How to germinate pine nuts at home: expert advice

The majestic, ringing Siberian cedars are a real symbol of our country, from which it breathes with nobility and age-old traditions. Answering the question where pine nuts grow - one of the most useful and nutritious fruits in their group - it is safe to say that the times when the plant could be found only in the vastness of Siberia are long gone. Now each of us is able to grow our own tree, it is enough to know a few rules on how to successfully germinate a found pine nut at home.


In order for you to be able to grow Siberian cedar at home, you need to know many features of the culture, what kind of soil a planted nut prefers, where it is best to plant it, how often to water, and much more. There are two ways to grow a handsome coniferous tree, like any other tree, by planting a seedling or by trying to sprout a cedar nut on your own. Of course, the second method will take much more time, but it will require less financial costs, as you know, cedar seedlings are a rather expensive pleasure.

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Seed preparation

For the process to be successful, only high-quality seed must be germinated:

  • the selected seeds must be undamaged, not emitting an unpleasant or putrid odor. The average germination capacity of cedar nuts has been successfully maintained for 4 years, and with proper care it can even be about ten years;
  • another necessary condition that must be met is pre-planting processing of the material, which will help protect pine seeds from being damaged by fungus or other infectious diseases. To do this, you need to soak the selected nuts in a weak solution of potassium permanganate (0.5%, slightly pink) for several hours. The seeds can then be planted.

You should not expect instant germination, as a rule, in order for the first shoots to appear, more than six months must pass.

Seed stratification

Before growing a mighty cedar from a small nut, it is necessary to plant the seed correctly, and even earlier adhere to all the rules of previous processing. First of all, you need to soak the nuts in warm water for three days, changing the water every 24 hours. After that, the water is drained, and the treated seeds are mixed with well-moistened sand. The walnut-sand mixture prepared in this way is placed in a spacious box with ventilation holes made - this is necessary to ensure unhindered access of oxygen. In this form and condition, the seeds are placed in a cool, dark place, for example, a refrigerator. At the same time, it is important not to forget to regularly moisten the sand, maintaining the humidity at the same level with which the box was left for germination.

If you suddenly notice the appearance of mold on individual seeds, they need to be removed, and the moistened sand should be completely replaced.

Sowing in the ground

Seed germination will occur no earlier than in 6-7 months. As soon as this happens, the seeds must be thoroughly rinsed and placed in separate pots (it is best to carry out planting manipulations somewhere in the middle of spring).

Sandy loam soil is best suited for cedar, while the seeds need to be buried by about 1 cm. Pots with planted nuts are placed in a place with a constant temperature of 20-22 degrees. If all the conditions are met, the final germination of the future cedar should occur within a month and a half. When seedlings emerge, place the containers with seedlings in a well-lit place, but in such a way as to avoid direct sunlight.


With the arrival of summer, sprouted trees must be taught to the open air, regularly carrying containers with sprouts outside. After a while, cedars can be gradually planted in well-loosened, nutritious soil. As a rule, seedlings tolerate the transplantation procedure well, while they can be planted at a short distance from each other: they will have to change their place of residence in three years. This should be done in the spring, choosing a permanent planting site where the tree will spend its entire life. Be sure to take into account the real size of an adult tree - an average cedar grows up to 40 m in height, so about 7 square meters should be allocated for each plant. m of soil.

And one more nuance - when the trees reach one year old, they need to be shaded. To do this, you can choose the appropriate areas in your garden, or create an artificial barrier from the sun's rays.


Despite the fact that handsome conifers grow very quickly - on average by half a meter every year - trees begin to bear fruit only when their age reaches 40-50 years. At the same time, cones, which contain nuts, do not appear often - once every 7 years. But this is in the natural conditions of the wild taiga. If you grow a tree in your garden and provide it with ideal conditions for development, then the plant will reach reproductive age by about 20 years. And yet, the most productive harvest period falls on the interval from 70 to 100 years, while one tree can give about 20 kg of nuts.

That's all there is to know about how to sprout pine nuts yourself. Be sure to try to grow this noble tree, at least so that a mighty handsome coniferous man flaunts on your site, to the envy of your neighbors.

