Planting arborvitae seeds is a great way to save money on your hedging or fencing expenses. Arborvitaes are a tall hedge plant that have a natural conical shape, but which can be pruned into other shapes as desired. They are a fast growing shrub which is an advantage if you are trying to create a privacy screen or a fence for your landscaping. Growing arborvitae plants from a seed is time consuming, but once you get the hang of how it is done you will be able to propagate your arborvitae hedge or fence for very little money and very little effort.
Step 1 - Collect Arborvitae Seeds
Collecting arborvitae seeds needs to be done in the fall. This is when the seeds ripen on mature arborvitae plants. To collect the seeds wait until the yellow cones start to open. You will pick these cones.
Step 2 – Process the Arborvitae Seeds
The next step is to place the cones on a brown paper bag and allow them to dry in the sunshine for a few days. This will make collecting arborvitae seeds much easier to do. Once they are dry you will shake the cones and the seeds will fall out.
Step 3 – Store Your Arborvitae Seeds
Store these seeds in an airtight container in the refrigerator over the winter. A plastic tub or a plastic bag will work the best. Try to keep the seeds between 1 and 2 degrees C and try to keep their exposure to moisture down.
Step 4 – Plant Arborvitae Seeds in a Peat Pot
In the spring you will want to germinate your arborvitae seeds in peat pots. You will need to fill each peat pot with an alkaline potting soil. Place one seed in each pot. Place the pots under a growing lamp. This is the best option for starting arborvitae seeds. However, if you live in an area with an early spring, you can also start the seeds outside in your garden.
Step 5 – Transplant Your Seedlings
Once the arborvitae seedlings have sprouted and grown to a few inches tall they will be ready to be transplanted. They should reach this size a few weeks after sprouting. To transplant your seedlings you will want to dig a deep hole and fill it 1/3 of the way with a mixture of alkaline compost and garden soil. Then place your seedling in the hole and hold it upright as you back-fill the hole. Pack down the soil lightly to hold the seedling in place.
Step 6 – Water Your Seedling
After transplanting your seedling you will want to give your arborvitae a healthy dose of water. Really soak the ground around the seedling. Throughout the next year you will want to keep the soil moist, but not muddy.