How to Germinate an African Tulip Tree


The African tulip tree is a flowering tree native to tropical Africa. In several of the world's equatorial regions, such as the state of Hawaii, it is considered invasive. Because its seeds germinate very quickly and easily, the tree has a tendency to take over abandoned agricultural lands. The African tulip tree will bloom in the winter with huge bell-shaped orange flowers and can grow to 60 feet. The tree is hardy in USDA zones 10 and 11.

Step 1

Pour the potting mix into the seed starting tray to within 1 inch of the top.

Step 2

Water the soil well, mixing it to ensure uniform moisture, and allow the water to drain from the bottom.

Step 3

Scatter the seeds on the surface of the planting mix, but do not cover them with soil.

Step 4

Cover the starting tray with plastic wrap and place it in a sunny area that has temperatures between 75 and 85 degrees. Your seeds can start sprouting within two days. Remove the plastic wrap when the seeds have sprouted.

Step 5

Plant the African tulip tree in an area that gets all-day sun when the weather is warm and it has at least three sets of leaves. There are no special soil requirements for the African tulip tree other than that the soil be well-draining.

Tips and Warnings

  • The branches of the mature African tulip tree are brittle and weak and will break off the tree as they age. If you live in an area that gets high winds, plant your tree well away from the house.

Things You'll Need

  • Seed starting tray
  • Seed starting soil mix
  • Potting mix
  • Water
  • Plastic wrap


  • University of Florida
  • University of Georgia

Who Can Help

  • Floridata
Keywords: germinate african tulip tree, fountain tree, growing tropical trees

About this Author

Victoria Hunter, a former broadcaster and real estate agent, has provided audio and written services to both small businesses and large corporations. Hunter is a freelance writer specializing in the real estate industry. She devotes her spare time to her other passions: gardening and cooking. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.