You can buy mandrake seeds from my webstore
The best advice I can give for growing mandrake seeds is. Buy good quality mandrake seeds make sure everything you use is clean .If possible use sterile compost and make sure your pots and seed trays are clean .By far the biggest killer of mandrake seeds are moulds and disease .
For every 100 mandrake seeds I sell I plant 10 and grow plants with them .By doing this I know the seeds are good and of course I get mandrake plants.
Seeds can be planted any time of year but they do better in spring and autumn. Plant the seeds 10 mm deep and 50mm apart in a compost of 3parts peat to 1 part sand .DO NOT GET THE COMPOST TOO WET the seeds may rot .Keep the seeds cool in an unheated greenhouse. Between two weeks or two months later (sometime years later ) the seedling should appear .
From left to right ,black English mandrake tamus communis, White English or fennish mandrake, mandragora caulesence, American mandrake, Mandragora Autumnalis, mandragora officinarum or true mandrake ,Manadragora Turcomanica
Mandrake seeds have a hard coat that need to be sofened by stratification .This is a process where the seeds are soaked in water below 5 centigrade for two weeks .The water is changed every day to wash out the germination inhibitors .I use a little toothpick jar .The seeds change from the hard shelled off white to the softer orange colour .
When the plant gets to this stage it will need repotting .The one on the left has just been transplanted from the seed tray. The one on the right about 1 year and needs to go to a larger pot .As soon as you see roots at the bottom of the pot you need to think about repotting
Keep the seedlings in part shade, keep an eye out for pests like slugs and aphids they will destroy the leaves and kill the plants .
If you need more information on aspects of mandrake growing, there is an excellent little 67 page black and white soft covered booklet called,'mandrake, a grower’s guide'. It is about the finer points of mandrake cultivation .It has all the information you will need to grow and care for your mandrake seeds and plants.
Some of the subjects covered are; astrological planting, the long pot and how to produce flowers and fruit.
This is an extract of what a customer has written to me about the book
Thank you greatly for the seeds and book which arrived yesterday. The book is marvellous and a true wonder of hard earned knowledge. I am learning much and have spotted several errors I have made already. The seed too looks hugely better quality than those purchased from other seed sellers . I am a very happy !
The booklet costs £5.99 .plus postage 1.99 to UK .Europe £3.50. £4.50 USA and Canada
For more information about folklore and cultivation of mandrake try Alex at
I have tacked on extra information about the mandrake in general
Mandrake is the common name for members of the plant genus Mandragora, particularly the species Mandragora officinarum, belonging to the nightshades family (Solanaceae). Because mandrake contains deliriant hallucinogenic tropane alkaloids such as atropine, scopolamine, apoatropine, hyoscyamine and the roots sometimes contain bifurcations causing them to resemble human figures, their roots have long been used in magic rituals, today also in neopagan religions such as Wicca and Germanic revivalism religions such as Odinism.
There are two references to דודאים (dûdã'im)--literally meaning “love plant”--in the Jewish scriptures. A number of translations into different languages follow the example of the Latin Vulgate and use mandrake as the plant as the proper meaning in both Genesis 30:14-16 and Song of Solomon 7:13. Others follow the example of the Luther Bible and provide a more literal translation. The readings from the King James Bible are "And Reuben went in the days of wheat harvest, and found mandrakes in the field, and brought them unto his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, Give me, I pray thee, of thy son's mandrakes. And she said unto her, Is it a small matter that thou hast taken my husband? and wouldest thou take away my son's mandrakes also? And Rachel said, Therefore he shall lie with thee to night for thy son's mandrakes. And Jacob came out of the field in the evening, and Leah went out to meet him, and said, Thou must come in unto me; for surely I have hired thee with my son's mandrakes. And he lay with her that night.", and "The mandrakes give a smell, and at our gates are all manner of pleasant fruits, new and old, which I have laid up for thee, O my beloved.", respectively.
Note: A number of other plants have been suggested by biblical scholars, e.g., Most notably Ginseng which looks similar to the mandrake root and has fertility enhancing properties, for which it was picked by Reuben in the Bible. blackberries, Zizyphus Lotus, the sidr of the Arabs, the banana, lily, citron, and fig. Sir Thomas Browne, in Pseudodoxia Epidemica, ch. VII, suggests that the 'dudai'im' of Genesis 30:14 is the opium poppy, because the word 'dudai'im' may be a reference to a woman's breasts.
In Genesis 30:14, Reuben, the eldest son of Jacob and Leah finds mandrake in a field. Rachel, Jacob's infertile second wife and Leah's sister, is desirous of the דודאים and barters with Leah for them. The trade offered by Rachel is for Leah to spend that night in Jacob's bed in exchange for Leah's דודאים. Leah gives away the plant to her barren sister, but soon after this (Genesis 30:14-22), Leah, who had previously had four sons but had been infertile for a long while, became pregnant once more and in time gave birth to two more sons, Issachar and Zebulun, and a daughter, Dinah. Only years after this episode of her asking for the mandrakes did Rachel manage to get pregnant. The predominant traditional Jewish view is that דודאים were an ancient folk remedy to help barren women conceive a child.
