Shipping and storing tropical fruit seeds

A few useful tips

You tasted an exotic fruit while being on vacation in South Asia... and keeping in mind you are a plant freak (who else would read this?), you want to keep the seed so you can bring it back home and grow your own tropical frut tree!

However, it will take some time before you get to your garden or a greenhouse. Most of tropical fruit seeds have very short viability. Some of them start germinating right inside the fruit... Ideally, once you ate the fruit, the seed should be spit out right into a pot with growing mix. Otherwise, you need to know what can be done to keep the seeds fresh and alive until you are able to sow them.

You will also need to know this if you are going to send tropical fruit seeds to somebody in mail.

Main rule: the tropical fruit seeds can be stored for only a few days.

Black sapote seed sprouted inside the fruit

1) The seed must be clean from pulp and rinsed well. Some pulps, especially those with lots of fiber, are hard to remove. Do your best.

2) When shipped, the TFS should be kept moist. Use damp sphagnum moss, peat moss, or simply wood sawdust. Papertowel may be used too, but it tends to dry fast.

3) Once wet, tropical fruit seeds are subject to fungus and/or mould. The seeds can be pre-treated before shipping, and you may use:
- light soluton of bleach
- light solution of fungicide
- antibiotic solution
All these 3 things are dangerous and can kill the seed if improper concentration is used. To know the proper concentration, you have to be experienced. There are some recomendations in different soursces, but we can't guarantee they are safe.

5) As a simple option of anti-fungus treatment, we suggest to use a light solution of Cirkon - the natural hormone we import from Russia, that has anti-fungus activities.
- USE ONLY DISTILLED WATER. Get 1 gal can from a grocery store for $1.05 or so.
- Do not over-doze. Use 1/4 of vial to 1/2 gallon of DISTILLED water.
- Soak the seeds in the solution for a few hours (you may use plastic cups)
- Soak the medium in the solution (sphagnum, peat, paper, whatever you want to use. You may try different mediums so we see which works better). Wrap the seeds in it.
- Make sure the stuff you are mailing is not too wet, seal it in a water-proof package (2-3 Ziplocs)

6) Tropical fruit seeds must be shipped express-mail: 2-3-4 days maximum.

Now once the seeds are received in nice shape, it's time to think what you should do with them... But this is going to be another story!

Good luck!