Pokeberry (Phytolacca Americana) occurs naturally in the fields and woodlands of the eastern United States with rare occurrences west of the Mississippi River. It is a large species of plant, often reaching over 6 feet in height with ovate, textured leaves and a central flower stalk that develops into a cluster of purplish berries in late summer. All parts of the plant are toxic, but it is sometimes cultivated as an ornamental or medicinal plant by certain gardeners. (info source: eHow.com)
Pokeweed is found in Northern and Central N. America from the New England States to Minnesota and south to Florida and Texas, naturalized in Britain and other countries. Growing in damp rich soils in clearings, woodland margins and roadsides.
PLEASE NOTE: All parts of the plant are toxic if ingested.
An easily grown plant, succeeding in most soils, though preferring a moisture retentive soil in full sun or partial shade. Plants can be grown in quite coarse grass, which can be cut annually in the autumn. Succeeds in an open woodland garden, growing well under trees. Whilst the dormant plant is hardy in much of Britain, the young growth in spring can be damaged by late frosts.
A very ornamental plant, it often self sows when in a suitable position.
Plants seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits. (info source: pfaf.org)
Genus - Phytolacca
Species - Americana
Common name - American Pokeweed
Pre-Treatment - Required
Hardiness zones - 4 - 9
Height - 1,20 - 4,60 m
Spread - 1,20 - 3,70 m
Plant type - Perennial
Vegetation type - Deciduous
Exposure - Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade
Growth rate - Fast
Soil PH - Acidic, Neutral
Soil type - Clay, Loam, Sand, Well Drained
Water requirements - Average Water
Landscape uses - Very decoartive, but plant with caution - The leaves and berries are poisonous
Bloom season - Summer, Late Summer
Leaf / Flower color - Green / White
1. Soak the seeds for a few hours in warm water.
2. Sow the pokeberry seeds in a seedling tray filled with potting soil. Sow one seed per square inch to a depth of 5 mm (1/4").
3. Place the seedling tray in a cold frame or outdoors against an east-facing wall for the winter. Do not water the seeds during the winter.
You can stratify the seeds for 60 days in home fridge as well for a better germination rate and speed:
1. Soak overnight in warm water.
2. Place the seeds in a moist material such as milled sphagnum peat, sterile soil or vermiculite. Fully drain away all of the water and place the seeds in a zip-lock bag. Place the seeds in the fridge, watch out - the seeds can’t dry out or be waterlogged otherwise the pre-treatment will be ineffective.
3. Refrigerate the seeds for at least 2 months at +2-+4C (33-41F).
4. Move the seedling tray to a sunny spot in spring after the last frost. Mist the soil if it dries out to a depth of 10-12 mm (1/2").
5. Scoop out the pokeberry seedlings once they reach 5 cm (2") in height and plant them in individual 6-inch plastic pots filled with potting soil.
6. Keep the individually potted pokeberry seedlings watered to a depth of 20-25 mm (1") while they grow.
7. Keep the seedlings protected from direct sun until they grow to 10-15 cm (5") in height, then slowly acclimate them to stronger sunlight.
8. Plant the pokeberry plants in permanent beds once they reach 10-15 cm (5") in height and have abundant mature foliage. (information source: ehow.com)
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