The queen palm is a South American native that has taken quite well to being grown in USDA hardiness zones 10 and 11. This palm can grow to heights of 50 feet or more and grows quickly. The queen palm has a very shallow root system and, according to the American Horticultural Society, it may topple over in strong winds. You will need a lot of sunshine and a lot of room to start your queen palm.
Soak the queen palm fruit in a small bowl of water until the skin can be pierced with your fingernail. The time the fruit will need to soak varies. Change the soaking water daily.
Cut away the fruit tissue surrounding the seed with your knife. Wash the seed well, ensuring that all the pulp is removed.
Return the seed to clean soaking water and allow it to sit for one week. Change the water daily.
Remove the seed from the water and allow it to dry. Dust with fungicide powder.
Mix together equal parts of vermiculite and sphagnum peat moss and fill the planting pot with the mixture. Water the soil well and allow the water to drain completely from the bottom of the pot.
Plant the queen palm seed in the pot. Agriculturists at the University of Florida suggest burying it the same depth as the seed's width. Therefore, a seed 1/4 inch wide would be planted 1/4 inch deep.
Place the pot in an area where the temperature will remain 85 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. If you live in a warm area, placing the pot out in the sun may suffice. Otherwise, place the pot in a plastic bag, secure it and place it on a heat mat.
Test the soil daily to assure that it is moist. Over and underwatering the seed during germination can kill the embryo. The soil should remain moist, bot not soggy, and the pot should not be left in standing water.
Transplant your queen palm seedling when it has between one and four leaves. The size of the pot will depend upon the size of the seedling's roots. Choose a pot wide enough to accommodate the roots of the seedling with a small amount of room left for further growth. A deeper pot is preferable to a shallow pot. Repeat this transplant procedure, into gradually larger pots, as the roots grow.
Place the queen palm seedling into its new pot so that the point immediately above the roots is just under the surface of the soil. Be careful not to plant it too deeply.
Fertilize your queen palm seedling for the first time when it is two months old. Specially formulated palm foods are available commercially. Dilute the fertilizer to half the strength recommended on the label for the palm's first feeding.