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Herb, Sesame

Short Description

Sesame seeds add nutty flavor and fragrance.

Full Description

Are you open to sesame? We love sesame—the sublimely nutty flavor, the fragrance—every which way. Added just before serving, sprinkling of lightly (and carefully) roasted sesame seeds lends aromatic, flavorful nuance to sweet and savory dishes. In Japan, sesame seeds are used to complement traditional vegetarian dishes and are a favorite flavoring for tofu. In China, sesame oil extracted from the seeds is prized for fried dishes. Sesame seeds add nutty kick in salad dressings; seeds, made into a paste, are what tahini is all about. Attractive 3-4' upright annual herb, garlanded with opposing broad lancelike leaves, produces a radiant show of tubular yellow (or sometimes white, blue or purple) flowers. Once pods have ripened on the plant, around mid-September, they split open naturally, releasing multitudinous pear-shaped seeds for extremely easy harvest. Grown since 3,500 B.C., perhaps the earliest cultivated oilseed, this “survivor crop” is able to grow where nothing else will—even at the desert’s edge.
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Order: 1 Pkt. (500 seeds)
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Product properties

Sun The amount of sunlight this product needs daily in order to perform well in the garden. Full sun means 6 hours of direct sun per day; partial sun means 2-4 hours of direct sun per day; shade means little or no direct sun.

Full Sun

Days To Maturity The average number of days from when the plant is actively growing in the garden to the expected time of harvest.

120-150 days

Life Cycle This refers to whether a plant is an annual, biennial or perennial. Annuals complete their life cycles in one year; biennials produce foliage the first year and bloom and go to seed the second year; perennials can live for more than two years.


Height The typical height of this product at maturity.

36-48 inches

Spread The width of the plant at maturity.

6-10 inches

Sow Method This refers to whether the seed should be sown early indoors and the seedlings transplanted outside later, or if the seed should be sown directly in the garden at the recommended planting time.

Indoor Sow

the burpee




since 1876

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Growing Calendar Not Available
Full Sun
Days To Maturity
120-150 days
Life Cycle
36-48 inches
6-10 inches
Sow Method
Indoor Sow
Planting Time
Spring, Summer
6 inches
Herb, Sesame is rated 5.0 out of 5 by 2.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Not exactly what I expected, but I like the plants I live in zone 9B. I planted light-colored seeds from Burpee indoors in a Biodome (water and sponge media) under a grow light on 1/13/19. I planted four seedlings in small pots in a growing mix on 2/19/19. I transplanted those four into 5 gallon (maybe 7 gallon?) Phat Sack grow bags on 3/2/19. I did not put my drip irrigation system on them because I did not want to run the risk of over watering. During the heat and dry spells, I did water by hand almost every day. The plants grew to be 3-4 feet--it seemed to be related to the amount of light they got. I staked them and tied them so they did not flop over. There were many, many pods. I did not seem to have a pest problem. Around mid-June, the plants started losing their leaves. I finally found something online that indicated this was normal. I opened a pod or two on the different plants to see the seeds. They were black. Since I had planted light-colored seeds, I was afraid they were rotten. But all of them were that way, and there did not appear to be any rot on the pods. So I now assume that they are a black variety. (I'm not sure how I could get black seeds from a tannish colored seed, and I have not been able to see anything online about that. Note that Burpee does not claim they are selling white sesames plants; I just assumed.) The stems never really turned brown like indicated in one online article, but we had a lot of rain, so I thought perhaps they might not ever get brown. I waited until around July 4th to see if anything much changed. It didn't. At that point, I went ahead and harvested the still somewhat green pods by cutting about 8-inch sections of the stems with the pods and putting them in brown paper lunch bags to dry out. A week later I have begun shaking the bags and collecting the seeds. I have about 1/4 cup at this point, and there are still lots and lots in their pods. I will continue to shake them in their bags and collect the seeds. I have no idea what I'm doing, lol, but I'm not inclined to really work at removing the seeds manually from the pods yet. Again, I may have picked them too soon, but I did not want them to open and fall out outside. I like the plants: they germinated well, they transplanted well, and they have really pretty flowers. I would ask Burpee or someone to provide some real guidance on growing these. Even our state extension service did not provide info that answered my questions. I do recommend growing them for the fun of it.
Date published: 2019-07-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from 1st time growing sesame 1st time growing sesame. Bought 1 plant and figured I'd give it a whirl. Grew it hydroponically in a bubble bucket with great success. So here's my 2 cents on growing and harvesting since there's not a lot of info online about growing sesame. Plant was easy to grow. The plant leaves did get attacked (mid growing) by small black worms so I picked off the worms and fed them to the lizards in my garden daily, until they were completely gone. This plant grows tall and leggy so its going to need support to protect from wind. The pods grow to about 1 inch in size. Photos are burpee are extremely close up, which lead you to believe the pods are huge with a ton of seeds. At least that's what I thought since I never grew sesame, haha. The tops of the pods ripen (turn brown) and open up which means time to pick it. Don't wait to long or the seeds will fall or blow out. When removing the pod use sharp garden snips or scissor. Breaking them off could spill the seeds. Remember this is sesame and the seeds are tiny. I will say, the're a lot of seeds in the pod. This plant ended up being black sesame seeds. Yum!
Date published: 2017-07-15
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