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krishnaraoji88

Trachycarpus germination

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krishnaraoji88

Hi guys,

After my first summer of seed germination trials most of my seeds have germinated and the ones that havent are healthy and just biding time (I used the process in Kris' thread). All except for the trachycarpus seeds. I have looked and looked across the internet and have tried pearlite/vermiculite medium and a peat medium and I cannot seem to get them to grow. Most of the things I found said they should germinate within a month or so but of my T. latisectus all but one have rotted and my T. waggie and windmill seeds are still holding up but I dont know for how long. I did make the mistake of putting them with the rest of my seeds (outside where it is hot) at the begginning but then I moved them indoors after about 2 weeks and I know they never got above 100 degrees. Can someone offer me some advice to germinating Trachycarpus as I have ordered some new seed and have a nice sheltered corner in my yard I wish to create a trachycarpus garden in. Thanks for all of your help in advance.

Krishna

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simona

Hi Krishna,

My Trachy seeds have succesfully germinated in spring and they were all planted in pots or in the garden.

All Trachy seeds have survived outdoor hot summer temperatures and low -5 C winter temps then germinated the following year in spring.

Any range of temperatures from 40 - 75 F degrees seems to work with an average of around 60-70 F.

Are the seeds clean? If not, you have to soak them for a few days in water and completely remove the dark blue covering of flesh , leaving only the medium brown seed.

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John in Andalucia
Hi guys,

After my first summer of seed germination trials most of my seeds have germinated and the ones that havent are healthy and just biding time (I used the process in Kris' thread). All except for the trachycarpus seeds. I have looked and looked across the internet and have tried pearlite/vermiculite medium and a peat medium and I cannot seem to get them to grow. Most of the things I found said they should germinate within a month or so but of my T. latisectus all but one have rotted and my T. waggie and windmill seeds are still holding up but I dont know for how long. I did make the mistake of putting them with the rest of my seeds (outside where it is hot) at the begginning but then I moved them indoors after about 2 weeks and I know they never got above 100 degrees. Can someone offer me some advice to germinating Trachycarpus as I have ordered some new seed and have a nice sheltered corner in my yard I wish to create a trachycarpus garden in. Thanks for all of your help in advance.

Krishna

Hi Krishna,

Where did you get your T. latisectus? I had 1000/1000 go bad on me last month, but got 600/1000 T. martianus to germinate using the same method. Almost identical looking seed, too. I bought both batches from RPS who sent me a fresh replacement of T. latisectus today. They shouldn't be difficult to germinate. I use plastic boxes filled with a mix of coco-fibre and compost. First, I pack it down hard, then add enough water to make it almost sodden. The boxes get hot during the day, up to around 38 Celsius (100F) and after about 2.00pm they are in shade, but stay warm right through until around 8.00pm. Later, when the box has cooled off, I "roll" the seeds with the flat of my hand over the surface of the compost with enough pressure to wet the seeds. They pick up bits of compost but they don't get squashed into the soil and they stay damp this way. During the flush of germination I was getting around 20 seeds popping each day. The lids on my boxes are opaque and have a home-made humidity filter on the underside made from 10-fold paper kitchen towel. This way the boxes don't overheat and the seeds stay moist.

post-1155-1217276001_thumb.jpg

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freakypalmguy

Hello Krishna,

I purchased 200 T. wagnerianus seeds from RPS and I think I got almost 100% germination. Very fresh seeds. I used the plastic tub method with sunshine mix #4. They were in my greenhouse so I know they warmed up pretty good. At least 100F. All had germinated within two months. Be careful though, as mine were subject to a spider mite infestation that caused a few to die and others to look very sickly. I used a systemic as recommended by board members and eradicated them. They all appear to be recovering. The interesting thing is that nothing else in the greenhouse was affected. I guess spider mites like Trachy's.

I also received 100 T. nanus seeds from RPS and had very poor luck with them. I think my technique was to blame here not RPS. Of the seeds I did get to germinate, all damped off. The rest of the seeds rotted. I think I kept them too wet. I spoke with a reputable grower and he said that T. nanus are very difficult to get going. I will try again.

Good luck.

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iamjv

Krishna,

I would also be interested in how to successfully germinate the trachy seeds, as mine haven't germinated either. Oddly enough I've haven't seen any naturally germinate here in San Antonio but in other locations like California, I've seen them come up under the mother plant like a carpet of grass. If memory serves me, I saw such an example at Dick's garden... maybe he'll chime in here. Jv

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krishnaraoji88

Sorry I made a mistake, I actually had T. martianus not T. latisectus. I got them from Ortanique and was very happy with the quality, so I know it was my fault they didnt germinate. I ordered the Trachycarpus seed sampler from RPS earlier so Im really hoping that I can get it right this time. I may not have gotten all of the seed coat off of the ones that rotted, but I did get it all off of the waggie seeds and they havent sprouted.

Freakypalmguy, T. nanus is in the order and I would really like to know what you think you should have done differently.

