How to Plant a Palm Tree From Seed

Overview

Palm trees are found throughout the southern United States. The farther south you travel, the more tropical species of palm trees you will find. It's sometimes hard to believe that these towering trees once began as little seeds. Growing palm trees from seed is a very inexpensive alternative to buying them as plants; all you need is the patience and time to allow them to grow to sizable plants. Following the right steps, it is easy to plant a palm tree from seed.

Step 1

Fill a glass full of water and put your seeds in the glass. Viable seeds will sink, while non-viable seeds will float.

Step 2

Soak your seeds for 24 hours prior to planting. Doing this will give your seeds a jump start and revitalize older seeds.

Step 3

Mix up a potting mix that is half peat moss and half perlite. Pour into your potting containers.

Step 4

Lay your seeds on top of the potting mix. Dust with commercial insecticide.

Step 5

Bury the seeds in the medium at a depth of 1/2 the thickness of the seed. Top dress with a thin layer of sand or finely crushed rock. Ensure it's thick enough that it won't wash away during watering.

Step 6

Label your containers and place them out of direct sunlight. Direct sun can cause premature drying of the soil and sun scald to new seedlings.

Step 7

Water the containers thoroughly and keep them moist, but not waterlogged. Keep the temperature between 80 and 95 degrees F. Provide bottom heat with a seed heating mat to sustain the above temperature range if you live in a cooler climate.

Step 8

Practice patience. It can take up to eight weeks or longer before your palm seeds germinate. Once the seeds have germinated keep the soil moist and put your seedlings into larger pots if they become root bound (you will see roots emerging out of the top of the soil when the palm is root bound).

Things You'll Need

  • Glass
  • Peat moss
  • Sphagnum moss
  • Perlite
  • Pots
  • Commercial insecticide
  • Sand or finely crushed rock
  • Indoor/outdoor thermometer

References

  • Palms.org: A Practical Guide to Germinating Palm Seeds
  • Jungle Music: Palm Tree Seed Germination
  • Tropilab, Inc: Palm Seed Germination
Keywords: palm tree from seed, sphagnum moss, peat moss, viable seeds

About this Author

Robin Gonyo has been writing for several years now. She has a deep love for gardening and has spent a vast amount of time researching that subject. Previously she has written for private clients before joining Demand Studios. She hopes to share her knowledge with others through her writing.