How to Grow Evergreen Trees From Pine Cones

It takes a patient individual to grow an evergreen tree from the seeds in a pine cone. The long germination period, up to four months, takes a great deal of diligence on the part of the grower. Many evergreen trees produce both male and female pine cones. Be sure to take a quick overview of the pine cones, under the same types of evergreens, in the fall months. You will notice there are larger cones, in contrast to the smaller cones. The larger ones are the female pine cones, the ones you want for seeding.

Evergreen seeds grow between the scales of the cone.

Step 1

Collect mature female evergreen pine cones that are brown with open scales. You will notice that each scale of the pine cone contains approximately two seeds. From the outside of the cone, each seed looks like two wings, which are attached to the seed hidden in the cone. In nature, these wings are picked up by the wind to move them a distance away from the original tree.

Step 2

Turn each pine cone upside down and shake the seeds out.

Step 3

Place the seeds into a bowl. Fill the bowl with water. Pick out the seeds that float. These are the ones that are most fertile and the best candidates for planting. Place the seeds you've picked out onto a paper towel to dry. When the evergreen seeds are completely dry, store them in container with a tight lid.

Step 4

Plant one seed in each garden container, in January. Fill each container with potting soil, leaving 1/2 inch clear at the top. Make a hole in the center of the soil with your finger, about 1/4 inch deep. Place the pointed side of the seed upward in the hole. Cover the hole with soil.

Step 5

Place the containers on a tray. Put the tray in an indoor window that receives full sun for most of the day. Spray the soil with water to moisten. Give the soil a water spray each day, but do not over water to a muddy consistency, only moisten. The seeds may take three to four months to germinate.

Step 6

Transplant the seedlings outdoors when they have grown to a minimum of 6 inches.