Thanks again,

Krishna

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freakypalmguy
Sorry I made a mistake, I actually had T. martianus not T. latisectus. I got them from Ortanique and was very happy with the quality, so I know it was my fault they didnt germinate. I ordered the Trachycarpus seed sampler from RPS earlier so Im really hoping that I can get it right this time. I may not have gotten all of the seed coat off of the ones that rotted, but I did get it all off of the waggie seeds and they havent sprouted.

Freakypalmguy, T. nanus is in the order and I would really like to know what you think you should have done differently.

Thanks again,

Krishna

I would try them at room temp and not so much moisture. I'm almost thinking in an open container rather than a sealed baggie or tub. Definitely use a very well draining medium.

Matt

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Tyrone

I know that they don't like high temps. I tried a few hundred T fortunei at room temp around 20-22C and after months only had 3 come up. I threw the 3 germinated seedlings and all the other seed into a pot and put in the understory of the garden through winter with day time temps around 17-19C and they all came up. That's my experience.

Best regards

Tyrone

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tank

I've had good luck germinating several Trachy species here in north Florida in covered flats with just a 50/50 mix of perlite and peat moss. Results were dramatically better if the flats were left out of the greenhouse in complete shade. I actually wouldn't keep any trachys in the greenhouse unless it was kept under 90 F in central Florida. I killed about 200 healthy T. martianus and T. latisectus seedlings by bringing them into my well ventilated (but hot) greenhouse to protect them from the marauding hordes of tree rats.

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Turtile

How long has it been since you planted them? I only get a few to germinate within one month. Most of mine germinate between 2-4 months while some may take 6 months.

There are two methods I use to grow trachycarpus.

1. Indoors - baggie method

a. Soak in water for 3 days changing the water every day

b. Use 50% perlite and 50% peat w/ Bacillus subtilis (beneficial bacteria)

- it should be moist, not wet - when you squeeze it, no water should drip out - you can wet it and squeeze the excess water out

c. place in a plastic bag (zip bag)

2. Outdoor

a. (same as above)

b. 45 perlite / 45 peat / 10 pine bark (pure pine bark works well too)

c. Place in a flat

I've gotten 80-90% germination with the above methods on nanus, fortunei, wagerianus, latisectus

Edited by Turtile

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krishnaraoji88

Its been about 1.5 months but other than the waggie (of which I have had 0 germinate) seeds all others are rotting. Jason, did you set the seeds out in gainesville during the summer wet season?

Krishna

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tank
Its been about 1.5 months but other than the waggie (of which I have had 0 germinate) seeds all others are rotting. Jason, did you set the seeds out in gainesville during the summer wet season?

Krishna

Krishna,

Yes, I've germinated Trachys in the summer but the flats were covered and in the SHADE. These flats have holes cut underneath for drainage. I mist the soil/seeds every few days, just enough to keep it slightly humid in the covered flats. In my experience, if they get too hot, they won't germinate and will eventually rot, even in a fast draining medium. I'm going to make a guess here but the best temp for most of these (I've never germinated princeps or a couple of the others that have been available) is 75F to 85F. T. wagnerianus has been a good perfomer for me in our summer heat, once they're past the strap leaf phase. I've had the hardest time with T. latisectus, with plants only surviving a couple years and eventually croaking. Also, don't be afraid to add some fungicide to the mist, I use captan or various copper based fungicides. Trachy seeds seem to be pretty susceptible to the "green funk", at least for me. Good news is that I'm much more accomplished at killing than growing, so if I can manage to keep a few of these guys alive, pretty much anyone should have success.

T. fortunei is a common palm here in Gainesville, but they become much less common as you travel south.

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krishnaraoji88

Thanks, Im wondering if they would stay cool enough even in full shade especially as once it stops raining everyday it is going to be hotter than hades here. What did you cover the seeds with, was it like a sheet of plastic to keep the humidity high as if so its been very humid here ever day so I was wondering if a top was needed outdoors? There are a couple of T. fortunei around (but as you said, not common) but to buy them in 3 gallon pots they were $25 a piece and there was no way I was going to pay that for a common windmill palm. Have you had good experiences with growing the Trachycarpus in filtered sun/high shade? Also once germinated what can I expect the growth rates to be of the various Trachycarpus you have had experience with. Thanks alot for all your advice!

Krishna

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tank

Seeds were placed in a flat, 4" deep/2' wide/3' long rubbermaid container with a white plastic lid. I keep them covered because animal issues but I also like controlling the amount of moisture. A good solid week of rain and overcast conditions can make things pretty soggy and you might funkify the seed. I can't imagine your summer conditions are much different than in Gainesville and as long as the containers are in the shade, they will stay relatively cool, even in the late afternoon heat. T. fortunei grows well here in full sun or shade. T. wag, martianus, nanus and takil (and some of the unnamed plants available through the major seed dealers) do fine in semi shade. T. martianus is doing well in full sun. Some of the more knowledgeable folks on the board have observed/speculated that nematodes in our Florida soil may create problems for these plants in central Florida. I have seen nice specimens of T. fortunei as far south as Orange and Polk County.

As far as growth rates, hopefully some of the more experience growers will help you out. T. fortunei, wagnerianus, martianus grow "pretty quick" for me. T. fortunei puts out leaves on par with washingtonias in my area. Nanus grows at about half the speed as the others for me.

