Grow your own native plants
In the “Exploring nature with children booklet”
Te tipu i ōu rākau
A good way to become familiar with native plants is to grow your own - and it's a great opportunity to involve kids. Some seed requires treatment before sowing, but you can collect ripe fruit from the following plants and sow immediately after collection: coprosma species, mahoe, cabbage tree, five finger, wineberry and pate. Ripe black tawa berries can be collected off the ground.
- Fill a clean container (eg. an icecream container with drainage holes) or seed raising tray with seed raising mix to within 3cm of the top.
- Wet thoroughly and allow to drain.
- Press down mix.
- Scatter seeds on top and press down with a flat piece of wood.
- Cover seeds with a thin layer of seed raising mix and then fine pumice.
- Keep damp, warm and shaded until germination occurs.
- Tawa berries can be pushed into seed raising mix (but do not cover).
- Transplant seedlings into small pots/bags of potting mix once they have two leaves or more and are at least 2-3cm high.
- Handle by the leaves, being careful not to damage the root hairs, and cover the roots with potting mix before watering thoroughly to settle the potting mix around the plant.
- Place in a cool shady area for at least a week to recover from transplant shock.
Cromwell Primary students admiring seedlings before potting on