Seed sequoia from seed - cultivation and care

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Seed sequoia from seed - cultivation and care: seed

Sequoias are very special: Fantastically fast growth up to 2m per season, with some 70 million years of development among the oldest woody plants on earth, and so rare that there are only three species left in the world. Because the sequoias also hold the records "highest tree" and (almost) "thickest tree", only a few species / varieties are of interest to private gardeners. Here's what mammoth trees are like, how to raise them from seeds and how to care for them:


  • Sequoias are conifers of the cypress family
  • Their subfamily of Sequoioideae has been traced from biological research to the Cretaceous
  • At that time there were at least a dozen different sequoias, of which only three genera with three species each survived
  • These are the California redwoods and coastal redwoods as well as the dawn redwood discovered in China
  • Dawn redwoods are the sequoias for home gardens
  • They cope best with our climate and remain as a cultivar in garden-compatible heights
  • Some varieties of the redwood tree also consider it good in our climate as older trees
  • In cultivars that grow more compact than the up to 100 m high original
  • Nevertheless, they are only recommended for planting in exceptionally large gardens
Tip:First, because important: Never plant any sequoia anywhere in the garden! Two of three redwood species are not to be found in the normal home garden; specimens of the suitable variety must spend the first year in the tub; Above all, you must study your tree protection law very carefully before planting a sequoia. In some federal states, every tree, except species explicitly listed, is protected from a not very massive trunk circumference; Here, a sequoia can reach protection status before they realize that it will probably unfold for their garden to huge proportions.

Cultivation from seeds

If you already know which sequoia you want to raise (if you do not already know this, you should read the section "Choosing the right sequoia: species and varieties" below), you can start as soon as the seeds have been delivered, as follows step-by-step guide:

1. Stratify seeds

Sequoia seeds are germinated, which ensures that the autumn-ripened seed does not start immediately and then does not enjoy much in the cold season. While seasonal goods are usually stratified by the retailer so that the impatient gardeners can get started in the spring, sequoia seeds are traded throughout the year. Therefore the stratification is left to you, therefore the seed can be sown all the year round.


Normally, the germ inhibition is reduced by winter cold, if that is not at hand, the refrigerator may do this task. Depending on the tree species, the seeds will remain there for different lengths of time, so maybe the temperature has to be adjusted a bit, here are the claims of the three sequoia species to the stratification:
  • Dawn redwood seeds: 5 - 7 degrees, 5 to 10 days, then soak overnight in lukewarm water (12 hours)
  • Mammoth tree: 5 degrees down and a longer stratification duration
  • There are many opinions about how long exactly, from single days to 2 months
  • A stratification period of 14 days seems to bring the most success
  • After that, also mountain redwood seeds should be soaked for 12 - 24 hours
  • The seeds of the Coast redwood tree are stratified at a maximum of 5 degrees
  • Stratification time: See mountain redwood, here also brings about 14 days of stratification probably the best success rate
  • Subsequent soaking is not recommended for Coast redwood seeds, they are allowed to grow immediately in the potting soil
Stratification information is never accurate, as the optimal values ​​depend on many factors (humidity in the dealer's warehouse, seed harvest at harvest, age of seeds, etc.). If you want to germinate seeds safely (sequoia seeds are usually sold in portions of 30 to 50 pieces, obviously the traders also assume a not very tiny failure rate), you should sow the seeds batchwise. Start with batch 1 with the lowest scores of recommendations, if it does not work with these first seeds, stratify the seeds of batch 2 a bit longer and / or colder.

2. Prepare containers with seed soil

While stratifying the seeds, you can already look after seed tanks and soil. The tanks should be translucent, you can use indoor greenhouses with integrated lids or cover the pots with matching glass panes, transparent plastic containers (upcycling the last salad or tomato packaging) or foil hoods.
Several varieties of seedling are recommended:
  • Garden soil, humus and sand, mixed in equal parts
  • Suitable for dawn redwoods, which are soon put into the garden, they are already used to the local microorganisms
  • Pure coconut soil, also known as Kokohum
  • Recommended for cultivation of Kübel-Mammutbäumen, later also into the tub substrate mix
  • Kokohum, to be mixed under the crushed egg shells
  • Eggshells are made of carbonate lime, suitable for coastal sequoias that grow on limestone
  • Coconut soil under which some wood ash was mixed
  • Should already Bergmammutbäume and coastal redwoods have germinated after several failed attempts (at the natural site they germinate after forest fires).

3. Sow sequoia trees

When seed tanks and seeds are ready, the seeds may be in the soil. More specifically, to the earth, all sequoias are light germs and are loosely scattered as seed on the seedling soil.

4. Maintain cultivation tank

Fix the seeds lightly with soil, set up the cultivation container in a light (not sunny) protected location. Cover cultivation container and keep soil moist (not wet!) Throughout, ventilate regularly to prevent mold growth.
Dawn redwoods germinate in 1 - 3 weeks, redwoods and coastal redwoods need 2 - 5 weeks to the first stirrings. If in doubt cultivate cultivation container for a while - it should already have been mammoth trees that have germinated only after months.

5. Pique young plants

If the young plants have reached the point where they are reasonably stable (at least five weeks after germination), the seed tanks can be uncovered. If the young plants have become accustomed to the drier air after a few days, they are put into the pots individually (= pikiert).


