of each biodegradable pot. Measure the distance to each hole at 14 to 16 inches.
Cut off the top section of each biodegradable pot down to the level of the mix. This facilitates the disintegration of the pots.
Plant each mandrake seedling into a planting hole. Scoop soil into the holes to fill them with soil.
Water each mandrake seedling using a gentle stream of water until they are thoroughly moistened. Plan on watering the seedlings regularly to keep the soil semi-moist but not soggy. Once they are established plants, you can water approximately one to two times a week during the summer.
Things You Will Need
- Seeding mix
- Heat-proof tray
- Biodegradable pots
- Spray bottle
- You can plant mandrake seeds at any time of the year, but early spring is best.
- When planting mandrake, always make sure you use fresh seeds that have not been stored.