Germination of Acacia

Overview

Acacia, also known as wattles, are a family of woody plants with members ranging from low, thorny shrubs to full trees. Of the 1200 acacia species, 900 live in Australia where they thrive in a range of habitats from dry range land to tropical forests and maritime climates. Acacia plants produce seeds encased in a pod in the mid to late summer. The seeds have a hard, shiny coat that must undergo a stratification process to damage the seed coat and allow moisture to penetrate the seed and stimulate germination.

Step 1

Put the seeds into a water-proof, heat-proof container; metal or ceramic works well. Pour boiling water over the seeds and let the seeds stand in the cooling water for 12 to 24 hours. Alternately, rub the seeds between two pieces of coarse sand paper to break damage the seed coat before planting.

Step 2

Place the seeds between damp paper towels and put them in a sealed container; empty yogurt or plastic take-out containers are ideal. Put the container in a warm, dark place.

Step 3

Check the container every few days and keep the paper towel wet with a light misting of water. When the seeds produce a small, white root, germination has taken place.

Step 4

Fill a seed starting flat with a damp mixture of one-part peat moss and four-parts clean, coarse sand. Place the germinated seeds on top of the damp mixture with the root pointing down and sprinkle a 1/4 inch more of the sand, peat mixture to cover the seeds. Space the seeds 2 inches apart.

Step 5

Place the seeds in a warm, shaded area away from direct sunlight. Mist with water to keep the soil damp. When the seedlings are 2 inches tall, or tall enough to handle without damaging, transplant them into individual 2-inch pots.

Things You'll Need

  • Metal or ceramic cup
  • Boiling water
  • Plastic container
  • Paper towel
  • Sand
  • Peat moss
  • Seed starting flat

References

  • Australian Government: Seed Germination Data Sheet
  • Australia Plants Society: Acacias for Central Coast Gardens
Keywords: stratification, seed germination, growing acacia

About this Author

Eulalia Palomo has been a freelance writer since 2009, with her work appearing on GardenGuides and eHow. She has studied herbal and alternative medicine and worked as a landscape artist and gardener. Palomo holds a Bachelor of Arts in liberal studies from Boston University.