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How to Plant Longleaf Pine Seeds

By Joshua Duvauchelle ; Updated September 21, 2017

Landscapers like longleaf pine trees (Pinus palustris) for their hardy nature and dense foliage. In the wild, the pines scatter their seeds in the fall months of October or November. Gardeners can mimic this process by scattering seeds in their backyard to plant longleaf pine seeds. Obtain seeds from a regional nursery for pine seeds that will thrive best in your area. Once sown, longleaf pines need little maintenance other than keeping weeds at bay until they're several feet tall.

Choose a growing site. Longleaf pine seeds need full sun and moist, well-drained soil that is free of other vegetation. The future seedlings are fragile and cannot compete with weeds or grasses.

Remove all surface vegetation. The University of Florida suggests controlled burning to quickly remove all plants--consult your municipality for laws and regulations concerning fires for landscaping purposes--or administering a systemic herbicide such as glyphosate. If using herbicides, spray them in August so the chemical has time to dissipate before planting the pine seeds.

Rake the soil surface to collect and remove all surface debris, such as leaves, rocks and sticks. The dirt must be bare.

Plant the longleaf pine seeds as soon as the maximum outdoor temperature drops lower than 85 degrees F. Drop 3 to 5 seeds onto the surface in a single spot; burying or raking is not needed. If you want to grow more than one pine tree, separate each planting spot by at least 2 feet. Not all of the seeds will germinate, and spots that have more than one tree can be thinned out after a couple years, according to the University of Florida.


Things You Will Need

  • Longleaf pine seeds
  • Herbicide
  • Rake


  • The longleaf pine seeds will typically germinate within a week.


  • Only buy longleaf pine seeds from a reputable nursery dealer who has kept the seeds at below-freezing temperatures. Seeds that were not stored properly may not germinate.

About the Author


Joshua Duvauchelle is a certified personal trainer and health journalist, relationships expert and gardening specialist. His articles and advice have appeared in dozens of magazines, including exercise workouts in Shape, relationship guides for Alive and lifestyle tips for Lifehacker. In his spare time, he enjoys yoga and urban patio gardening.