Bonsai From Seed?

Isilwen

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I am actually interested in starting a bonsai from a seed. I know it will be years out before I can do anything with it, but I would still like to do it. I am thinking of a Chinese elm for this project.

I see listings for seeds all over the place such as Etsy, eBay, and Amazon, but not sure where I good place would be to get them.

Any ideas?
 

penumbra

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Thank you both!

Any tips for what to do when I get the seeds? I am in Central Florida in zone 9b.
Depends on what kind of seeds you decide upon. Some need pre-treatment and some do not. Any reputable seed seller will give you the info with the seed purchase.
 

Nybonsai12

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It'll likely be Chinese elm.
Sheffield’s is a good reliable seed source. Make sure you are buying fresh seeds. The website provides instructions on how to germinate.

 

Arnold

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I am actually interested in starting a bonsai from a seed. I know it will be years out before I can do anything with it, but I would still like to do it. I am thinking of a Chinese elm for this project.

I see listings for seeds all over the place such as Etsy, eBay, and Amazon, but not sure where I good place would be to get them.

Any ideas?
What trees you have in your zone? sure you can find a lot of seeds or make cuttings
 

Isilwen

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You dont have decent nurserys around? They usually have starter chinese elms pretty cheap

Closest one is a couple hours away and I have no time to go.

I really want to go from a seed. Not sure what the issue is. I already said I know it will take years.
 

John P.

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Closest one is a couple hours away and I have no time to go.

I really want to go from a seed. Not sure what the issue is. I already said I know it will take years.
Settle down. You’ll need far more patience than you’re exhibiting along the way if you’re starting a bonsai from seed.
 

Isilwen

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Settle down. You’ll need far more patience than you’re exhibiting along the way if you’re starting a bonsai from seed.

I am settled down. My post that you quoted is not from a lack of patience and is me just saying that I am not sure what the issue is.

Written word doesn't always convey the correct emotion.
 
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Closest one is a couple hours away and I have no time to go.

I really want to go from a seed. Not sure what the issue is. I already said I know it will take years.
Nothing wrong with doing seeds. However, it’s nice to have some other material you can work in the meantime

I got quite a few seeds going, but I also have 30+ pieces of material to mess with
 

Lorax7

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Closest one is a couple hours away and I have no time to go.

I really want to go from a seed. Not sure what the issue is. I already said I know it will take years.
What are you hoping to accomplish by growing from seed? The inclination of others to try to steer you in a different direction is a rational one. Chinese elm pre-bonsai material is abundant. My understanding, based on what I’ve read, is that they also grow really well from cuttings. (I don’t personally have one in my collection.) So, the time from the starting point to the point at which you will have grown a bonsai you can be proud of could be considerably less if you start from pre-bonsai material or even from a cutting than it will be starting from seed. So, the best path forward really depends on the why behind your desire to grow one from seed.

If your purpose is just that you want the experience of growing something starting with a seed, that’s totally valid. Best of luck to you. However, if the rationale is something else, it’s worth sharing to see if someone else knows a better way. Oftentimes folks new to bonsai have ideas about bonsai that are based on poor quality information from YouTube or Reddit or whatever and it can be helpful to state your rationale and assumptions explicitly to pick the brains of some of the folks here who’ve been doing bonsai successfully for a long time. They may be able to point you in another direction that’ll get you where you headed while avoiding some pitfalls.
 

Lorax7

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I’m with this program. It is very rewarding to grow a tree from seed.
I’m on board. Currently have 4 trays of seeds in peat pellets germinating in the basement. That said, it’s important for folks to have realistic expectations about growing bonsai from seed, as it is definitely the long, circuitous route to get there.

Two questions worth asking before starting bonsai from seed:
1. Am I young enough now that I will likely still be around to see these trees when they’ve progressed to the point of being bonsai in refinement?
2. If the answer to question #1 is no, am I ok with that (i.e. these are bonsai for the next generation and I may never see the result)?
 

Dav4

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I've started at least half of the trees I currently have from seed, and I continue to start new batches of seedlings every year. It's very satisfying and fulfilling to see a nice tree on your bench that you've built literally from the ground up. With that being said, if I didn't have bigger, more developed trees to work on, I would have absolutely grown bored with my seedlings after a few years and moved on...
 

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