So you're thinking of that adventure: how to grow palm trees from seed.
Your journey will need some patience, care, and investigation into the palm species you'll grow. It's likely easy on your budget. Growing palms from seed can be done. We know people who love growing palms from seed.
When you see your palm seedlings successfully sprouting, you'll feel like a proud palm plant parent! 🤗
Whether you're totally inexperienced or have some knowledge, we want to guide you a step by step guide for what you need:
OR CONTINUE ON DOWN FOR ALL BEST PRACTICES YOU NEED TO GET STARTED:
Step-by-Step Guide to Growing Palm Tree Seeds
First things first: sourcing your seeds. You'll want to plant the right palm in the right place. So be sure of your chosen palm's expectations:
Or maybe you'd like this to be a sideline Entrepreneurial Venture. Whether it's coveted rare palm tree seeds, or more common species. We'd advise using an authentic palm seed supplier with fresh seeds, when planning to grow palm trees from seed.
Palm seeds come in many sizes. From about 1/4" (0.6cm) to the largest seed among flowering plants. Size matters when you grow palm trees from seed! 😊
Some may wonder: How Do Palm Trees Grow? And then reproduce? Can I grow palm trees from seed? The easiest way to answer is this process:
Many palms are slow with their seed germination. Without overwhelming results in producing a new palm plant. (But we know of those who've gotten about 90% seed success!)
For good results when you grow palm trees from seed, your research & patience are important.
Species of palms have two basic types of methods for germinated seeds to get started. Understanding that helps when you grow a palm tree from seed.
REMOTE GERMINATION - The starter seed leaf (cotyledon) stays inside the seed. A small branch (hyperphyll) grows out from the seed. Ending where the stem & root begin growing. The first root (radicle) for most palms grows downward.
ADJACENT GERMINATION - Part of the seed leaf comes out of the seed, making a "button." The stem & root growth begins from the button. The radicle is soon replaced by adventitious roots, those which tend to spread out.
MINI QUIZ! Your Question: Which ripe seeds from a palm need planting in a deep plant starter pot for best results?
Seeds From Palms with Adjacent Germination
Seeds from Palms with Remote Germination
Two Frequently Asked Questions on growing palm trees from seed are:
Local environmental conditions affect growth success of a palm's viable seeds. You'll want to nurture growth of high quality seeds for best results. By knowing good processes.
The freshest, ripe seeds will really have the most effective outcome. Start with nearly ripe to fully ripe fruits. They cannot be allowed to dry out.
Get your palm seeds through the first step: Soaking Palm Seeds.
This water soak is the best pretreatment for viable germination in most all palm species.
Next: Detailed Instructions to Clean the Palm Seed Pod.
BY HAND - You can manually clean the seed. It's fairly time-consuming if you're planting many palm seeds.
BY MACHINE - Many commercial growers have a Seed Cleaning Machine. If you ask, they may be willing to clean your palm seeds. Likely for a price.
Commercial Seed Cleaning
PRETREATMENT PRIOR TO PLANTING
Optional methods are used to further encourage palm seed germination.
With some species the endocarp & sarcotesta (fruit's pulp) are very thick & hard. This restrains moisture influx into the seeds. To overcome this, a scarification process is done to assist palm tree seedlings in getting started. There are mechanical & chemical scarification methods. But caution is needed to not injure the seed embryo.
We don't recommend you use harsh chemicals to speed up seed germination. These are best used by Commercial Growers dealing with tons of seeds of varying species.
If you attempt germination of your own seeds for personal planting, scarification could be useful. There are those Familiar With the Process Here>
A method using temperature for speeding up seed germination. By exposing seeds to specific temperatures. Heat Mats are often used. Some have worked with space heaters as Heating Sources. If you'd like to try, there are Specific Techniques for Safety. The time needed for this is lengthy.
Also, this process doesn't have many peer-reviewed studies for palms. Some have even found cold exposure successful, particularly in temperate climates. But again, quite variable per the species.
