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Germinating tropical palm seeds in colder climates


maxum2610

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Here are a few pictures of my germination setup and nursery for the most tropical palms species. This is the second year I've been using this setup and it works great.

 

The germination box, the idea for which I blatantly stole from the Spanish section of the forum. I believe it was a post from 2008. In any case it's just a box made out spare insulation plates taped together:

enertherm.jpg.b356b1b7f1e4451552ad13aa23

 

Heating is by a good old fashioned incandescent light bulb with a temperature controller to keep it at around 32C. It does it's job nicely, very high germination rate. I used to use a propagator with bottom heat, but found that the soil dried out at the bottom too much. Germinated seeds often died because of it. With this system the heat is distributed evenly and so is the moisture in the bags and pots.

 

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Currently cooking in here are:

 

Areca vestiaria

Arenga engleri

Licuala grandis

Archontophoenix alexandrae

Areca triendra

Howea fosteriana

Geonoma interrupta

Hyophorbe verschaffeltii

Licuala peltata var. sumawongii

Calyptrocalyx elegans

Ptychosperma schefferi

Dypsis Paludosa

Asterogyne martiana

Cyrtostachys renda

Iguanura elegans

Rhopalostylis sapida 'East Cape'

Rhopalostylis sp. 'Oceana'

 

 

 

My palm seedling nursery (or should I say nurseries because there are two of them), have been in use for two years now and consists of this (1):

 

 

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with this below it filled with water (2):

 

propagator_64-50_verpakking.jpg.f1ca4088

 

 

both standing in this (3):

 

curver.thumb.jpg.66b720564e1e39485b596bd

 

 

The main reason for doing this is because of the huge space it creates for relatively small floor space, but primarily because the humidity inside the tents is perfect. It does not using mist-makers which tend to promote fungus growth. The evaporation system works great and also elevates the temperature inside the tents to 30C and more. You can regulate temperature by regulating heat from propagators, and humidity via the same means and also by opening the zipper on the front flap of the tent. Light is provided cheap low watt led kitchen lighting. The seedling stay in here from November to the end of March. The rest of the year they're in the greenhouse.

 

Current tenants are:

 

Areca vestiaria Maroon

Arenga engleri

Licuala grandis

Archontophoenix alexandrae

Areca triendra

johannesteijsmannia magnifica

Butia capitata

Dypsis lanceolata

Howea fosteriana

Geonoma interrupta

Hyophorbe verschaffeltii

Licuala peltata var. sumawongii

Calyptrocalyx elegans

Ptychosperma schefferi

Dypsis Paludosa

Cyrtostachys renda

DSC_8397.thumb.JPG.f8f23e55eab381d1ad52c58caaad3bfa87_DSC_8407copy.thumb.JPG.f50DSC_8405.thumb.JPG.77b3fc550f551c6800b09

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really nice setup!

very interesting..you mention using cheap led's, how many watts are those?

so it's just one lightbulb and one propagator heating for the tent and that's it?

How much watt's go into heating the tent?

I'm testing a rather small setup myself but would love to keep costs and energy low

cheers

 

T

 

 

Edited by rice
typo
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11 hours ago, rice said:

really nice setup!

very interesting..you mention using cheap led's, how many watts are those?

so it's just one lightbulb and one propagator heating for the tent and that's it?

How much watt's go into heating the tent?

I'm testing a rather small setup myself but would love to keep costs and energy low

cheers

 

T

 

 

The leds are Prolight Line kitchen counter lighting 600 lumen, 4000k 8 watt. Since your from the Netherlands, you can buy these at Gamma, Hubo or Bol.com. I paid 12 EUR a piece. Heating is primarily via the green propagator at the bottom which are at max 60 watts. I've got them tuned down to about half. As you can see in the picture, the nearest tent does have an old TL installation in the bottom shelf using 2 x15w. The ballast does produce some heat. The temperature in this tent is around 26-32C, depending on the ambient room temperature. I try to keep this at minimum 20C to 25C, depending on how much the wife complains ;)

Be careful with this setup though. You need to open the tent at least twice a day, else you risk seedling dying from molds.

 

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