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PalmTreeDude

Germinated Leucothrinax morrisii Questions

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PalmTreeDude

So I have some Leucothrinax morrisii seeds that are finally germinating and I have a few questions about them. First, are these remote germinaters? Also, how long does it take for them to root well into a pot so I can set them outside (when it starts warming up)? I like to put my seedlings outside as soon as a can but wind sometimes makes the newly potted up ones tilt sideways, and it turns into a constant battle of me carefully repositioning them. 

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Phoenikakias

Hi there, the answer (wind tolerance)  to your question depends on the kind of substrate you have used. If I remember correctly they are remote germinators but seedlings are initially very tiny. First leaf is only a minute grass blade. If the substrate you use is pure perlite, you can expect that initial root system will penetrate deeply below surface. This and the very narrow first leaf blade will provide enough stability, when seedling are wind exposed.

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Rasta Rob

I have two years old thatch seedlings my self. Literally there is only 4 blades of tiny grass so far. In beer cups with coco coir and perlite mix. Patience is needed with these. Some of my slowest palms. I can’t see them outgrowing the beer cups for a few more years!

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mnorell

Do you have access to any limestone? If I were attempting to propagate this species I'd mix limestone, both pea-rock and coarse sand-sized particles, with some coir and/or humus as a substrate. My property on Big Pine Key has two large specimens and several smaller adults as well, and for some reason I've only seen a few babies pop up on their own (probably because the Key Deer love to eat the flowers and fruit), but when they do sprout it's right on, and down into, the limestone cap-rock, with usually a thin layer of humusy forest-mulch above. They are precocious in the forests around me as there are many, many thousands on the island. The fine humus produced by the carbon cycle, as well as wildlife (particularly Key Deer), produce their fertilizer. They are most plentiful under the cover of slash-pine forest, so you might break up some pine-straw and incorporate that as well.

As noted above, they are very, very slow when young. So probably a good low-strength organic fertilization scheme and also a larger pot for good root-run will get you something a little faster. They really want to be in the 80s, 24 hours a day, for maximum growth. Winter should be mostly 70s though they will tolerate lower of course. They are just blades of grass, later homely little things that look like something perhaps resembling an anemic gray-leaved Serenoa baby, for years. You may have lots of grey hairs before you get something you recognize, particularly subjected to the restrictions of outside-in-summer conditions in Virginia. Of our native fan-leaf palms, Coccothrinax argentata and Thrinax radiata are to my mind much more satisfying from seed because, though the juveniles are somewhat slow even under optimal conditions, they are quite pretty once out of strapleaf territory.

Leucothrinax is generally very tough and once they get a trunk they will pick up speed and eventually, if not disturbed, the most robust specimens can get quite a large crown and hefty trunk. Such "super-specimens" are quite beautiful indeed.

As a side note, we had a (human-induced) forest fire a few months after Irma that swept through one of the last healthy slash-pine forests on Big Pine that had survived the hurricane intact. It went on for days and consumed over a square mile of forest. Under the pine canopy was almost completely Leucothrinax and Coccothrinax (also Serenoa) in dense aggregations. Virtually all of the Leucothrinax have grown new crowns while only an occasional Coccothrinax recovered from the fire.

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aztropic

As others have hinted,this is a very slow palm to get started.This is a pic of my 2 year old seedlings grown in Arizona time.

 

aztropic

Mesa,Arizona

15830850715644150374935946515604.jpg

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aztropic

At 10 years old,they are finally about a 5 gallon size tree.

Patience is definitely required!

 

aztropic

Mesa,Arizona

15830853931022346022539278473963.jpg

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