Phoenix Canerias Seeds

Discussion in 'Outdoor Tropicals' started by Nath, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. Nath

    Nath Active Member

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    While on holiday all the Phoenix palms were loaded down with seeds in varying stages. some green, some yellow and ripe others small and black. Can someone please tell me ar what stage is best for planting them? Are the green ones going to be useless? Are the black ones whats left after the flesh has fallen off and so on?? I brought a mixture of each home.

    Nath
     
  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Can you post a photo of what you have? The small black ones might be good plantable seeds that have had the fruit flesh removed by animals, or they might be aborted dried-out fruit that won't grow.

    Otherwise, the yelow ones should be ripe; clean off the fruit pulp (edible, but not as nice as ordinary dates), and sow the seeds. Be prepared to be patient, germination can take quite a long time.

    PS spellcheck for web searches: Phoenix canariensis.
     
  3. Nath

    Nath Active Member

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    Thanks for that I'll have to dig the camara out of the suitcase when I have a minute. I do know however that the seeds I have bought in Spain in the past for Phoenix palms were small and black, I was just curious about the others in their different stages.

    Nath
     
  4. Chungii V

    Chungii V Active Member

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    I am not sure about the seed colour but can tell you that this is one of the slowest growing palms I've dealt with. Every nursery I've worked in has always bought these in. They take a seriously long time to even develop a trunk let alone height. I have seen mature specimen trees sold for ridiculous prices in excess of AUS$1,000 per foot of trunk!
    Phoenix roebelinii seed is black when ripe so I'd assume the Canary Island Date would be a similar or darker coloured seed also. They usually fall off when ripe.
    Something that works as a test (for most palms) is grab your seed and soak it in a bucket of water. The floating seed next day will generally be inviable while the ones at the bottom will have a good chance of germinating.
     
  5. Nath

    Nath Active Member

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    Thanks for that, I kind of thought that out of all of them the black seed would be best. I know what you mean about slow growing, I have 3 of these in my garden and they take an age to get height even though they keep putting out new fronds constantly even in freezing temperatures of winter. A neighbour around the corner from us has one in their front garden which is about 20 feet high. I must say I'm envious, I may knock on their door and ask how long it took to grow to that stage.

    Nath
     
  6. bertoli55

    bertoli55 Active Member 10 Years

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    Hi,while these palms are slow growing in the early stages once they have the beginnings of a trunk they seem to really take off. I have one in my front yard which I grew from a seedling, it is now about 20 -25 feet high and the fronds are about as wide or maybe wider. When it sunk in how big these were going to grow in our yard I quickly removed three other plants that I had planted (we only have a small block).
    Our palm is 25 years old -see pics.

    One thing that you need to consider, as these palms grow, the thorns on base of the palm fronds are vicious. We used to saw off the dead fronds ourselves and have had some nasty puncture wounds - through gloves and clothing. We now have to have the palm professionally pruned as it is too high. These companies usually charge heaps as they don't want to prune then either :)

    I have had good success germinating palm seed at home - preparing the seed as others have mentioned but then "potting" the seeds in a plastic shopping bag filled with pure damp sterilized peat. i then tied the bag up, put it inside another plastic bag. I then tied this bag up and hung it in a warm place -mine got bits of morning sun and shade in the afternoon. The peat retained the heat and moisture and as it was clean , didn't introduce bugs.
    I used clear plastic bags so that I could resist the temptation of opening the bags too often to check on progress.
     

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    Last edited: Jan 19, 2009
  7. Chungii V

    Chungii V Active Member

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    You have a small fortune in plant there:} I had to help move one last year, it had 5 foot of trunk and was valued at over $10,000 when planted 6 months before. (Someone didn't read plans and it went exactly where there was supposed to be a driveway). The biggest I've seen used in a landscape here was recently planted out front of a townhouse complex: it cost over $30,000 and barely has 4 m of trunk.
    Not a bad idea of striking seed, would be more controlled than sticking them in a tray out the back and watering. We used styrofoam boxes for palm seed, the roots actually penetrated the foam making it harder to remove them, but it was easier to do this way in bulk. I'll definitely try your method at home with the likes of Cycad seed and similar bigger seed I come across.
     
