One lesson that is being hammered home to me on this journey is that many — probably most — tropical plant seeds lose viability very quickly. As in within days. I suppose when the conditions for sprouting are always good then plants have no need to develop an over-wintering strategy like seeds that can dry out and still sprout when spring comes.

This lesson has so far been confirmed by citrus seeds, star anise, pineapple, cacao, nutmeg, lychee, and cinnamon.

All right, Mother Nature, I get it! Buying seeds for tropical plants instead of saplings is a way to waste money, not save money. I hear you, loud and clear. Seeds companies just can’t harvest, store, & ship the seeds fast enough for them to stay viable long enough to reach customers.

So, given that I now must purchase live plants instead of seeds, there will be a delay on the building of my indoor tropical orchard. It is both frustrating and exciting. On the one hand, I have to wait both for the weather to warm enough for shipping tender plants and to spread out the financial load on my paychecks. But on the other hand, I will be starting out with plants that could potentially be already of fruiting size — or close to — instead of having to wait for them to grow.

It is both a delay and a shortcut. Should I be disappointed or excited?

I choose to be excited.

Since I will be stretching out my purchases over the next few months, the plants may, in many cases, not be shipped until the weather warms. It will be like Christmas in Spring when they all start arriving. Yay! Presents!

Until then, I have my wish list to check off (in no particular order):

  • Clove
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Lychee
  • Olive
  • Cashew
  • Bay leaf
  • Carob
  • Tamarind
  • Coffee
  • Curry leaf
  • Citrus (Lemon, Lime, Key Lime, and Orange)
  • Papaya
  • Coconut
  • Schezuan pepper
  • Tea
  • Pistachio
  • Passion fruit
  • Mango
  • Banana

That’s not too many….right?