Growing Osage orange (Maclura pomifera) takes planning and consideration because their sharp spines, dropped fruit and irregular growth habit make them difficult to place in most gardens. The osage orange trees grow best within U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4a to 9a, where they will thrive despite poor growing conditions and neglect.
How to Grow Osage Orange from Seed
Guide to Growing Osage Orange Trees (Maclura pomifera) from Seeds
Preparing for Planting
- Stratification: Osage Orange seeds require a period of cold stratification. Mix the seeds with moist sand and store them in the refrigerator for 30-60 days.
- Soil Preparation: Prepare a well-draining soil mix. Osage Orange trees are adaptable but prefer loamy soil.
# 5 | Watch for seedlings in 30 days but don't be surprised if it takes a little longer. If both seeds germinate, choose the strongest and most vigorous seedling and snip off the other one at soil level using small, sharp scissors. Remove the propagation mat after germination if one was used and keep the Osage orange seedlings under very bright and sheltered conditions until they produce mature leaves.
#6 | Transplant Osage orange seedlings in autumn in climates with a mild winter and in spring in colder areas.
Tips for Success
- Patience is Essential: Osage Orange trees grow slowly initially but can live for many years.
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- Be Aware of Thorns: These trees have thorns, so be cautious during handling and pruning.