How to Germinate Juniper Seeds

Answer

The genus Juniper, often known as Juniperus, is a member of the Cupressaceae family of plants. These evergreen trees and low-growing shrubs produce fruit that is packed with seeds and leaves that may be green, grey, blue, or yellow. There are a number of juniper cultivars that do well in Sunset’s Climate Zones 1 to 24, and there is a possibility that some of these kinds might also do well in Zones A1 to A3. Growing junipers from seed requires a lot of patience, according to Penn State University. Juniper seeds have a double dormancy, which means that both the seed coat and the inner tissue need to be changed before the seeds can germinate. Juniper seeds also need to be scarified and then stratified before they can grow.

  1. 1. Collect Fresh Berries

    In the autumn, you may pick fresh berries off of a juniper tree. Try to avoid choosing unripe fruit and instead gather berries that have a deep blue hue and are unharmed.

  2. 2. Soften the Berries

    To one gallon of water, add one level teaspoon of sodium hydroxide. Put the juniper berries in the solution so that the tough, outer layer may become more pliable. They should be let to soak for one to two days before being rinsed with water and then allowed to dry in the open air.

  3. 3. Remove the Pulp

    In order to separate the pulp from the blue rug juniper seeds, rubbing the juniper berries back and forth over a mesh screen is necessary. Put the seeds in a bowl of water to check which ones can grow into new plants; save the seeds that sink to the bottom of the bowl, but toss out the ones that float since they are not viable and will not produce new plants.

  4. 4. Scarify the Seeds

    After bringing a pot of water to a boil, remove it from the heat immediately. According to advice from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension, you should scarify the blue rug juniper seeds by placing them in the container. When the water has reached room temperature, take the seeds out of the pot and set them aside. You might either use sandpaper to scratch the seed covering or a knife to make small nicks in it.

  5. 5. Keep the Seeds Moist

    Put wet peat moss or sand in the bottom half of a sandwich bag that can be sealed back up. After closing the bag, give it a little shake to distribute the seeds evenly. Put the bag in a warm place, such the top of the refrigerator, where the temperature will be between 68 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Check the medium at regular intervals and spritz it with water from a spray bottle in order to maintain a constant level of wetness. The length of time needed for thermal stratification might range anywhere from 60 to 120 days, depending on the type of juniper being discussed.

  6. 6. Refrigerate the Seeds

    Take the bag containing the sandwiches and put it in the fridge at a temperature of 41 degrees Fahrenheit. If necessary, moisten either the peat moss or the sand. The length of time needed for cold stratification might range anywhere from 90 to 120 days, depending on the kind of juniper.

  7. 7. Use a Seed Tray

    You may use damp peat moss or sand to fill a seed-raising tray all the way up to within half an inch of the top. Make sure the medium is compacted and hard in the tray, and maintain a consistent level of moisture in it during the germination process. Plant the seeds of the blue rug juniper at a depth that is proportional to their diameter. To help the soil keep its moisture longer and better, stretch plastic wrap over the tray.

  8. 8. Provide Direct Sunlight

    Put the seed-starting tray in a warm spot that is out of the sun’s glare. After the seeds have germinated, put the tray in a window that gets plenty of sunlight so the seedlings can develop. When the seedlings have reached the size where they can be handled easily, either transplant them into separate pots or wait until the spring, after the last frost date in your location, to transplant them outdoors.

    Things You Will Need

    • Sodium hydroxide

    • Mesh screen

    • Pot

    • Sandpaper or knife

    • Sandwich bag

    • Peat moss or sand

    • Spray bottle

    • Seed-raising tray

    • Plastic wrap

    Tip

    Do some research on the cultivation practises required for the juniper species you want to cultivate. Germination times and different techniques of stratification are different for each variety.