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HOW EXCITING! You've ordered your seeds and they're on their way! Here is some handy information for you...
FOR YOUR INFORMATION - Seeds were shipped still attached to the cone "scale". The scale is just one of the individual parts that make up the female seed pod on the tree. Each scale was individually checked to ensure there was a seed attached before shipping, however it is not unusual that the seeds detach during the shipping process. Just so you know, this is the difference...
GERMINATION INSTRUCTIONS - Many people ask if instructions are included on how to germinate the seeds. The answer is NO, we do not include instructions and here is the reason why. There are a LOT of conflicting accounts 'out there' on what people have done to get their seeds to germinate. Frankly, there just isn't a tried and true method available that guarantees the seeds will come up.
For instance, some folks report putting their seeds through stratification first, refrigerating them at cool temps for several weeks before planting. Whether this is actually necessary is debatable, and the exact temperatures are not known. We do know that the seeds can survive temps as low as -15C though, as we've spoken to people who have had the seeds come up in the Spring after enduring outside winter temperatures that low. Would we put the seeds through those temperatures on purpose though? NO! It's important to try and remember the conditions where the trees were found growing. If you decide to put the seeds through stratification, we'd suggest a maximum low of freezing (0C-32F), or even slightly warmer. This would still give the seeds a cooling period without endangering them.
Also commonly reported is soaking the seeds in water for 24-48 hours before planting them. Some even go as far as claiming that the 'good seeds' will sink to the bottom during this process, while the 'bad seeds' will remain floating. We've tried this process in the past and indeed some seeds sink while a few remained floating. Whether or not that determines the viability of the seeds though we can not confirm. One thing we can tell you though is that if you decide to soak the seeds, WATCH THE WATER! It quickly becomes cloudy and rather polluted looking and we found ourselves changing it a few times before the soaking period was over because we were afraid they might begin to rot!
Another common process reported is to keep the seeds at a constant temperature. The temperatures reported though are between 20 degrees and 28 degrees Celsius (68 - 82 F), which is quite a difference! Perhaps keeping them somewhere in the middle would be advantageous, but this is far from conclusive as it is common to hear reports of seeds sprouting that haven't been kept at ANY monitored temperature.
As for the soil medium used, this is yet another shady area. Some report germinating the seeds in sand, others in peat moss, and everywhere in between the two! Our own thoughts on this would be to ensure you use a 'sterilized' potting soil mixture, just to ensure there is no dangerous bacteria. It also holds moisture better than many other mediums.
One thing that DOES seem to be commonly reported is the light conditions. From what we've heard and read online, most people report better success with the seeds getting 12 hours of light per day.
Under PERFECT conditions (whatever that may be) the seeds can begin germinating in as little as 28 days, (so we have read on line). Probably a more realistic time frame would be 6-8 weeks. That being said, if they do not come up 'as scheduled', don't give up on them! It is NOT uncommon to hear that folks have given up on their seeds, taken the soil outside and dumped it in their gardens and then have had them come up in the Spring! With all that has been said on this page about the things people do to get their seeds to germinate, it is VERY COMMON to hear reports of seeds coming up quite accidentally and by surprise! We have personally heard from several wollemi owners that they've had their seeds fall on the ground, or into the planter, and have completely ignored them and done nothing special with them at all and then were delighted to find 'babies' popping up out of the soil several months later!
There are a couple of interesting videos about germinating seeds located on THIS PAGE we made a couple of years ago. As mentioned on the page, PLEASE DOCUMENT what you decide to do with your seeds!
We hope you find this information helpful and informative,