We've sourced Expert Tips For You, when sowing your palm tree seeds. It's the exciting part of the technique, where your soon-to-be tiny sprouts meet their first home. Here's the step by step to-do process...
Decide whether to use pots or flats. Usually pots are preferred, because the depth allows for better root growth. Plus their drainage holes are essential. Pots allow for more root depth also eventually makes for easier transplanting.
Some choose Seedling Tubes. Or you can create your own version using PVC piping, cut to lengths.
If by chance you're planting palm seeds in a Flat Type of Container, you'll want to space out the seeds so roots don't entangle with each other.
Choose the planting soil (substrate). Base your decision on the fact that seeds & seedlings need consistent moisture, without sogginess. The substrate shouldn't fully dry out. But yet don't overwater.
Prepare Your Own Good Palm Seed Starter Mix:
Pour the this mix into a pot, leaving some space at the top.
OR rather than the larger ratio be entirely peat moss, you can divide that in half for including Cocopeat. Or try Coconut Coir (we've used This Brand with good results). Especially good when you grow palm trees from seed in warmest climes. Being mindful of preventing the planting material from drying out.
HERE'S AN EXAMPLE, WITH 2 METHODS
The method for planting palm seeds depends on the surroundings. To plant palm tree seeds in your mix, follow these general rules of thumb (or green thumb in this case 😏). But remember, not too deep, we don't want the seed to lose its way!
Where will you be growing palm trees from seed? Have an indoor space? Or in a mostly shady outdoor area? Then the best way is to gently plug the palm seed into the potting mixture. Let large seeds slightly show above the mix. Small seeds should be no more than a depth of 1/2 inch (1cm).
Once your seeds are snug in their pots, it's time for thorough, yet gentle watering. Misting setting gives best results. Keep the substrate moist but not waterlogged. Imitate a tropical climate, but not a flooded rainforest!
In furthering palm trees' tropical clime, most palm seeds need higher temps for germination. Best between Fahrenheit of 86o to 95o (30-35c). Better to sow palm seed in warmer months.
To help keep the temps in the best range, cover the seed container with clear plastic. Or use bottom heating by using a Seedling Heat Pad. But out of direct sunlight (we don't want to cook our seeds!)
Gardening patience is what you need now. Germination can take several weeks or even months! Yes, it's a game not for the faint-hearted but for the truly determined, patient, palm-tree-loving souls.
During this waiting period, your primary task is to maintain the pot's environment. Ensure the mix remains moist, and the temperature stays warm. To avoid any common issues.
If all goes well (and why shouldn't it) you'll soon spot a tiny green sprout breaking the surface - your first palm tree seedling! Did you say "Yay!" ? Congrats - you deserve it!
Now that your baby palm tree is here, remember to remove the plastic. Let it bask, growing in indirect sunlight. Begin reducing watering to prevent root rot. Yet, don't let the soil dry out completely.
Transplantation considerations begin as your palm grows. Do you see plenty of roots at drainage holes? Or does the pot now seem too small? It's time to transplant the palm to a larger pot or directly outdoors.
When transplanting outside, be sure the intended area has good drainage. You might mix some Organic Matter into the native soil before planting. The hole should be deep enough to accommodate the roots and wide enough to provide room for growth. Most important is ensuring the depth of your transplant is the same as in the original container.
Post transplantation, keep the freshly planted palm well-watered and Shielded From Harsh Sun or wind for a few days. Gradually, as the palm establishes itself, you can reduce watering and expose it to more sunlight.
So there you have it, a step-by-step, fun, and simple guide on how to grow palm trees from seed.
It might be riddled with ups & downs, or slow progress. But trust me, the sight of a young palm tree standing tall in your backyard is worth every drop of your sweat & patience. Take pride in witnessing life unfurl from the very seed you planted and nurtured.
It was hard, but careful work!