Collect seed from winter berries

Swell your shrub stocks for free with this easy, fun job


Though we like to keep our berried bushes intact for birds to feed on in the winter months, try to spare a bunch or two of different berries to experiment with propagating.

Berries from plants, such as rowan, cotoneaster, holly or pyracantha, for example, can be taken in winter to increase your stocks for free, and it’s a fun project at this time of year, to see what will come of your endeavours!

Always choose plump, healthy-looking berries and clean off the outer flesh – this keeps the seed nice and dry and reduces any rotting. Plus, the contents of berry flesh can often serve as a natural germination inhibitor, used by the plant in the wild to restrict and control its timely germination. Alternatively, you can crush the berries, leave the flesh on and pot in sandy compost, but they may take a while to grow.

It’s really easy, and it’ll be interesting to see the eventual results of your sowing – unlike cuttings, seed-raised plants don’t always turn out exactly like their parents! You can look forward to a nice surprise in creating a brand-new plant.