How to Plant Vaccinium Huckleberry Seeds
Valued for their fragrant fruit and attractive foliage, huckleberries (Vaccinium ovatum) are widely grown in home gardens within U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 6 to 10. Although they are most commonly propagated from cuttings, huckleberries also grow from fresh seeds. The seeds require no special pretreatment and germinate reliably when provided with a warm, moist environment. Huckleberry seeds require light for germination, however, and must be exposed to bright, indirect sunlight for at least six hours each day to sprout successfully.
Collect huckleberry seeds in late summer after the fruits ripen to a solid purplish-blue color. Gather the ripe fruits in a bucket. Crush the fruits gently against the bottom of the bucket to break apart their flesh.
Cover the crushed huckleberry fruits with water. Soak them overnight. Stir the water the following day, and then let it sit for another one hour. Skim off and throw away all of the floating fruit flesh and floating seeds. Collect the seeds that sunk to the bottom.
Fill 4-inch pots with a moistened mixture of five parts sand and one part milled peat moss to create a soil. Sprinkle four or five huckleberry seeds onto the soil in each pot. Press the seeds gently onto the soil surface to anchor them. Do not cover the seeds with soil.
Cover each 4-inch pot with a sheet of plastic wrap. Place the pots on a warming mat near a source of bright sunlight, such as indoors near a lightly shaded window or outdoors in a partly shaded cold frame. Use a location that receives at least six hours of natural sunlight each day.
Set the temperature on the warming mat to 70 degrees Fahrenheit during each day. Lower the temperature to 60 degrees Fahrenheit each night. Monitor the moisture level in each pot’s soil, and use a spray bottle to mist the soil with water whenever it feels dry to the touch.
Watch for seed germination, or sprouts, after about one month. Remove the plastic wrap and the warming mat after the seeds sprout. Put the pots in a warm, bright spot.
Remove all huckleberry seedlings except the strongest, most vigorous seedling from each pot once the seedlings grow to 1/2 inch in height. Keep the pots in the warm, bright spot until the seedlings reach 2 inches in height, and then move them outdoors to a sheltered area that has light shade and protection from strong wind.
Transplant the huckleberry seedlings into 6-inch pots filled with standard potting soil. Continue to grow the seedlings in a sheltered area for their first summer. Water them whenever their top 1 inch of soil dries.
Acclimate the huckleberry seedlings to direct sunlight for two weeks in early autumn. Transplant them into a lightly shaded garden bed with moist, acidic soil in mid-autumn after that time period’s first rainfall.
- Texas A&M University Department of Horticulture: Propagation of Ornamental Trees, Shrubs and Woody Vines
- University of California: Master Gardener, Sonoma County — Gardening Success with California Native Plants
- University of California, Alameda County Master Gardeners: Your Alameda County Garden, Month by Month
Samantha McMullen began writing professionally in 2001. Her nearly 20 years of experience in horticulture informs her work, which has appeared in publications such as Mother Earth News.
How to Plant Vaccinium Huckleberry Seeds. Valued for their fragrant fruit and attractive foliage, huckleberries (Vaccinium ovatum) are widely grown in home gardens within U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 6 to 10. Although they are most commonly propagated from cuttings, huckleberries also grow from …
How to Grow Huckleberry | Guide to Growing Huckleberries
Binomial Name: Solanum melanocerasu
These delicate translucent berries have been a source of food for generations of Northwest natives, animals and people alike. They are rich in vitamin C, available sugars and minerals like manganese. Not everyone enjoys their tangy-tart flavor. It is for this reason that the red huckleberries are usually combined with other berries, like the blueberry to add sweetness.
Annual (zones 9-11)
Huckleberry can grow to more than 4′ tall, and will produce many small white flowers which develop into dark purple berries late in the season.
Huckleberry is native to tropical regions, but can be grown successfully in cooler climates if started indoor in early spring and transplanted outdoors after the final frost of the spring once soil temperatures have reached 65 degrees or higher.
For best results, Huckleberry should be started indoors 4-6 weeks prior to the last frost of the season. Seeds should be sown at a shallow depth of ¼” and kept well-moistened until germination. Moderate water slightly once seeds begin to break through surface of the soil.
As seedling grows, transplant into a larger container one or more times as needed. Continue to grow in containers into early summer before transplanting.
Garden Huckleberry requires lots of direct sunlight, and will grow best in well-drained soil that is of moderate fertility.
Heirloom seeds are the gardeners choice for seed-saving from year-to-year. Learning to save seeds is easy and fun with these books. Before you harvest, consider which varieties you might want to save seeds from so that your harvesting practice includes plants chosen for seed saving. Be sure to check out our newest seed packs, available now from Heirloom Organics. The Super Food Garden is the most nutrient dense garden you can build and everything you need is right here in one pack. The Genesis Garden s a very popular Bible Garden collection. The Three Sisters Garden was the first example of companion planting in Native American culture. See all of our brand-new seed pack offerings in our store.
How to Grow Huckleberry | Guide to Growing Huckleberries