Sesamum plants are a genus of half hardy annual herbs. They can reach from 30 to 90 cm (1 to 3 feet) in height.
They bloom in the summer, carrying tubular flowers of violet, pink or white.
Some of the common names for members of the Sesamum genus include Sesame and Benne.
To harvest Sesame seeds, the stalks should be cut off when the top seed pods have turned green, but before the bottom pods have opened (try to cut the stalks when it will result in a better harvest).
The sesame plant should then be put into a paper bag and allowed to air dry. Rub the bag to release the sesame seeds, and store them in a Tupperware container.
Common Names: Sesame.
Life Cycle: Half hardy annual.
Height: 20 to 40 inches (50 to 100 cm).
Native: Africa, Asia.
Growing Region: Zones 7 to 10.
The seeds of Sesame, Benne, and other Sesamum plants should be sowed outdoors at a depth of 6 mm (1/4 inch), and spaced at about 25 cm (10 inches) apart.
Do this towards the end of spring, when temperatures remain above 15°C (59°F) at night. It should take about a week for the seeds to germinate, once temperatures reach 20 to 30 degrees Celsius (68 to 86°F).
Ideally sesame plants should be grown in a sunny area of the garden that is well drained. The soil type is not important.
If you plan to start indoors, then sow about two months before due to be transplanted outdoors (at the end of spring).