germinating redwood seed

Notocactus_Scopia(QLD Aust)August 6, 2005

i have some redwood seeds here, how do i go about germinating them, do i have 2 pre-treat them?


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no you don't have to pretreat them but if you want you can soak them in water for 24 hours to speed up germination. i tried this earlier this year and all of my coast redwood (sequoia sempervirens) got killed by the damping off disease. so you are better off by getting some kind of soiless seed starter. the best way to to sow these seeds is to sprinkle them evenly on the soiless starter. and then lightly sprinkle a layer of the soiless mixture over the seeds. make sure that you don't cover them too deeply. only cover them to about 1/3 of their width> witch means it is best to just "barely" cover them up. i don't know if yours are coast redwoods or not but if the are you should see them pop through in about 2 weeks

    Bookmark   August 6, 2005 at 8:15AM
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greyneedle(z6b NJ)

What species? Coast redwood seeds rarely germinate. Giant sequoia seeds can be floated in distilled water for 4 weeks, then put into seed starting mix covered by "acquatic" plant mix (clay chips) to their own depth. They will germinate in about two weeks (6 total). Dawn redwood seeds rarely germinate.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2005 at 10:34PM
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I have seeds from the sequoia national park. I put them in wet tissue and two of them sprouted. I am unsure of what to do next,And will they they grow in colorado at 9200 ft elevation.Any help would be greatly appretiated.
Thank You, Dave

    Bookmark   May 26, 2006 at 9:54PM
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Sequoia National Park will have Sequoiadendron giganteum.

Soak in cold water for a few days then stratify in the fridge for about a month then sow.

I have more than I know what to do with right now. I have not found them difficult.

Metasequoia's have to be pretreated the same way. Sow on the surface, or in papertowels with only one layer on top so the light can reach through. Apparently they need light to germinate. They should start to sprout in a few days. I have had good success with them as well, although they do like to damp off.


    Bookmark   May 26, 2006 at 10:19PM
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mckenna(Z5 Chicago IL)

Funny timing on this thread. I have a Sequoia cone with seeds still intact that I would like to try growing for kicks. Is the stratification required? Maybe I'll try with and without and see what happens. I understand they usually germinate after fires and that would seem to mean that the stratification wouldn't be needed, but then again I have never grown them so I can't really talk or type. :)

    Bookmark   May 26, 2006 at 10:54PM
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I have some seeds from a seed company. I'm going to try gravel/soil/gravel with single seed in a paper towel on top of 2"x2"x4" seed tray. Glass cover to get heat and keep moist, but not wet. Should this work?


    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 9:21AM
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The fires only open up the cones, I believe.

Sequoiadendron seeds will germinate fine if you soak the seed overnight in cold water - just to make sure they are moistened enough. Then stratify them in the fridge for a month.

It's easiest to do the old baggie method after the month strat. I got approx 90% germination this way.


    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 7:15PM
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I have some giant redood seeds from the bay area @ the end of 4-5 wks of fridge stratification, what do I do now? I have a bag of seed starter mix already, can I just use that without the "clay/ aqueous mixture?

By the way, what is the baggie method of germinating.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 2:46AM
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The baggie method is to place seeds in a baggie with a suitably moist germinating mix; vermiculite works fine. The baggie is then stored under optimum light and temperature. When the seeds begin to germinate, you remove the small plants, known as germinants, and plant them in a similarly suitable container.

This method has several advantages. It allows you to maintain the optimum conditions for germination. You also need only as much space (or containers) as taken by the sucessfully germinated plants. You don't waste containers or mix on seeds that will never germinate.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 3:23PM
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Is there any difference between a "baggie" and an ordinary bag?


    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 4:22PM
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Bonsaimed; A peat based mix, probably your seed starter mix will do fine, in the little "zip lock" bags will be good. That way it will be easier to see the seeds in the bag when you give them a gentle shake very few days.

Ya, just lightly moisten the mix and mix the seeds in it. Place the bag near a window and wait a few days. Preferably, when you just begin to see the new root emerging from the seed remove it from the bag and poke the root gently into your pot. If the seed was/is any good you will have more than you know what to do with.


    Bookmark   October 3, 2006 at 5:48PM
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klavier(Z7 Baltimore)

I have had great success with winter sowing. I planted fifty seed, got about thirty to germinate. This method certainly weeds out the week though. Winter sowing generally denotes a lack of care. At the end, I only had five that I potted up. Cause of death: neglect. Of the five that survived, only one made the winter, and boy did it take off this year. 1 1/2 yrs from germination it is about 18" tall, and quite a bush (zone 5). It will be interesting to see if it survives the winter again. I am guessing that if it can survive the winter as a 1/2yr old seedling, it should be pretty good now that it is larger.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2006 at 7:03PM
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Hey I have a bunch of coastal redwood seeds and a bunch of giant seqoia seeds. They are mixed up. Their shape is identical, but there are two distinct colors. One is a dark earthen colo rand the other is a lighter color.