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How to plant pine nuts correctly

The majestic cedar is a welcome guest on any personal plot. When growing conifers from seeds, you will have to face such difficulties as the stratification of pine nuts. This procedure is necessary for the germination of grain at home and takes place in several stages.

It is better to buy nuts for germination in regions with the most valuable gene pool. The cedar forests of the Altai-Sayan mountainous region, the subzone of the southern taiga, deserve special attention. It is here that the best planting material is formed, from which cedars with high silvicultural, decorative and health-improving properties grow. In other habitats (Khakassia, Tuva, Irkutsk), conifers are rather poor, with low productivity of economic and biological traits.

Pine nuts from the harvesting areas are sent to the customer in special boxes or in textile containers no later than 4 months before the spring planting, in the cool season, which allows keeping the freshness of the product (the deadline is December).

Origin is not the only thing to look out for when buying pine nuts. The quality of the grain is no less important. In order for the tree to grow, it is necessary to plant full-grain seeds of the last harvest (with a shelf life of more than 1 year, their viability drops sharply), dried by a natural, not artificial method (the embryo dies from exposure to hot air).

Pine nuts that can be grown have the following external characteristics:

  • they are heavy (100 pieces weigh at least 25 grams)
  • minimum 1.1 cm long and 0.7 cm wide
  • dark brown
  • with a pronounced burgundy "eye" at the base
  • the kernel is white, occupies all the space inside the shell
  • the embryo is yellow, well developed.

To grow a cedar from a nut, you need the seed to undergo a special cold treatment. In their natural environment, the grains go through this stage, being in fallen cones, which lie under the snow during the long winter. With artificial breeding, conditions close to nature are created that activate physiological processes.

Proper preparation of pine nuts

If you decide to make a delicious dish with the addition of fried cedar, then all that remains is to figure out how to cook pine nuts. They are fried quickly enough. To begin with, you need to warm the pan to medium temperature, but do not add sunflower oil, after which, spread the nuts on it in a thin layer. While frying, the pine nuts need to be stirred frequently using a wooden spoon or spatula. It will take just a couple of minutes to cook nutritious fruits.

It is known that most nuts contain a significant amount of fat and pine nut is no exception. It is because of the fat content that they have such a pleasant taste and smell, and no oil is added when frying. You can also roast the inshell pine nuts. For this preparation you need:

  • spread the baking paper on a baking sheet
  • put nuts on it in a thin layer
  • preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • put a baking sheet with pine nuts for 5 minutes.

The shell of the nuts should be golden brown. After that, you can easily peel the cedar fruit with a rolling pin. To do this, take two towels, place nuts between them, and then press with a rolling pin. The shell will begin to crack and you can easily extract the pine nuts.

As you can see, it is very easy to fry pine nuts in shell, the main thing is to allocate some free time and desire.

Storing roasted pine nuts

After roasting the nuts, especially if there are a large enough number of them, it is worth figuring out how to store pine nuts. When they are raw, nuts that have not been exposed to high temperatures, they tend to deteriorate quickly, but roasted cedar fruits can last from 3 to 6 months.

To keep them for a long time, they must be placed in a closed container and placed in the refrigerator (freezer) or freezer, it is best if you have a "dry freeze" function. With this storage, they will not have a bitter taste, and also will not absorb the smells of other products, for example, if you keep fish or meat in the freezer.

If after the expiration of the shelf life (when you buy in a store, manufacturers usually write the date on top of the package), the nuts look good, then you should not eat them anyway.

How to germinate pine nuts

Growing pine nuts is fun, but not many gardeners manage to germinate pine nuts. And why? There are some subtleties here, subject to which the cedar pine will surely rise.

So, we will start, perhaps, with the planting material. The best nuts for planting are those that have been harvested by hand. Why, you ask? And all because purchased pine nuts can be stored for a long time, stored incorrectly, etc. Therefore, for good germination of all planted cedar seeds, it is better to collect the seeds yourself.

This is done in October - November, when the seeds are fully ripe. Cones must be plucked from the branches, since the fallen ones are most often already empty. At home, cedar pine cones need to be thoroughly dried so that they open. If this did not happen, there are many devices for opening cedar cones.

