How to Tell If Palm Tree Seeds Are Good


Palm trees, with very rare exception, can only be reproduced from seed, according to the University of Florida IFAS Extension. Palm seeds, furthermore, have short viability windows: from several weeks to one year, depending upon species. Planting palm tree seeds as soon as possible after harvest or purchase is vital. There are several tests you can perform to ascertain if your palm tree seeds are ripe and will germinate.

Step 1

Look at the seeds. Compare them to one another and discard any that appear shriveled.

Step 2

Pinch the seeds. If the seeds dent or collapse, they are either too young or too old.

Step 3

Toss the seeds into a cup of tap water. Allow them to sit for 10 minutes. Any seeds that float may not be good and should be tested further. Floating indicates that there are air pockets within the seed from the embryo either rotting or otherwise shrinking.

Step 4

Cut open a few of the seeds. Look at the end of the seed for the embryo (tiny seed-like structure). It should completely fill the chamber in which it is enclosed. If it is shriveled, the seed is not viable. If most of the sample is similar, discard the batch of seeds.

Things You'll Need

  • Cup
  • Sharp knife


  • Jungle Music Palms and Cycads: Palm Tree Seed Germination, Growing Palm Trees From Seed, A Nurseryman's Viewpoint
  • University of Florida: Palm Seed Germination
Keywords: palm seed viability, palm seed good, palm seed fresh, test palm seeds

About this Author

Victoria Hunter, a former broadcaster and real estate agent, has provided audio and written services to both small businesses and large corporations, worldwide. Hunter is a freelance writer specializing in the real estate industry. She devotes her spare time to her other passions: gardening and cooking. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.