How to Grow Teak Trees
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Teak trees grow just about anywhere in the tropics, or between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. Teak tree wood is valued for its extreme weather resistance and durability. Many similar-looking woods, such as afrormosia wood, possess the name of African teak, even though they are not true teak wood.
True teak trees are cultivated for their wood, which is very durable and used in many different industries. Growing your own teak trees is not difficult, assuming you can simulate tropical growing conditions. Successfully grow this type of tropical hardwood from seed by following a few simple tips.
Obtain teak tree seeds from a reputable online dealer or your local nursery. Starting at least 20 to 30 teak tree seeds at once will increase your rate of germination.
- Teak trees grow just about anywhere in the tropics, or between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn.
- Growing your own teak trees is not difficult, assuming you can simulate tropical growing conditions.
Place the teak tree seeds in a burlap sack and tie the bag closed with string. Soak the sack and the enclosed teak seeds for 12 hours, keeping them fully submerged. For optimum germination, place the burlap sack under water in a location that will provide a constant stream of running water, such as a river stream.
Remove the teak tree seeds from the burlap sack and lay them out flat to dry in the sun for at least 12 hours. Repeat this procedure of soaking the seeds for 12 hours and letting them dry for 12 hours for a period of 10 to 14 days.
Create a germination bed in full sun for the teak tree seeds by placing a 2-inch layer of gravel in a large plastic tray, followed by a 14-inch layer of clean sand and a 4-inch layer of equal parts coarse sand and peat moss.
Spread the teak tree seeds out evenly on the germination bed, and use your finger to push them into the top sand/peat moss layer just deep enough to cover the seeds. Water the teak tree seeds two times per day with a light misting of water from a spray bottle.
- Place the teak tree seeds in a burlap sack and tie the bag closed with string.
- Remove the teak tree seeds from the burlap sack and lay them out flat to dry in the sun for at least 12 hours.
Transfer the teak tree seedlings after they have germinated in the germination bed. Plant the teak tree seedlings in 3-inch containers filled with good-quality potting mix. Place the containers in an area that receives six to eight hours of light per day until the seedlings have reached 12 to 16 inches in height.
Incorporate a 4-inch layer of bagged organic compost and a handful of lime into the desired permanent location for the teak trees. Use a shovel to mix the compost and ground soil together to a depth of 18 inches. Teak trees require well-drained soil, a site that receives full sun and soil pH between 6.5 and 7.5.
Plant the teak tree seedlings in the prepared planting sites --- spaced at least 6 feet apart --- at the same level as they were in the containers.
- Transfer the teak tree seedlings after they have germinated in the germination bed.
- Place the containers in an area that receives six to eight hours of light per day until the seedlings have reached 12 to 16 inches in height.
Water the teak tree seedlings one to two times per week or more when hotter weather sets in. Make sure the soil remains moist at all times.
Feed each teak tree 14 tablespoons of balanced fertiliser at the time of planting and at the end of the growing season. Refer to the label instructions included with the fertiliser for complete application ratios.
- If you get lucky and have all your teak tree seeds germinate, you can plant them all for an attractive teak tree garden or sell them to local nurseries or garden centres.
Rachel Turner has been writing professionally since 2000, focusing on gardening and home improvement topics. Her articles have appeared online at SlowTravel and in publications such as the "Arkansas Gardeners," "One Step Ahead" and "Writers Now." Turner holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Arkansas State University.