*Disclaimer* This is by no means meant as a scientific article. I am not a botanist, nor do I have much of a green thumb. I have no idea if my little trees will survive this winter let alone grow into blooming magnolia trees. But at least something grew from the seeds.
This summer the magnolia trees near my neighborhood pool smelled so fabulous I decided I wanted to plant some. A little research on the trusty old internet lead me to this Magnolia Seed Pod site by Linda Nix. Encouraged by her easy to follow steps I waited for the seed pods to ripen.
Here's my method (remember the disclaimer - YMMV).
1. Obtain ripened seed pod. The bright red seeds should be bursting out.
2. Remove the seeds and soak them overnight in some water to soften the tough outer skin.
3. Remove the outer red seed coat. Some seeds will pop out when squeezed at one end. Inside there is a slimy tan seed that reminded me of a pine nut. Sorry I forgot to photograph this step.
4. Wash the seeds to remove the oily coating. I figure this part must be done by the digestive tracts of animals that eat the seeds.
5. I planted my seeds in reconstituted individual peat pellets like these:
Then placed them in my makeshift growing container (a glass baking dish covered with plastic wrap).
6. It had been several MONTHS and I was about to throw the whole experiment out when I saw a little plant emerging. A few days later the leaves popped out..
7. At the first sign of leaves, I removed the plant from the makeshift grower and planted it in a pot in some soil. It's now sitting by a window and has since been joined by another pot with another seedling. I see two more emerging and a few more have roots. I have know idea what I'll do with them once they grow too big for pots. I don't have much of a yard.