Frequently Asked Questions > Other > What if I find a seed in amongst the shells?

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Occasionally a seed will squeak past the de-seeders and find it's way into your bag of soap nut shells. It should be removed before washing as it may leave a dark stain if it sits on a wet piece of lighter clothing for a while. You can either toss it, compost it, or attempt to grow it. However, because they have such a hard and thick shell on them, they take up to 6 months to germinate, and then once the tree actually begins to grow it will take up to 10 years to bear fruit. They require warm moist conditions for a long period of time in order for that hard shell to soften enough for the plant to begin to grow. Our climate here does not facilitate such a stubborn plant, but that's not to say you can't still try!

Remember, when buying soap nuts, make sure you are purchasing de-seeded ones. Although whole shells may be a bit cheaper, you are paying mostly for the weight of the seed which will then need to be removed and disposed of. That is a lot of labour, and a lot of wasted seeds.

Last updated on Wednesday, August 24, 2011 by Katie McIlveen