Earlier on in the year (February I believe) I found a pine cone on the path. On the off chance that it might have a viable seed in it I took it home. I recovered just one seed and planted it in a small 4" pot.

It germinated and started to grow. This picture was taken on the 1st June. Seedling

Now (28th August) it is still the same size. It doesn't seem to be doing anything, although it appears to be alive.

Is this normal for pines to only grow such a small amount in the first year? Or is there something I can do to encourage more growth?

It's placed in an area where it gets afternoon direct light and indirect shaded light in the morning. I'm in the south of England.

1 Answer 1


no, nothing you can do to hurry growth along - the only observation I'd make is the pot its in appears to be way too big for it - its always a good idea to pot things into a pot about twice the size of the rootball, and then pot up into something larger as it grows. If your seedling had a long root, then a narrower, taller pot would have been best. Not sure its worth decanting it after this much time and disturbing its roots, but the risk, with so much compost surrounding such a small amount of root, is that it becomes sour and somewhat toxic because, in order to keep the seedling supplied with water, the whole pot needs to be wetted thoroughly, and that's a lot of potting medium sitting damp with nothing growing in it.

I can't tell from the picture whether you have a tray beneath the pot which catches water - if you do, empty that out 30 minutes after watering so the pot isn't sitting in water.

  • There is no tray beneath the pot. As I am primarily interested in bonsai, it's soil is about a 50% mix of akadama and turface, 50% compost. The medium does dry out pretty much completely between waterings.
    – AvieRose
    Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 15:40
  • If you want to create a bonsai, then a shallower pot would have been better, surely... although I'm not a bonsai expert at all... but any kind of planting medium in a pot may turn sour if its unoccupied by root material
    – Bamboo
    Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 15:41
  • Before attempting to create a bonsai, you need some substantial growth first to thicken the trunk. If I started with bonsai techniques from a seedling it would take a very long time. For now I will water sparingly and maybe reduce the pot size as you recommend. I hadn't come across souring of planting medium before.
    – AvieRose
    Commented Aug 29, 2016 at 22:11

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