Native to Africa and Australia, acacia is a flowering tree in the legume family, a relative of beans and peas. Depending upon where the trees originate, they can have large thorns, and all acacia bear their seeds in large pods. In landscapes, popular varieties are the silver wattle (Acacia dealbata) and green wattle (Acacia decurrens), the latter with edible flowers. Acacia is easy to grow from seed but the seed must be prepared prior to planting.
Nick a small piece of the acacia seed coat, using the knife, and place the seeds into a bowl of water. Allow the seeds to soak for 24 hours. Discard any seeds that float to the surface of the water.
Moisten the cotton squares and place them in the bottom of a lidded container. Place one seed on top of each square. Place the lid on the container and place it in a completely dark area. Check the seeds daily for germination and to moisten the cotton squares if necessary. When you see a white fiber-like growth protruding from the seed (the radicle) plant it immediately.
Fill planting pots with equal parts of moist compost, potting mix and pine bark. Create a slight indentation in the top for each seed. Place the seed, radicle pointing down, onto the soil and cover it lightly with soil.
Place the seedlings in an area where they will be protected from wind and where they will receive morning sun and afternoon shade. If temperatures are below 85 degrees Fahrenheit, allow the acacia seedlings one hour of afternoon sun. Keep the soil moist, not soggy, at all times.
Transplant the seedlings into the next largest pot, using the same type of soil mixture, when they are 3 inches tall. Place them back in the same spot and keep the soil moist. Watch the bottom of the pot and when you see roots, it is time to transplant again, into the next size larger pot. Allow the acacia to remain protected over the first winter and plant them into the landscape in early summer.