Peanut Plants are Fascinating

I bought some peanut plants on a total whim. I half expected them to die within days of transplanting but they were on sale so….

Peanut plants in the ground

Peanut plants in the ground

I stuck them in the ground and watched them flower – pretty little pea-like, yellow flowers.

Then I watched some more and, as the flowers died off, spike-like shoots came out of the branches and headed straight into the soil. These are where the peanuts form underground.

Peanut plants sending shoots into the soil

Peanut plants sending shoots into the soil

Of course I also observed the holes where the bandicoot dug at the peanut shoots – but what else could I expect?

Then there were a lot of shoots and the leaves yellowed.

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Peanut plant ready for harvest

So I harvested one of the plants.

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Digging up a peanut plant

About 30 nuts on this plant.

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One Harvested Peanut Plant

Then I hung it to dry. It needs to hang upside down for about 2 weeks. I would have put it under the house but I’m sure the dreaded possum would have found it so the nuts dried hanging off the back of one of my dining room chairs.

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Peanuts hanging to dry

Then I tasted one and it was yummy.

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Raw peanut

Then I roasted a few and they were yummier. I had no idea how to roast peanuts so I just put a bunch on a tray and stuck in in the oven for a while at a low heat. I’m sure there’s an optimal time and temp but I didn’t pay much attention and both my first trial and a later attempt produced roasted nuts (though a couple in the 2nd batch were a tinsy over-roasted – as in the photo below) so I’m thinking it doesn’t matter all that much.

Roasted peanut

Roasted peanut

I am for sure positively planting more peanuts each year. I love the way the plant looks, grows and tastes!

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About Laura Rittenhouse

I'm an American-Australian author, gardener and traveller. Go to my writing website: www.laurarittenhouse.com for more. If you're trying to find my gardening blog, it's here.
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15 Responses to Peanut Plants are Fascinating

  1. pattigail says:

    How wonderful. Now you can makepeanut butter! I have always wanted to do that. I wonder if pwanuts will grow in New England?

  2. karen says:

    How fascinating! I’ve never heard of anyone, other than Jimmy Carter’s family (and Planters) actually growing peanuts.

    Wonder if they will grow here. I’ve never seen a plant or seeds for sale. Fascinating!

    Next year, you can make honey peanut butter, or honey pecan butter. I hope the recipes call for eggs.

    • Oh dear, a peanut & egg recipe, now you’re challenging me. A peanut omelette?

      I immediately thought of Jimmy Carter when I saw the plants for sale. Why aren’t they more popular and common?

  3. I think the plants can be sold at a high price because of the novelty value but since they have grown successfully you could use your crop to re-seed a new batch for next year? I like peanuts any way; raw, roasted or peanut butter.

    • Apparently they grow quite easily from “seed” but I ate all mine (oops). I may look at some organic shops for raw peanuts in spring and throw some in the ground to see what happens. I bet I could order “seed” online but I’ve certainly never seen any peanut seed at my local nursery.

  4. I have heard that it is good grown as a green manure crop, and have always wanted to try them. Glad yours worked out well.

    • I wonder if I should have dug the plants in after removing the nuts. Well, they made it into the compost (as did the shells, but not the nuts!) so maybe I’ll put a fair bit of nitrogen back into the garden eventually.

  5. cohutt says:

    A legume on its own, good for the soil just growing in a bed. I grew a few once and was fascinated with the results but didn’t have the space to expand. I do now, so maybe next season. 🙂

  6. I think I’ll have a chance to grow a big crop before you do – spring is just a couple of months away for me. I hope to show you how it’s done 🙂

    • cohutt says:

      What, only 3 seasons down under? What happened to winter?

      • Okay, we do have a winter but we’re living through it now – and I know most people wouldn’t call this winter. Today is 17 C (64 F) and sunny which is a bit of a cold snap.

        Spring comes early so I’m thinking I can sow peanuts in August – which is a only a couple of months away.

        • Darn it anyway, I just looked it up and I should plant in Oct-Dec. That’s ages from now. Oh well, hopefully I’ll have a good garden bed on the farm by then so I can plant a large crop.

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