Q: I live in Lavonia, Ga. (Franklin County). have three Windmill Palms. They are in the 10 – 12 foot range..They are full of seeds this year and I would like to know when to collect and how/when to plant.
A: I’ve found various sites that give similar information, so here are directions from LSU:
1-Palm seeds should be planted as soon as they are ripe. Seeds of some species are relatively short lived and some others begin to lose their viability in as soon as two to three weeks after ripening.
2-The seeds should be soaked in water and the fleshy seed coat removed to accelerate germination.
3-To enhance germination, thick, hard seed coats can be scarified. Scarification allows water and gasses to pass through the seed thus hastening germination.
4-The seeds should be planted in a sterilized soil medium. Many are available commercially or a mixture
containing one-half peat moss and one-half sand or any combination of peat moss, sand, perlite or vermiculite can be used. Generally a good rule of
thumb for planting depth is that seeds should only be planted as deeply as the width of the seed itself.
5-Freshly planted seeds should receive bright light, high humidity, moist soil conditions and a temperature
between 80 and 95 degrees F. The use of bottom heat is also recommended.
6-The germination time of palm seeds varies with the species. While some species will germinate in 4-8 weeks, other can take as long as 3-7 months. Seed reference guides should be consulted on this matter.
7-When the first leaf is 2-4 inches long, the palm seedlings should be immediately transferred to individual containers. The plants can be planted into the landscape from April through August when 2-3 feet tall, but it is best to provide protection from full sun and high winds until the plants are well established.
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