  8. bertoli55

    bertoli55 Active Member 10 Years

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    I read about this method years ago in "Palms in Australia" by David Jones and have used it heaps of times with big seeds. I like it because the roots are really easy to separate. Lately I've used coconut mulch instead of peat. You just have to find a spot in your garden which is warm but not too hot so that the seeds don't cook.

    I've grown most of the palms in our garden from seed - apart from those which have self sown. Palms seem to be out of favour now so no one wants the seedlings, I used to give away heaps.

    I'm so glad that we have the phoenix palm it is like a giant umbrella - which is good and bad, it keeps out the sun, but also the rain!
     
  9. Chungii V

    Chungii V Active Member

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    Damn, I really should read more than just the plant I.D. section, I have the same book :}
    I have left a bunch of my Alpinea setting seed for you too, they're slowly ripening.
    I have been growing from seed more than taking cuttings in the last few years. Firstly I thought it's going to take for ever to reap my rewards but time passes quickly and the seeds I put down years ago are now beaut little plants.
     
  10. bertoli55

    bertoli55 Active Member 10 Years

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    Same here - I don't like taking cuttings if it's going to dramatically change the look of the parent plant. Also, seedlings are fun and you keep the plants which have the look that you want and give away the rest :). Thanks for saving some seed for me.
     
  11. Nath

    Nath Active Member

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    Wow Bertoli thats a beautiful Palm!! Reminds me of the the one at corner of our block in Mexico City. The humming birds always flock to that particular tree and its quite a show piece. I will give that method a go for germinating the seeds. Maybe like Chungii it will work on the Cycads as I'm struggling to get them to germinate. I think that they will probably grow a bit slower here in England although our neighbours around the corner is flourishing and growing about 2 feet a year. I did read of one down in Cambridge that was making a nuisance of itself by shedding its seeds all over the side walk and people were slipping on them. Apparently they aplied to their local council to chop it down but the Council put a preservation order on it and refused to take any action so that one must have got to a reasonable size. I have 3 Phoenix Palms growing in all and a few Washingtonia, some of which I have grown from seed, also just before Christmas one of my Date Palm seeds finally sprouted after a year of nothing and I was about to give up, now its 8 inches high and doing well in the Conservatory. Of all the palms I have that seem to like the ritish weather the Chameops are thriving the best. I have 3 of those palms in the garden and they don't seem to care how cold or wet it gets they just keep throwing up new stems and fronds. The most difficult and contrary palm I have that deosnt seem to do well no matter where I put it is a Windmill Palm. I have it in a pot at the moment and I've sat it in Full sun, partial shade, shade and it always seems to look miserable and the ends of the fronds go a horrible brown. I have tried feeding and all sorts of things, very little water and no water, lots of water you name it but it deosnt seem to improve. Any suggestions??

    Nath
     
  12. bertoli55

    bertoli55 Active Member 10 Years

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    Hi Nath
    It sounds as though you know what you're doing with palms.
    Is it worth trying your windmill palm in the ground? My palms always look rather sad in pots - I never quite seem to get it right. I tend to grow things in the ground (except for my bonsai and a few indoor plants) so that plants can grow at their own rate. For example I can't grow azaleas in pots they always look as though they're about to die, yet have about 20 large azaleas in the ground all happily growing and flowering profusely. Also, sometimes you can just have a finicky plant -try ignoring it for a while and see if it behaves :)
     
  13. Nath

    Nath Active Member

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    I may just try that, its just about my last option. I'm going to have to find a place that stays reasonably dry and catches the sun all the year round. I'm at the point where I can't really make it any worse anyhow.
     
  14. Chungii V

    Chungii V Active Member

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    Palms need plenty of water and fertilising when potted through the warmer growing months. Younger palms need more protection than established palms. They like high nitrogen fertilisers and very well drained soil. In a pot a plants rootball is more exposed to surrounding temperatures than in the ground with a good mulching.
    I have plenty of plants which end up in the ground because they do so much better there. I have found that cacti and succulents etc have become the main surviving pot plant at my home... maybe if I watered more than once or twice a fortnight :}
     

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