Monday, December 5, 2011

How to Grow a Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo biloba has distinctive fan-shaped leaves.

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Due to its hardiness and ease of care, it's no surprise that the ginkgo tree is an ancient species that has survived for millions of years. This tree tolerates compacted or poor soil, heat, drought, urban pollution, extreme pH and salt spray. It produces fan-shaped leaves that turn yellow in the fall. Growing to a height of 100 feet, the tree is actually slow to grow but can live for hundreds of years. Renowned for its medical uses, ginkgo can be found growing all over the world and is easy to grow from seed in your own garden.

Related Searches:Difficulty:Moderately EasyInstructions Things You'll NeedRubber glovesPlastic bagPeat mossSandSandpaperPotsPotting soilSuggest Edits1

Remove seeds from the ripe fruit of a female tree, wearing gloves. Wash thoroughly in water to remove the pulp. Allow them to dry thoroughly.


Place seeds in a plastic bag filled with moist peat and sand and store in a refrigerator for one to two months.


Scrape seed coats with sandpaper to remove it partially and make the seed permeable to water. This is called scarification and accelerates germination time. Soak for 24 hours prior to planting.


Fill small (4- to 6-inch) pots with a mixture of sand and potting soil. Place seeds at a depth of 1/2 inch and cover them lightly. Keep moderately moist but do not soak.


Place pots outside in a shady location once they are established. Transplant to their final location once they reach two years of age.


Plant established trees in a location in well-drained soil in full sun, preferably in spring or fall. A dry loam soil in a location sheltered from wind is ideal.


Prune branches to stimulate lateral growth and encourage a strong central leader.


Provide deep watering during the summer. Do not over water, but keep in mind the plant is drought-resistant and slow-growing.

Tips & Warnings

You can propagate ginkgo from cuttings during early summer.

The seeds of the ginkgo tree are edible. According to the Plants for a Future, seeds may be toxic, so they should be cooked before eating. They offer a sweet flavor similar to pine nuts and can be used in soups and other dishes. it is rich in niacin, protein and carbohydrates. The seeds, leaves and fruit are purported to have medicinal properties.

Ginkgo is slow-growing, especially during its first few years after transplanting, but can live and grow for many years.

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ReferencesOhio State University: Ginkgo BilobaUniversity of Washington: Gardening Answers KnowledgebaseThe Ginkgo Pages: PropagationPlants For a Future: Ginkgo BilobaPhoto Credit Comstock/Comstock/Getty ImagesRead Next:

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