Do Pine Cones Grow Into Trees? Everything You Should Know

by Shelley Ryffe
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Sometimes the pine cones are confused with the seed of the pine tree. Due to this, some enthusiast gardeners often wonder- do pine cones grow into trees?

Unfortunately, it is not true for pine cones. At least you cannot directly grow a pine tree simply by sowing/planting the pine cone in the soil. There are many other factors, methods, and requirements to turn the seed from the pine cone into a pine tree.

If you are a plant lover, learning more about growing pine cones will interest you. All you need is to keep reading till the end to reveal the facts about growing pine trees.

Do Pine Cones Grow Into Trees?

do pine cones turn into trees

While walking down the street, driveway, or lawn, you may have noticed the beautiful sculptures of the pine cones lying on the ground. Looking at them, people wonder if the pine cones can be turned into pine trees.

Pine cones can grow into pine trees, but this specific transformation has different methods. Since the pine cone is not the seed but a covering to protect the seed, it does not directly turn into a pine tree by planting.

Does Sowing A Pine Cone Transform Into A Pine Tree?

No. It is not possible for the pine cones to grow into a pine tree by sowing the entire pine cones inside the soil. This is true for all Twenty species of pine cones in the world.

Why Does Sowing The Pine Cones Fail To Produce Pine Trees?

The Pinecone is the female reproductive organ of the pine tree. It consists of the pine seeds within the scales of the cone. This spiral structure of the pine cone is developed to protect the pine seeds from adverse conditions and temperature.

That is why sowing the pine cones in the soil does not allow any light, heat, or water nutrients to reach the seeds. Its scales make a shield to avoid this external parameter reaching the seeds and helping germination.

Thus, a pine tree fails to grow from the pine cone if you directly sow the pine cone. But there are some ways to grow pine trees from the pine cones.

Growing Pine Trees From Pine Cone

You should remember beforehand the physiological and chemical parameters of the pine cones to grow pine trees. Its seeds are very sensitive to light, temperature, environment, water, and nutrients.

If any requirements fail to meet, the pine tree does not grow. Therefore, you have to keep the pine cone exposed to sunlight to grow pine trees.

Method of Potting Pine Cone

You can keep the cone on a pot filled with soil. Keep the root side on the bottom and the scales facing upward.

Sprinkle some soil all over the cone but ensure the soil layer is not too dense. Moisturize the soil every day to keep the soil hydrated. The seedling of the pine tree requires repotting after several weeks of growing.

Growing A Pine Tree Indirectly From The Pine Cone

This process allows growing a pine tree from the pine cones. You have to take out the young seeds from inside the scales of the pine cones. These seeds have “seed wings” like maple seeds.

Also Read: How Much Water Does A Pine Tree Drink A Day – Everything You Need to Know!

Sowing these seeds in a favorable environment, including optimum temperature, moisture, and soil conditions, grows pine seedlings.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long do pine cones take to grow?

Turning a fertilized ovule into a mature cone-like sculpture takes around three years. The shielding scales of the cone are developed along with the seeds. Some species of pine cones can grow and stay on the tree for ten years before falling.

Can you grow a tree from a pine cone?

You can grow a tree from a pine cone provided that there are some young, mature seeds inside the pine cones. It is done using the entire cone and poting, keeping the cone mostly exposed. And another method is by taking out the seeds and sowing them in the soil.

What happens when you put a pine cone in water?

When you put a pine cone in water, the cone’s scales will retract or open depending on the water temperature. Pine cones are very sensitive to temperature. The scales of the pine cone show reflex when they experience a temperature change.

Will planting a pine cone grow a tree?

No. You cannot get a pine seedling by planting an entire pine cone inside the soil layer. This process creates a physical blockade for the seeds to interact with the soil’s light, temperature, and moisture. But planting a pine cone by keeping most of its scales above the soil level can grow into a tree.

Does planting a pine cone grow a tree?

Planting a pine cone fails to grow into a tree due to inadequate favorable germinating conditions. The under-moisturization and lack of nutrients due to scale covering degrades the growth of a pine tree when planted.


It will be a mistake to mix the pine cone with the most common seeds and seedlings. The pine cone works as a natural shielding mechanism for the seeds located inside the scales.

Planting a pine cone directly does not let the seed within the scales develop due to unfavorable conditions.

Hence, if you want to grow a pine tree from a pine cone, you consider other ways of germinating the seeds of the pine tree. Lastly, your question do pine cones grow into trees is thus justified.

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