Brachychiton acerifolius is more commonly known as the Australian Flame Tree and the Illawarra Flame Tree. It is a semideciduous (depending on the growing climate), tropical tree, which produces large, showy, bright-red, bell-shaped flowers. Brachychiton acerifolius is native to the Eastern regions of Australia. It can grow between 45 and 90 feet tall. Plant a brachychiton acerifolius tree where it will have full sun, room to grow and protection from wind.
Place the brachychiton acerifolius seeds into a bowl, or similar container. Pour very hot, to near boiling, water over the seeds until they are just covered. Let them soak in the water for about 24 hours.
Put sterilized seed-raising mix into 4-inch pots or peat pots until they are approximately three-fourths full. Use a small piece of wood to compact the mix in each of the pots. Pour water into each pot so that the top 1-inch layer is well dampened down.
Remove the brachychiton acerifolius seeds from the bowl of water. Put them onto a paper towel and let them dry. Plant two to three brachychiton acerifolius seeds in each of the 4-inch pots or peat pots. Push the brachychiton acerifolius seeds into the soil firmly using the back of a spoon or a piece of wood.
Scatter the seed-raising mix over the brachychiton acerifolius seeds in each of the growing containers. Cover the seeds with no more than ¼ nch of the seed-raising mix. Tamp down the soil lightly, then mist the containers with water until you’re sure they have been well moistened.
Set the pots into a shallow tray, such as a watering tray. Then, transfer the tray into a warm location in your home. Try to keep the temperature for germinating the brachychiton acerifolius seeds between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Under ideal growing temperatures, seedlings should emerge in 2 to 3 weeks.
Move the tray into an area in your home that will provide 6 to 8 hours, or more, of light daily once seeds emerge. Try and provide a temperature between 65 and 75 degrees F. When the brachychiton acerifolius seedlings grow to about 1 inch tall, thin them down to one brachychiton acerifolius seedling per pot. Snip off at the base of the stems, the least hardy appearing seedlings, leaving the most hardly seedling in each pot. Transplant the brachychiton acerifolius seedlings when they have become well established and have several pairs of leaves.
Things You Will Need
- Peat pots or planting cells
- Seed raising mix
- According to the Australian Native Plants Society, it may take as long as five to eight years before a seed-started brachychiton acerifolius tree will bloom.
- Refrain from watering the brachychiton acerifolius during the winter months.
- If reusing 4-inch plastic pots, it's a good idea to sterilize them before using. Soak them in a solution of nine parts bleach to one part water for 30 minutes. Then, rinse the pots off throughly by running hot water over them.