Which palms do you grow from seed?

subtropixJuly 12, 2010

My favorite from seed are Phoenix canariensis and Washingtonia robusta--haven't had luck though with the true date nor Washingtonia filifera (though one I have may be a hybrid). The one in the photo is six feet tall and has a diameter of 8 inches. I have four other canariensis palms (about half this guy's size)--all originally from seed.

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Looks great, Robustas were the first palms I grew from seed. I started them in summer and was amazed how quickly they grew all winter in a south facing window. I only have two palms now that I started from seed. Both are bottle palms. One is making a great comeback after getting blown over by a gust of wind back in April. The other is looking GREAT. It has a deep green color with virtually no browning on the tips. It really loved most humid conditions. This is it's 2nd summer and it is about a foot tall. I will try and add a picture to this thread in a bit.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2010 at 9:11PM
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Only palm I have ever tried from seed is Washingtonia filifera but I also had no luck. I did try a queen palm, 2 windmill palms, and a coconut palm from seedlings with sucess though!

    Bookmark   July 12, 2010 at 10:15PM
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I've tried and had success with both true date Medjool and Washingtonia Filifera. Never tried any others, but date palms, with the exception of Roebellini, seem to grow extremely slow for me. I have Medjool and Sylvestris. Both seem to have barely moved at all, even with plenty of 80s and 90 degree days, and a couple close to 100.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2010 at 11:47PM
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I was hooked after I sprouted some CIDP seeds off of ebay many years ago. Still have one of the original seedlings. My favorite though would be Washingtonia Fil/Robusta hybrid that I ordered off internet. Usually 90 plus germination rate (even after being stored for over a year). Fast growth rate and tough as nails make them highly rewarding. Last winter I sprouted some king palm seeds. Tried some betal nut palm seeds but no luck on those. My guess is they werent very fresh as I ordered from a questionable source.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 2:38PM
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Phoenix, Sabal, Washingtonias, Syagrus, and Butias. Been meaning to harvest a coconut and grow it from seed, but haven't done it yet. Others I intend on trying from seed are Needle Palms, Mazari Palms, Bismarck, Euro Fan Palms, and assorted members of the Trachy family.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2010 at 5:48PM
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K., coconuts are not difficult but take a long time to germinate. I planted a coconut I found Key Biscayne one July and it germinated in December.--Still fun. How are the Queens and Butias from seed in terms of speed?

    Bookmark   July 15, 2010 at 7:37PM
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As for germination with pindos/queens, I normally get them to germinate within two months. I do make it a point when I grow them to strip all the fruit off them and soak them with changing water 3-5 times daily. I don't grow a lot of them from seeds because I don't plant a lot of them. Queens are pretty fast growing, which is why they are everywhere (fast growing = cheap).

    Bookmark   July 16, 2010 at 10:48PM
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ive had success with blue mexicans, blue & reg. Mediterraneans, washington R. & F, chilean wine palms, bismarckias, trachy wag, phoenix canary & dactyliferas, sabal minor & louisiana minors, dioon edule. And soon to have some sabal causiarum, queen & king palms, & livistona chinensis babies! im still trying to get the silver mazari's to germinate but no success yet.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2010 at 12:21AM
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Hi, I have grown maany King Sagos and a few Queen sagos from seed. They are hard as a rock but here's the secret to success and faster groth. Take sandpaper and sand off most of the red outercoating and just mash them in the ground where you want them and trust me, you will be seeing these sagos the same season if planted in the spring. YOu'll see ruselts in the fall. Don't worry, they can stand temps to the 20's. There quite hardy. Good luck, try this method and you'll be thrilled with the results.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 2:09PM
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Cocos nucifera, Roystonea regia, Roystonea oleracea, Howea forsteriana, Pseudophoenix sargentii, Coccothrinax argentata, Beccariophoenix alfredii, Syagrua amara, Borassus flabellifer, Medemia argun, Archontophoenix alexandrae, Wodyetia bifurcata, Veitchia sp, Pritchardia pacifica, Sabal palmetto, Sabal lisa, Sabal causiarum, Sabal mauritiiformis. I think I'm missing a few, but that's most of them. I find seed growing cheap and rewarding. It's not as easy as buying a 1 gallon palm, but it's a lot cheaper and it's cooler to say that your grew a palm from seed.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2010 at 5:06PM
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I just started growing palms from seed in the past year, and have had success with the Chilean Wine Palm, Chinese Windmill Palms (dozens of these), Christmas Palms (the easiest to germinate), Sabal Palmetto, Washingtonia Fillifera (the toughest for me to germinate), and Bismarck Palm. So far I have just 2 of the types planted in the ground - Windmill Palms (because I had so many of them) and the Bismarck Palm (because I didn't have a pot deep enough for the full tap root). I expect the Windmill Palms to survive here in Northern Virginia after they harden a bit, but I suspect that I will have to protect the Bismarck Palm each winter.


