Who has had luck sprouting sequoia seeds?

texasflip(Nacogdoches, TX z8)April 2, 2009

I posted this in the conifer forum too, and unfortunately the archived threads aren't working.

My cousin has given me the task of sprouting some sequoia and coastal redwood seeds he ordered online. I'm hoping the place he got them from attempted to pick out the non-viable seeds (if that's even possible). Anyway, what are some things I can do to increase my chances of success?

I read to plant them on top of the soil because they need sunlight to germinate. Would they be better off in plain potting soil or in pure peat moss or maybe sand? I'm guessing room temp would be fine for them? Is damping off a big problem for them? What method has worked for you?

PS. I know it would be crazy to try and grow these trees in Texas, it's for my kid cousin. I'm sprouting baobab seeds for him, too, haha.

Thanks for your help,


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lali(z9, Sunset z18, CA)

I have no experience in the matter, but did find http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/conif/msg0800434721851.html by googling "germinating sequoia seeds".

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 12:54AM
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Living in redwood country we do have seeds seed them self. I have tried to transplant them, without success. According to Michael Dirr writing in the Reference Manuel of Woody Plant Propagation, starting them in laboratory conditions requires light and fluctuating temperatures from 68 to 86 degrees. Seeds have a short viable life and are best stored at below freezing temperatures in sealed containers. Most redwoods are started either from cuttings or tissue culture, as many named varieties are available. Al

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 3:22PM
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texasflip(Nacogdoches, TX z8)

Well, I only have a few seeds of each so I know my chances are pretty slim anyway : )

Thanks, Andrew

    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 6:07PM
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In the book "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants", there is this, for both Sequoia and Sequoiadendron:

"No treatment. 1 month stratification may improve germination. Usually a low percentage viable seeds".

Good luck.


    Bookmark   April 3, 2009 at 6:47PM
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Redwood trees are really hard to sprout, the germination rate is about 1/20.
What i did worked the best out of my last three trials but sadly the chances of an early sprout getting a disease is about 1/5.
First. gather 100 seeds (I got mine from a single cone in my front lawn) soak them in water over night then place the ON TOP of the soil. chances are that maybe one or two of them will sprout.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 11:40AM
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I think that I was really lucky! I managed to get about 18 sprouts out of 50 a few years back. Honestly, I was expecting a miserable outcome and took it more from back burner experimentation perspective.

I started off with the month+ stratification period with the seeds in a loamy soil mixture in the back of the refrigerator. (trust me ... my roommate wondered about the quart size zip top bag at the back of the frig.) Every so many days I would take it out and give it a bit of a shake and put it back. Then I forgot about it ... almost three months later I looked at the bag and found around 18 seeds had proto-leaves!

Ended up giving them away to people who claimed to have a green thumb and were doing bonsai but I assume that they didn't survive beyond that state as they seemed so fragile.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 3:42PM
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toyon(USDA 9b/Sunset 14 CA. (Sacram)

Damping off is a problem with redwood seedlings.

I start then from cuttings. They are one of the easier plants to root.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2011 at 8:31AM
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