Murraya exotica/paniculata seedlings

December 13, 2004

I harvested some red berries from M. exotica/paniculata (I'm not sure which, it was a newly planted hedge about 18" high) while visiting in Brazil and then forgot about them. They were in a plasitc bag and got very moldy. More than a month later, I took off the moldy flesh and the hard brown shell and planted the seeds. Much to my suprise, most of them germinated. I have about 10 little seedlings under lights in a single 10inch plastic pot full of germinating medium. Now, what? When should they be transplanted? How long till flowering? Has anyone had any experience with growing these from seed? I'm very anxious since the eight or so, so-called M. paniculata I've got from Home Depot over the past decade never did bloom. I really don't want to blow this. I wish now I hadn't planted all of them at once. If I ever get more seed (I'm hoping these will be flowering fruit setting plants since the parent plants were)I'll be glad to share.

Comments (26)

  • risingpower1

    They don't seem to mind being transplanted quite often, done it a number of times so far with relatively small seedlings, with no effect whatsoever. Apparently they flower in the first or second year. It grows slowly but develops deep roots fairly quickly, so I'd recommend putting it into the deepest pot you can reasonably use. Has to be one of the easier plants I'm growing recently from seed, as opposed to plumeria seeds. They do like to be kept fairly moist too, but not overwatered.

  • Phlox

    RisingPower1: Thank you so much--that was just the information I needed.

  • risingpower1

    Welcome, i'll tell you how mine do. Mine are definitely exoticas though, so if you had some paniculatas they may grow a bit faster. Good luck with your seedlings.

  • hemnancy

    My new little M. paniculata has little fruits. Does it take it long to mature and turn red? I would like to remove them when ripe so the plant will have more impetus to flower.


    Hello Hemnancy,

    I recently discovered little fruits on my Jasmine as well.
    Thanks to this website I learned the fruits would
    turn red, which they have done in the last week or so.

    I'll be watching this page for tips on harvest, too,
    but I assume once the fruit seems to be drying up
    (losing it's shiny luster, not turning hard...LOL)
    will be the time to pick it from the tree.

  • hemnancy

    My Murraya bloomed and the fruits turned red on the same day. I went ahead and picked them off but haven't had time to try to break them open for the seeds or get set up to plant them yet. Do they need any special treatment, or are they like citrus where they need to be planted directly from the fruit without drying out? The Murraya blooms were nice but maybe too intensely sweet? I think I like Jasmine Sambac fragrance better, mine is blooming now too.

    My Murraya leans considerably to one side and is still in the pot Logee's sent it in. I also plan to transplant it and try to straighten it up some in the pot. The branches are growing longer out to the side, so that may be hard. Is that typical?

  • Phlox

    They really don't seem to need any treatment at all. As I said, I picked them off a bush, put them in a plastic bag and forgot about them. They were there about two months and got very moldy. I just peeled off the hard shell that was under what had been the red fruit and planted the little seeds (I think there are two per fruit). A few weeks later up came the seedling! I have fifteen beautiful little seedlings and they are doing great. I think they do tend to grow a bit unevenly. One side will dominate--pruning evens them out over time. The hedge I got the fruit from had been pruned pretty hard.

  • rayandgwenn

    We leave our red berries on the bush until they get mushy- then we just smush the seed out of the red mush. If you wait too long and the berry gets brown- it is ok- just get the seed out. We have even planted the whole red berry with great success-but I assume your chances of fungus is higher.

  • joanmary_z10

    I'm in Zone 10, semi tropical. Both my Murraya Paniculata and the smaller version M. 'Exotica' P. are outside. The 'exotica' grows at the base of the M.P. which is 6' tall. In this way, I have a longer 'flowering flush' = fragrance!

    The soil is warm here resulting in very fast germination. Try setting up a system where your soil will be kept warm, not hot then you'll have faster germination, if that is a problem for you.

    In reaping the berries: if you 'pluck' them off, they are probably not mature yet. Very gently give a very slight 'pull'. If it does not come off, leave it till its more mature. In fact, you will find that when the berries are 'ripe' they will fall to the floor.

    I've included a picture here of the difference between the larger and smaller types. Notice the larger leaves and the elongated seed of the M.P. The smaller 'exotica' has smaller leaves and rounded berries, and when opened, they are both absolutely different.

    In warmer soil, the little seedlings will also grow faster.

    Hope this helps.


  • joanmary_z10

    Trying to get the photo comparing the two M.P. plants posted again, but having trouble with the Webshots programme, perhaps with too large a photo byte or who knows!

  • joanmary_z10

    Trying the photo again:


  • joanmary_z10

    Now that was odd! My second photo came up without any problem. Somehow it also activated a loading up of the first photo. It never rains, but it pours!!!!

  • joanmary_z10

    Now both photos have disappeared!! Where to???? What am I doing wrong!!! Both photographs were up in full glorious colour!

  • ankraras

    Joanmary_z10 ;- I can view both beautiful photos just find. Supannee

  • joanmary_z10

    Ankraras I'm happy to hear that it is there, Somewhere....what photo uploading site do you use? I'm just curious as what sites 'enable' my downloads to be seen. All I am able to see is a square with a red cross in it!

    I believe Webshots blocks photos from being downloaded onto other websites now. And here I was foolish enough to pay a goodly sum to be a PREMIUM member so I'd have no limit on photos I uploaded. Well, I wish I had been aware of this before I took out an annual membership as it was my intention to use the uploads for transferring my garden pictues to Garden Web and other places of interest! Can't say I'm happy!

