How to Handle Cypress Tree Seeds


The cypress tree has been generating a lot of interest as a naturalizing agent for swamps as well as a source of valuable timber. A lot of work is being done to restore the natural cypress swamps native to Louisiana and Florida as well as other states. The seeds need a very specific set of requirements to germinate.

Step 1

Find a spot to plant your seeds where they will be flooded from either rainwater or overflow from rivers or streams. The spot cannot be underwater all the time, however, only for a few weeks at the most. Seeds left underwater for longer than this will rot. You might be able to duplicate the wetlands environment by using a tray filled with highly organic material and kept damp.

Step 2

Bury the seeds as soon as they fall to keep them from drying out. Plant them about 3 inches down so they stay in the moist part of the soil and also to keep them out of the reach of hungry squirrels and birds. Since the seeds drop in the fall, the cooler weather will slow germination time.

Step 3

Submerge your seeds if you used the tray method of planting. Do this by placing netting over the tray to hold the dirt in place and then placing the try underwater in a larger container. Weigh it down with bricks and let it remain like this for three or four weeks before draining.

Step 4

Keep the planting area cleared of other vegetation so seedlings have a chance to grow in the sunlight. Competing plants will crowd them out if they are not able to get a headstart. Once they are 18 inches high, they should be able to hold their own.

Step 5

Reseed the area if the seeds sat for over a year without sprouting since they loose their viability after a year. As some years are drier than others, seedling germination might be hindered by the lack of rain.


  • University of Illinois Extension: The Role of Flooding in Seed Disperal
  • US Forest Service: Taxodium distichum
Keywords: cypress seeds, planting cypress seeds, germinating cypress seeds

About this Author

Based in Maryland, Heidi Braley, currently writes for local and online media outlets. Some of Braley's articles from the last 10 years are in the "Oley Newsletter," "Connections Magazine," GardenGuides and Braley's college life included Penn State University and Villanova University with her passions centered in nutrition and botany.