How to Germinate Hazelnut Seeds for Planting

Written by meg butler
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How to Germinate Hazelnut Seeds for Planting
Fresh-harvested hazelnuts germinate easily. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Hazelnuts are easy to grow from seed. When picking fresh hazelnuts, avoid the first few to fall off the tree. These rarely germinate. Instead, wait one week, then pick a few large, healthy-looking nuts from the bush. The ripe ones will be easy to remove from their husk. Once picked, hazelnuts germinate easily when planted in a pot and grown indoors. A year later, they are ready to transplant outdoors. Your hazelnut seedling will begin to produce nuts in three to five years.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Bucket
  • Water
  • Sand
  • Flower pot
  • Seed-starting soil

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  1. 1

    Pull the husk off of each hazelnut.

  2. 2

    Place the hazelnuts in a bucket of water. Discard any that float (they will not germinate well) and keep those that sink.

  3. 3

    Mix the hazelnut seed with an equal amount of horticultural sand by volume in an appropriately-sized flower pot. Cover the top of the mixture with an inch or two of sand. Cover the top of the flower pot with a piece of wire mesh held in place with duct tape (to keep the mice at bay). Place the flower pot in a shady place outdoors and leave them to weather the winter.

  4. 4

    Check for germination at the end of February. If no seeds have germinated, check again in a few days. When most of the seeds begin to germinate, move on to Step 5.

  5. 5

    Plant each seed 1 inch deep and sprout-end up in the centre of a 6-inch pot filled with moistened seed-starting potting soil.

  6. 6

    Place the pots in a warm spot indoors where they will receive full sunlight.

  7. 7

    Water the pot whenever the top inch or so dries out. Never allow more than the top third to dry out.

  8. 8

    Plant the hazelnut seedling in its permanent spot outdoors once it reaches 6 inches in height.

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