Introduction to Growing Star Anise in Pots
Star anise is a fruit in the shape of a star and it is also called Chakriphool in Hindi. Star anise is brown and has an aroma similar to that of fennel seed. Star anise is a herb. The Star anise fruit, seed, and oil are used to make medicine. The Star anise pod is shaped like a star, and has an average of 8 points, each containing a single pea-sized seed. Both the seeds and the pod are used in cooking and have the sweet, potent anise flavour. It is used in culinary applications for its distinct flavour but is also useful for its medicinal benefits. In this article we also discuss below topics;
- How long does it take to grow Star anise
- The process to grow Star anise plants indoors
- Growing Star anise plant indoors
- Tips for growing Star anise plant
- Potted Star anise plant care
- Caring for your pot grown Star anise plant
- The best soil for growing Star anise
A Step By Step Guide to Growing Star Anise in Containers
Star anise is the dried and star-shaped fruit. It is an evergreen plant attaining a height of 8 to 15 meters and a diameter of 25 cm. The leaves are entire, 10 to 15 cm long; 2.5 – 5 cm broad, elliptic, flowers are solitary, white to red. Fruits are star-shaped, reddish-brown consisting of 6 to 8 carpels arranged in a whorl. Each carpel is about 10 mm long, boat-shaped, hard and wrinkled containing a seed. Seeds are brown, compressed, ovoid, shiny, smooth, and brittle.
They have lance-shaped olive green colour leaves and cup-shaped, soft yellow blooms. The Star anise fruit is star-shaped, green when under-ripe and brown and woody when ripe. It is composed of about 6 to 8 carpels, each of which contains a seed. Star anise fruits are harvested when still green and dried in the sun.
Difference between Star Anise and Anise Seed
Star anise and anise seed are confused with each other due to their similar taste and name. Though, these two plants are not from the same plant family Star anise is from the magnolia whereas aniseed is from the parsley family. The two plant seeds differ in appearance; Star anise seeds are larger and a dark reddish-brown colour while anise seeds are smaller.
Star anise and anise are not related and come from different plants. Star anise is the star-shaped fruit of a plant that is a member of the magnolia family. Anise is a flowering plant in the family Apiaceae, related to dill and cumin.
Soil Requirements for Growing Star Anise in Pots
For Star anise to grow and thrive, it needs a slightly acidic moist soil. Soil pH level should range between 6.0 and 7.0. Also, make sure that the soil you are using well-draining soil with a loamy texture. For better results, you can also add some compost and manure.
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Tips for Growing Star Anise in Pots
- Plant Star anise seeds indoors and also you can grow Star anise using cuttings.
- Star anise is an adaptable plant, thus, choosing a spot for growing it is easy. Star anise plant can grow in full sun as well as partial shade. The most important thing that you should bear in mind is that this plant does not like frost, therefore, select a spot where the temperature does not fall under -9°C. You should avoid exposing it to dry winds.
- Make sure soil is moist, and if planting Star anise in a pot, make sure the pot has good drainage. Star anise plant prefers well-drained soil. Before planting, be sure that the temperature is at least 18 to 20°C.
- Water the seeds immediately and add compost to the soil.
- Select a warm, sunny location and never let your Star anise plant outdoors if the temperature falls below 15°C.
- If you live in a tropical climate, plant your Star anise in partial shade too much sun could burn the Star anise plant.
Process of Growing Star Anise in Pots
Step 1) The Star anise plant can make for a great hedge and it is grown as a standalone plant. It does not have any frost tolerance and thus, it cannot be grown in the north.
Step 2) If you grow Star anise plant, remember that it will require the sun to partial shade. Then, this applies to almost all types of soil. In warmer climates, growing the Star anise plant under full shade is also a good option. Well-rotted manure or compost is the only fertilizer that the Star anise plant may need.
Step 3) Star anise plant requires full sun to partial shade in almost any soil type. This plant prefers slightly acidic soil.
Step 4) You can choose to buy potted Star anise to grow in your backyard. It should be easy to find this plant from the local garden centre. You can also select to take summer cuttings from already established Star anise plants since this will root faster and easier.
Step 5) To grow Star anise plant from seeds, then you should propagate the seeds in an ideal temperature. It should range between 18 and 20C. You can sow the seeds in a container and then water the soil frequently to keep the soil moist. If you are growing it in a container, then there should be holes at the bottom to drain the excess water.
Step 6) If you would prefer to grow through cuttings, then use a sharp knife to cut 4 to 10-inch sections of the stalk. Then, place the cuttings on a sterile medium, perhaps, in a mixture of sand or peat and perlite. Ensure that the mixture is moist and warm until the cuttings will start to root.
Step 7) Choose the most appropriate site to grow the Star anise plant. The success of this plant will somehow depend on where you select to grow it. If you select to grow the plant in your home, look for an area that receives a lot of sunlight.
Step 8) Pruning can be done to maintain plant size but is not necessary. Growing Star anise as a hedge requires trimming and keeping the fast-growing plant short to avoid excess maintenance. Whenever the plant is cut, it releases a spicy fragrance.
