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How to Germinate Italian Cypress Seeds

By Jennifer Loucks ; Updated September 21, 2017

The Italian Cypress tree is a tall-growing, cylinder evergreen that reaches a height of 40 to 60 feet. The tree grows quickly and produces a small cone that can be collected for seed propagation. Plant established one-year-old Italian Cypress seedlings in an outdoor location that has well-draining soil and full sunlight conditions. The trees are drought tolerant, when the condition exists, but require regular watering to become established after planting.

Collect Italian Cypress seed cones before they fall from the tree in fall. Cones that have fallen have a reduced chance of germinating. Break the cones apart and separate the seeds from the cone debris.

Soak the seeds in warm water for 24 hours as part of the scarification process. Remove the seeds from the water and place them on a damp paper towel. Place the seeds and towel in a sealed plastic bag.

Stratify the seeds by placing the plastic bag in a refrigerator or cold location for 30 days. This will mimic a cold winter dormant season so the seed begins the germination process.

Prepare a seed starting tray by filling it with an even mixture of sterile peat moss and perlite. Dampen the soil with water prior to sowing the seeds. Sow each seed by placing it on the soil and lightly covering it with the soil mixture at a depth of one-quarter inch.

Cover the seed starting tray with a clear plastic cover and place it in a cool location and well-ventilated area with indirect sunlight. Keep the soil moist, but not wet, until the seeds have germinated and sprouts have appeared. Remove the cover daily to refresh the air in the tray.

Transplant the seedlings once the roots are established and the seedlings are strong enough to be handled. Plant each seedling in an individual three-inch plastic planting container filled with sterile potting soil.

Grow the seedlings in a pot for the first year. Transplant the seedlings to an outdoor growing location in the spring after they are one year in age or older.


Things You Will Need

  • Italian Cypress seed
  • Warm water
  • Bowl
  • Paper towel
  • Plastic zipper bag
  • Refrigerator
  • Seed starting tray
  • Sterile peat moss
  • Perlite
  • Clear plastic cover
  • 3-inch plastic potting container


  • Italian Cypress seeds can be sown outdoors in the fall or winter. Stratify the seeds and sow at a depth of 1/16 inch in a location that receives full sunlight. Cover the seeds with a light layer of mulch and water to moisten the soil.

About the Author


Jennifer Loucks has been writing since 1998. She previously worked as a technical writer for a software development company, creating software documentation, help documents and training curriculum. She now writes hobby-based articles on cooking, gardening, sewing and running. Loucks also trains for full marathons, half-marathons and shorter distance running. She holds a Bachelor of Science in animal science and business from University of Wisconsin-River Falls.