    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 2:03PM
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I am growing Mule Palms / Trachycarpus F. from seed.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 3:43PM
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I have grown, over the years, perhaps hundreds of species of palms from seed, but am getting old and losing patience with depending upon this source for new palms (and have no room really for new palms anyway)... but still can't avoid not tryin to germinate stuff when I find it or it gets sent to me. So below is my current crop of seedlings... in the front are Jubaeas... the Brahea armatas and kings have been removed already. palms on the left near the back are all Chamaedorea arenbergianas someone sent me seed of last year. A few other random Chamaedoreas have shot up here and there, and the rest of the inmates are either Bombax seedlings (very back) or Agave gypsophyla bulbils I took off my own plant (right foreground). Cat knocked entire seed box to the ground and all the tags fell out a few days ago, so a few palms in this are unknown... the largest seedling in the very back is some seed I collected in Hawaii, but can't recall what it is (think it's a Pritchardia, though)

these are 'volunteer' Jubaea seedlings that shot up after I tossed them out figuring they were no good (have a total f only 4 of these)... I collected them off a tree nearby 3 years earlier and they never germinated, so I lost interest and patience and just threw them on the ground one day, making room for new seeds... and they germinated all on their own without any additional heat or water.. Not sure what to do with them (I have no room for Jubaeas)... hmmm

and these are from a Trithrinax brasiliensis that was planted across the street from where I work. It was growing with three Trachycarpi and I am pretty sure the gardener that planted them all assumed they were all Trachycarpi... and wonders now why one is covered completely with huge spines all over the trunk. This plant is loaded with seeds every year, so I took a few.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 10:19PM
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excellent, It is extra rewarding to see when you start them from seed.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 12:17AM
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Here's my Areca catechu dwarf that I grew from seed from Thailand.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 7:05PM
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I started a few dozen from seed this year.

Sabal palmetto.... these are always easy,

Silver Serenoa repens... I didn't think these were going to do anything, until last week.

Washingtonias... some Robusta and some 'Filibusta' hybrids. It seems something has been nibbling on the leaves.

And I managed to get a few Medjool seeds to sprout, had about 50% germination with these. I used tall tree pots and they're still growing out of the bottoms.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 7:36PM
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slow73(WA z8b)

Zombie thread risen from the dead. I'm just getting back into palms after taking a small break due to frustration. Couldn't keep anything alive even if it was hardy to my climate. Anyway in the past I have tried from seed t. fortunei, s. minor, w. robuta, true date, and j. chilensis. I haven't had much luck with any as most subcome to fungus (rookie mistakes). They would only eye then mold would take over. However me and the wife one day had a seed growing contest and we used w. robustas. She had something like 80% germination and I had something like 30% and all seeds were from the same stock. And this is from a lday who hardly grown anything in her life. (roll eyes) This year I will try my luck with palm seeds again after taking a break to grow veggies. I did learn alot from the break now hopefully I can be redeemed. (fingers crossed)

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 12:41PM
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I've sprouted a variety of tropical palm seeds over the years going back to a Christmas palm seed collected on a school trip in the late '70s.

Since windmills and other hardies do so well on our Southern Delaware coast, lately I'm only experimenting with those. After two winter trips -- San Diego and Savannah where I collected Med Fan, sabal palmettos and sabal minors, I've got lots of seedlings. Several Med fans are popping up in my garden and I'll monitor those to see if they winter over.

I have so many sabal palmetto seedlings that I've planted some in protected back dunes of an isolated
natural beach area. I'm monitoring them and they are doing well. Will be educational to see what happens to them this winter.

My most recent seedling are from 15'
tall windmills in Rehoboth Beach. Great to have a local supply of palm seeds (windmill and s. minors).

