Saturday, April 5, 2008

Foxtail Palm Seed Score

Huge score today!!! I have been looking around for a Foxtail Palm ( Wodyetia bifurcata ) that was seeding for a long time. Nothing, the problem is the Foxtail Palm was only really introduced to my area about 10 - 15 years ago so there aren't many mature. That is all starting to change, finally!

Today I discovered a Foxtail with seeds on it!! I couldn't believe my eyes! The best part about it is that I had my camera with me today, that never happens. The first picture is of this beautiful Foxtail Palm.

I walked up under the Mature Foxtail and sure enough there were seeds on the ground!! I was absolutely shocked, I couldn't believe my eyes. I picked up 13 Foxtail Palm seeds and brought them right home. Foxtail Palm seeds have a long root system so I needed something rather deep to germinate my seeds in. I found an old styrofoam cooler that I was never going to use again and said that will do the trick. I poked 12 holes with a phillips head screwdriver in the bottom of the cooler for drainage.

My next step was to make a sandy mix for my Foxtail Palm seeds to germinate in. I just so happen to have a very sandy section in my yard so I filled a bucket up half way with the sand and half way with perlite. Then I mixed it all together and poured it into the cooler for my germination mix.

Next, I laid my Foxtail Palm seeds out on top of the germination mix. As I was doing this I noticed something that makes this score a SCORE!! One of the seeds has already sprouted!!! Wow, I can't believe it!! Today was a really good day!! That means that they all are probably ready and it will be no time now before sprouts! We'll see though, I have my fingers crossed. Just for reference, I placed the sprouted seed in the top right hand corner of the Foxtail germination box.

The second to last step is to cover the seeds with a quarter inch of more germination mix.

And for the final step, SOAK IT! For the initial wetting you want to soak the mix until water is coming out of the bottom. Foxtail Palm seeds are a bit bigger than most Palm seeds, and with this in mind you need to be sure and water evenly. If just one side of the seed gets moist then successful germination is at stake. After initial soaking I just need to make sure that they do not dry out between watering's. Wish me luck, and stay tuned!!


9 comments:

Neza said...

Hi,
Is this the sensitive plant you have?
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/FW027
They call it a weed, but a lot of 'weeds' are attractive. I know that generally, Sensitive plant needs good moisture in the soil, and can root from the stem. How is yours doing?

I really like your blog, and wish I could go out and pick up palm seeds...but no palms here in Minnesota.

From The Rock and Roll Gardener

Gardenista said...

Wow - you've got quite a variety of projects on the go. Keep it up, you've really got some gardening energy there!

Mallika said...

I got a kick out of reading your bit about the foxtail palm seed score. I can totally relate to your enthusiasm and excitement. I just this past week harvested over 400 seeds from my eight year old foxtail palm. That is 400 seeds from one stalk on one palm! This is my first seed harvest. I followed the seed processing directions from a local grower with proven success in germinating and growing foxtails at all stages of development, from seedlings to fully mature trees. I let my seeds mature fully on the tree until they were bright orange and about the size of a golf ball. The seeds were either dropping off onto the ground or removable from the stalk with the slightest twisting motion. I then put these harvested seeds into a bucket of fresh water for a period of 24 hours. The immersion in water allows a softening of the outer shell/skin and gelatinous fruit to be easily removed from the hard seed inside. I then brushed the hard inner seed (black in color) with a small wire parts cleaning brush to remove all residue. Once cleaned I put the seeds into a soil mixture, on their side and planted them only half-way into the soil with the top half of the seed exposed. The soil that I use is a composted soil blend that I get for free from my local landfill. All the yard debris that is taken to the landfill is ground up and composted in big piles not unlike a home compost pile. The heat generated in these composting piles is enough to kill off any weed seeds so that is not a problem. This landfill compost is very rich in organics and probably contains about 10-20% sand as well. I usually use it just as I get it from the landfill and have had wonderful success growing plants in it. For the germination of my foxtail palm seeds I mixed in some 'soil conditioner' that I purchased from a local nursery. The soil conditioner is basically a mix of chunky bark that helps create air spaces in the soil. I'm not sure that I needed to do this but I did it anyway just to make sure the soil was not too heavy. I am now patiently waiting with great optimism that my seeds will be germinating in about a month or so. I will report back when they are sprouted.

Lets Plant said...

Mallika, thanks for the comment. I discovered after this try to only bury the seeds half way. Almost all of these seeds have germinated though anyway. I am with you in the patiently waiting game now.

Anonymous said...

hi mate.im from far nth queensland in australia where the foxtail grow native.for faster germination soak the seeds in water for 24hrs before planting.this just helps soften the hard outer shell

Shawn said...

do you plan on posting any photos of the seedlings? i recently picked up what is supposed to be a foxtail palm seedling but the fronds look more like a christmas palm - i was wondering if the juvenile of the species have the characteristic "bottlebrush/foxtail" appearance right away or not.

Anonymous said...

olá meu nome é Amílcar Piva, sou do brasil, e quero começar a cultivar aqui as sementes da wodyetia bifurcada , mas como por aqui só temos mudas mais jovens , elas não possuem sementes ainda, gostaria de saber se vcs tem interesse em me fornecer sementes, ja que ai tem muitas,qual o valor e a quantidade que podem enviar, abraços... e parabens...

e-mail: pauliflora@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

olá meu nome é Amílcar Piva, sou do brasil, e quero começar a cultivar aqui as sementes da wodyetia bifurcada , mas como por aqui só temos mudas mais jovens , elas não possuem sementes ainda, gostaria de saber se vcs tem interesse em me fornecer sementes, ja que ai tem muitas,qual o valor e a quantidade que podem enviar, abraços... e parabens...

e-mail: pauliflora@yahoo.com

William Bennett said...

Thanks for a great read... I have a question for you and all your readers on FOXTAIL PALM seeds and the routine of Germination. I live in Perth W.A and have a pair of beautiful palms that for the first time have SEEDED? (20+years old) has anyone else SUN HARDEND WESTERN AUSTRALIAN FOXTAIL SEEDS!!! ( seeds that have actually struck and grown )Thanks for the heads up on what to do with these seeds, and look forward to hearing from you and your readers on wheather I have something new in WA or is it common here.
CHEERS Bill Palmer