I have always had a big interest in Japanese culture and nature. Especially Japanese Gardens with their intricate fauna and garden architecture. One part of the Japanese Gardens that I love is the Bonsai trees. I live in an apartment and therefore do not have that much space for trees to grow. This is where Bonsai trees come in handy since they are small.
I didn’t just want to buy a ready made Bonsai tree because I wanted to have an ongoing project that I can work on now and then. It’s a part of relaxing and still producing something.

I realize that planting a tree from the seed is going to take a long time, but that is part of why I want to do this project. I chose to buy Wintersweet seeds and Japanese Cherry Blossoms since they both produce beautiful and fragrant flowers. Now you can of course choose other kinds of trees to plant and make a Bonsai tree out of, but here I present the seeds that I used.

Supplies

Nail File
Container for the seeds (a little bowl will do)
Paper Towels

Wintersweet

1.

First, you need to carefully scarify the surface, using a nail file. This is done to help the water reach the actual seed beneath the coat. Scratch until you start to see the white seed within but be very careful not to damage the white embryo. Once you have done this, immerse the seeds into a container with warm water that covers the seeds completely for at least 36 hours.

2.

Remove the seed coat using your finger nails. TIP: Push your nai
l into the edge of the seed coat and peel from there. Again be careful not to damage the embryo. 
Once the coat is removed you have to remove a thinner shell that still covers the embryo.

3.

Once all the embryos are uncovered put them on a piece of wet paper towel, fold it and place it inside a plastic bag in the refrigerator. The seeds should be kept moist but not soaked.

4.

After a couple of days a little tap root should emmerse. However, I did not get any of the seeds to root after one week. Nevertheless, I continued to plant the seeds after approximately one week in small pots, covering each seed with 5-10 mm of soil. The soil should be kept moist but not soaking.
 When you plant the seeds the little white tap of the seed should be placed downwards since this is the root tap.

Japanese Cherry Blossom

1.

Soak the seeds for as long time as the Wintersweet seeds and then put them in a moist piece of paper towel for the same period of time as the Wintersweet as well. This way you can easiliy plant two different kinds of trees at the same time.

2.

These seeds are also planted in small pots and sprayed with water.

Now, all you have to do is wait patiently for your new plants to grow 🙂
Update: I ended up having to get rid of mine since we moved to overseas (Australia) not that long afterwards. So I’ll have to start again and come back with an update!

– Josephine