Growing laurels trees from seeds is not difficult but it
can be slow if you leave it up to nature. By that I mean just taking a
seed from a pod and planting it in a pot or in your yard. Obviously, nature
works but if you want to see a tree grow and bloom in your lifetime, there
are three steps you can take to help nature along.
o Score the seeds. This can be done with a
coarse file, wheel grinder or just rubbing on a rough concrete surface.
All you want to do is remove a small amount of the hard, candy red surface.
Just about a 1/8" scratch thru the red shell is all that is needed.
o Soak the seeds in water. This can be done in a cup
of water or even a zip lock bag. In a day or two the red seeds will swell
and become black in color. Once the seeds have absorbed the water and changed
color they are ready to plant. (Leaving them in the water too long may
cause them to develop a fungus that may doom your efforts.)
o Plant. If you want to plant a large number of seeds
at one time, a small medium such as a peat pots would be a way to go. This
way you expend less time and money and get the most tree "starts".
Be careful with this technique. A young laurel is like an iceberg. Once
you see life above the surface, its roots are probably 5 times longer than
the above ground height. Laurels hate to have their roots disturbed. Most
won't make it if their tap root has penetrated the bottom of the growing
medium and then replant.