Help! Sequoia seedlings

Discussion in 'Gymnosperms (incl. Conifers)' started by Unregistered, Oct 25, 2004.

  1. Hello,
    I recently started some sequioa sempervirens and giganteum from seeds. After about three weeks my first seedlings appeared, grew rapidly to about 1-2 inches with their initial needles showing at the top. After this the needle like leaves started curling up a bit, this got worse as time progressed and now they are dead. I have another one starting to die as well. It seems the giganteum are more hardy and I have 3 more of them sprouting. Why are they dying? can someone offer any advice?

    Setup:
    I placed the seeds in regular miracle grow potting mix with a little vermiculite to hold the water in. I placed them near the sliding glass door to get a lot of light and the temperature has been fluctuating from 50's at night to 70's during the day. They were near the fireplace for a bit and it got really warm there. .. so I moved them to my work cubicle where the temp is a constant 76 degrees and I have a plant light to provide sunlight-like light. I have pictures of them at http://www.kurtlabutti.com/images/thumbnail.cgi?pic_directory=sequoia/ but have not uploaded the most recent pics yet.

    I hope someone has some advice, Thanks Kurt
     
  2. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I don't know much about growing giant sequoia from seed, but after reading this webpage, I think you have your work cut out for you.
     
  3. growing medium

    After growing many pine trees from seed, I would never use anything as "hot" as miracle grow mix... it has far too much fertilizer for a pine seedling (or any seedling for that matter)... Conifer seeds prefer something very much more neutral, and if anything ph should lean toward acidic. I've had good luck with pure moist peat. Think about a natural forest floor environment and what is found there. Hardly any soil, (at seed depth) mostly needle and leaf litter, and that is what they are geared to germinate in. The browning and curling of the outer needles tells the rest of the story... they can't process all of the nutrients with indoor lighting conditions and their root systems and plant cores are not developed enough to deal with such high levels of food. If there is anything left at this point, I would wash the seedlings off and try to continue them in something completely soilless, but conifer seedlings are so tender, you have extremely slim chances of survival rates. I wish you luck!
     
  4. Sequoia seedlings

    I used the little peat containers in a mesh bag that swell up when set in water. I put two or three seeds in each peat pellet and kept them on a watered tray. I figured it would be easier to transplant them that way. Not all of them sprouted, and I think I kept them too wet, as some developed a mold. I then had to be out of town for a week; they dried out, and I lost the rest of them. But several of them grew to about four inches in height and started sprouting leaves. It was a neat experience and I think if I keep them just moist but not soaking, and in a south window, they would have continued to grow.

    Best,
    Walt
    Edmond OK
     
  5. Giant Sequioa Seedlings

    Does anyone have a good source for giant sequoia seedlings?
     
  6. puck

    puck Member

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    Hi, ive had all kinds of problems, but you might want to check with this guy .
    http://www.giant-sequoia.com/index.php

    i bought 15 seedlings from him and planted on 20 acres of sandy loam soil, its amazing how much these things grow, i lost 4 of them but the rest for the most part have tripled in size in 2 months, watering once a week in zone 4.
     
  7. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Hi Puck,

    Good luck, but they won't last very long in zone 4. Once they're above the winter snow cover, the cold will get them.
     
  8. jaro_in_montreal

    jaro_in_montreal Active Member

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    I got quite a few seeds from a single cone I brought back from the summit of Palomar Mountain, near San Diego, CA, last January.
    After a few months of cold-strat, most of them germinated.
    A good number of them croaked since then, but I still have about a dozen better ones left, which are now sprouting their first sets of true leaves, after the cotyledons.
    They're in a pretty lean mix of peat, soil and perlite -- hopefully good enough to let a few survive, in the end.
    For me this is just a fun experiment, as I don't expect sequoias to survive Z5b winters here in Quebec -- nor do I have the room for any big trees, even if they did.
    Maybe some sort of bonzai treatment might be in order ?
     
  9. jaro_in_montreal

    jaro_in_montreal Active Member

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    I tried to get a photo, but the camera tends to auto-focus on the background, rather than the skinny seedlings.
    This is about the best I can do....
     

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  10. puck

    puck Member

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    So once they have grown high enough to be exposed all winter long, the cold air will dry them out and kill the whole tree.?
     
  11. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Unfortunately, yes. It is only hardy in zones 8-9-10, very marginal in 7.

    You could try growing it as a bonsai, keeping it indoors in winter, but that will be a lot of hard work!
     
  12. mwoodruff50

    mwoodruff50 Member

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  13. Hausen

    Hausen Member

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    I think you may be thinking of the Coast Redwood. For Giant Sequoias, they do grow into zone 5, we have several in our area of Ohio that are tall and have survived many winters already. Coast redwoods are not hardy below 7.
     
  14. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I am sure Michael was thinking of coast redwood, Sequoia sempervirens , because it is the only species in its genus. There is some confusion here because giant sequoia is a common name for Sequoiadendron giganteum, which is hardy in Zone 5. There are 3 plants known as sequoias.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sequoia
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sequoiadendron

    And let's not forget the other sequoia (with a small "s" indicating that I am using a common name for the plant.)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metasequoia
     
  15. SarafinaYvette

    SarafinaYvette Member

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    Hi,

    Sequoias need special food which you can buy online. They need to be kept in moist rich soil and never allowed to dry out, they do best if grown indoors until they are a bit bigger. There is a nursery in California Sierra Nevada Mountains that grow and study the Sequoia and they raise the seedlings. You can get the food from them.

    SarafinaYvette
     
  16. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Sorry, but that sounds like a marketing scam to me. They don't need any special 'food', just normal reasonably well-drained soil.
     

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