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growing joshua tree from seed

How to Plant a Joshua Tree Seed

By: Bridget Kelly

21 September, 2017

The Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia) is a slow growing member of the Agave family, eventually reaching heights of from 15 to 40 feet, with a root system that can extend up to 35 feet from the plant. Endemic to the Mojave desert, the Joshua has only one pollinator: the Pronuda or yucca moth. If pollinated, the tree will bloom in the summer and will drop its seeds in the fall, which is when you should collect them. Grab a pot full of soil while you are there as the Joshua tree prefers native soil. Start your seeds in early April.

Pour the soil into the pot, to 2 inches below the rim, and water it until the excess water runs out of the bottom of the pot. After it drains, water it again.

  • The Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia) is a slow growing member of the Agave family, eventually reaching heights of from 15 to 40 feet, with a root system that can extend up to 35 feet from the plant.
  • If pollinated, the tree will bloom in the summer and will drop its seeds in the fall, which is when you should collect them.

Place the seed on the surface of the soil and sprinkle 1/4 inch of soil over it. Place the pot in a sunny area that remains over 60 degrees F. Keep the soil most at all times by misting it with a misting bottle. You can also set the pot in a shallow tray filled halfway with water.

Transplant the seedling into a one gallon pot, using native soil if possible, when it reaches a height of 2 inches. Place the newly transplanted seedling in an area that receives indirect sunlight and remains 85 degrees F.

Transplant into the yard when the sapling reaches 10 inches in height. Choose a sunny location. Water until the water puddles at the base of the Joshua tree and continue to water in this manner every week for the tree’s first year.

  • Place the seed on the surface of the soil and sprinkle 1/4 inch of soil over it.
  • Transplant the seedling into a one gallon pot, using native soil if possible, when it reaches a height of 2 inches.

The Joshua tree will resemble a tall blade of grass during its first year. This is because it is spending its energy on producing a large tap root.

The Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia) is a slow growing member of the Agave family, eventually reaching heights of from 15 to 40 feet, with a root system that can extend up to 35 feet from the plant. Endemic to the Mojave desert, the Joshua has only one pollinator: the Pronuda or yucca moth. If pollinated, the tree …

How to Germinate Yucca Brevifolia

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Yucca brevifolia, commonly known as the Joshua tree, takes its time in life. The seeds are typically slow to germinate and the tree grows a poky 2.3 inches per year. Although one Joshua tree in Southern California is believed to be 1,000 years old, the average life span of this evergreen plant is 150 years. Because it is endemic to the Mojave Desert, it’s important to mimic Joshua tree’s native habitat, both when germinating the seed and as the plant grows.

Fill a 4-inch planting pot, to within 1 inch of the rim, with a sterile, soilless seed starting mix. Avoid using any mix that contains soil or compost, which impedes drainage.

Moisten the potted mix slowly until excess water drains from the bottom of the pot. Set the pot aside to drain completely. The mix should be slightly moist, not wet.

Lay the Joshua tree seed in the center of the pot on top of the mix.

Pour a handful of the soilless mix into a kitchen sieve. Hold the sieve over the pot and lightly tap the sides of it to sprinkle a 1/8-inch layer of the mix over the seed.

Spray the top layer of mix with water from a misting bottle until the layer is slightly moist.

Place the heat mat in a west-facing window, and set the thermostat to 72 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place the potted Joshua tree seed on top of the heat mat.

Keep the soil slightly moist at all times during germination.

Reduce the heat mat’s temperature, gradually over the course of one week, after the seed sprouts, which typically within 30 days, but it may take up to one year. Allow the temperature to remain at 65 F.

Transplant the seedling into the next sized larger pot, filled with a gritty cactus mix, when it reaches 4 to 5 inches tall.

How to Germinate Yucca Brevifolia. Yucca brevifolia, commonly known as the Joshua tree, takes its time in life. The seeds are typically slow to germinate and the tree grows a poky 2.3 inches per year. Although one Joshua tree in Southern California is believed to be 1,000 years old, the average life span of this …