How to Grow Chinese Toon (Toona sinensis) from Seed

Joel Durant Vegetables Leave a Comment


Toona Sinensis, chinese toon, Chinese Mahogany

Toona sinensis is also known as Chinese toon and Chinese mahogany. It is a fast growing deciduous tree, growing up to 25 m tall with a trunk up to 70 cm diameter. It is a source of valuable hardwood similar to mahagony.

Toona Sinensis Sprouts

At the seedling stage the fresh young leaves and shoots are edible, highly nutritious, and a popular aromatic vegetable in China. Chinese toon shoots and leaves are excellent in stir fries, especially with egg, and for pickling and seasoning. The flavour resembles onions, with rich aromatic overtones. In China there is a large industry growing this ‘tree vegetable’ in greenhouses and tunnels year round. Also suitable for sprouts and microherb production. In Chinese medicine the fruit, bark, and leaves are used for diarrhea, dysentery, flatulence, and various other uses.

Below you can find the instructions on how to sprout the seeds.

How to Grow Toona Sinensis

Chinese toon is hardy in zones 6-9. Seeds are best sown in the spring or fall. Sow the seeds once the last frost has past. It prefers full sun but will tolerate some shade. Prefers rich, moist, well-draining soil with a pH of 5.5-8.0.

The optimal germination temperature for toona sinensis is 25 C°. Soaking the seeds for 24 hours in room temperature water will greatly help with germination.  The seeds can be started in pots or with moist paper towels.

Starting with Pots: Fill pots with sterilized potting soil. Sow the seeds no more than 1/4 inch deep. Keep the soil continuously moist and never let it dry out.

Using Towels: You can use cloth or paper towels. Soak the towel and squeeze out the excess water; the towels just need to be damp and moist. Then spread the seeds evenly over the towel and cover over so that the seeds are ‘wrapped’ in the towel. Keep in a in a room temperature location and use a mister to keep the towels moist. Germination takes 6-14 days. When they’ve sprouted and have at least two sets of leaves, they can be transplanted outside. Continue to water them just enough to keep them in moist soil.

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