How to Germinate Brazil Nuts More Quickly

Overview

The Brazil nut tree has become a very important part of the Brazilian economy, even though it originally came from Mexico. Since the Amazonian forests are such an important part of the balanced ecosystem, the Brazil nut serves as an important product to be extracted without ruining the forests. Planting the seedlings is an important step in replacing deforested areas with new trees. Learning how to get the nuts to germinate faster is of prime concern to those involved in this process.

Step 1

Gather the Brazil nuts from the trees just after they fall, to prevent the growth of fungus and the infestation of insects. Typically this is done during the rainy season and the fruits holding the nuts are collected immediately, before the animals can carry them off. Each of these fruits can hold 10-25 nuts.

Step 2

Moisten the nuts after removing them from the fruit and covering them with sand and then adding enough water to moisten the sand, but not soak the nuts. The moistened mixture is stored for 26 weeks at a warm temperature (75 to 80 degrees F). This results in a much higher germination rate as well as a faster germination (compared to the 12- to 15-month natural germination rate).

Step 3

Break the seed coat to remove the embryo of the Brazil nut, by cutting the seed coat around the edges. Treat the embryos with a sulfur fungicide and place them in small planting pots. After they germinate (about 20 days) and become seedlings, plant them outside in soil treated with rock phosphate to encourage fast root growth.

Things You'll Need

  • Brazil nuts
  • Sand (equal to amount of nuts)
  • Plastic resealable bag
  • Planting pots (4-inch)
  • Potting soil
  • Hand shovel
  • Sulfur fungicide
  • Rock phosphate

References

  • The New York Botanical Gardens: The Brazil Nut
  • Moist Storage of Brazil Nuts for Improved Germination
Keywords: Brazil nut, germination seedlings, Amazon Forest

About this Author

Maryland resident Heide Braley is a professional writer who contributes to a variety of websites. She has focused more than 10 years of research on botanical and garden articles and was awarded a membership to the Society of Professional Journalists. Braley has studied at Pennsylvania State University and Villanova University.