How can I germinate the seeds of the saucer magnolia?
The bright reddish orange seeds of the saucer magnolia need to be exposed to cool, moist conditions before they will germinate. This can be accomplished by planting the seeds outdoors in fall. Plant the seeds 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep. The cool, moist conditions in the soil during the winter months will eventually break the magnolia seed’s dormancy, allowing the seeds to germinate in spring.
The cool, moist requirement can also be attained indoors. Place a layer of moist peat moss in the bottom of a small coffee can or similar container. Place the magnolia seeds on the moist peat, then cover the seeds with additional moist material. Punch 2 or 3 small holes in the plastic lid and then place it on the container. Place the container in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 months. Afterwards, remove the seeds from the refrigerator and plant indoors. The magnolia seeds should germinate in a few weeks. The magnolia seedlings can be moved outdoors in spring.