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How to Germinate Palm Tree Seeds

By Barbara Biehler ; Updated September 21, 2017

The palm tree family consists of almost 2,500 species, and is one of the world’s oldest flowering plants. Palms (Palmae) are widespread throughout the tropics, but a few species can also grow in warm temperate areas. Most species of palm can only be grown from seed, but palm tree seed can be difficult to cultivate because of slow and uneven germination. However, palms can be successfully germinated from seed if it is properly collected and prepared before planting.

Obtain palm tree seed. Palm tree seed can be acquired from commercial growers or nurseries, but seed that comes from a local garden or landscape is generally considered more viable because of its freshness Collect mature, fresh seed directly from trees.

Clean the seed. Palm tree seed is usually surrounded by a fibrous fruit covering that must be removed before the seeds will germinate. The outer covering of most seeds can be removed with a sharp knife.

Soak the seed for 3 days before planting. Change the water once a day to prevent the seed from rotting.

Plant palm seeds approximately 1/4 inch deep in pots with an even mixture of peat moss and perlite. Peat moss and perlite can be obtained at a local nursery or garden center. Water the seed and planting media liberally after planting.

Place the palm tree seed pots in an area that reaches at least 85 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit daily for optimum growing. Most palm tree seeds need high temperatures to properly germinate, and must be cultivated in higher temperatures to grow properly. Pots can be placed in full sun or partial shade.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Palm tree seed
  • Sharp knife
  • Gloves
  • Deep garden pots with holes for drainage
  • Peat moss
  • Perlite

Tips

  • Applying a source of heat to the bottom of pots will help young palm tree seeds grow.
  • Many palm trees develop large tap roots and need to be planted in deep pots to develop fully.
  • Coconut seed is one of the few palm tree seeds that does not require the removal of its shell before planting.
  • Because some species of palms carry irritating substances in the fruit pulp of their seeds, it is advisable to wear gloves when cleaning palm seed.
  • Transplant young palm trees after at least one leaf has appeared, but before roots become too numerous and entangled in the pots.

Warning

  • Do not plant palm tree seed collected from the ground. Seed from the ground can be infested with pests or mold.

About the Author

 

Barbara Biehler is a freelance writer who has written articles for various websites, as well as online specialty courses for MyComputerBuddies.com. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Central Florida and over 15 years experience in business development, sales and marketing. An avid gardener, cook and voracious reader, Biehler resides with her family near Nashville, Tennessee.