Growing Palms

Discussion in 'Outdoor Tropicals' started by Nath, Jan 25, 2008.

  1. Nath

    Nath Active Member

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    I recently bought a Cycad Palm seed on my last trip to Barcelona and followed the directions of soaking it for two weeks in luke walm water and changing the water regularly, i have now put it into a mix of compost and sand with about a 3rd of the seed sticking out of the soil. Deos anyone know what the recomendations are for watering while waiting for it to grow roots and shootplease? Also how long deos it normally take for them to start growing, its kept in a warm area on top of the hot water tank.

    In a similar vein I also planted some Washington Filifera and some Phoenix palm seed and have the same questions as the above??

    I would very much appreciate some advice as this is the first time I have tried growing palms from seed.

    I have some great Phoenix palms in the garden which were all a couple of years old when I bought them and they are thriving despite the cold weather in winter here in nottingham England.

    Can anyone please give me some advice on growing palms from seed?

    Nath
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2008
  2. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    (moved to outdoor tropicals forum)
     
  3. Dave-Florida

    Dave-Florida Active Member

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    Your cycad is likely to be Cycas revoluta, actually a cone-bearing relative of the conifers. They can make nice indoor plants, and there's probably searchable information on seed germination here or on the wider Internet.

    The only cycad I've germinated is our native Zamia integrifolia. When a cone breaks up, the seed buries easily among fallen leaves. Seedlings show up within a year. My uninformed guess is that you've provided your seeds a good setting, especially with the extra warmth.
     
  4. Nath

    Nath Active Member

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    Thanks for this. You are right it is a Cycas Revoluta, I guess I'm just going to have to be more patient as there is still no sign of any growth, but then the Phoenix and Washington palm seeds havent started sprouting either. I think I'll keep them on the boiler for now and keep them moist and fingers crossed.

    Nath
     
  5. Tom24

    Tom24 Active Member

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    Hi Nath For the phoenix and washingtonias my method for germatonating them is grab a old ice cream gallon bucket punch a few holes on the bottom sides and on the cover fill it to about half up with good draining soil and put it in a warm place and you should see germation in about a week or less on the washingtonia's and the phoenix's may take a little longer. and keep checking the soil if it gets dry mist it. The seeds don't nessarly need to be on top they can be buried with a dusting of soil on top of them. Both palms lay a tap root first and then will go upward so make sure you space the seeds out.

    Hope this helps (Good Luck) Keep me updated

    Tom24
     
  6. Nath

    Nath Active Member

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    Thanks for this Tom,

    One of my Washingtons has sprouted out of the 3 in the pot, they are on the boiler at present so nice and warm, no sign of the other two though, as to the Phoenix nothing doing as yet, though i'm told that if the seeds are old they can take up to 4 months to grow. I also have planted a cycad which isnt doing anything either yet despite 2 weeks of soaking and a month in the pot on the boiler. My Washington that has shooted is around 2 inches high now, do they make a small fan frond first or just a main stem?

    Nath
     
  7. Tom24

    Tom24 Active Member

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    They pop-up as a small grass like fronds as more come up they get bigger and bigger and they start splitting slowly until they are a fan. You are only suppost to soak seeds for a maximum of 48 hours. I soak mine in water, super thrive mix. You can pick up Super-Thrive at Walmart. That should speed up the germanation rate. If they don't germinate within a month they are bad or sterile seeds. Hope this helps you keep me updated.

    Tom24
     
  8. Nath

    Nath Active Member

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    Actually,I didnt soak the Washington and Phoenix seeds at all, as the packets said to plant them directly into pots, so i guess if the rest are going to come up at all, it'll be in the way nature intended. 1 out of 6 so far. The Cycad packet said to soak for 2 weeks in luke warm water changing the water 3 or 4 times a day, which I did. The packets for all 3 varieties did say they can take up to 4 months to germinate. As I bought them all in Barcelona, maybe thats just the way the Spanish do it I don't know as I'm new to growing palms from seed instead of buying them in the garden centre. i do know that in the garden at home in Mexico City when we were lioving there palms just seemed to spring up out of nowhere all over the garden and we hardly ever have much rain there.

    Still I'll give them to May as they arent in my way where they are and see what happens.

    Nath
     
  9. Tom24

    Tom24 Active Member

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    I am only studing palms right now, and I was only giving you advice on growing them Which you where inquiring about. My advice is do what works best for you, and the way I grow them gives me about 99% germination rate. As for cycads I am not to sure on the soaking rate on them. The washingtonia's grow pretty wild in the southern most part of the US alot of people have problem keeping them under control.
    So depending how south you are you should not have any problems. Just experiment that what makes growing so much fun instead of buying them pregrown by some nursery.


    Tom24
     
  10. Nath

    Nath Active Member

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    Thanks Tom,

    I think that the next time I get some Phoenix palm seeds, i'll definately do it by your method. Who knows maybe there is still a chance for the ones already in the pot but as I increasingly keep finding out Mother Nature has a habit of doing things her way, still if we can give her a helping hand now and then.....

    I'll let you know how I get on.

    Nath
     
  11. Nath

    Nath Active Member

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    Well Tom,

    Finally my Phoenix seeds are bearing fruit and have sprouted today after 3 months in the pots, I'd all but given up, maybe it just needed the onset of spring to bring them on. Interesting experiment and sure teaches one patience. Also I noticed yesterday that on My baby Washingtonia a second leaf frond has started growing off the side of the main stem although the original frond still hasnt split into a fan yet but at least its progress. A friend brought me some more seeds last week from Barcelona so i'm going to have a crack at them using your methods. i'll let you know how it goes.

    Nath
     

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