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Japanese Maple Seeds

Soak the seeds in warm water for 2 days.
Place soaked seeds in a ziplock bag, mixed with moist vermiculite or peat moss.
Store zip bag in salad comparment of a refrigerator for 3 months. Check occasionally and pot up any seed that germinates early .
Sow seeds at 1/4" deep in a small pot of sterile mixture. Keep mixture moist, not soaking wet. Keep pot at 20°C to 24°C/. Germination usually occurs in 2-3 months, but may be longer, depending on the degree of unbroken dormancy.


  Growing Medium

When starting seeds indoors, always use a soilless, pre-mixed growing medium. Such mixes are generally made up of peat, perlite and vermiculite along with some nutrients. These mixes are for the most part free from disease, insects and weed seeds. It is recommended that you spray your seeds or growing medium with a fungicide product such as "No-Damp" to prevent "Damping Off" disease on your seedlings. Damping off is a disease caused by several different fungi that rot the seeds during germination or kill the seedlings after emergence.

  Growing Medium

 Sowing Seeds

  Large seeds can be seeded directly into the pot where they will grow until transplanting outdoors. For most small seeds it is best to simply scatter the seed thinly over the surface of the soil and then cover with an appropriate amount of soil  (which is usually two or three times the thickness of the seed). Very fine seeds (smaller than a grain of sand) only need to be left on the soil surface and not covered. After germination the tiny seedlings can be separated and transplanted into larger containers.

 Soil Temperature

  Most seeds require a warm soil temperature to initiate germination. Generally, seeds germinate best at a soil temperature of 64-72 F (18-22 C). Keeping the temperature within this range can be hard, especially for seeds which take several days or even weeks to germinate. Air temperature is generally warmer that the soil temperature, and is not sufficient enough to warm the soil. Bottom heat from specially designed mats or cables are ideal but you can also place your containers on top of the fridge, or radiator, etc.

 Soil Moisture

When sowing seeds inside, soil moisture is equally as important as temperature. Seeds need water to help soften the seed coat and stimulate the root development. If your soil is allowed to dry, the germination will be delayed or, in most cases, ended. To keep the soil moist, mix the growing medium with water, enough so that if a handful is squeezed, a small amount of water will run out. After mixing, sow your seeds according to directions and then cover the containers with clear plastic. Those "mini-greenhouse" units that come with clear domes and holding trays are useful. You can also use sealed bags or plastic wrap to keep your medium from drying out. If your medium begins to dry out too fast, use a water bottle which will provide a fine mist or watering can with a gentle nozzle, as to not disturb the seeds. After germination, be sure to remove the plastic and place plants under grow lights or in another bright light locati

Lighting for your seedlings is extremely important. Without sufficient light, your young plants will become tall or "leggy", which will make them weak and easy to break. Ideally, you should use adjustable fluorescent lights when growing plants indoors. Have your light suspended from the ceiling, or use a table top or shelf style of lighting stand to hang over the seedlings. Your lights and the plants must be only 3-4" from the lights at all times for proper growth. You should keep your lights on for about 16 hours a day - (use an automatic timer to turn on and off your lights). If you don't have artificial lights, you should grow in a bright south facing window


Watering young seedlings can be a tricky job as you do not want your medium to dry out but you don't want it too wet either. Usually when the top of the soil appears dry, you should water. Use a mister or a fine stream watering can to water seedlings. Whenever possible , water your seedlings from below to help to prevent "Damping Off" disease. To water from below, place your containers in a tray filled with water until the soil becomes moist (not soggy) and then remove.


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