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Starting a Butia from seed


MSX
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Hello everyone! I've been into palms for quite some time but this is my first experience of watching a palm grow from seed, and it happened that this is a Butia. I've been following these recommendations Germinating Butia Seed By Nigel Kembrey. Chamaerops No. 51 - published online 22-04-2005. According to the recommendations, a seed starting soilless medium contains 75% perlite and 25% vermiculite. The medium was watered only once in the beginning before placing the nuts on the top of it, now it's almost bone dry to touch. Having spent nearly a month in a container (7 days of soaking + 21 days on the top of the medium) one of the seeds(nuts) have sprouted

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Two more days and it pulls the nut up burying deeper into the perlite/vermiculite medium

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The article mentioned above suggests the following: "I tend to allow the seedling to develop in the perlite until the leaf is visible, and then lift it out and pot it up. This gives the best survival ratio." So, my question - should I leave the nut like this until it develops the first small green leaf before transplanting it from the soilless medium to a separate container with a regular soil based medium? Or is it okay to move it in to the soil based medium right away? Thanks!

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I would just pot it up right now.You can bury the seed under the soil but the most important thing to do is be very careful not to snap the root.

 

aztropic

Mesa,Arizona

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Mesa, Arizona

 

Temps between 29F and 115F each year

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Just an FYI....Butia seed can germinate in as little as a few weeks and as long as a couple years.  I still have some popping up in recycled soil of which I don't know what species they are....as I was germinating five types a couple years ago....

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Is it better to bury the seed or just place it exposed on the soil? I'm not familiar with just placing the seed on it and not bury it

Edited by ZPalms
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Marat:  I share the same pride and excitement being reminded of each previous species I have tried.....Thank You for sharing with us.

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Survived Feb. 9, 1971 & Jan. 17, 1994 earthquakes   Before Palms, there was a special airplane

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11 minutes ago, ZPalms said:

Is it better to bury the seed or just place it exposed on the soil? I'm not familiar with just placing the seed on it and not bury it

Thank you for this interesting question. I don't have an answer for that and I too would love to hear our experienced palmtalkers! From what we know Butia belongs to Cocoseae tribe of cocosoid palms of the family Arecacae. The most obvious trait of the species of this tribe is the presence, in the endocarp, of three or more "eyes" or pores of germination. So I think it wouldn't be wrong if we take technically Butia's seed as a mini coconut, at least in the question of germination. Leaving the top of the nut half exposed above the soil is a common practice from what I know, not sure this is relevant to other tribes though.

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1 minute ago, MSX said:

Thank you for this interesting question. I don't have an answer for that and I too would love to hear our experienced palmtalkers! From what we know Butia belongs to Cocoseae tribe of cocosoid palms of the family Arecacae. The most obvious trait of the species of this tribe is the presence, in the endocarp, of three or more "eyes" or pores of germination. So I think it wouldn't be wrong if we take technically Butia's seed as a mini coconut, at least in the question of germination. Leaving the top of the nut half exposed above the soil is a common practice from what I know, not sure this is relevant to other tribes though.

I was actually gonna compare it to a coconut but decided not too because it really looks like a very tiny coconut sprouting, Thanks! Same would love to hear if theirs a difference but I can imagine laying them on top of the mix mimics how they would fall and just sprout in the wild?

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28 minutes ago, TheMadScientist said:

Marat:  I share the same pride and excitement being reminded of each previous species I have tried.....Thank You for sharing with us.

Thank you, Scott! This is my first experience with palm seeds, and I didn't know it'd be so exciting! Getting a "ready" palm and growing it from scratch are two different things!

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Butia seed that come up by themselves are often half protruding out of the ground anyway. Its fine to have them half exposed, just make sure the germinating eye has a bit of soil over it so it doesn't dry right out or get a full blast of summer sun for example.

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Millbrook, "Kinjarling" Noongar word meaning "Place of Rain", Rainbow Coast, Western Australia 35S. Warm temperate. Csb Koeppen Climate classification. Cool nights all year round.

 

 

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  • 3 months later...

Butia 4 month old, pushing the third leaf.

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Compared with a same-aged Phoenix dactylifera var. Medjool

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Edited by MSX
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  • 2 months later...
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Something wrong is going on with my Butia, it stopped growing and the leaves start to turn brown/yellow. Overwatering, root rot? Any ideas/thoughts what to do to save it from dying, please? Thanks

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How wet do you keep the soil? If it stays as wet as it is in the photo then it's probably too much water, you should let it dry out some between waterings, I've had butia in pots before and found them to be pretty forgiving.

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Corpus Christi, TX, near salt water, zone 9b/10a! Except when it isn't and everything gets nuked back to the stone age of zone 8.

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22 hours ago, Xerarch said:

How wet do you keep the soil? If it stays as wet as it is in the photo then it's probably too much water, you should let it dry out some between waterings, I've had butia in pots before and found them to be pretty forgiving.

A month ago we had almost a whole month of non-stop rain and this Butia was left outside under the rain in fact. Today I cleaned the roots and changed the soil, it was 50/50 clay topsoil/compost, the new blend is 50/50 compost/grit sand for the best aeration/fastest drainage and watered it with fungicide.

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