Propagating Magnolias

MrsJrs(5 1/2 - mid-MO)October 19, 2005

Can magnolias be grown from seed in this area? If so, can someone help me with instructions?

Thanks, Martha - N.W. Truman Lake area

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Magnolias CAN be grown from seed. The trick is to never let the seed dry out, from the time it's plucked til the time it is germinates.

You must first gather the red seeds fresh. The red part is actually protective pulp keeping the seeds moist for a time. But the seeds need help, which is why you don't see magnolia trees springing up everywhere.

Take the seeds and drop them in a glass of warm water. Let them soak a day or two. Then the pulp should be soft and you should be able to squish the seed out of the pulp. The seed inside looks kinda like the actual seed (minus the shell) of a sunflower.

Get a damp paper towel and lay it out on the counter. Then put the cleaned seeds on the top half of the paper towel so none of them are touching. Then fold the bottom half over the top half. Then fold it over so you have a square.

Now put this into a ziplock baggy and seal it up with as little air inside as possible. Drop it in the crisper in your fridge and leave it for three months.

Then you can take them out and sow the seeds as usual. Mine germinated in about 30 days. They grow slowly, so be patient. It could be years before you have a tree that can be seen over the grass. LOL


    Bookmark   October 19, 2005 at 3:49PM
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chancygardener(6-NW AR)

I have a 3 year old grown from seed that is about 10 inches tall. I picked up seed pods from underneath a tree to use as christmas decorations and happened to notice one of the red "berries" that had a sprout coming out of it. I put it in dirt and set it out the next spring. I doubt I'll ever see it bloom, but somebody down the years will!

    Bookmark   October 20, 2005 at 7:57PM
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MrsJrs(5 1/2 - mid-MO)

Thank you both for your information. If I can get one started, I'll have to put a chain-link fence around it - if anything's in the yard but not blooming, my husband mows it down when he cuts the grass. (Last spring, he "weed-ate" my Stella D'oro lillies - this would have been the fourth summer for them!)

Anyway, thanks!


    Bookmark   October 21, 2005 at 6:40PM
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kadasuki(z6 NW AR)

my pop-in-law did, here's how.
1) took a penknife and scraped some of the red off the seed
2) planted in rotted leaf mulck in flats and left under the bench around a tree in his yard for a year. Nearly every single one sproutted. He had a green thumb to his elbow.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2005 at 10:25PM
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