Growing Wattles from Seed
With a majority of species native to Australia, Wattles (Acacia) are a fantastic way to add a splash of bright yellow to your yard or garden, though flowers can vary in colour through cream, pale yellow to gold depending on the species.
There are some 1350 species of Acacia found throughout the world and close to 1,000 of these are to be found in Australia. Commonly known as Wattle, Acacia is the largest genus of vascular plants in Australia.
Wattles are a fast-growing but short-lived plant that will usually last for about seven to 12 years. Some species however are longer lived. They are great to use to establish a garden because they grow quickly and they grow readily from seed. Wattles range in habit from prostrate and low-growing species to larger shrubs and shade trees. Wattles also make great privacy plants and also provide food and shelter for animals, insects and birds.
Seeds are readily available and can be stored for many years. The seeds have a very hard coat on them that needs to be worn away or softened before water can enter and germination can take place. This can be done by pouring boiling water over the seeds and leaving them to soak for 24 hours. Seeds that have insect damage or that are infertile will float to the surface and should be discarded. Swollen seeds can be sown, and the others can be retreated by soaking them for longer.
Many species of Acacia can be grown from cuttings using firm new seasons growth.
Most wattle seeds can be sown in spring or early autumn into clean plastic pots, seed trays or any plastic container with holes for drainage punched through the bottom. Seeds are easier to handle if they are dried briefly on paper towel. Seeds should be sown about 5 mm apart in prepared soil mix, lightly covered with mix to the depth of the seed or a little more. Containers or punnets should be placed in a semi-shaded site and kept above ground level. Soil should be kept moist but not wet.
Most treated wattle seed germinates within about 7 days although some take longer.