Growing a Ginkgo Tree from Seeds

What You'll Need
Peat moss
Ziploc bag
Gingko seeds
Bucket or bowl
4-inch container

Gingko seeds can be planted to grow the beautiful Ginkgo biloba tree that is native to China. One of the longest living trees, there are gingko trees in China that are over 2000 years old. The gingko tree was believed to be extinct by many scientists until it was "rediscovered" in Japan in 1691 by a Dutchman. The leaves of the gingko tree are infused like tea to create an herbal supplemental to help with mental astuteness. 

Follow these steps to plant a Gingko tree from seed.

Step 1: Collect or Purchase Gingko Seeds

Seeds can be collected from trees. Wearing gloves, collect seeds and remove the pulpy covering. Store in a ziploc bag in a fridge. You can also purchase seeds at Oriental food stores, some gardening stores, or online. For seeds collected from trees in the fall, wait until at least January to germinate to give the embryo more time to mature. For purchased seeds, wait at least 6 weeks before planting.

Step 2: Germinate Gingko Seeds

Germinating gingko seeds in moistened peat moss will help fight off fungus that can attack germinating seeds. Mix peat moss and water outside (dry peat moss will exude a dirty dust) in a bowl or bucket. You will know it has reached the right mixture when you can form the peat moss into balls. However, you don't want the mixture to be wet enough to drip water when squeezed.

Place several seeds with a couple handfuls of moistened peat moss into a ziploc bag. Press the seeds about 1/4-inch deep. Store at room temperature away from sunlight. Sprouting should begin within a couple weeks.

Step 3: Transplanting Gingko Seedlings to Containers

Line the bottom of containers with newspaper and a thin layer of rocks to help with drainage. Fill with moistened peat moss and plant the germinated seeds after they have produced roots and a first set of leaves. Transplanting is hard on gingkos. Mist daily to help the seedlings with the transition.

Step 4: Transplanting Gingko Trees to the Outdoors

Your seedlings should be ready to transplant outdoors 3 to 4 months after germinating. Gingko trees will not survive long indoors; they should be transplanted outdoors no later than 1 year after germinating. Gingko seedlings can be planted outdoors at any time during the frost-free period. However, avoid transplanting during the hottest part of the summer. If you start germinating in February, by June you should be able to transplant out of doors. Plant in a sunny area and water regularly for the first couple years or until they are established. Staking will help your gingko tree to grow straight as it grows quickly to reach its full height of 100 feet.

Enjoy watching your gingko tree grow about 2 feet a year!