The Q&A Archives: Starting A Pine From Seed

Question: My father-in-law travels to Russia on business quite often. On one trip, he brought back a pine cone. The pine cone had a seed come out of it and I would like to try to grow it. Any suggestions on what I need to do to be successful?

Answer: Pine seeds require pre-germination treatment, then light and average warmth prior to sprouting. If the seed is fresh, it should have no problem producing a tree for you. Begin by soaking the seed overnight in tepid water. Then put the seed, along with some moistened seed starting mix into a plastic bag. Seal the bag and place it in the refrigerator for 6 weeks. At the end of the chilling period, sow the seed in a pot of moistened seed starting mix, placing it just on the surface and barely pressing it in with your hand. Pine seeds need light to germinate, so if you bury it, it may not sprout. Loosely cover the pot with plastic wrap to help retain moisture. Your pine seed should sprout in 30-60 days when kept at 55F-65F degrees. Good luck with your new little tree!

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