    Anyhow, I am glad you are able to see the comparison. Interesting, isnt it! Nature certainly is pretty clever!

  • joanmary_z10

    Am using Photobucket (Webshots wont allow posting of pics here) to post this comparison between Murraya Paniculata (large shrub) and Murraya 'Exotica' Paniculata, the smaller shrub.

  • angelsmell

    I had some photos on the brug forum that disappeared too!
    They told me if was because I used webshots and the are no longer allowing to use their website for posting other places..... so you have to use photobucket.
    I have seen some plants at the 99 cents store that look exactly like either the exotica or paniculata... when I bought it and brought it home it is identical, I wonder which one it is, they also have them at home depot in the house plant section that was labeled Jasmine.... they were cheap... why are they so darn slow at growing? the one I got last summer hasn't even grown an inch I don't think.
    I wonder if I'll ever get at plant I can actually smell?
    Thank God I got a large 5 gal for $18.00 at a chinese nursery, I hope that one blooms this spring.

  • hemnancy

    My little 9" M. paniculata from Logee's came with 3 fruits on it and then bloomed, but now it is just sitting there with tiny buds, but growing out some new leaves on the lop-sided side. I need to put it in a larger pot as well as the Hoyas I bought, then it will probably take off more.

  • Ian_NCWAC

    Murraya is becoming a weed in some areas of northern Australia. You may find this surprising, as murraya is an Australian native plant and it does not usually set much seed. However, we discovered that some nursery propagators are growing murrayas from seed, and these seed grown plants do have significant weed potential. This is also a problem because every plant grown from seed is different, and of no use to people who want to grow a uniform murraya hedge. Nursery propagators have been requested to stop growing murrayas from seed. These plants should only be grown from cuttings. It may also be wise to avoid planting murrayas, even the new dwarf variety, if you live in eastern Australia and particularly if you live near bushland areas.


    Murraya paniculata (L.) Jack is the accepted name

    Some people in Australia use the 'exotica' tag after the above name to differentiate between the sterile and the seed producing forms but this is confusing as the published name M. exotica should not be considered a cultivar or hort selection.

    The following names are all considered synonyms

    Chalcas exotica (L.) Millsp.,
    Chalcas paniculata L.,
    Murraya exotica L.,
    Murraya omphalocarpa Hayata,
    Murraya paniculata var. omphalocarpa Tanaka


  • Phlox

    Thanks Ian, variable sources may explain some of the problems we have in the US with non-flowering plants sold at nationwide home improvement stores. I've nursed several of these bought at different times for as long as six years and never seen flower. I'm not aware of anyone growing them as hedges in the States--maybe in more tropical areas? My current seedlings are probably M. paniculata to judge by Joanmary's pictures. I HOPE mine have weed potential, since that would require that they flower first:).
    Also, has anyone had any success in getting M. paniculata from Homw Depot to flower? I'm seriously considering recommending that they not sell them if their supplier is not growing a flowering line. Other than lack of flowering they always seem very healthy.

  • cougar_roberts

    Hmmmm, I bought a shrubby, foot tall Murraya Paniculata (Monrovia Label) last year at a local nursery and it has not bloomed for me yet. It's now a nice, 2' bushy shrub with no bud formation in sight. It's also planted in full sun.

    Monrovia label said it has blooms

    Oh well....

    Here is a link that might be useful: Monrovia - Murraya Paniculata

  • eva_st

    I have Murraya 'Exotica' Paniculata planted as a houseplant. It was growing well, but recently we moved, so the plant changed its location too. It started dropping leaves. It never bloomed for almost 2 years now /I found out that it needs sun so I changed the plant's location, and in spring I'm going to put it outside on the patio/. Can someone tell me why the plant was dropping leaves /other than the light conditions/? How to take proper care of it?

  • birdsnblooms

    Ewa, sometimes certain plants need time to adapt to their new conditions.
    It's a good idea if you place on your patio next spring/summer. But do so gradually, especially if it's getting little sun now.

    I have a question, too..I have one Murraya that's over 10 yrs old..It hasn't put out much growth over the yrs..It's about 2-3' tall. The second one is a tree, yet puts out growth yrly. The latter flowers a lot more than the first..I grow them similarly, feed w/citrus food and 20-20-20. In summer both are set outside in full sun. What am I doing wrong, and is there a way to determine if one is a mini? Thanks..Toni

    Here is a link that might be useful: RE: Murraya exotica/paniculata seedlings

  • checkbookblues

    Logee's is out of the large size of Murraya paniculata. Where else should I get it? Thanks, checkbookblues

  • longriver

    This plant is indeed like weed. What can weed seedlings do? They can sprout very easily if there is some moisture. The numerous natural seedlings about 1-2 inches can maintain healthy apprearance even the rooted soil turned into almost bone dry during a period of time (under the shade of mother plant). I discovered this situation three years ago in Taiwan where Murraya also can be found everwhere.

    My plant showed clusters of tiny flower buds formation at later part last year. I hope it should grow to flower this year. But I am not sure whether it is a normal timing patern of flowering process.

  • Joeray

    I bought my plant at a local nursery (Baton Rouge, LA) and it flowers regularly and sets seeds, but I have not been able to get any of the seeds to germinate. Has anyone rooted any cuttings from their plant?

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