I have a couple poke weeds, but very much want more and I have plenty of space to grow them. Do I remove the flesh from the berries? Is stratification necessary? I am guessing that the birds like the berries so much that I never have more than a couple plants. Although at one time, I did have more when they were growing in the shade.
It has been my experience that the easiest way to grow pokeweed is to not want to grow pokeweed. However, if you have your heart set on a grove of Phytolacca americana (or Yoshu-yamagobo as it’s known in Japan) this information from the University of Florida’s Cooperative Extension Service may help:
Pokeweed may be grown from seeds in the following way. Gather about a pint of the purple berries, crush them, cover with water, and let ferment for a few days. The good seeds will settle to the bottom and the pulp and skins can be floated off and discarded. The seeds are then spread out to dry and then stored in a cool place. When it’s time to plant, the seeds can be soaked in concentrated sulfuric acid to break dormancy and speed germination. After 5 minutes the solution is poured off and seeds are washed thoroughly in running water. The seeds are again dried and are then ready for planting. The seeds should be sown early in the spring in rows 4 feet apart. The seeds should barely be covered. Finally, the seedlings are thinned to about 3 feet apart in the row.