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How to Plant a Palm Seed

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How to Plant a Palm Seed

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Overview

From the stately Mediterranean fan palm to the short pygmy palm, these trees can add a tropical flair to any backyard landscape. Many nurseries and specialty garden stores sell palm trees that have already been started, but such specimens are often expensive. Save money by planting a palm seed at home. Given the appropriate germination environment, the seed will sprout into your own miniature palm within one to three months.

Step 1

Collect the seeds of a palm immediately after they fall from a tree. Clear away the seeds underneath a tree and check back 24 hours later for newly fallen seeds.

Step 2

Cut a nick in the palm nut's fibrous husk with a knife and peel off the husk with your hand.

Step 3

Soak the seeds in water for one week. Change the water every 24 hours with fresh water to prevent stagnation. This helps moisture penetrate the seed for enhanced germination.

Step 4

Fill a 1-gallon (or larger) pot equipped with drainage holes with seed-starter mix. Or, make your own mix by combining equal parts of peat moss and perlite.

Step 5

Plant the palm seed. Bury one seed per pot, sinking it at a depth that's equal to the seed's diameter. For example, bury a seed that's 1 inch thick 1 inch below the soil's surface.

Step 6

Water the pot twice a day or as needed to keep the soil's surface moist. For optimal germination, keep the pot at a temperature of 85 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. If your room temperature isn't warm enough, consider setting the pot on a heating pad.

Things You'll Need

  • Palm seeds
  • Knife
  • Container
  • Pot
  • Seed starter mix

References

  • "Palms and Cycads: A Complete Guide to Selecting, Growing and Propagating"; David Squire; 2007
  • University of Florida: Palm Seed Germination
  • University of Florida: Container Production of Palms
Keywords: growing palm seeds, planting palm seeds, germinating palm seeds

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.

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