Palm tree seeds are not difficult to grow. It is the only way available to propagate this tropical tree. Before buying palm tree seeds, make sure they are fresh to achieve better results. Poor germination is usually the result of old or poor quality seeds.
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It is best to collect seeds when the palm fruit is completely ripe or as soon as it falls from the tree. Inspect the inside of a sample seed; it should be fresh, firm and not discolored. If it is rotten or has an unpleasant odor, it is unlikely to germinate. You can also check the freshness and viability of seeds by soaking them in water for 24 hours. Within that span of time, viable seeds will sink.
How to germinate palm tree seeds:
- If you collected seeds on your own, remove the fleshy and fibrous skin before starting germination. Removal of pulp will minimize the chance of fungus growth and seed contamination.
- It is best to plant the palm seed right after cleaning. Use a commercial mix of peat moss with equal amount of perlite or vermiculite in a container with plenty of holes to ensure quick and thorough drainage.
- Lay out the seeds on the surface and dust them with a commercial insecticide before covering them. You can also use 10% solution of household bleach and dip the seeds for this purpose.
- Bury the seeds to a depth of half the seed’s diameter and then cover with finely screened cinder that is thick enough so it will not wash away during watering. Palms do not sprout readily f buried too deep.
- Place the containers on clean benches, 60-90 cm above the ground in a very warm and very humid place. You can also wrap the container with a plastic bag and place it in a warm location.
- Water your containers thoroughly, but let them dry out thoroughly before watering again. Over-hydration can reduce the germination percentage. Once seeds begin to germinate, the containers will require more frequent watering.
- When the seedlings have grown about an inch or so, remove the plastic covering. They can now be moved to a protective environment until they are big enough and ready to be transferred outside.
- If possible, sprout your palms over the winter or in early spring and move the young plants outside for their first summer. Transplant young palm trees once they have at least three or four sets of leaves and begin to assume their mature form. This will prevent root shock when transplanting.
- Once the palm seedlings start actively growing, you may start them on a weak liquid fertilizer that has been formulated especially for palm trees.
- However, be aware that germination rates are vary depending on the species of seed sown.You will need to keep a close watch on the seedlings after a few weeks. Some will sprout in 70 days while others can take up to 6 months.