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cherry blossom seeds

Best Germination Techniques for Sakura Seeds (Cherry Blossom)

A commonly overlooked step for seed germination of Sakura seeds is stratification.

Stratification is the process of exposing seeds to simulated conditions in nature, this conditions such as winter must be experienced before germination for certain types of seeds can occur.

As with maple tree seeds, it is highly recommended to expose Sakura (Cherry Blossom) seeds to winter conditions to achieve a high germination rate.

Winter Stratification Tips and Techniques

What You Will Need:

  1. Ziplock bag
  2. Some moist kitchen paper
  3. Plant labels
  4. 10% Hydrogen peroxide solution(common bleach) *optional but recommended
  5. Sieve
  6. Gardening gloves
  7. A pair of Tweezers

4 Steps for Winter Stratification

  1. Rinse the Sakura (Cherry Blossom) seeds gently in a sieve.
  2. Use gardening gloves and soak the Sakura (Cherry Blossom) seeds into the 10% hydrogen peroxide solution for about 10 minutes.* This step is optional but it helps prevent possible mould on your seeds.
  3. Pick up the seeds with a pair of tweezers and put them into a moist kitchen paper, then put them into a zip lock bag. Finish by labelling them and then refrigerate them. (Do not put into a freezer. Let them stay in the lower part of a refrigerator – the part where you usually store vegetables or fruit will be fine.)
  4. Sprouting should start in 2-8 weeks, depending on the variety. Some variety takes up to months to start germination. Check for germination once a week and if necessary, moisturize the kitchen paper to maintain humidity.

Post Stratification Step

Transfer the seedlings with a pair of tweezers into small pots with a potting mix designed for cultivating Roses.

*If you prefer not to use stratification, highly discouraged in the opinion of Greenhouse Fanatics .

Steps for Direct Germination (No Stratification)

What You Will Need:

  1. Potting mix (detailed in the product listing information and on the seed package). Basically, ask the nursery for compost designed for Roses it should fit well.
  2. Seed Tray.
  3. 10%-12% Hydrogen Peroxide solution (common bleach) *optional but recommended for direct germination.
  4. Gardening glove
  5. A pair of Tweezers
  6. Copper-based fungicide
  7. Sieve

4 Steps for Direct Germination

  1. Rinse the Sakura (Cherry Blossom) seeds gently in a sieve.
  2. Use a gardening glove and soak the Sakura (Cherry Blossom) seeds into the 10% hydrogen peroxide solution for about 10 minutes.

*don’t skip step 2 it greatly decreases the chance of mould forming around your seeds.

  1. Pick up the seeds with a pair of Tweezers.
  2. Sow your seeds on to the top layers of your growing medium in your pot or in seed trays.
  3. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil – not more than 2 cm.

(Optional but recommended)

Once germinate, or after transferring seedlings from stratification, use a Copper based fungicide to prevent moulding problems. Follow the instructions on the fungicide label for amount and frequency of application.

Soil Quality For Both Methods

Preferably, add about 30% of coarse sand (or any sandy soil) to achieve better drainage). The compost should be slightly acidic and a bit sandy. To minimize possible mould problems, make sure the compost you bought is sterile (most commercial composts are). Preferably, buy a new pack instead of using an already opened one.

Pro Tips:

  1. Do not plant the seeds or seedlings under extreme temperatures. Temperatures below 15°C (59°F) or above 30°C (86°F) normally guarantees a poor result.
  2. Stratification may not be necessary if the seeds are very fresh (i.e. harvested in season).
  3. The seed germination rate decreases the longer the seeds are stored. Thus, if you are unsure how long your seeds have been stored, treatment with stratification is highly recommended.

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5 Yoshino Cherry Tree Seeds

Soak the cherry seeds in a bowl of warm water for about 5 minutes. Spread the seeds out on a paper towel in a warm area and let them dry for three to five days, then, transfer the dry pits to a plastic container, labeled and fitted with a tight lid. Store the pits in the refrigerator for 10 weeks.

Why are you doing this? Cherries need to go through a cold or stratification period that normally occurs naturally during the winter, prior to germination in the spring. Refrigerating the pits is artificially mimicking this process. Okay, seed planting of cherry trees is now ready to commence.

Once the ten weeks has passed, remove the seeds and allow them to come to room temperature. You are now ready for planting the cherry seeds. Put two to three pits into a small container filled with planting medium and water the seeds in. Keep the soil moist.

When the cherry seedlings are 2 inches tall, thin them, removing the weakest plants, leaving the sturdiest seedling in the pot. Keep the seedling in a sunny area indoors until all danger of frost has passed for your region, and then transplant outside

Seed Planting Cherry Trees

Growing cherry trees from seed can also be attempted directly in the garden. In this method, you are skipping the refrigeration and letting the seeds go through a natural stratification process through the winter.
In the fall, gather the dried cherry pits and plant them outside. Plant a few since some may not germinate. Set the seeds 2 inches deep and one foot apart. Mark the planting sites.

In the spring, the pits will sprout. Wait until the seedlings are 8-12 inches in height and then transplant them to their permanent site in the garden. Mulch well around the transplanted seedlings to retard weeds and aid in water retention.