[8/16/16 – See the updated and expanded version: How to grow Japanese black pine from seed]
In my quest to grow Japanese black pine bonsai from seed, I planted some pine seeds earlier this spring. The process is simple. The first step is preparing a shallow pot with bonsai soil. While a number of soils work for growing black pine, I’ve mostly used my regular bonsai mix – lava, pumice, and akadama – covered with a layer of clean sand. I water the soil and poke 1/4″ holes in the sand with a matchstick. Into each hole goes one pine seed.
Placing the seed in the hole with tweezers
I tend to space the seeds over an inch apart so they don’t grow up too close to each other. Even though they’ll only be in this pot for a few months, I want to give them every advantage.
Seeds spaced just over an inch apart
After placing the seeds in the holes, I add a tiny amount of sand to fill the holes and water again. The result looks no different than the starting point.
Seeds planted and watered
After-care depends on climate and local weather. I’ve read that the seeds can be placed in a shady area until they sprout. The concern is that the seedlings will perish if they dry out. No worry of that this year. After two cold months, only a handful have sprouted. If we get a warm week sometime soon, I believe more will pop. If not, I’ll be patient – and try again next year.
Related posts about starting Japanese black pine from seed: