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Growing Clove Plant from Seed, Clove Plant Propagation

Introduction to growing Clove plant from seed

Cloves are the aromatic flower buds of a tree in the Myrtaceae family. The Clove tree’s large, shiny, aromatic dark green leaves grow up to 5 inches long (they resemble bay leaves) and grow in pairs. The fragrance of the blooms will do more than simply adding a splash of color they’ll help to attract bees and other pollinators to your garden. It is known in the culinary and fragrance world for its distinctive aroma and flavor, both of which are pleasing and unique. Clove has a sweet-and-spicy scent and taste that’s used in holiday dishes such as wassail and in candles meant to evoke the holiday season. They have a strong and distinctive flavor so in most cases; they are used sparingly in culinary applications. Clove flower buds are harvested in the immature state and then dried. In this article we also discuss below topics;

  • How long does the Clove tree take to grow
  • Growing a Clove plant from seed
  • Clove plant propagation
  • Clove plant seed germination
  • Process of growing Clove plants in containers
  • Clove plant growing conditions

A step by step guide to growing Clove plant from seed

Soil requirement for growing Clove plant from seed

The soil must be rich and loamy with good drainage and a lot of organic matter. Clove trees need soil that has good drainage, as well as a lot of organic matter to grow to their full potential. You must prepare the soil before planting with organic materials such as;

  • Peat Moss
  • Compost
  • Sand
  • Loam ( soil that is equal parts sand, clay, and silt)

The spacing of Clove seed

If planting Clove from seeds, you will need to start them in containers making sure to plant the seeds a minimum of 3 cm apart from each other and 2 cm deep for them to germinate without overcrowding seedlings.

Water requirements for growing Clove plant from seed

The clove plant grows in wet tropics. The plant requires regular watering, especially when the plant is young. Overwatering should be avoided. You will want to water your Clove Trees every week assuring that they receive at least an inch and a half of water per week. Also, if you see that the soil is drying out between watering, you will want to increase either the amount of water or the frequency at which you are watering.

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Water requirement for clove plants.
Water requirement for clove plants.

Even though Clove plants like moist soil, they do not like to have wet soil. Wet soil increases the chances of your Clove tree’s roots developing rot, disease, and fungal issues that are very detrimental to the life of your tree. These potentially harmful illnesses that are caused by overwatering make it is vital to the tree’s health to maintain the proper moisture balance in your soil.

Clove plant propagation

Growing Clove plants from seeds and cuttings are possible. For Clove seed propagation, buy seeds that are recently harvested and not dried out completely as wholly dried out seeds are not viable and do not germinate.

Plant Clove seeds as soon as you get them. The seeds don’t want to be covered with soil and should be placed on top of the soil. If you like, shower just a bit of soil over them briskly and cover the pot or seed tray with the plastic sheet to increase the humidity.

Growing Clove plants in containers

  • Buy pollinated seeds from a reputed seed shop. Before purchasing seeds make sure that the Clove seeds have been collected recently, as dried Clove seeds do not germinate.
  • You could plant Clove in a pot but it will not be so long. For this choose the container with at least 18 inches diameter.
  • First, check the proper drainage system in your pot. Fill about 2/3 of pot or plotter with rich, loamy soil. Clove plants prefer moist soil, but cannot soggy. Add water to the soil then that it becomes moist before planting.
  • Place the seeds on the soil surface. There is no need to cover Clove seeds with soil. If a Clove seed is already rooting in the seed, then you gently plant it in the soil. Cover Clove seeds with a clear plastic sheet, because these trees are tropical and grow well in humid conditions; it gives the seed a humid atmosphere. During seed germination, keep the soil moist.
  • Keep container in a bright spot; the temperature of 18 to 27°C is better for this. Though, Clove trees prefer sunny places, save seed germination from direct sunlight. It takes 2 to 3 weeks for the seeds to germinate. Sometimes it takes more than a month for the seeds to sprout, you must not be disappointed. Before the Clove seeds sprout, they develop their root.
  • Keep the soil of container moist and keep them in a sunny, hot place, water should not be filled. If the water is logged, the root of the Clove plant can die from rotting. Give your Clove tree organic fertilization in the spring, which contains natural organic matter and decomposed compost. Then, follow the instructions written in packets in the purchased manure.

Clove seed germination requirements

Clove seeds will not germinate if dried out. Fresh seeds must be planted soon after removal from the fruit. Germination begins within days, though root sprouts can take a few weeks to show. Plant near the soil surface in moist and well-drained soil. Provide a high humidity environment. Soil and the air temperature must be at 23-29°C.

Methods for propagating Clove trees

The common method of propagating Cloves trees is by seed. Cuttings can also be taken in midsummer, while this is not frequently done. Under the right conditions, trees grow best from seed propagation. However, it is very important to note that a Clove tree planted from seed will not start to produce blooms for 5 to 10 years, and they do not reach their maximum bloom until they are 15 to 20 years old.

It is very important to note that dried out Clove seeds are not viable and will not germinate. It is recommended that seeds be planted immediately or within one week of their harvest. Seeds that are not planted right away must be left in the flower bud until they can be planted; this helps them remain moist and viable. Clove seeds must be lightly scattered on the surface of a moist, rich potting mix. Do not bury the seeds, and they will germinate right on the soil surface. Seed tray or pots then be covered will a clear lid or clear plastic to retain the proper moisture and humidity. For seed germination, daytime temperatures should remain steady around 30°C, with nighttime temperatures no lower than 15°C. In these conditions, seeds should germinate in 6 to 8 weeks. It is important to maintain these conditions until the seedlings are ready for transplant. Clove plant seedlings shouldn’t be transplanted for at least 6 months.

