Growing from seed on a budget...

Discussion in 'Araucariaceae' started by Lady B, Aug 15, 2005.

  1. I live in the UK, have only recently discovered gardening, and have also discovered that there's a gorgeous Victorian Monkey Puzzle tree in the next road up from me. It's currently growing enormous spiky seed-balls, so today I rang the guy's doorbell, introduced myself, and asked if I could have some of the seeds when they drop.

    He was really friendly and said I could, and he showed me some that had already fallen. These looked brown and slightly shrivelled - would they still grow, or do they have to be brand new green ones? I said I'd come back next week and collect a load if that's okay with him.

    Anyway, I'm planning to grow them indoors on a window ledge and only have the most basic equipment: a tub; some compost I bought today that said on the packet that it's especially for growing seeds in; some Baby Bio; and finally a lot of TLC! Anything else I can do cheaply to encourage them?


    Lady B xxx
  2. Carol Ja

    Carol Ja Active Member 10 Years

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    Salt Spring Island
    You can also take cuttings from vertical shoots. Sounds fun, good-luck
    Carol Ja
  3. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Britain zone 8/9
    The old seeds probably won't be good, they don't keep well. There's also a risk that none of the seeds will be good, unless there's another, male, Monkey-puzzle in the nearby area to pollinate it.

    The seeds probably won't fall for another month or so yet. When they do, you can check for quality by weighing them in your hand and squeezing gently - if they feel heavy, and are plump and firm, they're good; if they're lightweight and squashable, they're empty (unpollinated).

    Once collected, you need to store them cold and moist over the winter. Mix the seeds in with their own volume of sterilised damp sand (just damp, not dripping wet!), and store refrigerated at +1 or +2°C until spring. Sow in late February indoors, or late March outdoors. If sowing outdoors, beware of mice and squirrels.

    More info: Growing Araucaria from Seeds
  4. Thanks, that's really useful! Will do, and I'll let you know what happens....
  5. Lady B

    Lady B Member

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    Okay, just collected a hundred or so of the fattest and sturdiest looking seeds from outside the Monkey Puzzle house! The tree's owner also said I could come back and take a cutting if these didn't grow. Going to soak them overnight, plant a few in the garden now, grow a few in the airing cupboard now (what can I say - I'm impatient!), and keep the rest in the fridge until spring. As for fertilization, there's a small hand-reared monkey puzzle in a front garden on the next street, though I'm not sure of its gender. How can I tell? Dammit, it's so much simpler with animals! ;-)
  6. Hi. To find out if the seeds are ok, drop them into a bowl full of water. If they sink they are ok. If they float they are no good. You can leave them in the bowl of water until you are ready to plant them. I have grown a number of these from seed since the beginning of the year and now have another 100+ seeds to germinate. They take between 3- 6 weeks to germinate. They are slow growing when they get to a certain height. Patience is a must. Hope this helps>

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