How to Plant Seeds From a Ginko Tree


Ginkgo biloba is one of the longest-living species of plants, sometimes living up to 3,000 years. They can also reach significant sizes. Some trees grow trunks over 30 feet in diameter and 150 feet tall. (See Reference 1.) These trees are most famous for producing compounds commonly used in supplements to support memory and other mental abilities. Growing a ginkgo tree from seed is not difficult; it is hardy in USDA zones 4 through 9. Late fall is the best time to acquire seeds from trees, but it is best to hold off on sprouting them until January.

Step 1

Find a local ginkgo tree in the fall. Put on your gloves and pick as many seeds as are desired from the tree. When done, scrape along the ridge of each seed with your (gloved) fingers until you approach the kernel. Be careful not to damage the kernels. If you would prefer to acquire the seeds elsewhere, purchase them from a local or online retailer rather than attempting to use the ginkgo seeds from Asian food stores.

Step 2

Wet the peat moss and knead it, ensuring that it is thoroughly moist, but not dripping. Put about two or three handfuls into the plastic bag, and add four or five seeds.

Step 3

Seal the bag and keep it at room temperature in a visible place. After two to four weeks, the seeds will sprout.

Step 4

Fill the small pots with potting soil that drains well. When the seeds in the bag have produced the beginnings of roots and leaves, transplant them into the pots, covering the seed itself and the roots with soil, but not the leaves. Discard any seeds that did not germinate.

Step 5

Place the pots on a windowsill or another place where they can get plenty of sun. Mist the plants regularly during the first week, and then begin watering them as you would other plants. Keep the soil moist but not soaked.

Step 6

Find a spot outside for the future transplantation of your tree. You will need a location with well-drained soil that provides full sun or at most partial shade. A soil pH of 5.0 to 6.0 is ideal, but ginkgo plants are relatively tolerant of different levels of acidity.

Step 7

Plow the ground deeply in the spring. Add some organic matter such as compost or aged manure, and transplant the seedlings. Water the ground, and continue while the tree is young if you live in a dry area. Within three years you will be able to harvest a few of the tree's leaves for medicinal purposes.

Things You'll Need

  • Gloves
  • Ginkgo seeds
  • Plastic bags (such as Ziplock)
  • Small pots
  • Potting soil
  • Plow or rototiller
  • Organic matter


  • The Ginkgo Pages
  • Ottawa Horticultural Society
  • How to Grow Ginkgo Biloba
Keywords: ginkgo biloba, ginkgo tree, ginkgo seeds

About this Author

Gertrude Elizabeth Greene has been a freelance writer and editor for 10 years.Greene writes about a variety of topics including cooking, culture, nutrition, pets and home maintenance for websites such as eHow, GardenGuides and the Daily Puppy. She holds degrees in both philosophy and psychology.