Whilst visiting Bristol, I was given a seed pod from a beautiful Camellia. Is it possible to grow a new plant from the seed pods (2) inside, and if so, what is the best method of propagation?
Yes, I have a small, flowered for the first time this spring Camellia grown from a seed. Collect the seeds when ripe (the pod will split). Sow in ordinary seed compost and put somewhere where it can suffer the worst of winter weather,but protect from rodents. If and when the seed germinates, pot on as normal for any seed. Takes a fair number of years to reach flowering size and if a hybrid then the result may be disappointing.
Have fun trying.
Thank you Berghill. I will do as you say and hopefully I shall be rewarded. I wondered if it was worth soaking the seed before sowing and maybe "nicking" it as one would a sweet pea seed?
I live in Herefordshire and have one small white camellia (inherited with the house) and had brought with me a large pink one which sadly died in the very harsh winter a few years ago. It would be lovely to succeed with this special one.
Never tried that, I just sowed them straight from the pod and left them to it.
From knowing about other seeds, it could well work, though why one should snip off some of the tap roots I don't know.
Certainly keeping the sown seeds moist is good advice either way.
Magnolia seeds also need pre soaking to remove the 'soapy' covering.
Yes, but seedlings need the tap roots both for anchorage and for feeding. The hair like roots come from those tap roots and take in water and nutrients, so if you damage a tap root the seedling suffers. Odd.
Having said that there are a fair number of plants which definitely increase the number of roots when there is damage to the ones they have. That is why we can pot on seedlings without them dropping dead because the roots have been damaged.
That, though, applies to fibrous roots rather than tap roots.
Would like to hear from someone who has actually followed the advice given.
Thank you both for all the above information. I shall follow most of it as it is a trifle conflicting about the tap roots. These seeds are pretty dry as their pod was very dark brown, dry and already split, so some of the seeds were missing. The magnolia itself is enormous and flowers profusely with deep red flowers but I have no idea what it is called and I don't think the owner does either - it must have been about 20 years old at least.
Watch out for molluscs. The seedlings which I got this year were destroyed in one night of mollusc mayhem. My fault I should have found somewhere safe from predators..