Growing thuja from seeds at home is a widespread method among gardeners. With it, you can simultaneously get a large number of plants for decorating a garden or a summer cottage. Like any method, it has its disadvantages and advantages, more on this will be discussed below.
Is it possible to grow thuja from seeds at home
Thuja seed propagation has a number of advantages. This method is suitable for all types and varieties of this crop. Unlike other methods, growing thuja from seeds allows you to simultaneously get many seedlings at home, which have high endurance and good health.
The method does not require special investments, the seeds can be collected with your own hands. However, do not forget that when thuja is propagated by the seed method, the varietal characteristics of the plant may not be preserved. Only vegetative reproduction methods allow them to be fully preserved. As a result of growing ephedra with seeds from a young seedling, a thuja can grow, which is not at all similar to the mother plant from which the cones were collected. As a rule, varietal traits begin to appear in the second year after sowing the seeds. On average, growing thuja from seeds takes 3 to 5 years.
Procurement of planting material
Thuja seeds can be bought in specialized garden stores or prepared on their own. They begin to prepare material for planting thuja seeds at home in the late summer or early autumn.
It is important to have time to collect the cones with seeds before the fruit opens. If it is difficult to pluck them from the tree, you can carefully separate the part of the shoot on which they are attached.
After the planting material is collected, lay it out to dry on any flat surface in a dry, warm and well-ventilated place, out of direct sunlight. Bright sun negatively affects seed germination. During the drying of planting material in the room, it is necessary to maintain the temperature no higher than 6 - 7 degrees Celsius.
Over time, the buds will dry out, open up and make it easier to extract seeds from them. It is best to spread paper under the cones, since the seeds, after fully ripening, begin to spill out of the cones on their own. It will be much easier to collect them from a sheet of paper. The most convenient way to collect ripe seeds is by holding the cone over a sheet of paper, lightly tapping on it.
Advice! The sooner the seeds are planted after collection, the higher their germination capacity. Already after 3 months of storage at room temperature, the percentage of seed germination is greatly reduced.
How to plant thuja seeds at home
In order for the plants to develop and grow well in the future, it is important to plant thuja seeds correctly.
There are a number of rules, observing which, you can greatly facilitate the process of planting thuja from seeds and further care for it.
When to plant thuja seeds
At home, sowing thuja seeds is best done in the fall. In this case, collected with their own hands, they will still be fresh, with a high percentage of germination. Hibernating in the ground outdoors, the seeds will undergo natural hardening, which will have a positive effect on the germination of seedlings. When sowing seed in the fall, seedlings, as a rule, appear earlier than when planting thuja with seeds in spring, and young plants are more adapted to cold weather and require less care.
Advice! When growing thuja seedlings in a seedling way, you can start planting work in February.
Selection of containers and soil preparation
At home, thuja seeds can be planted in boxes or immediately on the garden bed. Growing in shallow boxes greatly simplifies the farming technique behind the seedlings, since, as needed, they can be rearranged to any convenient place.
The best option for thuja seedlings is containers, the height of which does not exceed 10 - 12 cm.In too deep containers, the soil located in the lower layer may begin to acidify, however, you should not choose too low containers: in them the roots of neighboring plants will intertwine with each other , thus suppressing the development of each other. It will be impossible to dive them without damage in the future. Cell containers are another more convenient option.
The soil for growing thuja must be very nutritious. Ready-made coniferous substrate sold in garden stores is ideal. To prepare a nutritious potting mix at home, it is recommended to mix:
- 2 pieces of sand;
- 1 part of sod land;
- 1 part peat.
Seed preparation for sowing
If thuja seeds are planned to be planted in the fall, during the winter they naturally stratify in the soil; they do not need to be additionally hardened. When planting thuja seeds in the spring, it is recommended to pre-stratify them. For this procedure at home, the seeds must be placed in a container with wet sand and left in the refrigerator for 3-4 months. The bottom vegetable rack is ideal.
Thuja seeds can be hardened at home and using another method:
- place the seed in a linen bag;
- for the winter, bury the bag in the ground to a depth of at least 30 cm;
- sprinkle with fallen leaves on top.
Immediately before sowing, you will need to perform one more procedure - seed germination. To do this, they are soaked in warm water overnight. By the next morning, the material will swell and be ready for planting.
How to plant thuja seeds at home
After stratification and germination of thuja seeds, you can start sowing them, for this you need:
- Place on the bottom of the box a drainage layer 2-3 cm thick, consisting of expanded clay or fine gravel.
- Pour some of the nutritious soil on top so that 2 - 3 cm to the edges of the box remain free. Level and slightly compact the soil.