But the most exciting seedlings are the ones I discover in my garden from
time to time. These are from
handfuls of locally grown windmill and s. minor I'm VERY careful when weeding!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 1:54PM
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Phoenix canariensis, and Washingtonia robusta are both very easy from seed--too easy, I have them all over the place. The key to many of these is tropical heat. It's easy outside this time of year if your summers are hot. Use a sterile, sandy mix. Soil should be just moist. Then place in a nice sunny, protected spot outside. Having said this, I have successfully germinated Washingtonias and canariensis at room temperature, but germination rates increase at higher temps (90=95 F.). I hAVE not tried Trachycarpus from seed, but given that it is a temperate or subtropical genus, I bet it would be easy at indoor, room temperatures--but I need another Trachycarpus like I need a hole in the head! :)

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 2:07PM
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slow73(WA z8b)

njoasis if you have too many trachys seedlings and you want to get rid of a few lemme know I'll pay for shipping. I went looking today for some 5 gal. and they are all sold out with no restock in sight in my area.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 6:13PM
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cfa_li(z7/8 Queens, NY)

Well if the Robustas are too easy I might give the seeds a try, it's been 90+ for 4 days straight and we routinely reach 105+ every afternoon with sunshine.

I just don't want it to miss out on all the Summer heat, does it take months for the seeds to start growing?

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 6:31PM
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Hunter_M(Kentucky Z.6)

Im trying 10 foxtails and 3 pindos from seed. None have sprouted yet, lol. Im sick and tired of waiting for these foxtails though. I guess it will be worth the wait once they sprout. :D


    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 10:11PM
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I just discovered a sabal (likely palmetto ) seedling in my back garden today. Last week I found another sabal and a windmill seedling in different beds out front. The windmill seedlings are easy to distinguish with their shorter more oval first leaf.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2011 at 11:22PM
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Hunter, describe how you are germinating the seeds. Inside/Outside?--If inside, you need to use bottom heating (assuming your house is climate-controlled and not sweltering). This time of year, I find better results by just putting them outside in a sunny spot (just watch the moisture). May be hot as h!& for us, but most palm seeds need soil temperatures of high heat (90 F plus) to trigger germination. I once had some Traveler's palm seed that I tried to sprout in the house in the Winter (not using bottom heating but at room temp--70's). They did nothing. Come summer, and I took the pot the seeds were in and chucked it into the vegetable garden, In a few weeks, under a baking June sun, little Traveler's palms were sprouting in the garden.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 7:36AM
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Yes, I realize Ravenala madagascariensis (a.k.a. Traveler's Palm) are not palms, but as tropicals, they do require hot temps to trigger germination.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 7:48AM
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Hunter_M(Kentucky Z.6)

Haha, thats a cool story! They are outside right now. The foxtails are outside with plastic wrap on them. The pindos are outside but with no plastic wrap on them.


    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 1:28PM
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I just planted 4 true date palm seeds a couple of days ago but I am going to say bottle palms because I have had the most success witht them. Washintonias and sabals are pretty easy and as long as they get sun indoors in the winter they are tuff as nails.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 1:56PM
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Andy, I would LOVE to grow the true date. I've tried a few times and they also died under 'normal' NJ summers (hot, HUMID and WET). This year they'd be thriving probably as it's been very hot (humid) but drought conditions. Be sure to use a very porous soil mix with the True Dates. In place of True Dates, I grew a bunch of Canary Palms from seed (they're big now), also have luck with roebellini, Senegal Date and Cliff Island Date. Guessing it's because True Dates are a true, desert-adapted palm. Good luck!:)

    Bookmark   July 22, 2011 at 7:40PM
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This represents my first posting. I live in Houston and spend a lot of time in Corpus. There are tons of palm trees. Unfortunately, because palm trees are extremely tall I can't reach the seeds. Does anyone have seeds they would like to donate and/or trade?

    Bookmark   August 11, 2013 at 11:12PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

you'll probably get more answers with a new post as this one is a bit old lol
IME The best seeds are those that have fallen to the ground . look for the healthiest donor you can find. those that are seeding heaviest seem to have the most viable seeds. Are you patient?? Have had various types take from 1/ 27 months to germinate and seldom all germinate at once so be even more patient.lol
generally have had just as good luck with a pot of coir as other methods .
What kind are you looking for?? have ready access to 40/50 species . Anything to trade?? gary

    Bookmark   August 12, 2013 at 5:18AM
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