The final verses of Song of Songs (Song of Songs 7:12-13), are:
לְכָה דוֹדִי נֵצֵא הַשָּׂדֶה, נָלִינָה בַּכְּפָרִים.נַשְׁכִּימָה, לַכְּרָמִים--נִרְאֶה אִם-פָּרְחָה הַגֶּפֶן פִּתַּח הַסְּמָדַר, הֵנֵצוּ הָרִמּוֹנִים; שָׁם אֶתֵּן אֶת-דֹּדַי, לָךְ.הַדּוּדָאִים נָתְנוּ-רֵיחַ, וְעַל-פְּתָחֵינוּ כָּל-מְגָדִים--חֲדָשִׁים, גַּם-יְשָׁנִים; דּוֹדִי, צָפַנְתִּי לָךְ
Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages. Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see whether the vine hath budded, whether the vine-blossom be opened, and the pomegranates be in flower; there will I give thee my love. The mandrake give forth fragrance, and at our doors are all manner of precious fruits, new and old, which I have laid up for thee, O my beloved.
According to the legend, when the root is dug up it screams and kills all who hear it. Literature includes complex directions for harvesting a mandrake root in relative safety. For example Josephus (c. AD 37 Jerusalem – c. 100) gives the following directions for pulling it up:
A furrow must be dug around the root until its lower part is exposed, then a dog is tied to it, after which the person tying the dog must get away. The dog then endeavours to follow him, and so easily pulls up the root, but dies suddenly instead of his master. After this the root can be handled without fear.
... we will add a few words about mandragores (mandrakes) and kandroids, which several writers on magic confound with the waxen image; serving the purposes of bewitchment. The natural mandragore is a filamentous root which, more or less, presents as a whole either the figure of a man, or that of the virile members. It is slightly narcotic, and an aphrodisiacal virtue was ascribed to it by the ancients, who represented it as being sought by Thessalian sorcerers for the composition of philtres. Is this root the umbilical vestige of our terrestrial origin ? We dare not seriously affirm it, but all the same it is certain that man came out of the slime of the earth, and his first appearance must have been in the form of a rough sketch. The analogies of nature make this notion necessarily admissible, at least as a possibility. The first men were, in this case, a family of gigantic, sensitive mandragores, animated by the sun, who rooted themselves up from the earth ; this assumption not only does not exclude, but, on the contrary, positively supposes, creative will and the providential co-operation of a first cause, which we have reason to call God. Some alchemists, impressed by this idea, speculated on the culture of the mandragore, and experimented in the artificial reproduction of a soil sufficiently fruitful and a sun sufficiently active to humanise the said root, and thus create men without the concurrence of the female. (See: Homunculus) Others, who regarded humanity as the synthesis of animals, despaired about vitalising the mandragore, but they crossed monstrous pairs and projected human seed into animal earth, only for the production of shameful crimes and barren deformities. The third method of making the android was by galvanic machinery. One of these almost intelligent automata was attributed to Albertus Magnus, and it is said that St Thomas (Thomas Aquinas) destroyed it with one blow from a stick because he was perplexed by its answers. This story is an allegory; the android was primitive scholasticism, which was broken by the Summa of St Thomas, the daring innovator who first substituted the absolute law of reason for arbitrary divinity, by formulating that axiom which we cannot repeat too often, since it comes from such a master: " A thing is not just because God wills it, but God wills it because it is just. " The real and serious android of the ancients was a secret which they kept hidden from all eyes, and Mesmer was the first who dared to divulge it; it was the extension of the will of the magus into another body, organised and served by an elementary spirit; in more modern and intelligible terms, it was a magnetic subject.
It was a common folklore in some countries that mandrake would only grow where the semen of a hanged man had dripped on to the ground; this would appear to be the reason for the methods employed by the alchemists who "projected human seed into animal earth". In Germany, the plant is known as the Alraune: the novel (later adapted as a film) Alraune by Hanns Heinz Ewers is based on a soulless woman conceived from a hanged man's semen, the title referring to this myth of the Mandrake's origins.
Would you like to make a Mandragora, as powerful as the homunculus (little man in a bottle) so praised by Paracelsus? Then find a root of the plant called bryony. Take it out of the ground on a Monday (the day of the moon), a little time after the vernal equinox. Cut off the ends of the root and bury it at night in some country churchyard in a dead man's grave. For thirty days water it with cow's milk in which three bats have been drowned. When the thirty-first day arrives, take out the root in the middle of the night and dry it in an oven heated with branches of verbena; then wrap it up in a piece of a dead man's winding-sheet and carry it with you everywhere.
In Genesis 30:14, Leah gives Rachel mandrakes in exchange for a night of sleeping with their husband.
- During wheat harvest, Reuben went out into the fields and
- and found some mandrake plants,
- which he brought to his mother Leah.
- Rachel said to Leah, "Please
- give me some of your son's mandrakes."
In the Song of Songs, it is used as a symbol of fragrance:
- "The mandrakes send out their fragrance,
- and at our door is every delicacy,
- both new and old,
- that I have stored up for you, my lover."
In its more sinister significance: