Return to the California Gardening Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Who has had luck sprouting sequoia seeds?

Posted by texasflip Friendswood,TX z9 (My Page) on
Thu, Apr 2, 09 at 21:14

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,


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Who has had luck sprouting sequoia seeds?

  • Posted by lali z9, 18, So Cal (My Page) on
    Fri, Apr 3, 09 at 0:54

I have no experience in the matter, but did find by googling "germinating sequoia seeds".

RE: Who has had luck sprouting sequoia seeds?

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

RE: Who has had luck sprouting sequoia seeds?

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

Thanks, Andrew

RE: Who has had luck sprouting sequoia seeds?

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.


RE: Who has had luck sprouting sequoia seeds?

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.

RE: Who has had luck sprouting sequoia seeds?

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!

RE: Who has had luck sprouting sequoia seeds?

  • Posted by toyon USDA 9b/Sunset 14 C (My Page) on
    Fri, Apr 1, 11 at 8:31

Damping off is a problem with redwood seedlings.

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

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the California Gardening Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here