Star Anise Propagation for Growing in Pots.
There are three ways to grow a Star anise plant. The first way is to buy a potted plant from your local garden center and make sure you choose a healthy plant.
The second method is to grow Star anise by cuttings. You will need at least a 4 inches tall section. Cut it using a sharp knife and the cutting requires sterile soil to grow. A mixture of sand or peat and perlite is perfect for growing your Star anise from cutting. Cutting is recommended because it allows the plant roots to grow faster.
The third method to grow Star anise from the seeds. This way necessitates that you provide an ideal temperature level for the seeds to propagate. The ideal temperature level ranges between 18 and 21°C. You could choose to grow Star anise from the seeds in containers or directly in your garden. Then, water frequently to keep the soil moist.
If you choose to grow Star anise plant in a container and make sure some drainage holes at the bottom to drain the excess of water otherwise you may subject your plant to root rot.
Grow Star Anise in Pots from Seeds
Step 1) Star anise plants grow easily from seed that has been recently harvested and germinate best if they’re planted within 3 days of harvesting. Buy Star anise seeds from a reputable seller in fall while they are still fresh.
Step 2) Carefully preparing and planting the Star anise seeds will give the best chance of success. Or, store the seeds in moist sand in a container in the refrigerator for up to a month.
Step 3) Pour seed-starting potting mix into 4- to 6-inch-diameter pots. Then, fill them to 1 to 1 1/2 inches from the top. Moisten the mix with room-temperature water and use pots that have drainage holes in them.
Step 4) Place the seeds into a bowl filled with water and throw away any seeds that float to the surface. They are not viable and plant only the seeds that sink to the bottom.
Step 5) Then, place 2 or 3 seeds per pot on top of the moistened potting mix spaced evenly apart. Cover the seeds with about 1/4 to 1/2 inch of moistened seed-starting mix. Firm it with your fingers to remove air pockets. Set plastic water bottles with the bottom cut out over the seeds and leave the screw caps on.
Step 6) Put the containers in bright, indirect light where temperatures stay around 21°C. Moisten the potting mix using a spray bottle with room-temperature water if it begins to dry or set the containers in about 1 to 2 inches of room-temperature water for an hour or two. The water will soak up into the germination mix through the holes in the container bottoms.
Step 7) Remove the screw caps from the tops of the bottles after the seeds germinate. The seeds should germinate in 1 to 2 months. Pot the seedlings up in individual about 6- to 8-inch pots when they are about 3 to 4 inches tall. Use pots with drainage holes and pot them up using peat-based potting soil.
Step 8) Grow the Star anise plants in their containers for 1 year. Repot them into containers 1 inch larger when they become pot-bound or when you can see the plant roots through the drain holes in the bottom of the container. Set them outdoors during the day in the summer season when there is no danger of frost and the weather is calm and pleasant. Continue to water the plants when the top of the soil begins to dry.
Step 9) Plant them outdoors in their permanent positions the following spring after any danger of frost has passed. Begin to get them used to direct sunlight 2 weeks before planting. Start with an hour of direct morning sunlight and increase the duration by 30 minutes or so every 2 days. Water them when the top about 2 inches of soil feel dry. Plant multiple plants 15 to 20 feet apart. Water them generously right after planting and continue to water them as necessary to keep the soil lightly moist.
Water and Fertilizer Requirements for Growing Star Anise in Pots
Star anise plant requires regular watering. The soil must be continuously moist. Though, you should water it carefully as overwatering will cause root rot. In the winter season, less frequency of watering is desirable. For growing Star anise plants, do regular watering and keep the soil slightly moist but reduce the watering in winter.
Star anise plant is not a heavy feeder; in fact, it is enough to fertilize only once. Fertilizing this plant should be done in spring using compost or aged manure. Spray the fertilizer on the ground surrounding the Star anise plant and you will plant will grow perfectly. Then, spread a 3-inch layer of compost or aged manure on the ground surrounding the plant in the spring. This is the only fertilizer it requires.
Star Anise Plant Pruning
You should pinch off the sackers and prune the Star anise plant to maintain its size. It will also make your plant bushier. Then, pruning is recommended but not necessary, there are not any special pruning requirements. However, pruning dead, weak, and diseased branches are the best way to prune your Star anise plant.
Star Anise Growing Problems
Star anise plant is an extremely sturdy plant. Consequently, there are not a lot of diseases and pests that can infect it. This plant can protect itself. Star anise plant has pest repelling properties and anti-bacterial compounds that protect it from some pests and diseases. There are not any specific pests or disease that bothers it. Star anise plant itself has antibacterial and pest repellent properties.
When and How to Harvest Star Anise
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Star anise takes at least 6 years to fruit if grown from seeds. These fruits are picked unripe while they are still green, later on; these fruits are sun-dried until their colour change to reddish-brown, colour seeds can be removed once the fruits are ready to be stored.
Star anise fruits are picked unripe while they are still green colour. They’re then sun-dried until their colour change to reddish-brown colour. Star anise seeds can be removed once the fruits are ready to be preserved. The Star anise plant takes a minimum of 6 years to fruit if grown from seeds.
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