How to Germinate Cananga Odorata Seeds

Written by katelyn lynn
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Cananga odorata is more commonly known as ylang-ylang and perfume tree. This tropical tree is indigenous to Asia and areas throughout Australia. It can grow to about 35 to 40 feet tall and produces extremely fragrant leaflike blossoms that are used in the perfume industry. Cananga odorata attracts both bees and butterflies and makes for an unusual yet striking background plant. You can plant Cananga odorata from seed, although germination tends to be lengthy and erratic.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Cananga odorata fruit or seeds
  • Knife
  • Tweezers
  • Wire basket
  • Paper towel
  • Airtight container
  • Saucepan
  • Candy thermometer
  • Garden hoe
  • Plastic or wire netting

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Instructions

    Preparing the Seeds

  1. 1

    Collect the seeds from the fruit of a Cananga odorata tree. You will know the fruit is ripe when it turns dark green to black in colour.

  2. 2

    Cut the fruit in half using a sharp knife. There may be two to 12 seeds inside each fruit.

  3. 3

    Pick out the seeds using a pair of tweezers or a table knife.

  4. 4

    Place the seeds into a wire basket or colander. Run cool tap water over the seeds until they are clean and all sticky pulp residue has been removed.

  5. 5

    Set the Cananga odorata seeds onto a paper towel to air-dry for one or two days.

  6. 6

    Transfer the seeds into an airtight container that contains 1 to 2 inches of a desiccant, such as silica gel or granules.

  7. 7

    Place the container in an arid location out of direct light. Leave the container for a minimum of six months and a maximum of 12. According to Agroforestry.net, storing the seeds will improve the rate of germination.

    Planting Cananga Odorata Seeds

  1. 1

    Pour 1 cup of water into a saucepan. Heat the water to about 54.4 to 57.2 degrees Celsius. Use a candy thermometer to measure the temperature.

  2. 2

    Place the seeds into a heat-proof metal or ceramic bowl. Pour the hot water over the seeds. Let the seeds soak for 12 hours or overnight.

  3. 3

    Locate a sunny location for planting the seeds.

  4. 4

    Weed the area thoroughly using a long- or short-handled hoe, removing any rocks or sticks you find.

  5. 5

    Cultivate the area using a shovel, making sure you remove all sticks or rocks from the area. The area should be cultivated to a depth of about 20 inches.

  6. 6

    Create 12-inch wide furrows in the planting area. Plant the Cananga odorata seeds at the rate of two to three every 12 to 14 inches. Cover with approximately 3/4 inch of soil.

  7. 7

    Cover the entire area with plastic or wire netting to prevent birds or rodents from disturbing the seeds. Keep the area moist but do not let it become soggy. Germination can begin in one to three months depending on conditions.

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