Juniperus chinensis (Chinese Juniper) seeds
Height: 1m to 15m if not pruned, but can be pruned to any size
Position: Sun or semi-shade and dryish soil
Packet of 20 seeds
These seeds have a double dormancy which needs to be broken before they will germinate, ie. they need to go through a process which simulates the changing seasons.
Pre-sowing Treatment: Place the seeds in a container and pour boiling water over them, then leave to soak for 48 hours changing the water every few hours or as often as possible.
Sowing Instructions: Can be sown at any time of year. Sow seeds very thinly on the surface of a peat-based seed compost, eg. Levington, then just cover them with a very thin layer of vermiculite, perlite or grit. Seal inside a polythene bag and place in an optimum temperature of 20C for 90 days. After this, transfer the container to the fridge or other cold place at 2-5C for a further 90 days. Finally, bring the seeds back to 18-20C and germination will begin. Note: Germination can be very erratic, hence the need to sow thinly and prick out the seedlings as they become large enough to handle without disturbing the rest of the compost too much.
An alternative method is to sow in pots as above in early summer then place in a cold frame and let nature take its course as the seasons change with the seedlings emerging the next spring to summer.
Growing Instructions: Transplant seedlings when large enough to handle into 7.5cm pots and grow on in a cold frame or nursery bed for a year or two then plant in their final position in a sunny or semi-shaded spot with well drained soil.