Newbie looking for some help

I have two seeds that have just sprouted, one is a Pinus Aristata, the other is a Pinus Thumbergii. I planed these about five weeks ago and they are just starting to come to life. They are approximately 2 inches, and both plants seemingly had 2 - 3 seeds that sprouted.

Right now I am trying to get these plants sunlight during the day (as much as I can living in the PNW). At night I bring them inside. I am watering once a day. I’ve read a bunch of suggestions on google, but I’d like to get opinions. How often should I water? Does aquarium water have an advantage over regular water? What should I use for fertilizer, and how often should I fertilize? How long should these plants stay in the small seed pots? How much sun should they get?

I’m so new to this but can really see myself enjoying this as a hobby as I get older. I love the idea of bringing trees from seed to bonsai.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. I also have a few more seeds that are being stored in my house (different species). If I wanted to plant those, what should I do beforehand to ensure best results?

Thanks I’m advance.

Sounds fun - here are some starting points:

  • keep the plants outdoors day and night in full sun
  • water when the soil starts to dry out (check 1/4" down in the soil), but before it’s totally dry
  • once the seedlings grow for another month you can use any gentle fertilizer

As for preparing seeds for propagation, check the recommendations at the link below for each species:

You have two completely different kinds of pines. The Japanese black pine (pinus thumbergii) is a two needle pine. Bonsaitonight has an excellent article on growing JBP from seed. Bristlecone pine is different. It is extremely slow growing-- you will likely not have much need or opportunity to prune it in your lifetime.It is very easy to overwater, and prefers slightly saline soil. They keep their needles for up to 40 years.

The one issue not covered in the linked articles is the practice of turning the seedlings into cuttings at about two months of age. This is not a universal practice. The pros and cons are discussed here. I have had some good luck with the practice, because it eliminates the tap root and produces a radial root pattern which will result in better nebari in the future. Hope this helps.

1 Like

Thanks @timahlen, the seedling-cutting article from Terry is good.

@Dustin_Richardson if you’re curious, here’s another article on the topic of making seedling cuttings:

(and yet another link if you’re feeling nerdy):

Since you only have a few seedlings, the thought of cutting off the roots might be intimidating. Fortunately it’s not at all necessary. I do it with some batches but not others.