Growing Mulberry Trees from Seed at Home: A Comprehensive Guide

Mulberry trees are a delightful addition to any home garden, known for their rapid growth and sweet, delectable fruits. Starting mulberries from seed can be a rewarding endeavor, although it requires patience and care. This guide provides detailed instructions on how to successfully grow mulberry trees from seed at home, including the use of natural aids like dish soap to help protect young plants.

mulberry trees in a large pot

Step 1: Seed Collection and Preparation

Collecting Seeds:

  • Obtain fresh mulberry fruits during the fruiting season, typically late spring to early summer.
  • Squeeze out the seeds from ripe berries and wash them thoroughly to remove any fruit residue, as this can prevent mold growth during germination.

Seed Preparation:

  • Mulberry seeds have a better germination rate when stratified. To stratify the seeds, mix them with slightly moist sand and store them in a refrigerator for about 90 days. This process mimics natural winter conditions and helps break seed dormancy.

Step 2: Germination

Planting the Seeds:

  • After stratification, sow the seeds in a tray filled with a well-draining seed starting mix. Cover the seeds lightly with soil — about twice the thickness of the seed.
  • Keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. Use a spray bottle to gently water the seeds to avoid displacing them.

Creating a Mini Greenhouse:

  • Cover the tray with clear plastic wrap or a plastic dome to create a greenhouse effect. This helps maintain humidity and warmth, facilitating germination.
  • Place the tray in a warm, well-lit area but out of direct sunlight which can be too harsh for young seedlings.

Step 3: Seedling Care

Monitoring Growth:

  • Seeds typically germinate within three to six weeks. Once sprouts appear, remove the plastic cover to prevent mold growth and place the tray in a location that receives indirect sunlight.
  • Water the seedlings with a mist to keep the soil moist. Ensure the tray has drainage holes to prevent excess water accumulation.

Dish Soap Spray for Pest Control:

  • To protect young mulberry plants from pests, prepare a mild dish soap spray solution. Mix a teaspoon of dish soap with a liter of water and spray it on the leaves. The soap helps in deterring pests without harming the plant.

Step 4: Transplanting

Hardening Off Seedlings:

  • When seedlings have grown several true leaves and are strong enough, begin the hardening off process. Gradually expose them to outdoor conditions over a week to acclimatize them to their new environment.


  • Choose a sunny spot in your garden with well-draining soil. Mulberries thrive in full sun and can adapt to most soil types, except waterlogged soil.
  • Dig holes twice as wide as the root ball but just as deep. Space the trees at least 15-20 feet apart as mulberries can grow into large trees.
  • Water thoroughly after planting and mulch around the base to retain moisture and suppress weeds.
mulberry tree

Step 5: Ongoing Care


  • Young trees need regular watering until they are established. Once mature, mulberry trees are quite drought tolerant.


  • Fertilize with a balanced fertilizer in early spring to support growth and fruit production.


  • Prune during the dormant season to maintain shape and remove any dead or diseased branches.

Growing mulberry trees from seed at home can be a lengthy but rewarding process. With the right care and conditions, you will be able to enjoy both the shade and fruits of these lovely trees. By following these detailed steps, you ensure your mulberry trees get the best start possible, leading to years of lush growth and fruitful harvests.

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