Grow a kowhai tree from seed

Kids Go Gardening - - News -

1 Soak your seeds in warm wa­ter overnight. 2 Fill a tray or pun­net with Black Magic rais­ing seed mix up to about 1cm from the rim of the tray. Use a chop­stick or the end of a paint­brush to make holes about 5mm deep about 5cm apart. Drop a soaked kowhai seed into each hole and cover over with the mix. 3 Wa­ter gen­tly with a wa­ter­ing can and then leave your seeds in a warm sunny place. Keep the mix just damp (not soak­ing wet) while you wait for the seeds to sprout. This can take up to 20 days. 4 When your baby trees are strongly grow­ing and about 10cm tall, move them into big­ger con­tain­ers with pot­ting mix and slow re­lease fer­tiliser. If you have too many you could give some away. 5 As your trees grow feed them ev­ery few weeks in spring and summer with liq­uid fer­tiliser. 6 Next spring, re­pot into a big­ger con­tainer - or into the gar­den. If you feed and wa­ter it well and keep it away from frost your tree should grow to about 30-40cm tall by next spring.

TIP: Kowhai seeds ger­mi­nate fastest if you col­lect them when they are young, be­fore the seed pod turns dry and crispy. If your seeds are older help them along by rub­bing them on sand­pa­per to help the wa­ter soak in through the seed coat (this is called ‘break­ing dor­mancy’). Just make sure you sand the end of the seed that is away from the lit­tle em­bryo (dark mark on one end of the seed).


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