The monkey puzzle (Araucaria araucana) is also known as the Chilean pine. A conifer, it bears a resemblance, however slight, to its more comely cousins. Thorn-like needles encircle each of the tree's branches. It looks primitive, and it is: fossil records show evidence of the monkey tree tracing back to the age of dinosaurs. Monkey tree seeds are a bit slow to germinate. Start the seeds in February.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Seed starting soil
- Germination flat
- 10 to 15 cm (4 to 6 inches) planting pots
- Potting soil
Pour the seed starting soil mix, available at gardening centres, into the germination flat, to within 6.3 mm (1/4 inch) of the rim. Pour water over it, stirring it until it is completely wet. Set it aside for one hour to completely drain.
Plant the seed, pointed end down, 6.3 mm (1/4-inch) deep. Cover it with soil.
Set the pot in a bright room where the temperature remains between 14.4 and 15.6 degrees Celsius (58 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit). Keep the pot out of direct sunlight and the soil moist at all times. The monkey tree seed should sprout within eight weeks.
Tips and warnings
- When the seedlings have three sets of leaves, carefully remove them from the flat and plant them in individual pots, filled with equal parts of potting soil and perlite. Continue to keep the soil moist, not soggy.
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