Needle palm seeds

jfacendolaNovember 11, 2012

How can I tell when needle palm seeds are ripe? I have several baseball sized clumps at the base of a few of my plants, that I would like to plant around the yard. Last year I think I picked them too early, as none ever grew. They do smell terrible...

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andyandy(6bMI)

This is a guess but i would think they would fall off on their own when ther are ready. Where are you? Winter may be too cool for them. You may want to wait for spring.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 1:16PM
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jfacendola

I'm in SE NC, zone 8. I have been spreading handfulls of the native S. minor seeds around the understory of my privet and honeysuckle infested wooded back yard for two years. I now have dozens of grass like baby Sabals popping up in all sorts of places. I also hand planted several dozen needle seeds that I picked from the bunches of fruit last year in some select places around the yard but they never grew. It turns out that today when I was weeding around the needle palms, I noticed about 10 seedlings under them. I thought maybe they were stray palmettos, but looking at them closer they are definitly needles. I guess the seeds that I left on the plants 2 years ago, fell off and finally germinated and grew into something this summer. I will be curious to see if the seeds I planted last summer, germinate this upcoming spring.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 7:04PM
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restoner(6B-7A)

I'd definitely want to know when these seeds are ready. Just a bit worried that the squirrels will want to give them a trial in the meantime. They look ripe and fuzzy now, but this was posted in November? When do you pick yours? Thanks!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2014 at 10:54PM
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jfacendola

I have since had luck germinating seeds that I picked from the plants. I assumed they are ripe when the thin outer layer of fruit is easy to scrape off and stinks like rancid butter. They just take so long to germinate (at least when planted directly in the ground) that I originally thought I may have picked them too early. Just a month ago this year, about a dozen (out of 20) needle palm seeds that I planted in a mulch ring around the base of a tree in 2012 sprouted and are finally growing. Very few of the needle palm seeds potted indoors sprouted with bottom heat very quickly, and the rest did nothing. Maybe if I held on to the potted seeds for 2 years they would be sprouting now too?

    Bookmark   September 9, 2014 at 2:26PM
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restoner(6B-7A)

jfacendola - Thank you for the information!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2014 at 9:53PM
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restoner(6B-7A)

I picked the last four seeds from my favorite needle palm today. Unlike the previous seeds that I picked, the seeds had an outer coating that was mushy and a bit smelly (not disgusting). I'm hoping that means the seeds are ripe.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2014 at 11:02PM
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