Posted by John Minton | Posted in Plants | Last Updated February 23, 2014
Tags: Edible, Fragrant, Green Leaves, Pink Flowers, Red Flowers, Tree
Eugenia Aromatica is the much sought after Clove tree. It’s the tree you get the Clove spice from! I’ve been dying to grow my own Clove trees for some time but it’s been hard to find seeds for sale and when I have found them they have been very expensive. The thing is, Clove trees don’t exactly grow in the USA, but as my natural curiosity far out weighs any common sense, I gave in and bought Clove seeds November 2012 from Fruit Lovers website. I followed their directions, immediately plants the seeds in sterile potting soil, keeping the seeds at approx 85°F during the day and 75°F at night in my laundry room. I lost 5 of 6 seeds, from what I can tell to rotting, and 1 that grew well. It has taken a little longer than anticipated for the one seed to take root and in the end I lost the Clove tree over the Winter.
I placed it outside during the Summer and the leaves started to dry up in direct sunlight. Clove seedlings do not like direct sun! They like to be warm, but sheltered. It did recover, started growing multiple trunks, and to a whole 3 inches tall! It’s growth the first year is pretty slow and it certainly needs to come in for the Winter. So I set it on my windowsill in the kitchen. It did not receive enough light with all the cloud cover, and the cold from the window is what eventually did it in from what I could tell. I will certainly try again this year and prepare with a warming pad and a plant light.
Clove trees are similar to Cinnamon trees (Cinnamomum), every part of the plant smells like Clove – the bark, the leaves, and the flowers. The Clove spice itself is made from Clove tree flowers that haven’t quite opened up yet. I imagine that even without a tree flowering, you could use the leaves in cooking, teas, etc.
As I have not had very much hands on experience with Clove trees yet I will wait to write more about it until next year when I can get a tree going without many issues.