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Horticulture and Home Pest News
Horticulture & Home Pest News is filled with articles on current horticulture, plant care, pest management, and common household pests written by Iowa State University Extension specialists in the Departments of Entomology, Horticulture and Plant Pathology.

Germination of Walnuts

This article was published originally on 8/27/2008

Walnut trees can be easily grown from seeds by following a few simple steps.

Collect walnuts after they fall to the ground. Remove the husks and then place the nuts in water. Nuts that float are not viable and can be discarded. Good, viable nuts will sink to the bottom.

Before the walnuts will germinate, the nuts need to be exposed to cold temperatures and moist conditions. The cold-moist requirement can be met by planting the nuts in the ground in fall. Plant walnuts 1 to 2 inches deep.

The cold-moist requirement can also be accomplished through a process called stratification. Walnuts can be stratified by placing the nuts in a moist mixture of sand and peat moss and then storing them in a cool location. Suitable containers include coffee cans, plastic buckets, and food storage bags. The refrigerator is a good storage location. (Stratification temperatures should be just above freezing.) The walnuts must remain in the refrigerator for 90 to 120 days. After the nuts have been properly stratified, they can be removed from the refrigerator and planted.

Year of Publication: 
2008
Issue: 
IC-499(16) -- August 27, 2008