The Q&A Archives: Starting Magnolia Seeds

Question: We have seeds from a magnolia tree. How do we start them and when is the best time? Can we start indoors?

Answer: Remove any flesh from the seeds and wipe clean. Mix them with moist peat, vermiculite or sand, put them in a plastic bag and refrigerate for two months. Sow in spring outdoors or indoors with bottom heat of 68 degrees F. Germination takes 5-6 weeks. Hybrids may flower in 3-10 years; species may take much longer.

Note that magnolias don't thrive in the desert. They prefer moist, rich neutral or acidic soil and our alkaline desert soils are seldom described as rich and moist!

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