Sprouting maple seeds - this is how it works

Sprouting maple seeds - this is how it works

Overcoming germ inhibition - this is how it works with cold

The seeds of numerous maple species are prevented from germinating in the midst of ice and snow by a natural inhibition threshold. Only when the seed has been exposed to a cold stimulus for several weeks, followed by milder temperatures, will germination begin. If you aim to propagate a maple by sowing, you can deposit the seeds in the garden and wait or you can follow these instructions to specifically overcome the inhibition of germination:

  • Soak the seeds in lukewarm chamomile tea for 24 to 36 hours beforehand
  • Fill a plastic bag with moist sand, lava granulate (€ 10.95 at Amazon *) or potting soil
  • Pour in the soaked seeds and close the bag tightly
  • Store in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator for 6 to 8 weeks at - 1 to + 4 degrees Celsius

also read

  • Sprouting Norway maple seeds - this is how it works
  • How to propagate maple successfully - this is how it works with cuttings
  • Growing maple seedlings yourself - this is how it works

After the cold phase, sow the seeds in individual compartments of a multi-pot plate. We recommend commercial potting soil or potting soil emaciated with sand as a substrate. Put a seed no more than 1 cm deep in the soil. Then spray the seeds with room temperature water. In the partially shaded, warm location, the first seedlings are not long in coming.

Always disinfect the substrate

Seeds and seedlings are vulnerable to diseases and pests. The pathogens often lurk in the substrate. By disinfecting the potting soil beforehand, you avoid the risk of infestation from this source. This can be done very simply by placing the moistened soil in a suitable container in the oven for 30 minutes at 150 to 180 degrees top and bottom heat.

Gibberellic acid accelerates germination

Thick-skinned maple seeds find it difficult to germinate despite the cold stimulus. These unwilling candidates will get you going with gibberellic acid. Gibberellic acid is a purely natural growth hormone that occurs in the seeds and sprouts themselves. The product is available in specialist shops and online shops. How to use the maple seed germination accelerator:

  • Stir 0.1 ml of gibberellic acid into 5 ml of pure alcohol (e.g. spirit or isopropanol from the pharmacy)
  • Add 95 ml of room temperature water and stir well
  • Let stand for 60 minutes

Fill the seeds into a coffee or tea filter and hang it in the solution for 12 hours. Then sow the seeds. As a rule, stratification in the refrigerator is not additionally necessary for the seeds to germinate.


The sowing of seeds is restricted to the reproduction of pure species such as field maple (Acer campestre) or sycamore maple (Acer pseudoplatanus). For the reproduction of beautiful cultivated forms, such as the varieties of the Asiatic maple (Acer palmatum), only vegetative methods such as cuttings or subsidence can be considered.