Date Palm Seeds

Discussion in 'Plant Propagation' started by F1aReD, Feb 24, 2007.

  1. F1aReD

    F1aReD Member

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    Hello all,
    I'm very new to seed germination so I admit now, I know nothing about it lol. A few weeks ago I ordered a little bag of 15 Phoenix dactylifera seeds. I followed everything on this website: http://www.personal.u-net.com/~treetops/germinat.html
    Well, so far I've followed everything that the website has said to do. I check up on the seeds every few days but so far, I'm getting nothing but mold. I soaked the seeds for 24 hours and left it on top of the stove. During that time, I changed the water out every few hours. After that, I mixed them into Perlite (since I have no Vermiculite and I cant find any at my local garden center) with a tablespoon of water. From that point on I've just been waiting and so far, I got NOTHING! I also read that palm seeds cant take up to a year to germinate! Does anyone have any ideas/suggestions? Any other way to germinate them? I've been thinking about some moist soil in a baggy on top of the stove..All help will be greatly appreciated...thanks
     
  2. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Normally these will take more than a few weeks to germinate. Mold is not good and perhaps too much moisture is in your equation. Heat during the day and regular room temps at night. So a fluctuation in temps is better than constant.
    A better suggestion still (what I've done successfully) is buy a 2 lb box of Medjools. The fruit is tasty and the seed is fresh for germinating.

    Cheers, LPN.
     
  3. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    There's a much easier - and cheaper - way to do this. Go to the supermarket, and buy a packet of dates (just check that they're not stoned!!). Eat the dates, and sow the stones.

    I just shoved a date stone in a pot of soil (coir-based compost), and it germinated about a month later. No soaking or anything fancy. Here it is, age 6 months; it has grown a third leaf since I took the photo:
     

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  4. F1aReD

    F1aReD Member

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    Thanks for the quick replies. I was going to buy some dates from my local supermarket...problem is, they had none!! I looked all over and they only had ones that were chopped up, no seeds. So I thought to myself, well if I buy some good ones, they'd be better and easier to germinate.
     
  5. F1aReD

    F1aReD Member

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    Well..I think I may have figured something out. Before, I soaked the seeds in warm water for 24 hours. Well I read somewhere online that you can use boiling water and let them sit in that. So, a couple hours ago I took some boiling water and poured it into a cup with the seeds. I just checked on them, and the flesh is actually peeling off easily! Before, there was little or no flesh peeling off so I just popped them into the Perlite..
     
  6. F1aReD

    F1aReD Member

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    By the way, that wasnt with the current seeds, it was with extra seeds I had. I only put 3 into the perlite
     
  7. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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  8. F1aReD

    F1aReD Member

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    If these dont germinate, I'll try those. I can't just throw away or forget about 15 seeds...I do have a question though, before you germinate the seeds the flesh needs to come off right? Well, when they say "flesh" after its gone what color is the seed supposed to be?
     
  9. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    If they sent you whole dates with the flesh still on, then yes, that needs to come off. I'd be inclined to chew it off - dates are adapted to being eaten, and the enzymes in saliva and / or digestive juices can help promote germination.

    Here's two dried dates, one as-is, the other with the flesh eaten off to leave the stone (yes, I've gone to the length of eating a date to demonstrate . . . delicious :-) note the resemblance to a very large grain of wheat, with a groove down one side, pale orangey-brown in colour.

    BTW, date seeds will keep a very long time - a 2,000 year old date stone found in the 'Dead Sea Scrolls' cave in Israel was recently germinated successfully.
     

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  10. F1aReD

    F1aReD Member

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    I never really realized what whole dates looked like like that, thanks for the demonstration! The one's I have are small and look the like the one in your picture next to the big one... Now, what if..I took the skin off the little one too, like all the skin so the stone is just white?
     
  11. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    There's no "skin" on the date pit as such. A fine membrane perhaps but nothing that will change the color to white. Just clean the seed and plant, it's really just that simple ... nothing else to do.

    Cheers, LPN.

    PS. If you find Medjools, they're double the size of the one pictured.
     
  12. F1aReD

    F1aReD Member

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    I'll post back with some pictures if/when I have success..:)
     
  13. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Curious how you can tell, without a scale? :-)

    The seed on the right is 21mm long. Sorry, don't know what cultivar.
     
  14. F1aReD

    F1aReD Member

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    Ok, so I took sand and peat moss and filled a plastic cup with half and half, i pushed the seed down and covered it with the mix...sound OK?
     
  15. LPN

    LPN Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I measured several of my Medjools and on average the seeds where about 35 mm (1 and 3/8") in length. The fruit is 2 1/2" inches average length, so maybe not quite double.

    Cheers, LPN.
     

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