En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?


Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
rate this answer
1 rating

Friday - March 12, 2010

From: Clearwater, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Propagation
Title: What kind of alcohol to use with Passiflora seeds?
Answered by: Joe Marcus


Hi, I read a question and answer related to gernmination of passiflora incarnata. You recommended a 5% alcohol/water solution to soak the seeds prior to sowing. I just want to make sure that you are talking about drinking alcohol as opposed to rubbing alcohol. What type of drinking alcohol do you recommend? Rum? Beer? Wine? I have some new seeds, and I am ready to get started. Thanks!


Mr. Smarty Plants likes the way you think! 

However, in the case of seed preparation, we are indeed talking about rubbing alcohol or isopropyl alcohol.  A weak, 5% solution of alcohol is used to dissolve certain seedcoat constituents that delay seed germination.  You could experiment with differnent concentrations, different lengths of time soaking in solution and different kinds of alcohol to determine which treatment works best for you.

Now, if you'll excuse me, it's happy hour...

Passiflora incarnata



More Propagation Questions

Transplanting of yucca plants
May 26, 2006 - We have several Arkansas Yucca plants in our yard that we want to transplant to a plant bed. How do we do that?
view the full question and answer

Drought tolerant grass for small lawn from Woodbury TX
June 07, 2014 - Trying to establish small lawn area, needs to be drought tolerant, water wise. Have tried Turffalo with poor results. Recommendation please.
view the full question and answer

Propagation of Mountain Laurel by seed
March 28, 2007 - I harvested the seed or nut from our Mountain Laurel this spring and I would like to propagate them in containers for at least a year and then transfer them to the ground. I live in Hays County, TX in...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for sale end of April in Schertz TX
February 13, 2009 - I am trying to raise some native plants for a fund-raiser .They need to be salable by the end of April. Something with flowers would be nice. Any suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Non-blooming or fruiting Oregon grape holly in Elmhurst IL
May 14, 2010 - I have an Oregon grape holly bush that has never bloomed and has never had fruit. I have had the bush for at least 6 years, it is approximately 5 ft tall. Have had no problems, just no flowers/fruit....
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center