The Q&A Archives: Redbud From Seed

Question: I picked a redbud pod from a tree, and want to try starting a tree from the seeds. When can plant them? Do I need to soak them first?

Answer: Redbud (Cercis) seeds will germinate in 30-90 days in moist seed starting mix at temperatures of 70F-75F degrees, if you first nick the seed coat, soak the seed for 48 hours, then put them in a plastic bag with moistened potting soil and place them in the refrigerator for 2-3 months. Remove from cold storage and plant in trays or pots. Cercis seeds need light to germinate, so put them on top of the seed starting mix and press them in with your hand, but don't add any more soil. After planting, cover the pots or trays with plastic wrap and put them in a warm location until the seeds sprout. Then remove the plastic and place them under a source of bright light. You can start your seed treatment in December and plant the seedlings outdoors in the early summer. Good luck with your tree starting project!

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