How to Plant Acorns Step by Step VIDEO

In this article, you will learn how to plant acorns and get a new tree. Trees of the genus Quercus (Quercineae): cork oak, kermes oak, holm oak, gall oak, and oak are the ones that bear this fruit. We include photos and videos of our results growing acorns in pots.

With the arrival of autumn, many of us go for a walk in the surroundings or enjoy the views of the change of season of the falling leaves or even that many of the trees give us their fruits.

Autumn comes loaded with food for the forest creatures and for us to collect fruits for the winter, among them we can find chestnuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, or even as we are going to see today, acorns.

how to plant acorns step by step guide

Which Acorns Should You Choose?

Which Acorns Should You Choose? Look for large acorns with a vivid dark brown color. They may still have some greenish color, but never light brown or alternating with dark brown. They should not have holes or be gnawed.

If possible, take acorns from a large tree that you know produces a lot of acorns every year. Pick them preferably from the ground.

Another good quality test is to put them in water to discard those that float. Do not take more than you can plant, because many animals also need them for food.

When collecting and separating your acorns for germination, keep in mind that the success rate is not 100%. The estimated germination rate is approximately 50%-70%.

Acorns soon dehydrate and lose their ability to germinate. They will keep in the open air and in a cool place for 7 or 8 days. If possible, keep them in the refrigerator and in contact with a damp cloth or cotton, or even better, take the acorns from the ground and plant them as soon as possible.

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Where And When to Plant Acorns?

Where And When to Plant Acorns? The best time of the year to plant acorns is during autumn.

Sow them in autumn or early winter. The best way to encourage the rooting process is to plant acorns in pots. You can sow them in pots and keep the soil well packed and always moist. It is not recommended to plant them directly in the ground due to the effect of the frosts on the roots.

If you prefer the ground, it is better to choose soft soil, next to shrubs that shade them in the harsh summer evenings. Choose land with a low density of trees of the species they come from.

where and when plant acorns

How to Plant Acorns Step by Step

Planting acorns is very simple. In nature, they grow easily so we will show you how to imitate that process. Below you will learn step by step how to plant acorns. Let’s see two methods to plant acorns.

Growing Acorns in Pots Step by Step

Planting acorns in pots work very well with a germination success rate of 50 to 70 %. We recommend you plant many acorns and then select the ones that germinate and develop the best roots.

sowing acorns in a Pot
How to Plant Acorns in a Pot for Rooting During Winter – Place them in the right position and just cover them partially.
  1. Select the most suitable acorns (inspection and float test). Collect the acorns from the ground, coming from trees with high production.
  2. Prepare plastic containers, garden trays, grow boxes or pots to start germination. Then you can transplant them to larger containers or even transfer them to the ground after the last frost. As always mentioned, make sure the pots have bottom holes to facilitate proper drainage. They can contain small stones to aid drainage.
  3. Choose a quality potting soil, such as potting mix. Do not add fertilizers or compost. In germination and rooting processes, we seek to minimize the number of bacteria and fungi that could make a developing plant sick. Compost is great but only for plants that have already developed their immune system.
  4. Make a few light holes to position the acorns.
  5. Plant the acorns in autumn or early winter.
  6. Check the position of the acorns as shown in the pictures and make sure the soil is firm around them. Firmness will favor the rooting process.
  7. Make sure that the acorns are not completely covered. The top end should be left uncovered.
  8. Water and keep the soil moist. During the fall and winter, the soil will not dry out easily.
  9. Acorns need cold to root. Although you can move the pots indoors, it is recommended that they be exposed to cold temperatures. However, try to keep the soil from freezing. You can place the pot on a balcony or on a semi-covered patio.
  10. It will take about 3 to 4 months for the roots to emerge and be about 2 inches (5 cm) long. See the result in the video below.
  11. After this time you can inspect your acorns, discard those that have not germinated, and even transfer them to a larger container.
  12. During the summer it is useful to place a thin layer of topsoil to retain soil moisture and encourage seedling growth.
growing acorns in pots
In early spring, about 3 to 4 months after planting your acorns, you can inspect them and discard those that have not been rooted. You will see that they will quickly develop their first leaves in the spring.

Germination with Cotton

Here is another method to plant oak trees by germination of acorns using cotton.

Sideways, at a depth of 1.5 or 2 times their diameter. We will cover them well with the soil. We will only put one in each hole and we will distance them at least a couple of ft (meters) to avoid competition between them.

To obtain the germination of the acorns will be easy following these steps. First, we will introduce the acorns in a container with water, the ones that sink will be the ones we should use. If any acorn floats, we will discard it.

We will look for a container and we will place in its interior a layer of hydrophilic cotton on the bottom, we will put the acorns on the cotton, and on them, we will arrange another layer of cotton. Moisten the cotton and leave the acorns in the container for 10 to 30 days.

In that period of time, most of the acorns will germinate. Once the acorns have germinated, plant them in an ordinary seedbed, using a good gardening substrate, first place a layer of substrate in the seedbed and making a hole, plant the germinated acorn with the root downwards, cover with a little more substrate. Watering once a week will be enough for most species, except those that are typical of high rainfall areas.

They can also be planted directly into the ground; it depends on the cold. If we leave the seedling indoors during the winter, then in the spring the acorn will begin to unfold a small green shoot. With any of the options, we will be successful, although it is very interesting to observe the development of all growth phases and we can postpone the arrival in the ground for when the plant is more developed.

how to plant acorns

Growing Oak Trees from Acorns

Here is a video we prepared for you to easily see how to plant acorns. We also recommend our article about how to grow a peach tree from a pit.

We hope that this article on how to plant acorns will be of great help and soon you will have a new tree.

About Henry Morgan

We are the Morgan family, Henry, and Julia, both agronomists from the University of Michigan, where we met. We are experts in putting our hands in the soil and developing organic foods and improving production processes for decades. Likewise, we have worked for companies such as Mondelez International, BASF, Monsanto, etc. currently in our role as science writers for TheGardenStyle.com as well as advisors in promoting large scale food growing in urbanized areas. In this website, we share what we are most passionate about, gardening and farming. Enjoy and see real photos on our website.