Also, I think I'll use a few seeds in the baggie method, and a few in the damp paper towel method. Are there any other germinating methods I coul duse? Trying to see what works the best for me.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2007 at 4:09PM
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"Their shape is identical, but there are two distinct colors. One is a dark earthen color and the other is a lighter color"

The darker are Sequoia, the paler are Sequoiadendron.


    Bookmark   April 24, 2007 at 6:02PM
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Question??? I have been trying to find Giant sequoia seeds from the northern or southern Calaveras grove.I have started seeds from the Johnsteen Co.but do not know the seed source.
I would like to compare them against each other for cold hardiness,I also tried seedlings in root tubes,but the roots are tightly wrapped and transplanting does not let the roots spread,compared to the trees I grew myself.I transplant well before they get root bound.this gives the roots elbow room!
If anyone knows a source? please let me know.
It would be much appreciated.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2007 at 1:36AM
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Thank you very much, Pineresin!

The way I finally got one to develop a tiny little root is to put them between a wet napkin, seal them in a sandwich bag, and sit them aside, making sure the light from my windows does hit them directly. Another I tore out and threw away, it had this ring of reddish/brown stuff aorund it that none of the rest developed, and I think that may have been 'damping out'. I had lost hope for them growing. I'm new to growing things, you see, and I have these little 'bean' plants that I'm growing, and they grow quickly! I think they grow quickly, I've never grown anything, so I have no base for comparison!

I guess what I'm going to do with the little sprout (is that what I'd call it?) is put it in a tiny little 'pot' of sorts with some potting soil and keep it out of direct sunlight some more, and get a little spray bottle and mist it like says.

Is there any such thing as a redwood rescue? After they grow to a certain height, I imagine I won't be able to plant them anywhere near where live due to A: me being in Virginia, and B: them being hard on the surrounding areas. I love growing plants, but I don't want to grow them to adolescence just to have them wither and die! If not, is anyone here from the region they can survive in that is also willing to supplant them elsewhere? I'm not very confident that I'll get any takers, but I think I should ask anyways! Thanks in advance!

    Bookmark   May 6, 2007 at 9:57PM
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greyneedle(z6b NJ)

You'll be happy to know that both species grow in VA, z8, but only where summers are a bit cooler, such as near the coast.

I've tried all kinds of ways to germinate sequoia seeds and the easiest is to just soak them in distilled water in the refrigerator for three to four weeks and then sow them. They germinate in about 55 days total (8 weeks). The whole thing with soaking overnight and paper towels is just very generic advice for ANY species. Results aren't going to vary a whole lot in any event. If you soak them in distilled water they will float for a few weeks and then start to sink--make sure the container is sealed and very clean and the water is clear. Any surfactants will cause the seeds to rot. If they germinate before sowing, just plant them. They can be put outside in full sun immediately. Don't expect many survivors. The best soil is composed leaf mold of ground up leaves a year old. Start in March and sow in April.

The cheapest seeds are from JL Hudson, Seedsman. You will need several hundred seeds (one or two packs).

    Bookmark   May 8, 2007 at 11:15PM
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Hrm... I live about a mile from the atlantic ocean, yet our summers still get over 100 degrees at times.

I got another sprout! I just sewed the seeds very shallow, no pre-treatment, and one popped up! Its strange... I don't know if its typical of connifers grown from seeds, as redwoods are my first, but the seed has formed an arm in mid-air, and at one end of the arc is the seed, upside down. And at the other end, the end of the tiny little root. But the thing is, it doesn't really penetrate the surface at all. Well, its strarting to penetrate the surface, it seems. Is that unusual?

    Bookmark   May 12, 2007 at 11:27AM
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That's normal. It will straighten up, and then the cotyledons will push off the seed coat in a week or two.


    Bookmark   May 12, 2007 at 12:32PM
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greyneedle(z6b NJ)

I've found pics of Sequoias growing near the coast (a mile maybe pushing it for onshore breezes--you tell me) of VA and MD, though the real shock was how well some Coast Redwoods were doing. I'm not sure if this affects my "Goldilocks" diagram, but I've seen pics.

Growing zones

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 12:28AM
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I have two sprouts from sequoia sempervirens. I've been keeping the seeds in the dark (as per instruction) but should I move the sprouts into the sunlight?

    Bookmark   October 9, 2008 at 12:27PM
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I read that the most northern plants are in Denmark and Poland. I would be interested in trying to plant some in Sweden. How do I get seeds?


    Bookmark   February 13, 2011 at 1:36PM
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