The monkey puzzle (Araucaria araucana) is an odd-looking, slow-growing, coniferous tree that will eventually reach a height of 30 feet with a 15-foot spread. The tree has pointed, sharp leaves and cones that can weigh up to several pounds. Dating back to prehistoric times, monkey puzzle trees can live over 1,000 years, according to Dr. T. Ombrello of the Union County College biology department. Native to the Andes, the monkey puzzle tree is hardy to USDA Zones 6 and 7.
Pour seed starting mix into a seeding tray or planting pot and moisten it with water until it is uniformly wet. Allow the tray or pot to drain completely.
Push the pointed end of the seed three-fourths of the way into the soil, with the remaining one-fourth of it above the soil. Place the tray or pot in a shady area (out of direct sun), indoors, where the temperature remains at 60 degrees F. The monkey puzzle tree seeds will germinate within two months.
Transplant the monkey puzzle seedlings into individual pots, filled with moist potting mix, when they have their third set of leaves. Keep the soil moist at all times. Transplant the seedlings into their permanent locations when they reach 4 to 6 inches in height.