How to grow Pistachio Tree from nut
As it happens in many fruit trees (citrus, apple etc.) a pistachio tree grown from seed may not bear fruits for the whole of its lifetime for various reasons. Besides, in order to harvest pistachios, we have to plant at the same yard at least one male and one female pistachio tree, so that the pollen can travel through the wind from the male tree to the female tree. But since you want to feel the joy of growing your own tree from seed, let’s get started.
The first thing we have to do is search for natural fresh harvested pistachios. This may be more difficult than it sounds, because nearly all newly harvested pistachios are transferred to the processing units in less than 20 hours. Keep in mind that nearly all the pistachios we can find in the market are roasted, so these seeds will definitely not sprout. In all cases, we need to find seeds that have not been processed in any way. They must be untreated, unroasted, unheated, and unsalted seeds.
Once we find the natural seeds, we have to select at least 10 of them. All things done correctly, only 50% of the seeds or less will germinate, and only a fraction of those will make it to a small seedling and young tree. We break carefully the shell and we collect the seeds. Then, we place them upon a wet towel and we put the towel in a transparent plastic bag (see image). They key from now on is to place the bag at a room temperature, but next to a window with access to direct sunlight. We have to check once in a week if the towel is wet, and add a small volume of water if needed.
(When done professionally and at a large scale, the plastic bag with seeds is first stored in the fridge for 6 weeks, before returning at a room temperature, but at small scale, someone can skip this step. Your germination rate will definitely be smaller than a pro (90%), but 3-4 seeds out of 10 will germinate, without waiting for 6 more weeks).
About 3-5 weeks later, some seeds will have normally sprouted. We plant them in individual small pots containing special soil mix (soil with river sand and compost etc.). We have to plant the seeds superficially, at a depth of 1,2 inches (3 cm) and cover lightly with soil. It doesn’t matter if we place the sprout facing upwards or downwards, nature will find the way. Then, we place the pots at a room temperature, close to a wide window, so that the seedlings will have again access to plenty of sunlight. The most important thing from now on is to keep the pots moist but not soggy. When the seedlings have reached a height of 6 inches (15 cm), we can transplant them at a bigger container.
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2. Growing Pistachio Tree from Seed
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