Although many ornamental palm trees are often given the name of date palm, the true date palm that produces tasty dates originates from the variety Phoenix dactylifera. It is a tall growing tree, often reaching heights of between 100 to 120 feet. Date palms are indigenous to North Africa and are hardy in the USDA Zones 9 to 11.
Preparing Date Palm Seeds
Remove the seeds from the dates, and set the seeds into a glass or bowl. Pour in 1 to 2 cups of warm water over the date palm seeds. Place the bowl or glass of date palm seeds on top of your refrigerator or any warm place in your home. Let the date palm seeds soak for 12 hours, or overnight.
Remove the date palm seeds from the water after the twelve hours. If any of the seeds are floating, discard them. The seed float test is one method the University of Florida suggests for testing the viability of palm tree seeds.
Clean the date palm seeds of any left-over sticky residue. You can use a toothbrush, or any small brush, to gently scrub off each date palm seed. Set the date palm seeds onto paper towel to dry for about ten to twelve hours.
Scratch off a small section on each seed coat of the date palm seeds. This can help increase germination rates, according to the University of Florida. To do this you can use a small nail file, a piece of sand paper or a knife.
Planting Date Palm Seeds
Fill up 3 or 4-inch plastic pots with a good quality sterilized seed raising mix that contains either perlite or vermiculite.
Pour water into each of the 3 or 4-inch plastic pots until the germinating media is well watered. Put the 3 or 4-inch pots into a tray or similar container.
Place one to two date palm seeds into each 3 or 4-inch pot. Set the date palm seeds into the soil by gently pressing them into the germinating media. Then cover with soil according to the recommendations of the The University of Florida: plant palm seeds as deep as they are wide. If the date palm seed is 3/8 inch wide, cover it with 3/8 of an inch of soil.
Set the tray in a warm environment. For the best results, the University of Florida suggests providing a temperature of between 85 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Provide about eight to ten hours of indirect light daily.
Mist the surface of the soil in the 3 or 4-inch pots only when and if the soil appears dry. The soil is best kept moist at all times. Germination of date palm seeds varies greatly, from two to three weeks to over one hundred days, depending on age of the date palm seeds and germinating conditions.
Transplant the date palm seedlings after they each have one set of leaves. You can plant them into larger containers, such as tubs or barrels, or directly into the ground if you have space.
About this Author
Katelyn Lynn is a certified holistic health practitioner who specializes in orthomolecular medicine and preventative modalities. She also has extensive experience in botany and horticulture. Lynn has been writing articles for various websites relating to health and wellness since 2007. She has been published on gardenguides.com. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in alternative medicine from Everglades University.