- To disinfect the soil, it is recommended to spill it with a solution of potassium permanganate, which has a dark pink color.
- Form shallow grooves (up to 5 - 6 mm) at a distance of about 5 cm from each other.
- Sow the thuja seeds into the furrows, trying to distribute them evenly. Do not place seeds too close to each other.
- Sprinkle the crops with a layer of nutritious soil mixture no more than 1 cm thick.
- Slightly compact the surface with a plank or hands. Moisten with water from a spray bottle.
Important! Before the first shoots appear, the box with seedlings should be stored at home at a temperature of at least 20 degrees Celsius. In order for the thuja seeds to germinate better, the box must be covered with foil or glass, remembering to periodically air it.
The first shoots will appear after about 20 - 25 days. After their appearance, the cover from the film can be removed.
How to plant thuja seeds directly in open ground
When planting thuja seeds directly into open ground, it is important to take into account that the comfortable soil temperature for their germination is about 10 - 15 degrees Celsius. If the temperature is lower, seedlings may not appear.
Sowing seeds in open ground is best done in autumn, then seedlings will appear much earlier in spring, and young plants will be more viable and resistant to low temperatures.
Sowing seeds in open ground is done according to the same principle as sowing in boxes. You should not bury the seeds in the soil more than 5 cm. It is most convenient to first grow thuja seedlings on one bed, and only then plant them in separate areas.
How to grow thuja from a seed
In general, caring for thuja seedlings in the open field is not much different from caring for seedlings. Watering young thuja seedlings must be done carefully so as not to accidentally wash out the soil. Experienced gardeners recommend watering plants using a fine spray bottle. If, during watering, the soil in some places is nevertheless eroded, you need to carefully sprinkle these places with a thin layer of soil.
Watering should be moderate, watering the thuja seedlings as the soil dries up. In this case, it is undesirable to allow neither waterlogging nor drying out of the soil. Moisture stagnation can be detrimental to seedlings.
In order for the thuja seedlings to develop better, every two weeks it is necessary to fertilize with mineral complex fertilizers with a high content of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus. For the prevention of fungal diseases, the seedlings of thuja should be treated with fungicides. Fundazol has proven itself to be excellent.
Advice! If there is not enough lighting for thuja seedlings at home, it is recommended to additionally illuminate them with a fluorescent lamp.
When the weather is warm, the box with thuja seedlings can be taken outside. Delicate, still immature sprouts feel comfortable at temperatures from 17 to 23 degrees Celsius. The box should be placed in the shade or partial shade, so that direct sunlight does not fall on the seedlings. An excellent option would be a place shaded by the dense crown of a tall tree.
Being under the bright sun is contraindicated for young coniferous crops; direct sunlight can cause plant burns. That is why seedlings growing in the open field are recommended to be protected from the scorching sun at first with the help of covering materials.
For the first year, the seedlings reach a height of 8 - 10 cm. Thuja shoots growing in boxes spend the winter in them. In winter, it is better to store boxes at temperatures between 14 and 18 degrees Celsius. Seedlings growing in open ground are mulched for the winter with peat, fallen leaves or straw.
The next summer, the seedlings grown at home from the boxes are planted in open ground for growing according to the scheme of 30x30 cm. The bed should be located in partial shade. Transplant algorithm:
- In the soil per 1 sq. m add 1 bucket of humus, 40 g of nitroammofoska, 250 g of wood ash. Dig up on the bayonet of the shovel.
- Transplant the seedlings so that the root collar remains flush with the soil. With a strong deepening, the thuja can vanish and die.
- Drizzle and mulch with peat. Further planting care remains the same.
Transplanting seedlings to a permanent place
Thuja seedlings can be transplanted to a permanent place in the third year after sowing the seeds, when the height of the bush reaches about 50 cm.This can be done both in autumn and spring.
The planting site should be sunny and protected from the wind, in the shade of the thuja needles will turn yellow and thin. The best option for thuja is sandy loam soil mixed with turf soil.
Important! When planting a thuja in a permanent place, a distance between the plants should be kept at least 1 m. The size of the pit for planting directly depends on the size of the earthen coma.
Algorithm for transplanting thuja seedlings to a permanent place:
- Place a drainage layer on the bottom of the planting pit.
- Form a small mound out of the ground, place a thuja seedling on it.
- Cover with earth, not forgetting that the root collar should remain flush with the soil. Drizzle, mulch with peat.
In addition, it is recommended to watch a video on how to grow thuja from seeds at home:
Growing thuja from seeds at home is a fairly long process, which on average takes 3 to 5 years. However, the result is definitely worth the effort, as this unpretentious evergreen tree will delight the eye for years to come.