How do you get a mesquite tree seed to germinate?

lovethedesertMarch 22, 2007

I am looking for 6-8 small mesquite trees at an inexpensive cost. Since I cannot find these I would love to grow my own however I cant seem to find out how to get the pods/seeds to germinate! Any knowledge is appreciated!! Thanks in advance!

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adp_abq(7b NM)

I've had success with velvet/arizona mesquite seeds just by soaking the seed (removed from the pod) in water for 24 hours and then planting it. Some may suggest nicking the seed with a metal file before soaking but I'm not sure that's even necessary. They germinate pretty readily.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2007 at 9:14AM
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Feed it to a cow! This may sound funny but it works.
The seeds are naturally dissiminated by getting eaten by animals and then deposited with a supply of moisture and fertilizer.
If no livestock is available, placing them in a can with sand and water then shaking vigorusly will reproduce the effects of the seeds getting washed down stream in a flood.
Then the previously mentioned lightsanding and soaking in water also works.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2007 at 2:47AM
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How long does it take to see the growth? I soaked some seeds in water for 24 hours, then planted them in egg cartons. They have been in the egg cartons for 5 days now, how long until I begin to see growth??

    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 11:01PM
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anyone know??? Also I have heard that slitting the seeds open once soaked helps them along, any truth to this?? There is so little info on the web about growing these trees from seeds. Hopefully someone here can help!!

    Bookmark   June 10, 2007 at 1:22AM
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Definitely nick, cut, or otherwise abrade part of the seed coat and then soak in water for 24 hours or plant in soil and keep it moist until germination. This is a common technique for many hard coated seeds. That's also why a cow's, or bird's, or many other types of animals stomach's will improve germination rates.
This will work, I've tried it and have had almost 100% of the mesquite seeds I planted sprout. Once the mesquite get going in 2-6 weeks they grow fairly rapidly.

P.S. If you do it right most scarified seeds will swell after 24 hours of soaking whereas those not scarified deeply enough will look the same as before.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2007 at 7:23AM
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How do I get the seeds out of the pods? Seems like no matter what I do, I can't open the pods.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2007 at 8:42AM
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I would like to know the answers to the germination of the mesquite tree seed also...I can get hundreds of them. Soaking doesn't do any good, the shell doesn't crack or get soft. ...cracking is barely obtainable without damaging the seed. Going through cow dung is not acceptable either :-)

    Bookmark   June 25, 2007 at 1:44PM
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Anyone have any luck yet??? Nothing growing here yet. Best way I found to get the seeds out is a small type of snips from the hardware store. Not sure what you call them or anything, but if you really want I can email a pic of them to people who are interested. They work pretty good, just snip around the seed and the pod opens right up. What type of material are people planting the seeds in and what type of lighting and watering are you doing?? I want these things to grow, but I have nothing yet.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2007 at 9:48PM
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anyone gotten this to work yet??

    Bookmark   July 15, 2007 at 5:27PM
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In Southern Utah we have Mesquite trees at our local Walmart store. My husband picked up the pod. He opened it up to take out the seeds, used a file, then soaked for 24 hrs. Since the top of the fridge is warm we put 2 paper plates and put the seeds on the plates sandwiched with 2 papertowels. Kept the paper towels wet, just a little water 2x a day. Within 24 hrs they sprouted! Now I am guessing I need to put it in dirt?? Does anyone know if it matters or does the mesquite prefer certain types of pots? Plastic, ceramic, holes, no holes, fertilizer??

    Bookmark   April 29, 2008 at 1:29PM
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I have seeds soaking in water right now, I will try and update again if I make progress this year! Last year I soaked them and went straight to the soil and watered them and got nothing after about 2 weeks. fogleman any updates on your trees?

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 1:27AM
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my seeds have only been in the paper towels for about 16 hours or so now, and they already have small sprouts! Seems that I have finally found the right formula for getting them to sprout, now I need to get them planted and get them to survive!

    Bookmark   July 1, 2008 at 4:56PM
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If you have access to wild Mesquite trees, you could always dig up a young, small specimen. The root system on a young specimen has not spread out and are easily transplanted. Just find a small, young specimen, dig it up and transplant it in your yard. It is much easier than trying to start it from a seed. Mesquite trees are very hardy plants and once your specimen takes root in your yard, you should have no trouble keeping it alive. I live in NW Texas and we are up to our necks in wild Mesquite trees. The pods on the trees are turning red right now and if you do grow grow your Mesquite from a seed, it might be easier to remove the seed from a ripened, red pod unlike the green unripened pods. Any questions, write a message and I will try to answer. I have even started Mesquite trees from root cuttings, which is something else you may try.


