How to germinate cardamom

Written by elton dunn
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How to germinate cardamom
Cardamom pods come in brown or green. (fenugreek und grüner kardamom image by Lucky Dragon from

Spice lovers will want to try their hand at growing cardamom, the zesty, minty spice that gives Middle Eastern and Indian dishes their zing. Native to India, this tropical plant grows well in subtropical regions of the United States. As long as the area does not frost, cardamom should survive. Growing your own cardamom from seed can be time-consuming, however, since this plant grows slowly. Getting cardamom seeds to germinate is the first step in having your own cardamom plant.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Seed-starting tray
  • Seed-starting mix
  • Water
  • Pencil
  • Eletteria cardamomum seeds

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  1. 1

    Fill a seed-starting tray with seed-starting medium. Do not use soil from your garden or regular potting soil. Seed-starting medium provides a nutrient boost to cardamom seeds.

  2. 2

    Wet the seed-starting medium until it is moist and quite soggy.

  3. 3

    Poke one hole in each seed-starting chamber with your pencil. Place one cardamom seed in each hole.

  4. 4

    Cover over the seeds with seed-starting mix to plant them.

  5. 5

    Place the lid on your seed-starting tray. This keeps humidity in, which helps your cardamom seeds germinate. Move the tray to a windowsill or somewhere where it will be out of the way but kept warm. You don't need to expose it to light until the seeds have germinated.

  6. 6

    Check the moisture level daily by removing the lid. The seed-starting mix should feel boggy. If it feels dry, add water.

  7. 7

    Wait and watch. The cardamom seeds should germinate within two weeks. At this time, remove the lid from your seed- starting tray and move the tray to a sunny location in your house.

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