Retail for $25 for a 3 gallon (I'm guessing about 2 to 3' tree) doesn't sound that out of the ballpark. I think most 3 gal palms at home despot go for $19 - 25. Common is relative to where you're at. Washingtonia filifera, a very common palm in Cali is pretty much non existent here in north Florida, even though they will grow here and should handle the cold better than the ubiquitous robusta. I would expect the price to reflect the "regional rarity" of the plant.

Good luck!

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krishnaraoji88

Have any of you guys tried cold stratification on this genus before planting? This (hxxp://www.plantapalm.com/vpe/horticulture/vpe_horticulture8.htm) website recommended it for other genus.

Krishna

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krishnaraoji88

Also had anyone had experience with that acid growth hormone (I cant remember exactly what it is called off the top of my head).

Krishna

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Jim in Los Altos
Krishna,

I would also be interested in how to successfully germinate the trachy seeds, as mine haven't germinated either. Oddly enough I've haven't seen any naturally germinate here in San Antonio but in other locations like California, I've seen them come up under the mother plant like a carpet of grass. If memory serves me, I saw such an example at Dick's garden... maybe he'll chime in here. Jv

You're right. I get hordes of seedlings coming up during the springtime underneath my female Trachys. But that's the only time of year I see them sprouting which leads me to believe that they need cool nights, moist soil, and mild daytime temperatures to germinate satisfactorily.

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_Keith
Have any of you guys tried cold stratification on this genus before planting? This (hxxp://www.plantapalm.com/vpe/horticulture/vpe_horticulture8.htm) website recommended it for other genus.

Krishna

With lots of folks saying they are coming up in the spring, this does sound like a plausible idea.

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Juni Perez

Anyone ever grown Waggie seeds from Mother Nature's Garden Store? I've had success with seeds bought off of ebay and the seed rack, but I decided to try these guys because their deal was 60 seeds for $14.00. The thing is, these guys have been germinating since mid September and still not even ONE sprout. Normally something would've come up just weeks after.

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ghar41

Krishna,

I would also be interested in how to successfully germinate the trachy seeds, as mine haven't germinated either. Oddly enough I've haven't seen any naturally germinate here in San Antonio but in other locations like California, I've seen them come up under the mother plant like a carpet of grass. If memory serves me, I saw such an example at Dick's garden... maybe he'll chime in here. Jv

You're right. I get hordes of seedlings coming up during the springtime underneath my female Trachys. But that's the only time of year I see them sprouting which leads me to believe that they need cool nights, moist soil, and mild daytime temperatures to germinate satisfactorily.

I quit trying to germinate Trachycarpus like other palms. Ive had the best rate just putting them outside in the early Spring here in a shady spot. Yes, cool nights, mild days and moisture.

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Walter John

Speaking of Trachycarpus. I took this pic at my sister in laws place up on the Darling Downs, Sth East Qld. Is it a Trachy ? If so, which species ? It's a double banger too. :unsure:

post-51-040043200 1325310425_thumb.jpg

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Jimhardy

Fresh seeds really make a difference with Trachys-

I have had them start sprouting the next day when soaking in water.

If they are not fresh it may not matter much what your doing....

If they don't sprout over the long winter indoors I stick them in the ground in spring...

I have seen them sprout up to 2 years later even though winter temps hit -10F,

they had to be frozen solid over winter in the ground at those temps.

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JasonD

Speaking of Trachycarpus. I took this pic at my sister in laws place up on the Darling Downs, Sth East Qld. Is it a Trachy ? If so, which species ? It's a double banger too. :unsure:

post-51-040043200 1325310425_thumb.jpg

Looks like Trachycarpus fortunei in your photo.

As for germination, they self-sow profusely in shaded areas of Tokyo, where the winter is as cold as Norfolk, VA, and the summer's the same, if not even longer and hotter.

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alejandro

Collect fresh mature fruit. (black coloured)

Soak 48 hours. Change water every 24.

Fully remove skin and fruit till only brown clean seed left (I use pressure washer)- I think this is the most important part.

I use baggie method with perlite in a dark place at 20-22 degrees C.

Within two to three weeks get 50% germination from two to three thousand seeds.

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SoulofthePlace

I planted hundreds of T. wag. and T. fort. seeds indoors in potting soil over 2 months ago, but I placed all the seeds deeper about an inch under surface. They were exposed to 50s and 60s most of the time and were in the fridge for a few weeks before that. So far no germination. I'm in zone 8A (SC).

P.S. This is unrelated to the above. I find T. ukhrulensis seedlings impossible to grow. They slowly decline over years abd can't grow past seedling stage no matter what conditions I subject them to.

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NorthFlpalmguy

I find the trachys seeds under my big palms very easy to germinate while the commercially bought seeds are hit or miss. I would guess it is more of a freshness issue there. The trachy seeds also seem very prone to rotting so I like to soak mine in a 10% bleach water solution and use a heavier percentage of perlite in the seed bed with minimal watering, always in the shade for these seeds as stated above.

Edited by bbrantley

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