This sounds like a really dumb question, but I don't know anything about growing plants. I was watching some tutorials on how to grow a bonsai from a seed and they mentioned plant four seeds in one pot? What if I only wanted one bonsai tree? Won't the seeds make four samplings therefore four bonsai trees? I don't understand why plant more than one if I only want to grow one tree?

  • Not a 100% chance a seedling will come up, not a 100% chance the seedling will be healthy. Plant four (or six) and keep the most healthy plant.
    – Johannes_B
    Nov 9, 2020 at 4:58
  • @Johannes_B If possible, please try to answer questions in the answers section instead of the comments section. Thanks! Nov 9, 2020 at 10:07

1 Answer 1


Usually the issue is what to do with the packet. Typically you get 25 to 100 or so.

Commercially forestry production usually plants 2 seeds per cell, then snips one off when they are 3" tall. Empty cells are expensive since they distort the growth pattern of their neighbours.

Some seed are less viable. Maple often has two seeds in the 'helicopter' (samara...) but one is generally just an empty capsule. Even with the filled ones, you often only get 30-40% sprouting. So I plant 1 samara per inch in a seed flat with 4 rows per flat. This works out to about 100 samaras per flat.

Normally when I'm starting seeds, I'll plant them in a large pot or a flat about 1.5" apart. This allows me to move them when 2-3" tall into individual pots.

For each type of seed, there are prep conditions. Lots of them have to be stored at just above freezing temps in damp media for several months.

Google {botanical name of plant} propagation from seed.

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