How to germinate Ginkgo biloba seeds

This is the guide to share our experience on how to germinate Ginkgo biloba seeds. Ginkgo seeds are like plums, but the juicy part of the fruit has such unpleasant smell that the specimens found in cities are almost all males so they don’t produce any seeds. The seed itself is the nut inside the juicy fruit.

How to germinate Ginkgo biloba seeds - seeds
Ginkgo biloba seeds

In previous years we tested the efficiency of stratification in Ginkgo seeds. We put a group in the fridge and sown other one right after seed collection (in Autumn). We found out that the same rate of germination happen in both groups, so the refrigerator cold was “so good” breaking the dormancy as the natural winter cold. Ginkgo seeds are very reliable and since you follow some simple steps we explain next you can expect that almost all seeds will germinate.

Here is how to do it:

1. Fill the pots and place the seeds

We usually use small pots to sow Ginkgo seeds. We use trays for smaller seeds, but for ginkgo and other big seeds we sow individually or some seeds for pot. We fill 3/4 of the pot with a generic potting soil. Something that retains humidity but drains well and dispose the seeds in it as shown in the pictures below

How to germinate Ginkgo biloba seeds - dispose several seeds in each pot for 1 year
Sowing several seeds in each pot


How to germinate Ginkgo biloba seeds - dispose the seeds in each pot
Place the seeds in each pot

2. Cover the seeds

Slightly cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil, just to protect them and keep the humidity around the seeds.

How to germinate Ginkgo biloba seeds - slightly cover the seeds
Slightly cover the seeds


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6 thoughts on “How to germinate Ginkgo biloba seeds

  1. CuriousCultivator

    What is the germination rate of these seeds, how long is the dormancy, what is the ratio of male to female from a group taken from a city environment? Can they be grown in a greenhouse? What is the water solubility of the soil you are using/can sand or other drainage substrate be used?

    1. dearplants

      Hi, thank you very much for your interest and questions.
      From our experience the germination rate of Ginkgo seeds is about 80%. We don’t have a point of comparison with seeds from other contexts like city environments.
      They can be perfectly germinated in a greenhouse, but they need to grow outside as they are deciduous trees and need cold winters.
      We use a very light soil and sand or other drainage components should be added to the substrate as excess water will rot the seeds. A rule of thumb is that the soil is only kept moist, not dry and not soaked.
      In terms of germination dificulty we can say that ginkgo seeds are in the group of “seeds for begginers” 😉

  2. Vijay Ingle

    I want to purchase Ginkgo biloba seeds

    1. dearplants

      Hi, thank you for your comment. You can find Ginkgo biloba seeds here:

      Dear Plants

  3. joshua

    I found some seeds that i had forgoten about. They are 3 to 4 years old…
    Will they still work???
    They where keeped at room temperature and in a dry place.

    1. dearplants

      Thank you for your message. Maybe 3 or 4 years old is to much keeped at room temperature. At this time they might have consumed all their energy reserves. But as I allways say, “If I don’t sow, they will not germinate for sure”. So, give them a try. Maybe you get a surprise. If you’re lucky, just send us a message. We would like to hear from you again.


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