Monkey Puzzle (araucaria araucana)
The 2023 seed crop is very light compared to recent years and unfortunately only small quantities are available.
3 Seeds £1.80 (60p per seed)
5 Seeds £2.75 (55p per seed)
10 Seeds £5.00 (50p per seed)
Use the drop down button below to select the quantity
Monkey Puzzle (araucaria araucana)
Germination, Sowing and After Care Information
Having experimented with various germination methods, I will explain my preferred method for germinating Monkey Puzzle. It is a two stage process. Stage one to get the seeds to germinate and stage two is the planting and after care of the germinated seeds.
Germinating the seed
Prepare a mix of 50/50 moist peat and sharp sand. Any type of cheap compost can be used instead of the peat. The sand and peat/compost mix must be damp but not wet enough to squeeze water from if you squeeze it in your hand. Fill a suitable container 1/2 to 3/4 full of this mix and gently firm it down level. Many types of container are suitable, plastic or terracotta plant pots, window box troughs, ice cream containers etc.
Starting at one edge of your container push the pointed end of each seed about 1/3 of its length into the compost mix, just enough really so that it will stand upright. You can put each seed shoulder to shoulder in rows with its neighbours in high density because the seeds are only like this for a short time until they begin to germinate.
When you have planted all your seeds cover your container(s)with some form of lid, this can be a plastic bag, sheet of glass or plastic or if you have used something like an ice cream container you can use the lid placed on loosely.
Now your seeds need some warmth to germinate well. Place the planted container in a warm place, 20-25 celsius (68-77 Fahrenheit) is ideal. If the temperature range is a little greater than this, it's ok.
After 5-7 days start to check each seed for signs of root emergence. Pull up each seed in turn and place any that have produced a strong white root on one side for potting up. Unrooted seeds are pushed back into the compost, you can keep reusing the same holes to push them back into. You will find that seeds that have begun to root have a firmer hold in the compost! Seeds kept at these temperature will need to be checked for germination every two days. Seeds can begin to germinate in as little as two days with the majority between two to four weeks from seed insertion. I have known a few seeds take up to twelve weeks, so don't give up on them unless the tips of the seeds have become soft and squashy.
Germinated seeds need to be handled with great care, the root is very delicate especially if they have grown long from infrequent checking! At this stage they should be planted individually in pots of at least 8 cm depth. These trees have a strong taproot and can physically push themselves out of shallow containers. Use a good quality potting compost, John Innes No. 2 if often recommended for Monkey Puzzle but I have found that they grow very well in many other composts.
Keep your developing trees well watered but under no circumstances leave them in standing water. Give them plenty of light and I have found them to do fine under direct sunlight. Trees started off indoors can be moved outside in early summer. Trees grown outdoors will be stronger and more stocky than ones kept under glass, they will however usually be a little shorter.
These trees suffer very little from pests and diseases. Mice can be a problem taking seeds or even eating the juicy stems of young plants.
Protect the roots of trees grown in pots from harsh winter frosts, bring them under cover or cover them with some sort of insulating material such as straw or dry bracken. Once your trees are large enough perhaps after two or three years you can plant them in their permanent position.