How to Sprout Schisandra Seeds

Written by meg butler
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Home gardeners enjoy growing magnolia vine (Schisandra chinesis) because of its ornamental value, pleasant scent and delicious late-summer berries. Schisandra chinesis is easy to cultivate. It simply needs rich soil, partial shade and intermittent water. The most difficult aspect of growing magnolia vine is getting the seed to sprout. According to Sonia Schloemann, the University of Massachusetts Extension Small Fruit Specialist, magnolia vine has naturally low germination rates. For the best results, plant the seed indoors in March where conditions are closely controlled, and plant many more seeds than you think you will need. Few will sprout, but once they do, it will be smooth sailing from there.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • Planting tray
  • Seed-starting soil
  • Spray bottle

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  1. 1

    Soak the seeds in a bowl of room temperature water overnight.

  2. 2

    Fill a seed planting tray with moistened seed-starting soil.

  3. 3

    Scatter the Schisandra chinesis seeds over the top of the soil so that there is roughly 1 inch between each seed and each seed is at least 1 inch away from the edge of the planting tray.

  4. 4

    Cover the seed with a 1/4-inch layer of seed-starting soil.

  5. 5

    Press the soil down gently with your fingers to ensure good seed-to-soil contact.

  6. 6

    Moisten the top layer of soil with water from a spray bottle.

  7. 7

    Move the planting tray to a spot indoors where it will receive indirect morning sunlight (northwest or northeast facing exposures are best).

  8. 8

    Check the soil's moisture level once daily. Water with your spray bottle if the soil begins to dry out. It should remain consistently moist at all times. According to the University of Massachusetts Extension, Schisandra seed germination is naturally erratic. Some seeds may germinate in a few weeks, others may take a month or longer. Still others will not germinate at all.

Tips and warnings

  • Transplant the most vigorously-growing seedlings into the garden when they are large enough to handle (when they develop at least two true leaves). Take care not to damage their roots when planting and be sure to plant them at the same depth that they were growing in the planting tray.

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