Growing the Perfect Sakura: A Step-by-Step Guide

Sakura, also known as Cherry Blossom, is a stunning and iconic tree that captivates hearts around the world. Many enthusiasts dream of growing their own Sakura tree, but it requires the right knowledge and techniques to achieve success. In this comprehensive guide, we will take you through the process from seed to sapling, ensuring your Sakura seeds blossom into magnificent trees.

Sakura (Cherry Blossom) Seeds Germination

To kickstart the germination process, it is recommended to treat Sakura seeds with scarification and stratification. Scarification weakens the hard outer shell, while stratification mimics the winter season to encourage germination. These steps significantly increase the germination rate of most Sakura seeds.

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Note: The image above is an example of how your order will be delivered.

Scarification Methods

Here are several scarification methods you can try:

  1. Soaking: Soak the seeds in hydrogen peroxide for about 10 minutes. However, this method is the weakest form of scarification and may not be as effective.
  2. Sandpaper: Use sandpaper to wear down the hard outer shell gently.
  3. Filing: File the hard outer shell, which is similar to using sandpaper but can be more aggressive.
  4. Nicking: Slightly nick the seeds with a knife or something sharp.
  5. Breaking Open: This is the most aggressive method, where you break open the hard outer shell with tools like pliers. Take caution not to damage the inner seed during this process.

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Stratification Process

Stratification is the next crucial step in Sakura seed germination. Follow these steps for successful stratification:

Preparation for Stratification:

  • Ziploc bag
  • Moist kitchen paper
  • Plant labels
  • 10% Hydrogen peroxide solution (common bleach) *optional but recommended
  • Sieve
  • Gardening gloves
  • Tweezers
  • Sakura Seeds (available in our garden section)

Steps for Stratification:

  1. Rinse the Sakura seeds gently in a sieve.
  2. (Optional) Soak the seeds in a 10% hydrogen peroxide solution for about 10 minutes. This step helps prevent possible molding but is not mandatory. Use one of the scarification methods mentioned earlier to weaken the hard outer shell.
  3. Using tweezers, transfer the seeds to moist kitchen paper and place them in a labeled ziploc bag. Store the bag in the lower part of a refrigerator (where you usually store vegetables or fruit).
  4. Sprouting usually begins within 2-8 weeks, although certain varieties may take longer. Check for germination weekly and maintain humidity by moisturizing the kitchen paper if necessary.

If you prefer not to use stratification, you can start with the following steps for direct germination or transferring of seedlings after stratification.

Direct Germination or Transferring Seedlings

Preparation:

  • Potting mix, preferably with compost designed for roses mixed with coarse sand for better drainage.
  • Seed tray
  • 10% Hydrogen peroxide solution (common bleach) *optional but recommended
  • Gardening gloves
  • Tweezers
  • Copper-based fungicide
  • Sieve

Steps:

  1. Rinse the Sakura seeds gently in a sieve.
  2. (Optional) Soak the seeds in a 10% hydrogen peroxide solution for about 10 minutes. Use one of the scarification methods mentioned earlier to weaken the hard outer shell.
  3. Using tweezers, sow the seeds on the top layer of your potting mix or seed tray. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil, no more than 2 cm deep.
  4. If you have already treated the seeds with stratification, transfer the seedlings with tweezers and plant them into the soil.
  5. Place the seed tray or pot in a well-lit area, preferably under sunlight as much as possible.
  6. Maintain medium humidity by regularly watering the seeds.
  7. Germination can vary and may take weeks to several months, depending on the variety.
  8. (Optional) Once germination occurs or after transferring seedlings from stratification, use a copper-based fungicide to prevent molding issues. Follow the instructions on the fungicide label for the correct amount and frequency of application.

In addition to the steps above, we would like to share a short video of someone’s experience growing Sakura seeds. In the video, they have used moss, which is an alternative and effective method for growing Sakura.

Notes:

  1. Avoid extreme temperatures when planting the seeds or seedlings. Temperatures below 15 degrees Celsius or above 30 degrees Celsius will likely yield poor results.
  2. Stratification is not necessary for very fresh seeds harvested in-season. However, the germination rate decreases the longer the seeds are stored. If you are unsure about the storage duration, it is highly recommended to perform stratification.

Now that you have all the necessary information and steps, it’s time to embark on your journey to grow your own Sakura tree. With patience and care, you can witness the beauty of Cherry Blossoms blooming in your own backyard.