It is impossible to separate the obtained cedar seeds from the shell. Pine nuts are soaked for 2 hours in a weak solution of potassium permanganate, while sand is being prepared for planting. It must be calcined in the oven for 15 minutes so that harmful organisms die and do not cause rotting of the grain. We plant pine nuts in the sand, water them and place them in the refrigerator for three months.

This process is called pine nut stratification. Under natural conditions, pine nuts lie under a layer of snow all winter, and only in spring do seedlings appear. At home, by stratification, we create an artificial habitat. From time to time, the pot of planted nuts needs to be watered. After three months, we take out the container with seeds and place it on a sunny window. The soil must be constantly moist. By the way, for watering pine nuts at this time, you can use melt water, because in nature, cedar nuts are saturated with water from melted snow. Pine nut seedlings occur in 2-3 weeks.

Do-it-yourself sprouting of pine nuts is a very exciting experience. You not only get an adapted plant with an intact root system, but also save on buying seedlings, which, by the way, are not cheap.

How to store?

In order for the nuts to be stored longer, they need to be dried: spread a thin layer of 1 nut on the surface of a tarp or on a board and leave for several days in a dry, warm place where there is no direct access to the sun. Otherwise, the nuts will lose some of the nutrients. The ideal place to dry is in a clean attic or closet that is slightly warmer than the rest of the house.

Important! Without drying, the nuts become moldy and unusable for food or medicine.

It can also be dried in a dehydrator or drier, but over-dried grains are also poorly stored and not as healthy.

Peeled nuts

Nuts without shells should be stored in a cool place. The best choice is a refrigerator. You need to place the kernels in a dry jar and close with a tight lid.

Better yet, store peeled pine nuts in the freezer. They need to be folded into a freezer bag, squeezed out of all excess air and tightly closed.

Roasted pine nuts do not last longer than a day. These are aromatic and tasty seeds, but they release oil when they are fried. After a day in the air, the oil turns bitter and spoils the taste of the nuts.


In order to store the shell while preserving its useful properties, it is necessary that it does not dry out, but also not be exposed to moisture. It is also important to protect it from dust. Therefore, a good option is to store it in the refrigerator in a closed container.

If there are a lot of shells, you can put it in a cloth bag made of natural material and send it to the pantry or to a room where it is not very warm. If the basement is not damp, you should wrap the shell in a double cloth and leave it on the shelf.

Shelf life

The shelf life of nuts depends on their type. Peeled kernels can be stored in a refrigerator in a well-closed jar for up to three months. After this period, they begin to lose taste and nutrients, and may become moldy.

If shelled nuts are stored in the freezer and are not thawed during storage, then in a zip bag they retain their freshness and taste for 8 months.

It is best to store inshell nuts in a cool place with low humidity. In a cloth bag in a cool closet or in the refrigerator in a jar with a tightly closed lid, they can lie for up to a year.

The shell is also stored for about 8-12 months, but it all depends on the storage conditions. In order for the shell not to lose its useful properties, it is necessary that it does not dry out completely and be protected from dust. Overdried shells become more brittle, easily rubbed into dust, but have no value and benefit.

Interesting facts about pine nuts

Pine nuts are a very interesting product. A few fun facts about them:

  1. Shamans and healers in pre-Christian times knew how useful pine nuts are, and made tinctures and decoctions from them.
  2. In Siberia, cream was made from pine nuts, since the kernel contains almost 80% butter.
  3. Pine nuts have a positive effect on potency - this was proved at the end of the last century. Since then, crushed grains have been added to many preparations for men.
  4. Pine nut oil is a delicacy. It contains a lot of vitamin A (3 times more than fish oil).
  5. The Romans and Greeks knew about the beneficial properties of the product and included it in their daily diet.

Pine nuts are a wonderful gift of nature, which must be used to the maximum: eat, enjoy drinks based on it, and use it for cosmetic purposes and for decoration. It is best to collect pine nuts yourself and involve children in this so that they understand the benefits and value of tasty kernels from an early age.

Watch the video: 11 Health Benefits Of Pine Nuts. Pine Nuts

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