Growing Sagwan (Teak) Seedlings in a Nursery: A Comprehensive Guide


Teak, scientifically known as Tectona grandis, is one of the most prized hardwood trees in the world. Known for its durability, strength, and beautiful wood grain, teak has a wide range of applications, from furniture and boat building to flooring and construction. If you’re interested in cultivating teak trees, starting with sagwan seedlings in a nursery is a crucial first step. In this guide, we will walk you through the process of growing teak seedlings successfully.

1. Choosing Quality Seeds:

The first step in growing teak seedlings is to source high-quality seeds. Look for seeds from healthy, mature teak trees. Ideally, you should collect seeds from trees that are at least 20 years old, as they are more likely to produce viable seeds. To ensure genetic diversity, collect seeds from multiple trees if possible.

2. Seed Collection:

Teak trees produce seeds in capsules. These capsules typically contain multiple seeds. Collect the capsules from the tree when they are mature, which is indicated by the capsules turning brown and splitting open. Remove the seeds from the capsules and clean them thoroughly.

3. Seed Treatment:

Teak seeds have a hard shell that can be challenging to germinate. To improve germination rates, you can perform seed treatments such as scarification and soaking. Scarification involves making small cuts or abrasions on the seed coat to allow water to penetrate more easily. Soaking the seeds in water for 24-48 hours before planting can also help soften the seed coat.

4. Nursery Setup:

Prepare a well-ventilated nursery area with partial sunlight. Teak seedlings require adequate sunlight, but they should be protected from harsh, direct sunlight during their early growth stages. Use well-draining soil with a pH level of 6-7 for planting the seeds.

5. Planting the Seeds:

Plant the treated seeds in nursery beds or containers. Sow the seeds at a depth of about 1-2 cm (0.4-0.8 inches). Space the seeds at least 5-10 cm (2-4 inches) apart to allow room for growth. Water the nursery beds or containers regularly to maintain soil moisture.

6. Seedling Care:

a. Watering: Teak seedlings require consistent moisture during their early growth stages. Avoid overwatering, as this can lead to root rot. Water the seedlings when the topsoil begins to dry out.

b. Fertilization: Apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer to provide essential nutrients for healthy growth. Follow the recommended dosage on the fertilizer label.

c. Protection: Protect the young seedlings from pests and animals that may damage them. Consider using protective netting or barriers to keep them safe.

7. Transplanting:

After about 6-12 months, when the seedlings have reached a height of 30-45 cm (12-18 inches) and have developed a strong root system, they can be transplanted to their final planting location. Choose a location with well-drained soil, ample sunlight, and adequate spacing between trees.

8. Maintenance:

Once the teak trees are established in their permanent location, they will require minimal maintenance. Regular pruning may be necessary to shape the tree and remove dead or diseased branches. Ensure they receive adequate water during dry periods.


Growing sagwan (teak) seedlings in a nursery requires careful attention to detail, from seed selection and treatment to proper nursery setup and care. With patience and dedication, you can produce healthy teak seedlings that will eventually grow into valuable, long-lasting hardwood trees. Remember that teak trees are slow-growing, so it may take several years before you can fully enjoy the benefits of your efforts. However, the reward of having a sustainable source of this prized hardwood makes the process well worth it.

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