En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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
Not Yet Rated

Friday - March 25, 2005

From: Austin, TX
Region: Other
Topic: Propagation
Title: Propagation of Eastern Redbud
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have collected seeds from an Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis L.) and I want to learn how to germinate them. How can I find out this information?

ANSWER:

Since the seeds have a hard coat, scarification will aid in getting them to germinate. Jill Nokes in "How to Grow Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest" describes three variations of scarifying by soaking in concentrated sulfuric acid. For all three methods the seeds were soaked in the sulfuric acid for 30-45 minutes, then rinsed thoroughly and air dried on newspapers. The simplest method next covered the seeds with boiling water and left them in the cooling water overnight. The next day the seeds were planted in individual containers. Another method involved cold stratification at 41° F. for 30 days after the 30-minute scarification in sulfuric acid. The final method aerated the scarified seeds in water in glass jars. The water in the jars was changed when it became discolored. When seeds began to swell, they were removed and stored in plastic bags with moist perlite for 60 days in cold storage. Seeds began to sprout by the end of that period and were planted in individual containers. Please note that caution should be used when handling concentrated sulfuric acid. it can cause skin burns and severe irritation of the respiratory tract. Ideally, it should be used only under a vented hood.

Another method for scarification of the seeds is abrasion using sand paper or sand. The seeds can be rubbed over fine sand paper to abrade the seed coat and then covered in boiling water and allowed to soak overnight in the cooling water before planting. Another method involves making a slurry of water and fine sand in a glass jar, adding the seeds and shaking vigorously before the boiling water treatment and overnight soaking in the cooling water.

 

From the Image Gallery


Eastern redbud
Cercis canadensis

More Propagation Questions

Reversion of maroon bluebonnets back to blue
March 01, 2007 - In the fall, I bought a flat of Texas bluebonnets. They are blooming now, and it turns out they are actually maroon bluebonnets! Which is really too bad, because I want blue bluebonnets. Do you know i...
view the full question and answer

Germinating Mexican Persimmon seeds in Austin, TX.
November 15, 2011 - I'm planning to germinate Mexican Persimmon seeds, and plant them this spring. I want a female for fruit. Is there any way to encourage a plant to be female, and if not, is there any way you can iden...
view the full question and answer

How to sow Eves Necklace seeds.
October 03, 2007 - I have recently acquired some Eve's Necklace seed pods. In order to plant them, do I need to open the pod to get to the seed, or do I just plant the pod? Should I soak or scarify the pod/seed?
view the full question and answer

Transplanting Eve's Necklace from Round Mountain TX
April 16, 2013 - We have dozens of small Eve's necklace plants coming up in our large yard. I would like to share them with my friends who aren't so lucky. Many years ago, I tried to transplant one, and it didn't...
view the full question and answer

Deadheading Asclepias tuberosa in Fishers IN
August 19, 2009 - My Asclepias tuberosa plants are flowering well in their second year and also have formed many seed pods. Since I don't need the seeds, will they bloom more if I remove them or is it unnecessary?
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