The Q&A Archives: Rainbow Manzanita Seeds

Question: Can someone please tell me how I should start a rainbow manzanita seed. I live about a mile from the tree where the seeds came from, and I have very sandy soil. If I'm lucky enough to get it started, how should I take care of it? I get hot winds in summer and it gets down to about 28 degrees at night in the winter.

Answer: Manzanita is Arctostaphylos. The seeds have a chill requirement prior to germination. Soak seeds overnight, then place in a plastic bag with moist sand and refrigerate for 2 months. Remove the seeds and sow on the surface of moistened growing medium (peat pots are great!), then keep at 55-65 degrees. Seeds need light and moisture to germinate. Once they seedlings are up and growing they can be transplanted outdoors. Space the seedlings 12" apart in a sunny to partly shady site with fast-draining acidic soil. Plants are difficult to grow from seed, but are well worth the effort if you're successful! Best wishes with your venture.

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