The Q&A Archives: Planting Oak Tree Seeds

Question: I want to plant an oak tree seed in a pot to get it started. What is the best soil, sunlight, and environment for the tree?

Answer: I would probably start this seed in much the same way I would start other garden seed. Use a sterile container (whatever you are going to plant in should either be run through the dishwasher on the hottest cycle with the heat dry option or, rinse the container with a solution of 1 part bleach to ten parts water.) Use a sterile soilless seed starting mix. This will provide good aeration, drainage and moisture retention. Plant the seed about 1" deep into the soil. Provide the plant with an even light source, if you put the pot near a window you will need to turn it regularly so it doesn't get leggy stretching toward the light. Fertilize the seedling with a dilute fertilizer solution (a 50% strength Miracle Gro and water solution works well) at every other watering. Be careful not to overwater, this can cause many problems including making conditions right for the dreaded "damping off". Soil should be evenly moist, never let it completely dry out. Keep the pot out of drafty areas, cold or warm. Try also to keep the seedling in an area that isn't terribly dry, indoor heating in the winter is very dehydrating to all plants. If your bathroom has a good light source that would work well. If you think lack of humidity may be a problem, mist your seedling with a very fine mist occasionally.

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