Growing Caper Plants In Your Yard

Growing Caper Plants In Your Yard

Caper plants (Capparis spinosa) are usually found growing wild in the Mediterranean in dry stony areas similar to those where olives are grown. Caper plants are sometimes confused with the brined and dried fish called anchovies, since both are harvested from the same regions and are processed similarly. They are actually immature buds plucked from a small bush native to the Middle East and Mediterranean regions of the world. Fresh blossoms are not especially flavorful, but their sharpness increases dramatically after sun-drying and brining in vinegar. Growing caper plants can be achieved via propagation from seed, although finding a seed source is more of a challenge. If seed for growing capers is located, one may try growing them in a large pot with a base of coarse rock or crumbled brick. Take care not to overwater as the plant’s foliage is a natural water conservator.

Caper seeds are very tiny and germinate readily but in low percentiles. Dried seeds are more difficult to germinate and should be soaked for one day in warm water, then wrapped in damp towel, sealed in a jar and refrigerated for two to three months. Post refrigeration, re-soak seeds overnight and then plant at a depth of 1 cm in well drained medium. Caring for caper plants requires a steady stream of strong sunlight and an arid climate. Growing caper plants have a hardiness range similar to olive trees (18 degrees F. or -8 degrees C.) and can also tolerate summer temperatures of over 105 degrees F. (41 degrees C.).

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