How to grow a pistachio tree from a seed

Written by bridget kelly
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How to grow a pistachio tree from a seed
Pistachio trees add ornamental interest to the landscape. (red pistachio leaves in autumn image by Richard Paul from Fotolia.com)

The pistachio (Pistacia vera L.) thrives in areas with cool winters and hot summers with low humidity. A slow-growing deciduous tree, it will attain an eventual height of 30 feet with an equal spread. Pistachios, aside from providing us with edible nuts, are highly ornamental trees. Growing pistachio trees from seeds isn't difficult, although germination times vary widely.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Peat moss
  • Plastic sandwich bag
  • Perlite
  • Heat mat
  • Spray bottle
  • Potting soil
  • Coarse sand
  • Planting pots

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Moisten a handful of peat moss until it is dripping. Squeeze the peat moss until most of the water drains from it and it is just slightly moist. You may need to allow it to sit for an hour until it dries a bit.

  2. 2

    Insert the pistachio seed into the peat moss until it is completely enveloped. Place it in the sandwich bag and then into the refrigerator. Allow it to sit for 45 days.

  3. 3

    Combine equal parts of perlite and peat moss and moisten it until it is uniformly wet. Scoop it into a nursery pot.

  4. 4

    Remove the pistachio seed from the refrigerator and push it 1-inch into the planting medium in the pot. Place the pot on a heat mat, and set the heat to 26.7 degrees Celsius. Place the pot in an area with bright light but not direct sun. Keep the soil moist by spraying it occasionally with water in a plant misting bottle.

  5. 5

    Transplant the pistachio seedling when it has four sets of leaves. Use the next size larger pot filled with equal parts of potting soil, coarse sand and peat moss. Place it in a lightly shaded area and water it when the top 1 inch of soil is dry.

  6. 6

    Check the bottom of the nursery pot periodically for any signs of roots. When you see them, transplant the pistachio seedling into a 1-gallon pot, with the same soil mixture.

  7. 7

    Place the pistachio back in light shade, water it when the top inch of soil is dry and allow it to remain for one year. At that time you may transplant it to the landscape.

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