Have you ever wanted to grow your own trees from acorns? With a little patience, and this helpful guide, you will quickly learn how!
How to plant acorns indoors
While you could start them outside, acorns are delicacies to squirrels, so it's best to start these inside.
- Soak your acorns in water for 24 hours. The acorns that are at the bottom of the bowl after 24 hours should produce trees. The acorns still floating may or may not. I have had luck growing oak trees even from floating acorns, but you will have way better success with the sunken acorns.
- Then fill a large pot half-way with your favorite potting soil. Place the acorn in the soil, and then add enough potting soil to completely cover the acorn.
- Lightly water all around the pot, making sure you don't uncover your acorn in the process.
- Set your pot near a window where it can get morning and afternoon sun if possible. Again, you don't want to put these outside because a squirrel might just make a snack out of it.
- Water every 2 or 3 days.
- Acorns grow their roots before they grow upwards. You might not see any tree appear for at least a month, but it's definitely growing. If you are curious, you can gently uncover the acorn to see roots growing, but its best to just let them sit and wait.
- Depending on how big your pot is, check the bottom to see if the root needs more room. You never want the root to grow out of the pot because it can damage it. So transplant to a larger pot if needed.
- Most oak trees can be planted outside in the fall, but if you have a lot of squirrels, you may want to keep them inside at least a year to keep them from getting damaged.
Do acorns need to be cold-stratified?
Some tree seeds need to be cold-stratified before planting, but acorns can be planted without cold stratification.
What is cold stratification? It's when seeds need to experience cold temperatures before they will germinate and grow.
Cold stratification can be replicated by placing seeds in a moist paper towel and into a ziplock bag in the refrigerator for several months.
Whats the best pot to use for starting acorns?
This will really depend on how long you plan on keeping your oak tree inside. For smaller acorns like red oak, you can use 6 inch pots.
For large acorns like bur oak, you should use a one gallon pot. You can always move them to a bigger pot later on, but this can be risky as you don't want to damage the roots.
How & When to transplant oak seedlings?
The best time to transplant your young oak tree seedlings is in the fall. So, depending on when you started your acorns, you should ideally wait for this time to bring them outside.
Dig a hole that is twice as big as the your root ball. Take care not to break the large root of your oak tree when you are transplanting.
Because squirrels can wreak havoc on young oak trees, it's a good idea to place some chicken wire around your trees. This will also help deter deer.