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faq - frequently asked questions

Germination

  • How do I get my seeds to germinate?
  • When is the best time for buying and sowing seeds?
  • Any general hints on germination?
  • Any tips or info on [species name here] germination?
  • Why do my seeds refuse to germinate even after many months?
  • How long can palm seeds be stored before they go bad?
  • Do some palm or banana species need to be given a cold period for best germination?
  • To plant palm seeds do I need to wait for the right moon cycle?
  • Should I plant the germinated seeds after I have some good size root even if there is no sign of the shoot or should I wait until I have signs of the first shoot/leaf?
  • How do you clean a large quantity of seeds?


    How do I get my seeds to germinate?
    With each order you will receive general instructions for germination, which you can also find here on our web site (see link at bottom of page). Feedback from our customers and tips on germination for many species can be accessed on the individual species' pages in our archive (see link at bottom of page).

    When is the best time for buying and sowing seeds?
    It is best to buy seeds when they are freshly available. They should be sown right after you receive them, irrespective of the season. Most palm seeds have better germination if they are not stored for an extended period of time. In nature, most palm seeds ripen in fall, they stay dormant in the ground through winter (or possibly a dry season in a desert or savannah) and sprout in spring with the arrival of hot and humid weather. It is not necessary to provide constant high temperatures, but most seeds come up best when the days are hot.

    Any general hints on germination?
    Lots of patience; many palm seeds are slow but otherwise uncomplicated.

    Any tips or info on [species name here] germination?
    There is a wealth of information available on the individual species' pages in our archive (see link at bottom of page).

    Why do my seeds refuse to germinate even after many months?
    Please have patience; some palm seeds may take many months or even years to germinate. As long as the seeds remain hard and are not rotting, you can assume they are still good.

    How long can palm seeds be stored before they go bad?
    Some palm seeds have quite a good shelf life if stored in airtight plastic bags, especially those from dry and/or temperate areas. Most seeds from humid, tropical regions will lose viability much more quickly and should not be stored longer than absolutely necessary.

    Do some palm or banana species need to be given a cold period for best germination?
    The only seed we sell that requires this treatment is Musella. For us, no palm seeds have shown better germination after cold stratification.

    To plant palm seeds do I need to wait for the right moon cycle?
    We don't think palm seeds respond to the moon cycle. You should sow them as soon as you receive them for best results.

    Should I plant the germinated seeds after I have some good size root even if there is no sign of the shoot or should I wait until I have signs of the first shoot/leaf?
    We prefer to plant the seedlings as soon as the first sprout appears. If you wait too long the roots get entangled and may be damaged in transplanting. Most palms are tougher than one would assume in their early stages, but no palm likes root disturbance.

    How do you clean a large quantity of seeds?
    We have a professional seed cleaning machine that spins the seeds on an iron disk and washes the fruit peels away with water. A common mixing attachment for a drilling machine in a bucket of water also serves the purpose quite well if seeds are ripe and the fruit soft. Tender, soft, shelled seeds are best cleaned by hand in a bucket of water.

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