How to Plant a Catalpa Tree Seed


The catalpa tree is native to North America. It is prized as a lovely ornamental tree for its pretty white flowers, large leaves and interesting seedpods. Catalpa trees can grow up to 60 feet tall with a 30-foot spread, and the northern variety is hardy from USDA zones 4 to 8. Planting a catalpa tree from a seed is one of the best ways to acquire this striking tree as the seeds germinate quite readily.

Step 1

Place the catalpa tree seed in a little pot filled with moist sand. Bury the seed to a depth of 1 inch. Place the pot inside a plastic bag and seal it. Place the bag inside a refrigerator for two to three months.

Step 2

Choose a place in your yard to plant the catalpa tree seed. They like full sun, although they can handle partial shade. Catalpa trees can handle any type of soil. Clear the area of weeds and rocks before you plant the catalpa tree seed.

Step 3

Plant the catalpa tree seed outside in the spring once the weather has warmed to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Dig a 1-inch deep hole. Remove the catalpa tree seed from the sand and place it in the hole. Cover the hole with soil.

Step 4

Water the catalpa tree seed until the soil is moist. The tree should sprout in a few weeks.

Tips and Warnings

  • Catalpa trees are invasive in some parts for the U.S. Do not plant them if they are invasive in your area.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic bag
  • Pot
  • Sand
  • Refrigerator


  • Catalpa
  • Plant a seed, get a tree
  • Propagation of the Northern Catalpa Tree: Catalpa speciosa

Who Can Help

  • The Catalpa Tree
Keywords: catalpa tree from seed, catalpa tree seed, catalpa tree

About this Author

Hollan Johnson is a freelance writer for many online publications including Garden Guides and eHow. She is also a contributing editor for Brighthub. She has been writing freelance for over a year and her focus' are travel, gardening, sewing, and Mac computers. Prior to freelance writing, Hollan taught English in Japan. She has a B.A. in linguistics from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada.