Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
1 rating

Monday - June 06, 2011

From: Monroe, WA
Region: Northwest
Topic: Propagation
Title: Saving seeds of western red cedar from Monroe WA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I would like to know how to save and store seeds of western redcedar if not planning on planting them their current year.

ANSWER:

On our Native Plant Database for Thuja plicata (Western arborvitae) (also known as Western Red Cedar), here are the Propagation Instructions:

"Description: Cuttings taken in Dec. or Jan. and treated with hormone root very well. Western cedar is also easily grown from layers or seeds. Occasional dormant seeds are found which require stratification.
Seed Treatment: Stratify at 34-41 degrees for 30-60 days. No treatment may give satisfactory results.
Commercially Avail: yes"

This USDA Plant Profile Page has pictures of the tree and seeds and shows that the plant is, indeed, native to Washington. After some more searching, we found a long technical paper from the USDA Index of Species Information that had this paragraph germane to your question:

"Germination:  Germination is epigeal.  Western redcedar seeds germinate
well without stratification and remain viable for at least 7 years
stored dry (5 to 8 percent moisture) at 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-18 deg C)]. 
Stratification may improve the germination of some dormant seed lots.  However, in others it may lower the germination capacity. Haig reported germination rates of 73 percent, and Schopmeyer reported germination rates of 34 to 90 percent."

 

 

More Propagation Questions

Propagation of Cordyline fruticosa from Port St. Lucie FL
July 23, 2010 - Hawaiian Ti Plant, Good Luck Plant, Ti Plant (Cordyline fruticosa) I found 4 of these cut without roots. What is the best way to have them grow roots? Directly in water, moist soil, or regular soil...
view the full question and answer

Starting wild plant seeds indoors from Dallas TX
February 23, 2014 - Is it possible to start some Phlox drummondii or other native wild flower from seed indoors, and then transplant to my garden? If so, can you suggest some?
view the full question and answer

Will horseherb (Calyptocarpus vialis) survive planting in July
July 14, 2008 - I live in Southwest Austin and I am planting horseherb groundcover in my back yard that is part-shade. Can I plant this right now (July) or is it too hot to plant?
view the full question and answer

Planting bluebonnets near pond area
April 26, 2008 - We want to scatter bluebonnet seeds on the banks of a pond area in a housing addition. Do we have to do anything special? How do they do it along highways?
view the full question and answer

Requirements to grow Lupinus albifrons
October 07, 2008 - What is required to grow Lupinus albifrons? Temp., soil mix, alkaline or acid, etc.?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.