How to extract seeds from berries

How to extract seeds from berries

Plenty of trees and shrubs can be grown from seed extracted from berries. We show you how.

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
To do
To do

Do not To do in January

Do not To do in February

Do not To do in March

Do not To do in April

Do not To do in May

Do not To do in June

Do not To do in July

Do not To do in August

Do To do in September

Do To do in October

Do To do in November

Do To do in December

It’s easy to extract and sow seed from fruits and berries you’ve collected, and it’s also free. Plants grown from seed aren’t always exactly like the parent plant, unlike those grown from cuttings, so look forward to results that could be new, different, and sometimes better.

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You Will Need

  • Secateurs
  • Kitchen towel
  • 9cm pots
  • Loam-based compost
  • Horticultural grit
  • Sieve

Step 1

Removing berries from a plant
Removing berries from a plant

Choose a healthy plant, such as sorbus, holly, cotoneaster or rowan, and check the berries are ripe by squeezing them. Remove a generous bunch with secateurs.

Step 2

Squashing the seed out of the berry
Squashing the seed out of the berry

Squash the berries onto a sheet of kitchen towel and clean away the skin and flesh to expose the bare seeds. Alternatively, clean away the flesh by running them under the cold tap in a sieve.

Step 3

Sowing seed on gritty, loam-based compost
Sowing seed on gritty, loam-based compost

Mix loam-based compost with horticultural grit to make a gritty compost. Use this to fill a 9cm pot and sow the seeds evenly across the surface.

Step 4

Sprinkling compost over the seeds
Sprinkling compost over the seeds

Sprinkle a layer of compost over the seeds, water, then stand the pot in a cold frame or sheltered place in the garden. Keep it watered and protect it from birds.

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Allow seedlings to develop a few true leaves before pricking them out into separate pots and growing on.

Seedlings. Photo: Getty Images.