Bonsai delonix regia

Question: bonsai delonix regia

Hi, I bought some delonix regia or fire tree seeds with the intention of making it a bonsai. I need accurate information about the optimal sowing conditions and subsequent steps after germination. Thanks!

Answer: bonsai delonix regia

Dear Claudia,
the delonix regia, or poinciana regia, is a majestic tree originating from Madagascar; the adult specimens produce a spectacular flowering, in shades of red and orange, which has earned the tree the common name of flame tree. The seeds are dark, woody and rigid, because they are covered with a sort of shell, a rigid film that prevents water from penetrating inside the seeds. In nature the fruits fall to the ground, and remain there for some months, before germinating; to prevent them from sprouting too early, nature protects them, making them completely impermeable to water, and therefore difficult to germinate. In practice, if you simply put the seeds directly into the ground, you should water them for months and months before the water can penetrate them, and then bring them to germination.
To avoid having to wait so long, it is advisable to subject the delonix seeds to a process, which is technically called scarification: it consists in thinning the cuticle that covers the seeds. Scarification can be carried out in various ways, the simplest being to quickly pass the seeds with very fine-grained sandpaper, in order to slightly thin the cuticle that covers them, leaving the seed that is inside completely undisturbed. After passing the seeds with sandpaper, dip them in water for about ten hours, and then place them in a seeding tray. For practicality, prepare the seeding tray with a mixture of sand and peat in equal parts, watering it well before placing the seeds; then place the seeds on the surface and cover with very little soil, or rather with a layer of vermiculite, which has the property of being very light and of retaining moisture.