The soil mixture should follow what you have used as a breeding soil, but be set a good deal more nutritious (now is the big growth start).

6. Rearing young plants

The young plants are maintained in a protected location without direct sunlight.
Dawn redwoods can be shady to semi-shady, while redwoods and coastal redwoods can tolerate fairly bright semi-shade.
The young plants must be kept well moist throughout, because the fine, young roots dry out very quickly and die off.

7. Get used to the air outdoors

Regardless of whether your sequoia is later planted in the garden or his life in the bucket: mammoth trees are the summer of the outdoors, in pure housing, they will sooner or later infer light deficiency (to the sequoia attitude under plant light, there is no experience),
However, there are empirical data that a little bit of open air is indispensable even with the young plants, because they tend to buckle in pure house-growing (shoots grow longer in length, than to gain strength / stability) and often in rooms with stagnant air Mold formation is unavoidable.
First put in a sheltered place without direct sun, gradually you can "stress" the young plants a bit, with "sun and wind around the nose", so you ensure that develop robust, strong trees.

8. Overwinter


Depending on the species, variety and beginning of breeding the redwoods overwinter their first one to four years protected. Location for all three sequoias as usual, bright and quiet, because of the dry air in winter please do not near the heater.

9. planting

If possible, after 1 - 4 years (depending on the species, variety and start of production), in a fresh, nutrient-rich garden soil, in a location with sun or light partial shade.
The best time for planting in the garden is autumn, while the earth is still warm enough.
Tip: Before planting, you might want to watch live what a certain sequoia can become in the climate in your area, for safety's sake. Where you can see which sequoias in your region, tells you the sequoia register Germany (

10. The further care

If you've got it this far, it will be simple:
  • Additional irrigation only required in very sunny locations / in extremely hot weather
  • On normal nutrient-rich soils in the first few years give each spring a little fertilizer
  • Older sequoias cut out by trimming if they grow too dense

Choosing the right sequoia: species and varieties

Sequoia trees (Sequoioideae) belong to the order of the conifers and in this to the family of the Zypressengewächse (cypresses, junipers and Lebensbäume). One could trace the subfamily back to the Cretaceous, from at least a dozen different sequoias are today only three genera with three species left:

Metasequoia glyptostroboides

In the northern hemisphere, the genus Metasequoia was created, of the once about ten species of this genus has survived only the dawn redwood Metasequoia glyptostroboides in a hidden mountain region in China.
He is by far the best suited of the three sequoia species for planting in the area of ​​human settlements: In the wild, a maximum of 40 meters high, compared to the other two redwoods a pretty little thing, nursery material stops in the height growth even more,
He knows winter cold and throws off his needles in the fall, but as the only sequoia in the warm season permanently wearing a nearly to the ground reaching green needle dress (the foliage of the other two species starts each year a little higher, until you reach the bottom side shoots only with the binoculars to look at). Before the dawn redwood tree drops the needles in winter, it develops the beautiful autumn color, which earned it the second name "Chinese Redwood".
Because of all these advantages, the dawn redwood tree has continuously conquered more and more areas of the world as an ornamental tree for parks and gardens. In the meantime he has arrived with us and is sold in nurseries. He should grow as well here as in his Chinese homeland, although the climate is milder there. But it is only suitable for individual position in sufficiently large gardens, because the cultivar varieties grow by 50 cm per season until they have reached a height between 25 and 35 meters and a growth width between 7 and 10 meters.
It can sometimes be read about young dawn redwood trees that they can be released in the first year. But you should really only try this with early-morning sprouted dawn redwoods, which developed particularly well until autumn (and then with winter protection). Most of the sources recommend wintering first-autumn redwoods in the house, protected from the first winter.
Tip: With a dawn redwood tree you put a "climatic protection tree" in your garden: Dawn redwood trees are said to be very good carbon sinks, so they absorb a lot of carbon dioxide from the air during growth and store it. Therefore, there are already first attempts to use forest mammoth trees in our forestry.

Sequoiadendron giganteum

Giant sequoia trees (mountain redwood trees) grow in California and are among the thickest trees in the world. The original Sequoiadendron giganteum should therefore not come too close to the German home garden, but there are compact varieties of breeding. These cultivars have more winter hardiness grown, in the nursery you will learn which variety may be planted and when.


Tip: The average home garden is overwhelmed with a giant sequoia, and unfortunately have a park on the doorstep. But he is the only sequoia that can be cultivated well in the bucket. In the tub, you can enjoy the rapid growth in the youth, without fear that the wood will someday "overgrow" the proportions of your home. You can also control the altitude by allowing more or less root space to the wood (up to "very little root space", in the Sequoiadendron giganteum even forming the bonsai should be possible). The alternative could be a garden site only for a few years: The coniferous = coniferous trees are in their youth very similar to a Christmas tree.

Sequoia sempervirens

Coast redwoods are the "tallest trees in the world" with the "California Redwoods". They would therefore be suitable only for really extensive parks, but are sensitive to frost and not hardy in most areas of Germany.
There are individual breeding attempts, z. If you are interested in this species, you should consult such specialists before planting / planting in terms of winter hardiness and protection, for example on the friendly Lower Rhine and in the Botanical Garden Berlin.

Video Board: Grow a Giant sequoia From Seed :-).

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