Buckeye trees (Aesculus spp.) Can all be started out from seed in a pot. Of the approximately six kinds of buckeye trees native to North America, half grow into large trees that can reach more than 60 feet tall, and do not make good permanent container plants. These buckeye seedlings need to go from pots into the ground following two to three years. Three little buckeye trees which average around 15 to 20 feet tall might be acceptable for growing as large container plants for decks or patios.
Buckeye seeds symbolize chestnuts, with shiny brown seeds in a husk that’s first green, then brown. Fresh seed is best and may be implanted immediately after harvesting, although properly stored seeds which haven’t been permitted to dry out and have been maintained cold can also grow. In the fall, collect seeds after they’re ripe. Stored seeds require a cold remedy, called stratification, before they will germinate. For your moist cold needed, put wet sand or moist fresh perlite in a resealable plastic bag, then add the seeds, then after removing the husks, so they’re covered by the moist material, and set the bag in a refrigerator for three to eight weeks. Following three weeks, assess on the seeds every single week, removing seeds which have sent out a seed root, then called the radicle, and that means that you can pot them up.
Seeds in Pots
A clean potting mix, like one made from equal parts perlite and peat moss, helps prevent disease and gives good drainage for developing seedlings. Soak 4-inch-wide pots in a solution of 1 part household bleach to 9 parts water for five minutes. Rinse the pots and fill them to within 1/2 inch of the surface of the pot with the potting mix. Use pots with drainage holes. Before planting the seeds into the pots, soak them for 24 hours in water. Remove the seeds in the water after soaking and set them in a five percent bleach solution. Remove the seeds in the bleach after one minute and rinse them off with water. The bleach helps kill any fungus that may be found on the seeds which keeps them in germinating properly. One seed goes in every pot, together with the radicle pointing downward. The planting hole should be a little wider than the seed and one time its thickness. After covering the seed with potting mix, water the pot until water comes out the drainage holes. The pots require bright light until seedlings emerge. Keep the potting mix moist.
Later sowing, buckeye seeds usually germinate within 21 days, with a transplanted survival rate of approximately 90 percent. Once the seedlings have many sets of true leaves, then check to be sure they’re not getting rootbound. When the roots hold the potting mix together but haven’t started to end around the bottom of the pot, transplant them into your 1-gallon container, using the exact same potting mix. After they’re found in the larger pot, gradually move them into stronger mild, with an hour or two of extra light each day, until they’re in full sun. Keep the potting mix moist.
Youthful Buckeye Trees
As the seedlings grow, move them into larger pot sizes as needed. Always pick containers with holes. Use an excellent potting mix. When you have reached the greatest pot size you wish to handle, keep the plant by unpotting it every couple of years, pruning away busy roots and inserting some new potting mix. Wipe the pruning shears before and after pruning with a cloth dipped in rubbing alcohol to prevent disease spread. Each spring, provide buckeyes with 10-10-10 fertilizer at the rate of 1 tablespoon per 6 inches of pot diameter. Sprinkle it evenly over the surface, then dig it in to the upper layer and water the plant thoroughly.
Small Buckeye Trees
Smaller buckeye tree species comprise California buckeye (Aesculus californica), which grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 6 through 10. White to pinkish flowers appear in May or June. The plant is summer deciduous, growing into a large shrub or small tree. Red buckeye (Aesculus pavia) includes showy red spring blooms and grows in USDA zones 6 through 9a. It reaches 15 to 20 feet tall. Painted buckeye (Aesculus sylvatica) bears variously coloured spring blooms in hues of pink, green and yellow. Achieving 5 to 12 feet tall, painted buckeye is hardy in USDA zones 5 through 8. These last two species are winter deciduous. Buckeyes have seeds and foliage that are poisonous to people and animals, and the nectar is toxic to honeybees.