    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 10:41PM
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Soaking in hot water may help. Think animal gut. I know nothing about mesquite, but with some desert plants it suggested to use very hot water.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2008 at 11:46PM
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where do you live? i am in tucson and have probably hundreds that germinate on their own. palo verde's also. i am constantly yanking them out. you are welcome to as many as you want.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2008 at 5:46PM
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I live in South Texas and we have mesquite trees everywhere. I love them, once I got over the thorns and mess, and have 6 on my property now. I am trying to germinate seeds and will be putting some in soil in about ten minutes. I was just wondering how long to keep the soil moist because I know that over-watering mesquite is the most common cause of tree loss - when do we cut back on the watering for seedlings????

    Bookmark   July 27, 2008 at 8:04PM
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Hi! We live in NE Texas and there are no mesquite trees around here. I would dearly love to have one, have the perfect place - dry, gravely, sunny and not near where people are likely to get injured by the thorns.

Because they are considered trash trees, trying to find one is almost impossible!

So, I'd be most grateful if someone were to send me some fresh seeds.



    Bookmark   August 5, 2008 at 6:06PM
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i currently have two seedlings doing pretty good. there about 2 inches tall. can anyone tell me how much water and when to water them. i went through about 30 seeds and finally got a couple to grow. i just dont want to kill them.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2008 at 10:26AM
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Here it is. You get the seeds and scar them. If you don't have a cow in your bag of tricks. Get a water bottle and place a few seeds in it. Add some sand and small little rocks, add some water. About 1/3 water is good. You shake it really hard. After that, You soak for 24 hours and plant about an inch deep one per hole. You will have little leaves pop up in about a week. I planted in late February and I had 100% results. I can send you seeds if you want. To the people that needed them.

Here is a link that might be useful: i will start loading my photos of the results here. Next week

    Bookmark   March 21, 2009 at 11:45AM
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Hi I have some 6 to 8 inch trees already growing if any wants to buy them.They are $2.99 each and $2.00 shipping . Drop me a line at my email or send to 4425 Creosote Rd Sw Deming N.M.88030.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2009 at 6:57PM
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Once mesquite seed sprouts, does the sprout end get planted up or down?

    Bookmark   July 14, 2009 at 7:18PM
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After reading the question, I decided to work with a few different Mesquite seed pods found in my area. I started with 12, tried to crack two for "scarification" and completely obliterated the seeds. Next, I tried filing one with a jewelry file and that seemed to take a long time. After that, I boiled water in the microwave and doused all of the seeds with the boiling hot water. The next day, over half of the seeds swelled up. I monitored them in just the egg crate cups and water for over a week, and they only swelled up. I added some potting soil and have one sprout after about 4 weeks from initiating the experiment. There may be more to come. So, my guess is hot water and soil does the trick. Just be patient.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 6:59AM
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Found this sight. Pretty much confirms above methods

    Bookmark   September 5, 2010 at 10:43AM
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How do I get the seeds. I an trying to either get a tree to plant or a seed to plant. any suggestions???

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 3:19PM
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If you live in Arizona, Nevada or anywhere Mesquite trees grow...they have seed pods on them right now (june/July). Go grab some.

Or check out the post above... Alex says he will mail you seeds.. Dennis (see above) will send you actual spouts for $3.00

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 9:57PM
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While I'm still soaking my mesquite seeds, I'm wondering if anyone can tell me how/what to plant them in once they germinate. Cactus soil? Potting mix? Dirt from our yard??? Do they require much water? (This is my first experience with this!)

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 4:31PM
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I love Mesquite and am wondering if I would have success growing one in my Connecticut yard. Anyone out there have any experience or luck growing Mesquite away from it's natural climate zone?

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 8:04AM
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From How to Grow Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest:
"Mesquite seeds are covered with a hard seed coat and can remain dormant for many decades until conditions become favorable for germination. Some growers have had success planting slightly green seed that are fully formed and filled out, but that have not yet turned brown and hard. Dried seeds will germinate faster if first scarified. Nick with a knife or soak in hot water (100ð F) for 60 seconds. Repeat hot water treatment if necessary. Follow the hot water soak by aerating the seeds for 1 day. Pregerminate seeds that have imbibed on germination trays (see Chapter III). Remove germinating seeds and plant directly in deep containers. The containers should be filled with a well-drained soil mix. Seedlings have a long initial root. Pretreated seeds will germinate within 10 days in warm soil. Using a small amount of native soil or inoculating with rhizobium bacteria may promote stronger and more vigorous growth."

    Bookmark   August 27, 2011 at 1:29PM
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