Conditions for growing Cloves by seed

Cloves are propagated by seeds or by cutting. For Clove seed collection, fruits are left on the tree to ripe, and naturally, fall down. You can soak seeds overnight in water or sown directly. Use recently harvested seeds and the seeds which were dried are not viable enough, because they will not germinate.

Immediately plant the purchased seeds, it is not necessary to cover the Clove seed with soil. You can sprout it by putting it directly above the soil. To improve moisture in the soil of the seed tray or pot, and then cover it with a plastic sheet after planting, thereby keeping moisture.

Seed germination takes about 6 weeks. The seedling grows delicate and slow. Some gardeners keep the plant dry once a day before transplanting to keep the delicate root ball.

The procedure of growing Clove from seed

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Procedure of growing clove plants.
The procedure of growing clove plants.

The Clove tree is most often grown from seed. Plant Clove seeds in well-drained and fertile loam and water, and then feed them regularly. The soil you should use for planting Clove must be similar to what you would use for orchids. Take care to place seedlings in an area where they will be shaded by larger plants for the first couple of years of their tender young lives.

Purchase Clove seeds from a reputable source, wet the soil before planting. Make sure the Clove seeds you purchase are pollinated. Then, keep the soil where Clove is growing wet but not waterlogged.

Put Clove seeds directly on the surface of the ground. The seeds do not want to be buried under the soil to put down roots and start adjusting to their new homes. After just a bit of time has passed, you’ll see the Clove seedlings start sprouting up like crazy. Transfer Clove seedlings into a larger pot when they have reached one inch in height.

Germination takes about 6 weeks and the seedlings are delicate and slow-growing. Don’t even think about potting them up until they’re about 25cm high, which can take up to 6 months. Clove plants need good drainage. Clove plants prefer partial shade and a cooler climate with well-distributed rainfall which is ideal for flowering.

The Clove seeds can be sown in a loose soil-sand mixture prepared with well-rotted organic matter, on raised beds. Seeds are sown at 2 to 3 cm spacing at a depth of about 2 cm. And the seedbeds have to be protected from direct sunlight. The Clove seeds will germinate about 10 to 15 days and can be transplanted in polythene bags containing a mixture of soil, sand, and well-decomposed cow dung. The seeds can be sown directly in polythene bags filled with soil-sand-cow dung mixture and kept in a shady cool place. The seedlings are ready for transplanting in the field when they are 18 to 24 months old. The pits for planting the seedlings are partially filled with compost, green leaf, or cattle manure and then covered with topsoil.

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Clove trees require plenty of water throughout the year and protection from strong wind. Volcanic and rich loam soils with added organic matter will give the best results, although a seed-grown tree will still take 7 years to flower. Fertilize the Clove tree twice a year. If you live in a place with a rainy season, fertilize the Clove tree at the start of the season. Use compost, bone meal, or fish meal to fertilize your Clove tree.

Clove plant care

There are no issues for gardeners to be aware of that Clove trees face when it comes to garden pests, but these Clove trees are susceptible to a few diseases especially when they’re kept in the wrong growing conditions. Clove trees do occasionally suffer from seedling wilt, root rot, leaf spot, bug shedding, scales, and mealybugs.

Check under the leaves of the Clove tree at least twice a week for insects or signs of disease, then hit any affected areas with a big blast of water to knock any tiny pest bugs you’ve spotted off of the plant and send them flying in the other direction. This strategy cannot be a permanent deterrent, but it will knock the bugs for a loop each time you do it and discourage them from taking up residence near Clove trees.

Protect the tree from common pests and diseases. Prune any branches that die or become diseased to keep the Clove plant healthy. If your Clove tree’s flowers are attacked by Oriental Fruit Flies, try covering the flowers with plastic bags to prevent the flies from getting to the plant. Don’t use any insecticide or sprays unless you can be sure they are safe for trees.

Cloves harvesting

The clove tree starts to flower after 6 years of its planting if grown in good conditions. However, it takes at least 15 to 20 years to reach the full bearing stage. Because opened flowers are not valued as a spice, the unopened buds are picked before they turn pink and they are rounded and plump. At that time, they are less than about 2 cm long. Harvesting should be done carefully without damaging the branches.

The buds once picked are dried in the sun or hot air chambers until they have lost two-thirds of their original weight and the color of bud stem has darkened to dark brown and rest of the bud in slight brown color. Harvest Clove flowers when they turn pink and a healthy Clove tree will grow flowers after around 5-7 years. The Clove flowers will grow in white at first, and turn pink after around 6 months. Once the Clove flowers turn pink, they can be harvested. Dry the Clove flowers in an airtight container to use them as a spice.

Commonly asked questions about growing Clove plant

What is another name for Cloves?

Cloves are commonly known as Clove, Lavang, and Laung.

How tall do Cloves grow?

On average Clove, plants grow 8 to 12 meters.

What color are Cloves?

A Cloves plant bears flowers of Yellow color to Crimson

Can I grow Cloves at home?

You can grow Clove plant as an indoor plant or in a greenhouse if you can keep the humidity high enough indoors you could try a terrarium-style growing environment as long as the potting mix can drain well.

What plant does Clove come from?

Cloves are the rich, brown, dried, unopened flower buds of Syzygium aromaticum, an evergreen tree in the family myrtle. This name comes from the French “clou” meaning nail.

Where is Clove grown in India?

In India, the Clove tree is mostly grown in the hilly tracts of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Karnataka.

Conclusion of growing clove plant from seed

Commercial clove farming is viable and profitable. You may also like the Cashew Seed Germination, Period, Temperature.


  1. is clove self pollinated or cross pollinated ; if it is cross pollinated then how do i avoid pollination before harvesting in open field .


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