Growing Coastal Redwood from seed

I have this weird thing about growing trees from seeds. Typical like to grow fruit trees, but there is something cool about growing the largest trees in the world. Since there is no nursery in Georgia as I know that sells Coastal Redwood I started from seed. Plus I think it makes it slightly more personal to get a tree started from seed. If you do want to skip the germinating process and get a year old tree they sell them online.

Coastal Redwood  trees grow naturally in California. They are apart of the Sequoia genus and cypress family. Other names are giant redwood and California redwood .They can live up to 1800 years and reach 380 feet (tallest).

This is my second attempt to grow these trees. Last year I tried to grow Gaint Sequoia and Coastal Redwood. The Coastal Redwood was easier for me, because it is required to put the Gaint Sequia seeds in a fridge for like a month, then after that they are fairly slow growing. I was pretty impressed the growth rate of the Coastal Redwood. Last year they died on me because I place them outside too early, too much water, and too much fertilizer. I did have one lived that got a good size ( almost a foot tall and wide), but the lawn mower cut it down 3 times. The third time the lawn mower hit it died on me.

Set Up

Coastal Redwood Seeds

I order the Coastal Redwood seeds online. They are fairly cheap at around 4 dollars for 20 seeds. Seeds are suprising small for such a large tree.

The only requirement for these seeds to germinate is dirt and moisture.  Light at first is not a requirement so I place them under my bed till at least one germinated.  I used a storage bin that I bought at Wal-Mart to hold the pots and trap any extra water. I think it is important to use some good store bought dirt for this. My previous experience with other plants its worth springing for some good dirty and not some dirt in the yard.I used Miracle-Gro to grow my Coastal Redwoods.  I am sure there is some other dirt that is better for these, but I am too lazy to research that and they seem to do fine in it. I water them roughly once a week, or when the soil feels like it is getting dry

Please excuse the filthy container and the match in there, I was using it for comparison.

After roughly 3 weeks.

I planted the Redwoods early December 2010 and now it is early January. I have one that has is has popped out of the soil and another one that is extremely close. When I planted them I put 2 seeds in per spot, so i have a roughly 22 seeds planted here. Based on that, 10 percent germinated in 3 weeks. Since then I have placed them in the window seal. I will try to add some updated picture in a few weeks.

8 months later

Similar as last year I started off with a handful germinated Coastal Redwoods and ended the summer with only one. The main reason for them dying on me this year (same as last year) was moving them from indoors to outdoors. They seem to really hate the outdoors after being indoors. They will brown after a week of being outdoors. I would suggest to either germinate the seeds outside or easy them outside the best you can. For example put them outdoors for a couple of weeks in a very shaded area that only receives a couple of hours sun daily.
Another suggestion I found out was that they enjoy water a lot. In my experience they are hard to over water and seems to grow faster with more water (within means).
Here is updated photos I took today (9/9/11) of the last standing tree.

Another Update August 13, 2012

Here is an update on my potted Coastal Redwood. There is some brown specks on the leaves and limbs that I have no idea where it came from. I added some  fertilizer to it,  so hope it will help.

May 2013

I have now moved it to a pot 3 times the previous pot. When I removed the tree from the pot there was a good bundle of root at the bottom. Now the roots have plenty of room to spread out. I did noticed there appears to be some smaller trees around the base. Not sure if they are actually individual trees or part of the main tree. I will probably add mulch to the pot for aesthetics. The tree is leaning pretty bad but I think that is due to the tree leaning toward the sun and having little light in the backyard. I am going to try to straighten up the tree. Stay tuned for updates.

5 responses to “Growing Coastal Redwood from seed

  1. Richard Clingerman

    Hey there: I am taking my seeds out if the fridge tomorrow and was wondering how your redwood tree is doing these days in Georgia there. Another update in our near future? I had great tree that propagated itself in a large pot accidentally on my brother in-law’s shady back deck in San Francisco. He kept it for two years then moved to New Jersey and I inherited it. I kept it for two more years and then I moved to New Jersey myself six months ago. Unfortunately, there was no way I could carry it with me so I left it behind in a nice moist shady corner of a home I was renting in Oakland. It was doing fantastically well when I saw it on a visit last month. I had similar experiences with watering, the light, and etc. Anyhow, I want another one and feel the same as you about it and was just wondering how yours was doing. Thanks for the interesting little story. RC

  2. admin

    Mine is still doing great. I hope to get a bigger pot for it within a week or 2 then I will update the post. Thanks for the story and if you send me a photo of your tree I will add it to the site.

  3. Keith Savage

    Hey Nathan!

    I guess great minds think alike- while researching online the best varieties of tropicals to grow here in Georgia, I found redwood seeds for sale. I thought, wow, wouldn’t it be cool to grow the largest tree in the world down here on my uncle’s 130 acre timber farm? I just got my seeds today in the mail and I’m looking for advice on germination and growing. Thanks a bunch for your blog.


  4. Atlanta Mafia

    Hey! I’m glad to see you doing this with a redwood in Georgia. I wanted you to know that I just bought my neighbor’s house here in Atlanta. The reason that I a telling you that is because the lot this house is on has a 35 plus year old Redwood on the property that I estimate to be about 100ft tall. It has a diameter at the base of around 3 1/2 feet so it growing tall in the open area that it sits on. So, I now have the biggest Redwood in the ATL. I can tell you that from observing this tree for almost 20 years the key to having this tree in Georgia is to plant it in a low area that retains water between rain falls. Wikipeadia says that they do best in a low valley or a gulley and that is kinda what is present for this tree. Otherwise, the only thing to worry about is if the temperature falls below about -20′F which does not happen very much at all in Georgia. Good Luck, Chris

  5. admin

    That is so awesome! I never seen any other redwood in Georgia, so it is cool to know there is one doing well… Yeah I heard they need a lot of water which makes sense. I will keep that in mind when I plant mine when ever I move. Thanks

    If you could email me some pictures I would post them on the page (greenbizkit33 [at] ).

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