Friday, October 14, 2011

Germinating Jacaranda (Jacaranda mimosifolia)

    The next species up is the lovely Jacaranda mimosifolia.  I have wanted to start these seeds for years and I'll finally get my chance.  I ended up getting a ridiculous amount: 100 seeds.  To be fair the pack only cost $2 so if anyone wants to trade for the extra seeds I may just have them!

    When making my plant selections I generally look for trees that can be grown as bonsai.  If you can grow a plant as a bonsai, it can clearly take some abuse and be trained to remain small.  However Jacaranda is one tree that may prove a little more difficult.  It doesn't like to remain small and when pruned often responds with vigorous vertical growth.  This might be ugly for a bonsai but could result in a nice, densely stemmed larger plant.  I have no idea if I'll ever see any blooms but my ultimate goal is to get my plants to flower.

    People suggest soaking the seeds for 12-24 hours prior to sowing.  Many sources state light as important for germination but I have also seen reference to buried seeds germinating.  I noticed a posting in a forum suggesting the best temperature was found to be a consistent 25C in a Brazilian study.  Overall the seeds should be easily germinated in any seed starting mix.  I'll probably experiment and try burying a few, while keeping others on the surface.

    The next species up is Colville's Glory (Colvillea racemosa).


  1. These are probably my favorite trees ever - I have been slightly obsessed with them ever since them flower in Portugal as a little kid. In my experience they germinate pretty easily but I have never managed to raise them to the point of flowering.

  2. They are absolutely gorgeous. I've heard other people had difficulty growing them much past the seedling stage. I'll have to give them some extra care.

  3. these are easy, and strangely enough, I had a grouping of three, grown as a bonsai! They behave better than you are thinking, and need trimmed three or four times a year, but not too hard. Mine froze when my greenhouse ran out of propane...and never bloomed, but they were only eight years old-I had high hopes! The fine foliage gives the illusion of a much larger tree. Winter defoliation for a couple of months if too cool, then fresh new growth as the days get longer.

  4. Yikes, I'd be devastated if I lost mine, especially after eight years! I'm glad to hear they should do better being trimmed than I expected. If I have any questions, I'll know who to ask.

  5. I got my seeds to germinate buy just planting them in potting soil and leaving on window sill in a 12x18 inch ziploc Bag, mine have germinated between 3-23 days with sun all day to heat up.

    just about to put in bonsai pot not has germinated

  6. anonymous who couldn't resistOctober 16, 2013 at 11:05 PM

    "I noticed a posting in a forum suggesting the best temperature was found to be a consistent 25C in a Brazilian study. " Well, I certainly don't have access to a Brazilian study. Would a study anywhere else in the world work? or a sitting room?

  7. I first saw these trees two years ago on a trip to Irvine, CA. I brought home a couple of old (empty) seed pods mainly for identification purposes. I found a seed or two remaining and was able to get them to germinate quite easily (but lost the plant as a seedling). I am going to definitely give it another try with seeds I brought back on a recent trip. I live in Zone 5, so it is definitely going to be an indoor bonsai and I am a bit worried that during the winter we don't get a lot of natural light. I would love to hear from anyone with experience with this tree in higher latitudes. I have had decent success with hardier ficus species indoors, but they still undergo stress during those months when we only get 6 hours of light a day.


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