En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Propagating redbud (Cercis canadensis) seeds

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
1 rating

Wednesday - October 24, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation
Title: Propagating redbud (Cercis canadensis) seeds
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Our Red Bud tree is full of bean shaped seed pods. Can those be planted and if so how? I enjoy puttering in the yard.

ANSWER:

First of all, after you remove the pods from your Cercis canadensis (eastern redbud), you will need to remove the actual seeds from the pods. You will note that the seeds themselves have a very hard seed covering. You will need to scarify (break or soften) that seed cover in order to enhance germination. You can nick each of the seeds using a knife or by abrading with sandpaper. You can also do this by soaking in concentrated sulfuric acid for up to 45 minutes, but this operation should ideally be done under a fume, or chemical, hood to protect your lungs, eyes, and nasal passages. Jill Nokes in "How to Grow Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest". (University of Texas Press, 2001) reports several methods to be followed after you have scarified them, but the simplest is to rinse the seeds after scarification and dry very briefly. Next put them into a flat bowl or pan and pour boiling water over them. Let them remain overnight in the water as it cools. Plant them in individual small containers to germinate. The seedlings can later be transplanted. Your local library should have a copy of the above book by Jill Nokes or you can probably find it in your favorite book store. You can check it to read about other possible methods for germinating the seed. It should be noted that not all seeds that you collect will be viable. You can check for viability by dropping the seeds (removed from the pod) into a container of water BEFORE you scarify them. The viable seeds will sink while the non-viable ones will float and you can discard them.

 

 

More Propagation Questions

Spanish Dagger plant interfering with walkway in Ingram TX
April 09, 2010 - I have a Spanish Dagger that is now 8 feet tall and about to fall over in a walkway. Due to the danger of these very sharp tips I need to either cut down the plant or try to root in and replant. If ...
view the full question and answer

Planting pecan trees in Austin
October 23, 2008 - What's the protocol for planting pecan trees in the Austin area? What do you have to do to get them to grow and how long does it take? Can you plant just one?
view the full question and answer

Seed collection from rain lilies
May 14, 2008 - Hello, I have some rain lilies growing in our yard. I've collected some seed heads, but am not sure what steps to take now. They were all off of broken stems (the dogs are not as cautious as I am...
view the full question and answer

Starting Antelope Horn Milkweed Seeds
March 08, 2013 - I recently found a sealed plastic bag containing milkweed seeds in a cabinet drawer that I had gathered more than a year ago, (maybe two years ago). These are the "antelope horn" milkweed I think it...
view the full question and answer

Obtaining seeds for mutant white bluebonnet
April 18, 2007 - I have seen a white bluebonnet in Brenham on Easter and wondered how rare the white ones are and how you get seeds for those. Are there any special directions on collecting seeds for planting next fa...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center