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.

Sowing seeds

  • 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).

Transplanting seedlings

  • 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.

Learn more about growing natives.

Cromwell Primary students admiring seedlings before potting on. Photo: DOC/John Barkla.
Cromwell Primary students admiring seedlings before potting on

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