Palm Seed Germination

Discussion in 'Outdoor Tropicals' started by Unregistered, Aug 25, 2005.

  1. I'm trying to germinate a bunch of different cold hardy palm species which I'd like to test for the Parksville area of Vancouver Island and I was wondering if anyone had some detailed advice or guideline I should follow to do this. Most of the instructions I've come across are very vague and don't seem to touch all the points of the operation. From what I've read this is the method I've decided to go with:

    1 - soak in moderately warm water 23~30 C for 2 days
    2 - placed seeds in plastic containers of vermiculite (500ml vermiculite to 30ml water), near the surface (about 10-30% of the shell showing)
    (should they be placed lower in the damper vermiculite near the bottom?)
    3 - placed containers above hot water tank (temps usually 27-34 C) (with the exception of T. Takil because I read it germinates best at room temperature)

    So now I'm at the waiting point, they've been in there for 4 days now.

    How frequently should I check them or air out the containers?
    Should I dig out the seeds each time I check or leave them and wait for a visible tap root or even a leaf?
    What should I use as an indicator for when I need to transplant?

    I've noticed a lot of condensation on the sides and top of the containers, I figure if most of this condensation disappears I should probably add more water. Is this a reasonable assumption?

    Also I just checked the seeds today and noticed a few spots of mold growing on the surface of a few of the seeds. I washed most of it off, but will this affect the germination or does it indicated a bad seed? I suspect the mold was caused because the seed may have had a little fruit left on its surface and when I removed the seeds from the water I didn't bother to dry them off. Would it be better to dry them before placing in the vermiculite?

    Here is a list of the species I'm attempting to germinate:
    Rhapidophyllum hystrix
    Nannorrhops ritchiana
    Phoenix theophrastii
    Sabal minor
    Trithrinax campestris
    Butia eriospatha
    Butia capitata
    Jubaea chilensis
    Phoenix loureiroi
    Trachycarpus latisectus
    Trachycarpus takil
    Butia yatay

    All these palms are receiving the same container treatment except the T. Takil container, which I have placed in my room for cooler germination temperatures. I'd really appreciate any advice or help with my questions.

    Thanks in advance,

  2. Carol Ja

    Carol Ja Active Member 10 Years

    Likes Received:
    Salt Spring Island
    Palm seeds can take awhile to germinate, be patient, meanwhile try this web site:
    its got everything you'll want to know and some.
    Carol Ja
  3. seahawks2884

    seahawks2884 Member

    Likes Received:
    Kelowna British Columbia
    Another site you might want to try for palm germination is They have wealth of experience of people telling of different methods of cold hardy seed germination. When you get to the site go to cold hardy palm seed sampler . Should give you a better idea of what works and what doesn`t from people that have tried different way`s of palm germination. I have found that some of your seed list will do better with cold stratification in the fridge and also freezer for a month or more. Some seeds need the natural winter cycle to trigger proper life cycles. You will be waiting a long time without doing this procedure for the coldest of the cold hardy palms?
    Good luck to you!

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