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How to Grow Redwoods From Seeds

The redwood tree (Sequoia sempervirens) is an evergreen that grows in zones 4 through 9, and 14 to 24. It is indigenous to the coastal regions of California as far south as Monterey, and all the way into Southern Oregon. Considered a fast growing tree (3 to 5 feet per year) Sunset Garden Book states it is one of the world's tallest trees and the most famous tree in the West.

Growing Seedlings

Fill up 4-inch pots or peat pots with a mixture of 1/2 compost and 1/2 potting mix. Press down the soil until it's well packed, and water each pot just enough to saturate the soil.

Push 20 or 30 redwood seeds into the soil in each pot. (Germination rate for redwood seeds can be very low; typically 5%.) Spritz the pots with water, and cover the seeds with no more than a light layer of soil, approximately 1/16 of an inch.

Place a sheet of plastic wrap over each of the pots. Make sure to poke several holes in the wrap beforehand.

Put the pots in a light filled location in your home. Try to maintain a warm temperature for the seeds (approximately 65 to 70 degrees F).

Spritz the surface of the soil in each pot every day. Germination time for redwoods varies from 5 to 7 days to several months, depending on growing conditions.

Once your redwoods seeds have sprouted, remove the plastic wrap. Place the seedlings in a light filled area in your home, but keep them out of direct sunlight. Mist the sprouts daily with water. Do not transplant the seedlings until they are well established and have grown to approximately 5 inches in height.

Transplanting Redwood Seedlings

Sunset Garden Book recommends digging a hole which is 3 feet deep and 1 1/2 feet wide and mixing in 1 pound of iron sulfate and 2 cubic feet of cow manure to the soil you just removed.

Place the mixed soil back in the hole, water until saturated, then let drain until soil is dry.

Dig a hole 2 inches wider and deeper than your planting pot.

Remove a redwood tree from its pot by tapping on the edge of the pot; set the pot aside. If growing from a peat pot, place the entire peat pot into the hole. Do not remove the layer of peat.

Place the redwood into the hole and push in all the soil around the tree, packing it down gently. Make a 2-inch high berm of dirt (for watering) around the tree approximately 10 to 12 inches out from the base and water thoroughly.


The United States Department of Forestry suggest to improve germination rate on redwoods seeds, to soak them in water overnight.

Redwood trees require an abundance of space to grow, they prefer full sun to partial shade and a lot of moisture. So choose an area in your garden which will provide an appropriate growing environment for a redwood tree.

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