The Q&A Archives: Gum Arabic

Question: I have recently planted some Gum Arabic seeds in seedling pots, to be kept indoors. I was wondering how long it will take for the seeds to begin to germinate, on an average? Is there anything special I should have done to the seeds before I planted them, i.e., soak them, etc. Also, should I keep the soil wet, dry, or somewhere in between? Thanks!


You have asked an interesting question. Gum Arabic is also called Gum Acacia, Turkey
Gum, Gum Senegal and by many other common names, and refers to various species of Acacia trees from which a gummy exudate is obtained for processing. There are roughly 500 species of Acacia from tropical and sub-tropical areas of Africa, India, Australia, Central America and south-west North America, but only a comparatively few are used commercially. Having siad that, I would expect genral instrucitons for acacia germination would be appropriate for your seeds.

According to the old and now out of print Thompson and Morgan seed starting manual, acacia seeds are hard coated and should be soaked in warm water (not hot) for four hours immediately prior to planting. Germination should occur in approximately three weeks at a soil temperature of 70 to 80 degrees. Seeds should be planted 1/16" deep (this would be for indoor seed starting) in a well drained mix that is kept slightly damp. A covering of plastic wrap will help with that, and setting the pan in a warm (you might use a gentle bottom heat because soil temperture tends to be about five degrees cooler than room temperature), bright location but out of direct sun should be adequate.

Good luck with your seeds!

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