How to Plant Magnolia Seeds


Magnolia trees can be propagated from cuttings and by grafting, but they can also be grown from seed. The color of the new tree's flowers may be different from the flowers that produced the seed due to genetic variations during pollination.

Step 1

Gather fresh magnolia seedpods. Seeds that are too old won't germinate.

Step 2

Remove the red seeds from the pods either just before or just after the pods burst open.

Step 3

Remove the red coating by soaking the seeds in a container of water for a few days. If the seeds float, they are too old. Only use the seeds that sink to the bottom.

Step 4

Squeeze the hard seeds out of the red coating, then wash the seeds with water and dish soap. The oily coating will prevent water from reaching the seeds.

Step 5

Mix a germinating medium of 2 parts peat moss, 1 part loam and 1 part sand. Place the mixture in a sprouting tray.

Step 6

Plant the seeds twice as deep as they are wide, then water them. Check the soil frequently to make sure the soil hasn't dried out. The soil should be moist, but not wet.

Step 7

Cover the planting with about 1/2 inch of compost.

Step 8

Cover the tray with plastic wrap to maintain humidity levels, then place the tray in a warm, dark place. The seeds should germinate in about four weeks.

Step 9

Allow the seedlings to grow for four or five weeks before re-potting them in individual pots. As they grow, slowly expose them to progressively more sun. Start with an hour a day after they have sprouted for a couple of days, then increase the time by 30 to 60 minutes per day.

Things You'll Need

  • Magnolia seedpods
  • Dish soap
  • Sprouting trays
  • Peat moss
  • Loamy soil
  • Sand
  • Plastic wrap
  • Pots


  • Magnolia Seedpods
  • Magnolia Seed Germination
  • How to Grow a Magnolia Tree

Who Can Help

  • Magnolia Questions and Answers
Keywords: magnolia trees, magnolia propagation, magnolia seeds

About this Author

Christopher Earle is a freelance writer based in Denver, Colo. He has been writing since 1987 and has written for NPR, The Associated Press, the Boeing Company, Ford New Holland, Microsoft, Active Voice, RAHCO International and Umax Data Systems. He studied creative writing at Mankato State University in Minnesota.