Best Way to Dry/clean Honesty (money plant)

bjhk(Fl)October 13, 2002

They are drying ok inside my house, must have 50 stalks.

However the pod "shells" aren't falling off.

I have tried rubbing between my fingers, which does work,

but VERY tedious and there must be thousands of them

Also tried "shaking" with minimal results.

Suggestions /help appreciated.

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neil_allen(z5/6 Chi IL)

This is my first year with plants in the ground, no flowers or pods until next year, but here is the discouraging word from the Silbers' The Complete Book of Everlastings:

"The best time to pick is after frost. At that time, the pods dry up and the seed is scattered, leaving the thin membrane that is useful as an everlasting. However, if the season is moist, picking earlier, but well after seed is mature, may be the only alternative. But then the job of slipping the outer shells becomes tedious and time-consuming."

    Bookmark   October 13, 2002 at 5:15PM
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janetsflowers(Z6 NY)

The only way I found was to do it by hand,a few at a time, and they are very fragile, but lovely!

    Bookmark   October 20, 2002 at 5:55PM
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junelynn(7NC)

The way you are doing it is the best, by hand. It DOES take a long time. Just pick a nice day and plan to spend a few hours. I remember buying a bunch YEARS AGO for the pricey cost of $9. After I grew my own, I knew why!!

I wet my fingers a bit and rub both sides to get the outer skins off from each side. Some are stubborn and you literally have to "sliver" them off -kinda get in between the outer and inner part - with your fingernail. If you shake it, you risk the chance of losing the whole flower.

It IS tedious, but well worth it! Good Luck!

    Bookmark   November 5, 2002 at 8:20AM
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Trini_NY(7)

I pull up the plants late in the summer, before the pods start to decompose and tear, but when they are good and dry and relatively easy to strip. I take the uprooted plants to whatever part of the garden or landscape where I'd like them to grow in the future, and shake them rather briskly (not hard enough to break the stems.) If you pick them on a nice dry day, the seeds will fly! Most, but not all, are shed in this manner, and the remainder must be stripped by hand.

Honesty is a biennial. It takes two years to mature. The first year after shaking branches of it in a particular area, you get nice little soft round plants that make a nice groundcover under and around other plants. They're easy to pull up if they sprout in the wrong place. I generally leave as many as possible in place. The second year, in the spring, each of the little plants sprouts into gorgeous bloom - you may have to thin them out at this time to allow enough space for them to develop. when the blooms fade, the seed pods start to develop, and the plant becomes more and more unattractive. This is when I yank out almost all of them, leaving a few in inconspicuous places to mature and dry.

When rubbing the pods between my fingers, I work, for the most part, in an area where I'd like future plants to grow. However, I "clean" some of the branches over a piece of newspaper so I can collect and save the seeds. I store them for a year, and then scatter them in late summer. Otherwise you'll get silver pennies only every other year. this assures an annual crop.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2003 at 6:41AM
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sleeplessinftwayne(z4-5 IND)

Rather than trying to peel off the covers I allow then to dry until almost brittle and then place the disk between thumb and index finger ON THE EDGES. Gently squeeze and the cover disks will fly off and most of the seed as well without damaging the membrane.- Sandy

    Bookmark   July 20, 2003 at 12:02AM
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