The Q&A Archives: Oregon Grape Propagation

Question: What are the requirements for starting Oregon Grapes from seed? Is any pre-treatment of seed, such as chilling or freezing, necessary? What is expected germination time? Should I sow in the garden in the fall?

Answer: Oregon Grape (Mahonia) seeds need to be prechilled for three weeks prior to planting. They need light to germinate so place seeds on moistened seed starting mix and press them in with your hand, but don't cover the seeds. The seeds will take from 90 to 120 days to germinate at 50F degrees. I'd put them in the refrigerator in December and then plant them in trays or pots in January. They should be ready to transplant out into the garden in late spring.

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