Tarbells Hindu Plant Growth

This is my own method of working the Hindu Plant Growth. This is the ideal way of working the effect and enables you to perform the mystery almost any place where the audience is kept well in front of you. If you do Oriental work, you should add this feature to your program. This method requires a specially built Oriental plant, but it has the advantage of being made so that it can be used over and over again. It can be adjusted in a few moments and enables you to work in a truly magical way.

In my Oriental program I have had to produce almost miracle effects to live up to the stories about the Orient, and I consider this Hindu Plant Growth and my Hindu Rope Mystery as two of the most important effects in this type of magic. Up to the time of writing this course, I kept the methods for these two effects away from the magic profession as a whole. I used them only for my own special performances. I originally intended never to disclose these special Oriental effects but to keep them for my own exclusive use. However, my desire to make this the great Magic Course of all time and my desire to equip my students with the unusual in magic to insure their success — these things have prompted me to reconsider, and I have decided to give you these two valuable effects. My Hindu Plant Growth is taught to you here. My Hindu Rope Mystery will be taught to you in Lesson 50. With these two you can create a sensation in Magic.

Performer shows a jar or can of sand and plants a seed therein. He next shows a cloth on both sides and holds it up in front of the can for a moment. Cloth is dropped to reveal can, but nothing has happened. He holds the cloth up in front of can again, and once more removes it, this time to show a small plant growing in the sand. For a few moments can is again concealed by cloth and when revealed again is seen to contain a large plant about a foot and a half tall. Plant is this time covered by cloth and when exposed to view again has fruit growing on it. Fruit is removed and passed out to audience to taste.


1 — A special Oriental-looking plant made of metal ribs covered with green feathers, Figure 45. This plant is so built that when open it looks large yet when closed up it can be concealed in a small space. It can be placed inside of a small black bag as shown in Figure 46.

2 —A small plant growth, three or four inches tall, Figure 47.

4 — Two or three small lemons, limes, kumquats, or plums to hook on to plant.

5 — A large oriental cloth made of dark, opaque material, about 36 inches square.

6 — A fairly large seed, such as a pumpkin seed or the kernel of an almond nut.

NOTE: We can supply you with the paraphernalia for this effect, complete and ready for your use. It includes the large plant, the small plant, the oriental cloth, and can. Price is reasonable.


The plant is so arranged that the main central stalk is rigid enough to keep the plant upright and to hold the fruit which is attached to it with hooks. The bottom of the plant is so made that it can be easily inserted in the sand. Plant should be steamed occasionally to keep the feathers fresh. To do this just hold plant over the steam from a pan or kettle of water. Before each performance, shake plant a little to fluff it out.

Just before performing, insert wire hooks into the ends of your pieces of fruit so that they can be attached


to stalk of plant, Figure 48.

Insert plant in bag, putting in bottom end of central stalk first. Then pin top end of bag up at shoulder of coat under left side, Figure 49.

See that bag hangs properly and causes no bulge in coat. You can move about and perform without its causing you any discomfort. You can even walk into a club room or home and perform the Hindu Plant Mystery when you know this secret. It causes amazement because of the size of the plant which is produced, apparently from nowhere, Figure 50.

Place the small plant in your right coat pocket, also the two or three pieces of fruit which have been prepared.

In one corner of the oriental cloth, place a bent pin. First push the pin through up to the head and then bend pin over to form a hook, Figure 51.


Have tin can on table -- also a box containing enough sand almost to fill can. Have oriental cloth folded up and lying on table.

"Perhaps one of the most amazing magical effects in the eyes of the public is the one performed by the Hindu magician in which he plants a seed in the ground and causes a Mango tree or plant to spring up and bear fruit. There have been many stories told about this remarkable magical feat. Many have tried to solve it without success. When you consider the way the Hindu does it in India — right out in the open, on the ground, it is still more mysterious. For years I have been interested in this peculiar Hindu effect and finally discovered the secret. Tonight I want to tell you of this odd effect. While it is not convenient for me just now to sit on the ground out of doors in India, yet I can explain matters to you with a few articles on the table here. For the experiment, I use this tin can."

Show tin can empty.

"A small box of sand from which I pour enough sand almost to fill the tin can."

Pour sand from box into can.

"A cloth, this table, and a seed. By the way, this seed is an oriental one. I shall plant it in the sand."

Plant seed in the sand after showing it to audience. If you desire, you may only pretend to plant a seed; however, a large pumpkin seed or almond nut kernel adds showmanship.

"Normally, it requires some time for this seed to sprout and grow up, but the Hindu has discovered some odd methods for directing nature's laws. He says that warmth is very important, but not too much warmth. He usually covers the seed with a cloth, perhaps for the same reason that we cover growing or sprouting vegetables at times with straw or paper."

Pick up oriental cloth and grasp corner with bent pin in right hand. Spread out cloth to show it, stretching left arm out straight and bringing right hand with pin to left shoulder, Figure 52.

Swing around to the right. This brings cloth in position to conceal can of sand on table. Figure 53 is view as audience sees you at this point.

Hold cloth this way about five seconds, then bring left and right hands together and hold both corners of cloth in left hand. Look at can, and pick it up to show nothing happened while it was covered, Figure 54.

"I guess I really didn't give the seed time enough to sprout."

Replace can of sand on table and hold up cloth again as in Figure 52. Then swing around and screen can again as in Figure 53.

This time be careful that cloth comes down close to your left side so that nothing behind it can be seen. Hook pin to left shoulder with right hand, thus releasing right hand for action. Audience is not aware of pin in cloth and consequently thinks that you continue to hold cloth with right hand.

Reach into pocket and bring out small plant. Place it in can of sand as if it were growing there. Bring right hand back to left shoulder again. Bring head forward and look at front of cloth for a moment. Also raise right hand with cloth a bit to show hands really hold cloth. This is for misdirection to convey idea that you have nothing to do with what is going on behind cloth.

Finally, swing body to left and bring right and left corners of cloth together again as in Figure 54. Call attention to small growth in can. Pick up can and turn it around so that audience can see plant growing. Replace can on table.

"Some action has started -- at least a few leaves have appeared."

Go through routine of concealing can again. Hook pin on left shoulder. Under cover of cloth, remove small plant from can with right hand and replace it in pocket. Then reach under left side of coat, grasp bottom of central stalk of big plant, and pull it out, Figure 55.

Push stalk into sand in can and spread plant out a bit to make it look as though it were growing there, Figure 56, next page.

This movement of getting plant is simple. Do not move coat any more than necessary. You can look at audience and talk to them while doing it.

"When a Hindu magician performs this, he can take as much time as he wants. Fifteen minutes or half an

hour in India doesn't mean anything. Besides, he can play a flageolet, which by the way is his idea of music. It is said that music charms the flowers and hastens their growth. That is why I play a mandolin while doing this."

Bring right hand up to left shoulder and unhook cloth. Raise cloth with right hand a little to show audience that you hold cloth with right hand. Swing around and drop cloth by bringing two hands together again, thus exposing plant in can, Figure 57.

"There, we have a well grown plant."

Conceal plant with cloth again, as before. Reach into pocket with right hand, remove the pieces of fruit, and hook them to the central stalk. Swing around again to reveal plant with fruit growing on it, Figure 58.

"Or, better yet, here we have the plant bearing fruit. You might be interested in tasting this remarkably grown fruit, so I shall let a few of you taste it."

Remove fruit, quickly pulling out the wire hooks so that audience will not see them. Cut fruit into halves and pass out to a few spectators.

"You will notice its true oriental flavor."

If desired, salt may be put into the fruit before performing the experiment to give it a salty taste. This is not necessary, however.

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