Datura’s trumpet-shaped flowers and easy-growing habits make it a favorite among gardeners. Datura will grow nearly anywhere with warm, temperate or tropical temperatures. It’s even considered a weed in many places. The plant is commonly propagated by seed. Before you plant your datura seed, however, it’s a good idea to sprout a few to test their viability. If more than 80 percent sprout, the seed is good. If your germination rate is much lower, scatter the seed in a more dense layer as only a few will germinate.
Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Put on a pair of plastic gloves. Datura seeds are poisonous and may cause a skin rash if handled with bare hands.
Nick 10 seeds. Remove the dark outer seed coat in one small spot on the seed with a pocketknife or metal file to reveal the lighter seed beneath it. Practice on a few seeds first until you can just remove the seed coat; if you cut too deep, the seed may not germinate.
Fold a paper towel into quarters.
Moisten the folded paper towel with water from a spray bottle.
Slide the paper towel into a plastic bag laying on its side (so the paper towel rests on the flat side of the plastic bag and not its folded bottom).
Place the 10 nicked seeds on top of the paper towel and close the bag.
Place the bag in a spot where it will receive direct sunlight. Check on the seeds roughly every other day to make sure the paper towel is still moist. If it’s not, moisten it with the spray bottle (don’t add so much water that it pools in the bag). Most of the seed will sprout in two to four weeks.
Datura seeds are toxic. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after you remove your gloves.