Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Chestnut Seedling

This is a seedling of the horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum). The seedling is about 30cm tall. It is one of the largest seedlings commonly seen in gardens and give a very clear illustration of the parts.

To grow a seedling like this you just have to find a horse chestnut seed or conker, and plant it in the garden. The large shoot will be very obvious when it appears above ground, and the seedling can then be dug up.

If you live in an area where horse chestnuts do not grow, then a similar result can be produced by planting the seed from the centre of an avocado in a pot of soil. The pot should be watered and allowed to drain, and then enclosed in a sealed clear plastic freezer bag. Enclosing the pot keeps the water inside the bag, avoiding the need to water the soil while germination occurs. The pot should be sited in a warm spot (between 21 and 25 degrees C is ideal) which does not need to be well lit. When the shoot appears above ground the bag should be removed and the pot moved to bright windowsill or into the garden in frost-free weather. 

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