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How to Germinate Windmill Palm Tree Seeds

The windmill palm is a cold-hardy palm tree native to China. Usually grown as an accent plant in the garden, it also does well planted in containers. The windmill palm is a slow growing tree that thrives in any type of soil, as long as it isn't soggy. Give your windmill palm a partially sunny spot, shielded from winds and check occasionally for aphids and scale. Windmill palms are hardy in USDA Zones 7B-10.

Soak the seed in a solution of 1 cup water and 1 tsp. hydrogen peroxide for 24 hours. Change the solution twice during this time period.

Remove any flesh that remains on the windmill palm seed. Even a small speck can cause fungus to form.

Moisten 2 cups of vermiculite with 2 tbsp. of water (it should feel relatively dry), and place it in the bag. Insert the seed into this mixture.

Place the bag in the warmest place you can find--on top of the water heater or refrigerator, for instance. Optimal temperature for germination is 90 degrees.

Inspect the windmill palm seed daily. Moisten the soil if it feels dryer than when you first inserted the seed, but don't get it too moist. When a root appears, it is time to transplant the seedling.

Pour even amounts of compost and builder's sand into the pot. Gently plant the rooted seed 1/2 inch into the soil. Water lightly, allowing the water to drain from the bottom of the pot and place the pot back in the warm area.

Care Of A Windmill Palm Tree

Cold hardy, compact and shade tolerant, the windmill palm (Trachycarpus fortunei) is a surprisingly tough, versatile tree. Windmill palm is among one of the most frost-tolerant palms available and is hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7 to 10. If temperatures approach single digits, however, windmill palm can benefit from winter protection. Windmill palm is moderately tolerant of salt and wind and can be planted close to the seashore, although the fronds will get ragged in especially windy, exposed locations. Water enough to keep the soil moist, but not waterlogged. If planting multiple palms, space plants 6 to 10 feet apart to prevent competition for nutrients and water and to provide ample air circulation. The Seminole County Extension Service recommends fertilizing palms monthly with 1/2 to 2 pounds of fertilizer per month during the growing season, with mature palms getting more fertilizer and young palms getting less.


Germination can take anywhere from two weeks to a month.

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