SWEET GUM Liquidambar styraciflua

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American sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua), is also known as American storax, hazel pine, bilsted, redgum, satin-walnut, star-leaved gum, alligatorwood, or simply sweetgum. It is a deciduous tree native to warm temperate areas of eastern North America and also to tropical montane regions of Mexico and Central America. It is recognizable by the combination of its five-pointed star-shaped leaves (similar to maple leaves) and its hard, spiked fruits.

These plants are sometimes used for bonsai, though they can be grown as a regular full-sized tree. If growing as a Bonsai, we are offering our Bonsai growing instruction booklet as an option with your seeds. It contains full-colour images and detailed information about germinating, growing, pruning and potting your new bonsai! It is the same booklet that is offered in our bonsai kit.

Hardiness zones: 6-9

Location: Sun or part sun

Seeds per pack: 10

Germination: Soak in water, let stand in water for 12 hours. Obtain a sterile seed-start mix, and place 1-2 seeds in each pot, and lightly cover it with soil. Water thoroughly. If you are starting your seeds in a warm season, place the pots in a plastic bag, and place them in a refrigerator for 8 weeks. If you are starting your seeds during the cool weather, the pots can be placed in a cold garage for 4 weeks. Once the cold period is completed, place the pots in a warm, sunny spot. You should see the first sign of germination within the next few days or weeks, depending on the variety. Generally a 10-60 day range is normal for the first signs of growth. When the seedlings are about 5cm (2") tall, remove any additional plants and leave only the strongest seedling in each pot. The removed seedlings can be planted in a garden or elsewhere if desired.

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