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How to Germinate Italian Cypress Seeds

Person planting a tree
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Italian cypress, also referred to as Mediterranean cypress, are indigenous trees to Asia and Southern Europe. They are hardy in USDA zones 8 to 10. Some varieties of Italian cypress may be recognized by their slender, pencil-like growth that reaches heights of up to 80 feet, but rarely are more than approximately 8 feet in diameter. Plant Italian cypress in a sun-filled location, and with good drainage and fertile soil. Italian cypress will grow about 2 feet a year.

Set the Italian cypress seeds into a bowl of water to soak for approximately 24 hours.

Put approximately 1 cup of peat moss into a zip-top bag. Pour in 2 to 3 tsp. of water into the bag, then add the Italian cypress tree seeds to the contents of the bag. Squeeze out any excess air from the bag as you seal it closed.

Put the bag containing the Italian cypress tree seeds into a cold location. The temperature needs to be between 35 and 40 degrees F. Leave the bag in the cold location for 30 days. Check on the contents of the bag every 3 to 4 days to make sure the peat moss remains moist, but not sodden wet. Spritz the peat moss with water as needed.

Remove the bag from their cold storage location. Put seed-starting compost into 4-inch pots. Fill to about 1/2 inch from the rim. Tamp down the soil well. Pour water into each of the pots until the soil is visibly well dampened.

Plant two to three Italian cypress seeds per 4-inch pot. Press them into the soil to a depth of between 1/8 and 1/16 inch using the back of a spoon. Sprinkle a 1/8- to 1/16-inch layer of seed-starting compost over the seeds.

Set the 4-inch pots into a watering tray, or similar container. Set the tray in a warm, brightly lit area. Try to provide a temperature between 65 and 70 degrees F. Keep the tray away from direct sunlight, but try and provide about 6 to 8 hours of light daily. The soil in the 4-inch pots needs to be kept on the moist side; add water to the tray as needed. Germination of Italian cypress seeds can take as long as 1 to 2 months.

Transplant the Italian cypress once they reach a manageable size, about 3 to 4 inches.

Tip

According to floridata.com, the conical shape of some varieties of Italian cypress trees will develop only in growing regions that provide a cool winter (generally winters where the temperatures will drop below 65 degrees F).

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