How to Plant a Pine Tree Seed


There are hundreds of varieties of pine trees, but the vast majority produce seeds in the same way--inside a pine cone. Once the pine cone is mature and turns brown like the bark of a pine tree, the cone will open and the winged seeds will spiral to the ground. Collect seeds that have already fallen to the ground or harvest one or more freshly-opened pine cones and remove the fresh seeds yourself. After that, the planting process begins.

Step 1

Separate the seeds you've collected from the papery wing it is attached to. This is easily done by simply holding the seed between the thumb and forefinger of one hand and gently tugging the wing off with the fingers of your other hand.

Step 2

Fill a small container with water and immerse your seeds. Discard seeds that float and keep any seeds that sink to the bottom.

Step 3

Fill a 6-inch deep growing pot (one with a drainage hole in the bottom) with all-purpose potting soil and moisten the soil well.

Step 4

Place one pine seed into each growing pot. Shove the more pointed end of the seed into the damp potting mix until the top (more rounded end) of the seed is just below the surface of the soil. Sprinkle just a small amount of soil on top of the seed, no more than 1/16 to 1/8 inch of soil

Step 5

Place the pots in a sunny window where they get plenty of sunlight and warmth during the day. Keep the soil damp but not soaking wet. Be patient. It could take two months or more before you see any change in your seeds.

Step 6

Watch for the seed husk to begin bowing up. Pine needles will begin to push the seed husk up and out of the way. Once this process starts, watch very carefully to make sure the seed husk does not become stuck and kill your tiny tree. If the seed husk takes more than three days to fall off, hold your tiny plant gently between your fingers and carefully rub the seed husk until it falls off, allowing the pine needles trapped within to straighten.

Step 7

Turn the pot with your growing tree every day since your tree will try to turn toward the light of the window. Turning the pot helps keep the tree growing straight.

Step 8

Re-pot your tiny tree two weeks after the seed husk falls off. Fill a 1-gallon container with all-purpose potting soil and carefully place your tree into this pot, making certain that you do not damage the roots of your tree while you are transplanting it. Water and keep the soil damp but not soggy. Your 1-gallon container can be placed outside in a sunny location. Allow your tree to grow in this container for at least one year before transplanting to the yard or garden.

Things You'll Need

  • Small container
  • Water
  • 6-inch deep growing pot with drainage hole
  • All-purpose potting soil


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Keywords: plant pine seed, grow pine tree, start pine seed

About this Author

Larry Parr has been a full-time professional freelance writer for more than 30 years. For 25 years he wrote cartoons for TV, everything from SMURFS to SPIDER-MAN.