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Job’s tears is a tropical grass species from south-eastern Asia which can be kept as an annual plant in the garden. In Asia, this species serves as a food crop because the seeds can be used as grain (for e.g. baking bread). Also, Job’s tears can be used to make tea or be processed into liquor. In traditional Chinese medicine, Job’s tears has many applications. In Asia and South America, the pretty, grey, pearl-like seeds are used to make bracelets and necklaces. The seeds can be harvested around September, after they’ve changed colour in summer from green to black, and in the end to grey.
Soak seeds for 24 hours in water. Seeds that sink can immediately be sown. Floating seeds have to scoured first, before they sink in the water. If they don’t sink after scouring, germination is unlikely. Sow the sunken seeds in sowing mix (start of spring) and let them germinate at room temperature. Do not let the soil dry out. Cultivate plants in full soil in a spot in semi-shadow.
February - May
Photo 1: Tubifex (CCA-1.2 Wikipedia)
Photo 2: Robsplants.com