|Common name||Campbell's Magnolia|
|Germination||Best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame.
Stored seed must be kept cold over the winter and should be sown in late winter in a cold frame. The seed usually germinates in the spring but it can take 18 months.
Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse for at least their first winter.
They can be planted out into their permanent positions when they are more than 15cm tall, though should be well mulched and given some protection from winter cold for their first winter or two outdoors. Layering in early spring.
|Scarification / Stratification||Scarification:
Scrub magnolia seeds with a paper towel to remove the red pulpy coating. If the seed coat doesn’t come off, try soaking the seeds in water overnight to soften them – throwing away any that float.
Once you’ve removed the seed coat, rough up the surface of the seed a little (called “scarifying”) by lightly scrubbing the seed with a piece of sandpaper, screen wire, or steel wool. This removes protective oils and makes it easier for the seed to break open and sprout.
Allow the seeds to rest for 3-6 months at around 40° to 45° F, without drying out. There are three ways to do this:
Magnolia seed ready for planting
Refrigerator: The easiest way is to mix the seeds with moist seed-starting mix or peat, place in a plastic bag or container, and stick them in the fridge for the winter.
Cold Frame: Alternately, you can plant the seeds about 1/2″ deep in a seed tray or small pot, and put it in a cold frame. Be sure to keep the soil moist all winter, and protect it from freezing temperatures.
Outdoors: If you prefer nature’s approach, you can plant the seeds outdoors, about 1/2″ deep, with a layer of mulch to hold in moisture. If you plant them outdoors, keep in mind that they may not survive if they freeze or dry out, and they’ll be an easy snack for hungry squirrels!
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