How to grow a walnut in water and transform it into a tiny tree

Walnut in the shell with the first root growing out
A germinated walnut growing in water on a germination plate
How to grow a walnut with roots and leaves, growing in water

Here’s a quick tutorial to teach you how we germinate our walnuts.

Watch the 1-minute video to learn the super easy method, using supplies you already have in your kitchen.

Here’s some extra info to help you succeed:

Start with fresh walnuts, in the shell.

They’re usually in season at the end of the summer. The flesh inside has not yet dried out, and is much more likely to give you results. The success rate is still not very high, compared to other types of seeds, about 60% in our experience, so get started with a few to improve your chances.

Don’t skip the fridge.

Walnuts, just like many other tree seeds from colder climates, need a cold period before they can germinate. You need to mimic nature: the seeds first pass the winter outside and wait for the warmer spring days to start waking up and germinating.
To speed things up, we fake this process in the fridge, so you don’t have to wait until spring to try. The scientific name for this process is called stratification, but we like to think of it as a ski holiday for your seeds.

Keep mold off

Walnuts are sensitive to mold. Nothing to worry about, the forest floor is also covered in many mold spores. If your seeds develop mold, wipe them off gently with diluted hydrogen peroxide, and put them back in a new baggie with a new paper towel.

sprouted walnuts with a tap root and a young shoot by Botanopia
Growth of a walnut in progress by Botanopia
sprouted walnut growing on a germination plate by Botanopia

Can’t wait to see the result?

We have a little timelapse video for you, so you can watch the process already, while you wait for your walnuts to sprout.

Did you successfully sprout your walnut?

Time to set it up on water, to grow further. The perfect tool for the job is a porcelain germination plate. It will keep the seed dry and will make your little floating forest look amazing.

Already a pro at growing walnuts?

What’s your next challenge? Here’s lots of ideas for other plants and seeds to try next.

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