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How to Grow Magnolia Trees from Seeds (6 Easy Steps)

Growing a magnolia tree from seeds is a lengthy process that requires you to carefully store and germinate your seeds inside before transplanting them to a permanent location in your yard.

This quick guide will teach you everything you need to know about growing magnolia trees from seeds.

6 Steps to Grow Magnolia Trees From Seeds

Magnolias are one of the most beautiful types of trees in existence.

But, there are dozens of different varieties of magnolia trees, which all do best in different climates and soils. 

However, luckily, the process to grow their seeds is the same across all magnolia tree types.

So, without further ado, here is a guide on how to grow any magnolia tree variety from seeds. 

Step One: Gather Magnolia Seeds

You should gather your magnolia seed pods between mid-September and mid-October.

Also, unlike other seeds, do not attempt to open the seed pods yourself because they will open on their own when they are ready.

Step Two: Prepare the Seeds

When the pods open, you will see your seeds covered in red flesh. 

Once this happens, you can place the seeds in a bowl of warm water for 24 hours to loosen the flesh so you can remove it easily.

Or, you can try rubbing the seeds on a metal screen to make this process easier and faster.

Then, when you’ve gotten off all the flesh, you should remove the oily residue from your bare seeds by washing them with liquid soap.

Also, to help speed up the germination process, you can choose to scar the hard coat of the seeds by rubbing the seeds with sandpaper.

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Step Three: Store the Seeds in the Winter

It’s crucial to remember that you will kill your seeds if you store them at room temperature. 

So you should instead keep them in a sealed bag at refrigerator temperature.

And, of course, the simplest way to ensure your seeds stay at this temperature is to keep them in the fridge. 

But, just make sure that before you store your seeds, you put an equal mixture of river sand, peat moss, and a wrung-out sponge into the storage bag.

Overall, you can store your seeds at refrigerator temperature for up to six months.

Step Four: Germinate the Seeds

A great time to start germinating your magnolia seeds is during the early part of spring.

You should use a seed tray covered in a half-inch of compost soil to plant the seeds.

And don’t forget to mist the soil with water before covering it with plastic wrap.

After you’ve done these steps, you should find a warm place to store the seed tray while you are waiting for the seeds to germinate.

Most magnolia seeds will take between a month to a month and a half to germinate, but some will take longer, so be patient. 

Then, when the seeds finally start to germinate, you should remove the plastic wrap and store the tray by a window.

Read Also >> How to Grow a Cherry Blossom Tree from Seed

Step Five: Transplant Your Magnolias to a Container

Once the seedlings have germinated and have grown a second set of leaves, it is time to transfer them to their own individual containers.

And normally, you should put your seedlings in three-inch pots that use the same compost soil you used for germination.

However, depending on how quickly your magnolias are growing, a three-inch pot might not have enough room.

Thus, if your magnolia seedling is already too large for a three-inch pot, you can use a larger size pot to fit them.

Finally, expose your seedlings to the sun gradually. 

But, make sure you give them partial shade during their first season.

Step Six: Transplant Your Seedlings to Your Yard

You can transfer your seedlings to your yard when they are eight to twelve inches high.

Overall, you should try to plant your seedlings in a permanent location by the end of their first summer because they have a complicated root system that grows quickly.

So, you should find a spot where your magnolia trees can get eight hours of sunlight every day and where their roots have plenty of room to grow.

Therefore, you should transplant your trees to a permanent location away from any buildings.

You also want to plant your trees in a spot where foot traffic will not damage shallow roots.

Additionally, it is good to keep in mind that magnolia trees look their best when you space them out. 

That said, miniature magnolia trees are a wonderful addition to any home garden that has large flowers or shrubs.

Read Also >> How to Grow Persimmons from Seed

Final Thoughts

Magnolias are some of the most beautiful trees in existence, but growing them requires lots of care and patience.

You start the process by letting the seed pods open, carefully storing the seeds, and then germinating the seeds.

Then, after germinating your magnolias, you are ready to transplant the tree saplings to a place in your yard where the roots have plenty of room to breathe and grow.

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