How to Grow Banisteriopsis Caapi

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Banisteriopsis caapi is a South American jungle vine that is often used for hallucinogenic purposes in drink mixes. It can be grown at home, particularly if you live in a tropical area like Florida, though it takes some patience on the part of the grower. The vine must be kept at a high humidity to match its native jungle environment and kept above 60 degrees Fahrenheit for growth. If you have a greenhouse or live in an area that can provide the appropriate conditions, then you shouldn't have too much trouble growing it.

Things You'll Need

  • Banisteriopsis caapi seeds
  • Potting soil
  • Perlite
  • Plastic wrap
  • Fill a well-draining pot or plant container with a mixture of 75 percent potting soil and 25 percent perlite. This will mimic the natural jungle floor.

  • Bury your seeds in the soil, the head of the seed first. You can simply press them in with your fingers, as they do not need to be buried more than an inch below the surface.

  • Cover the pot with a thin plastic sheet like Saran wrap, but not so tightly as to restrict airflow.

  • Water the pot daily and remove the plastic wrap whenever you see moisture dripping down from the plastic. After about a week or two, some of the seeds should germinate and sprout.

  • Move a sprout to a much larger container with the same mix of potting soil and perlite. This pot should be at least 8 to 12 inches in diameter to accommodate what will become a large plant. The pot should be in an area where it can get lots of direct sunlight.

  • Place two large wooden stakes around the sprout. Bury them almost to the bottom of the pot so that they are secure. The stakes should reach a few feet above the sprout. As the vine grows, it will use these stakes to wrap around.

  • Keep the temperature around 75 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and do not let it drop below 60 at night.

  • Water the plant's soil at least once a week, but keep the humidity level around it high by spraying it every day with warm water. The humidity should be around 90 percent to match jungle conditions.

  • Prune the vine if it grows outside the pot. It may take several years, but at its peak it may grow up to a foot per week.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you don't want to start with a seed, you can grow the vine from cuttings, which are available from exotic plant dealers online.

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