Grow a kowhai tree from seed
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).
SEED POD SEED EMBRYO