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How to Plant Ginkgo Seeds

The ginkgo tree is also referred to as the maidenhair tree. It is indigenous to North America and eastern China and is recognized by its fan-shaped leaves, which turn golden yellow in the fall. It can grow 100 feet tall and 40 feet wide. Ginkgo trees can be propagated from seed.

Chip or file off a small section on each ginkgo seed to speed germination.

Place the chipped ginkgo seeds into a bowl of warm water and soak them for 24 hours. Discard any floating seeds, since it is unlikely they will germinate.

Place 1 cup of peat moss into a resealable plastic bag. Add 2 to 3 tbsp. of water to moisten the peat moss, then shake the bag gently.

Place five to six ginkgo seeds in the bag, then shake it gently and seal it.

Place the bag where the temperature will stay between 60 and 70 degrees F. Check the bag every day and spritz the peat moss with water to keep it moist. Germination should begin in two to three weeks.

Sterilize 4-inch pots by rinsing them in a solution of 1 cup bleach to 9 cups water. Make sure they’re thoroughly dry before proceeding.

Remove the seeds from the bag once they have sprouted but before they form leaves. Re-pot them in the 4-inch pots.

Fill the pots with a sterilized potting mix that contains sand. Push two or three of the ginkgo seeds into the soil and cover them with no more than 1/2 inch of the potting mix.

Place the pot in an area that will receive eight to 10 hours of indirect sunlight each day. The temperature should be 60 to 65 degrees F. Keep the seeds moist but not drenched.

Once you ginkgo seedlings are 4 to 5 inches tall, you can leave them in the pot and grow them as bonsai-type plants, transplant them into larger pots, or plant them in your garden.


The Arbor Day Foundation suggests staking young ginkgo trees to help them grow straight.

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