The word “nut” comes from the Latin nytum which means “seed”. The term was first used in reference to the fruit of a shrub called the Nutmeggeria (which literally translates to “tree nut”). Since then, it’s been applied to any edible seedpod or pod-like structure containing seeds.
There are many varieties of nutmeg trees, but all share one thing in common: they’re plants with pods filled with small, hard-shelled seeds. These seeds contain a mixture of proteins and fats that make them edible when cooked into a sauce or added to other foods. They’re also high in protein and fat, making them good sources of energy for your body.
You may have heard the name “nutmeg” before. It refers to the dried seeds of the nutmeg tree, not the spice itself!
Growing Nutmeg Tree Seeds
In order to grow nutmeg tree seeds, you’ll need a suitable location where you can get sunlight and water. A sunny spot with plenty of moisture will provide these conditions best. If possible, try to find soil that’s rich in organic matter like composted leaves or manure. This will help your seedling thrive once you plant it in the ground.
Though nutmeg trees are usually grown from seeds, you can also grow them from cuttings. Cuttings can be obtained by using a sharp knife or pair of scissors to cut off a branch of a mature tree. Then, place the cutting in some moist soil and keep it watered until it’s well-rooted.
Planting Nutmeg Seeds
Choose a sunny spot with loose, well-draining soil. Then, plant your seeds or seedlings there. It’s best to plant nutmeg trees fairly close together since they have deep root systems and don’t like to be root-bound. If you’re planting your seeds, dig a small hole for each one about three times the size of the seed itself.
Place the seeds in the hole and cover with soil. It’s a good idea to water the soil after planting to ensure good seed contact.
Caring For A Young Nutmeg Tree
Once your nutmeg tree is planted, water it thoroughly. It’s very important that the soil stays moist at all times. Make sure you water it thoroughly and deeply so that the water seeps down to the deepest roots. If you’re growing several trees, you can plant them in a row to conserve space and water.
This also makes weeding, mulching, and other soil care easier.
Sunlight is also critical to your tree’s survival. If you plant it in an area that doesn’t have full sun for long periods of time, the growth of your tree will be stunted.
Nutmeg trees grow best in warm climates. They’ll begin to flower in spring once they reach a few feet in height and begin bearing fruit within the year.
Harvesting And Curing Nutmeg Seeds
Once your tree is bearing fruit, you can begin to harvest and cure the seeds. Harvesting is fairly easy: simply pluck the ripe fruit from the tree and peel off the outer shell to get to the seeds inside. You can soak the seeds in water to help loosen the fleshy outer layer if you’d like. It should come off fairly easily at this point.
Sources & references used in this article:
Ethnobotany of nutmeg in the Spice Islands by C Van Gils, PA Cox – Journal of ethnopharmacology, 1994 – Elsevier
Identification of sex-specific DNA markers in the dioecious tree, nutmeg (Myristica fragrans Houtt.). by MP Shibu, KV Ravishankar, A Lalitha… – Plant Genetic …, 2000 – cabdirect.org
Chronic nutmeg psychosis. by N Brenner, OS Frank, E Knight – Journal of the Royal Society of …, 1993 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov