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Growing Seedlings Indoors


Jesse PNW
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Last year, I lost a couple Sabal palmetto seedlings for no apparent reason, while Jubaea, Phoenix canariensis, and Butia continued to grow under the same conditions.  They were all in a south facing window sill getting mostly indirect light (not much direct light up here in the winter).  I'm guessing the Sabals didn't like the low humidity? 

I know it's hard to believe but I've got more palms this year than last year (how does that happen?), and I would like to grow some indoors rather than in the cool greenhouse, where it's too cold for much growth to occur.  I believe all of the following palms like high humidity, and I don't know how they will do indoors;

Archontophoenix maxima and tuckeri, Dypsis pembana, Ptychosperma elegans and robusta (these are all en route from Meg as we speak).  Also have some Lytocaryum hoehnii and insigne, B alfredii, Allagoptera arenaria, and then I also have some P reclinata, S romanzoffiana,  C radicalis plus some other more common palms.  I have considered building a grow box so I can more carefully regulate the humidity, light, and heat, but as I've never done that, I don't know what I don't know.  

Are these worth moving indoors, or would I be better off leaving them in the greenhouse?  Thanks. 

Edited by Jesse PNW
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I've got a couple sets of LED grow lights.  

If you try to look up any info on grow boxes or grow tents, or anything to do with growing things indoors, the only thing you can find is, "THIS IS HOW I GROW WEED!!!!"  

I don't care about weed, I just want to grow some nice palms. 

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1 hour ago, Jesse PNW said:

I don't care about weed, I just want to grow some nice palms. 

The lighting requirements are the same.  I've got a couple of the high power LED COB light fixtures that they market for weed and they work great for growing up my palm seedlings indoors.  I wouldn't worry about a grow tent unless you also need high humidity.  I just put my seedlings on a table in the basement with the lights hung over them.  They put on some size over the winter.  If you really want them to grow like they are on steroids and you've got the dough for the electricity bill,  you can run the lights 24 hours a day.  They don't need a dark cycle.  I got some hybrid palms in December last year that were just strap leaf and just a few months later they were pinnate and tripled in size.  First photo December, second photo January,   last photo in August when I planted in the ground.  So while everybody else's palms are sleeping, mine were growing.  I think I got a full season worth of growth over the winter.

 

hybrids.jpg

hybrids6.jpg

yatayXjubaea2.jpg

Edited by Fallen Munk
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I had my lights set up to switch off at the 12 hour mark last year, but they were in my kitchen.  I assumed they needed a rest cycle.  I don't really have a room I could dedicate to leaving the lights on.  Maybe I should build a grow box after all.  

I'm guessing those are JxB or vise versa? 

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If you find a good grow light would love to know what you get, I've been trying to look for another grow light because currently I have a Haus bright grow light which is awesome but I wanna see if their are anything better!

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10 hours ago, Jesse PNW said:

I'm guessing those are JxB or vise versa? 

Good call.  Jubaea X Butia yatay and the reverse cross Butia yatay X Jubaea

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1 minute ago, Jamil Habib said:

Wow that's super fast growing for a Jubaea hybrid! Didn't realise they don't need a dark cycle, I might try this with all my potted palms this winter!

Double the growth rate by deleting the dark.  Been doing it for a few years now.  Feed them well because they will need it if the room stays warm.

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Thanks so much for the tip, does it come at any cost to the palm? I have quite a few hybrid seedlings that could benefit from this over a couple of winters. Will post some before and after photos. Would a standard lamp light work?

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8 hours ago, ZPalms said:

If you find a good grow light would love to know what you get, I've been trying to look for another grow light because currently I have a Haus bright grow light which is awesome but I wanna see if their are anything better!

I was going to link to the ones I use but they are discontinued.  I suggest COB LED's and be sure to get daisy-chainable so you can add on later.  Hopefully this link will work: https://www.amazon.com/Spectrum-Temperature-Humidity-Monitor-Adjustable/dp/B07V9V6M92/ref=asc_df_B07V9V6M92/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=366315293950&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=9968253651068052254&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9032963&hvtargid=pla-802898702378&psc=1&tag=&ref=&adgrpid=81881007808&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvadid=366315293950&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=9968253651068052254&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9032963&hvtargid=pla-802898702378

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3 minutes ago, Jamil Habib said:

Thanks so much for the tip, does it come at any cost to the palm? I have quite a few hybrid seedlings that could benefit from this over a couple of winters. Will post some before and after photos. Would a standard lamp light work?

It does not harm the palm, and no, a standard light bulb won't work.  High powered grow light needed.

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It's odd you should mention this, one of my Queen palm happens to be under a street light, it's grown much more than my other Queen (planted in a different part of the garden) which was the same size at the start of spring!

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14 minutes ago, Jamil Habib said:

It's odd you should mention this, one of my Queen palm happens to be under a street light, it's grown much more than my other Queen (planted in a different part of the garden) which was the same size at the start of spring!

While it is possible it is benefitting from the extra photons, I'd probably chalk it up to other factors like soil and amount of sun/shade it is getting.  A street lamp will not provide enough output to even match the suns power at dawn or dusk.  Many grow lights don't even put out enough lumens to match full shade.  Years ago I built an Arduino photometer to test light sources and it was a real learning experience.

Edited by Fallen Munk
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Cool, I've always wanted to tinker with Arduino.  

I read online that 20-30 watts per sq ft of vegetation footprint is appropriate (for weed, since that's the only thing anyone cares about growing indoors).  I assume that's a baseline for about any plant.  Of course that really doesn't apply now that LED's exist - everything now is in compensated numbers but I don't trust some janky Chinese amazon brand to be honest about lumens/wattage.  

Fallen Munk did you ever figure out what your Reverse Mule actually is? 

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6 minutes ago, Jesse PNW said:

Fallen Munk did you ever figure out what your Reverse Mule actually is? 

Haha, yes!  It was not even close to that!  It was a stray seed that got dumped out with some potting mix and sprouted under another palm and the assumption was wrong.  It's a Princeps X Fortunei.  People on the forum were right, it's a fan palm.  Real beautiful looking palm.  It's growing like gangbusters too!  I grew it under lights last winter and then planted it out this spring.

princepsfortunei.jpg

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13 minutes ago, Jesse PNW said:

everything now is in compensated numbers but I don't trust some janky Chinese amazon brand to be honest about lumens/wattage. 

 

All I can say about that is mine puts out so much light that it can burn the leaves if placed too close.  Not from the heat, just pure lumens.  Good enough for me.  And I've run it for the past 5 winters 24 hours a day and not a single bulb or fan has burned out which really surprised me.

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16 minutes ago, Jesse PNW said:

How do you know it's a princeps hybrid?  By color?  Any idea how hardy that will be? 

The guy who sent it to me grows that hybrid.  He must have dumped out some seeds he thought were duds under one of his other palms.  It has the white color under the fronds.  Should be as hardy as most other Trachycarpus.  I already have pure T. princeps.  This hybrid has about 10X the growth rate of my pure princeps.  I also have waggy X princeps, but they are still in strap leaf and are coming along slowly.  Added photo of princeps X fortunei as of today.  Note the white color on the underside of the emerging frond.

princepsfortunei2.jpg

Edited by Fallen Munk
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Cool!  

There's a Waggy x Nanus seedling for sale on ebay right now.  I'm tempted to buy it, should be a cool little palm.  I'm just wary of buying anything other than generic palms off ebay. 

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59 minutes ago, Jesse PNW said:

Cool!  

There's a Waggy x Nanus seedling for sale on ebay right now.  I'm tempted to buy it, should be a cool little palm.  I'm just wary of buying anything other than generic palms off ebay. 

I germinated two out of five of those.  One died, the other one is really small and has barely grown at all.  Not sure if I'd recommend that one.  Reports claim that it grows very slowly, so it's not just me.  If I can get seeds of princeps X fortunei, or the reverse fortunei X princeps, I'm jumping on it.  Fast, hardy, great looking palms.

 

Edited by Fallen Munk
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21 hours ago, Fallen Munk said:

While it is possible it is benefitting from the extra photons, I'd probably chalk it up to other factors like soil and amount of sun/shade it is getting.  A street lamp will not provide enough output to even match the suns power at dawn or dusk.  Many grow lights don't even put out enough lumens to match full shade.  Years ago I built an Arduino photometer to test light sources and it was a real learning experience.

It's in the shade for most of the day, but I do nourish it with lots of water and fertiliser, but I do the same for my other Queen too! Unless Queen's prefer shade rather than a lot of direct sunlight!

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Grow box is 90% done, so I'm trying it out tonight.  2x4' and 3' tall.  Made almost entirely from materials I already had on hand.  

3x 42w full spectrum grow lights (white)... it's so much light it scares me.  I'm afraid I'm going to burn the palms so I only brought in 4 victims- I mean seedlings.  This is still less light than recommended according to online sources.  Also got a little electronics fan which pushes up to 90 something CFM... according to online sources you only need 2 cfm per square foot so it's turned way down.  

Lid isn't air/light tight so keeping it covered at night with a big blanket that hangs loose enough to still let it breathe... The light is so bright that the camera auto-dims and you can't tell.... also you can see that I'm angling 48" lights into a 47" (interior) box... because I'm a dummy and didn't think about 48" lights not fitting in a 48" box (outside dimension).  

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I'm surprised you lost the Sabals. Perhaps it was lack of light. Folks should also consider soil temps. The tropical plants (coconuts, tomatoes, etc) will fail before the frost comes just because the soil cools off too much.

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I've not had good luck with any sable seedlings, palmetto or various minor.  Indoors or greenhouse.  They've all come bare-rooted and I normally end up losing about half of them within the first couple weeks of receiving them.  Then a few more just randomly die as time goes on.  I haven't had that problem with any of the other seedlings I've bought bare-rooted.  

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On 9/28/2021 at 10:09 AM, Jesse PNW said:

Cool!  

There's a Waggy x Nanus seedling for sale on ebay right now.  I'm tempted to buy it, should be a cool little palm.  I'm just wary of buying anything other than generic palms off ebay. 

I bought some of them and they should be here soon. I'm just going to put them in the ground. Theres an pic of one blooming it looks a little weird with shorter leaves and no trunk but blooming.  I also have a seedling of one coming too. 

Edited by Paradise Found
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34 minutes ago, Paradise Found said:

I bought some of them and they should be here soon. I'm just going to put them in the ground. Theres an pic of one blooming it looks a little weird with shorter leaves and no trunk but blooming.  I also have a seedling of one coming too. 

What I meant to say was I got one seedling and 30 seeds, seeds are going into the ground. 

Heres a photo of wag x nanus.  I guess it not that bad looking just different looking. 

s-l1600-1.jpg

Edited by Paradise Found
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1 hour ago, Paradise Found said:

What I meant to say was I got one seedling and 30 seeds, seeds are going into the ground. 

Heres a photo of wag x nanus.  I guess it not that bad looking just different looking. 

s-l1600-1.jpg

Its flowering at that size?

 

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5 minutes ago, Will said:

 

Yes, it a very short trachy.  Very uncommon hybrid.  

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I put a humidifier inside the growbox, trying to get things dialed in but there's a constant triad of compromise between heat, humidity, and airflow.  The lamps and humidifier emit heat, which is somewhat scavenged out by the fan.  But the fan seems more effective at removing humidity than heat. 

Is 90f too hot? (Channel 4 on the screen)  I've always read 80-85 is ideal for most palms. 

20211007_212407.jpg

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What room of the house is your grow box in?  I just put my palms in the basement on a table with a big grow light over them, no enclosure.  I would be very concerned about the humidity if they were in a box.  I seriously doubt that you have too much light, if anything,  too little.  Here's my setup.

lights.jpg

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On 10/5/2021 at 7:28 AM, Jesse PNW said:

I've not had good luck with any sable seedlings, palmetto or various minor.  Indoors or greenhouse.  They've all come bare-rooted and I normally end up losing about half of them within the first couple weeks of receiving them.  Then a few more just randomly die as time goes on.  I haven't had that problem with any of the other seedlings I've bought bare-rooted.  

Buy seeds.  I have horrible luck with buying most seedlings, especially bare rooted.  Germination rates on fresh sabal seeds is quite high.  A guy in the palmtalk group sent me a bunch from Texas last year and I got a few hundred Mexicana and Palmetto, and I got some Emerald Isle and Causiarum from another member in Florida and almost all of those germinated.  

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I don't have a basement so the growbox is in my living room.  Which is why it has to be enclosed, I can't have the whole house lit up at night.  It's even too much light during the daytime.  

The problem with humidity is that it's too low.  It stays around 30-40% which is why I had to put the humidifier in there.  And it has to be on the high setting or it barely does anything.  

I can turn the fan up and scavenge more heat out but the humidity seems to leave at a higher rate than the heat.  I could purchase a cool mist humidifer, that would drop the temp in the box by 6 or 7 degrees.  

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1 hour ago, Jesse PNW said:

I don't have a basement so the growbox is in my living room.  Which is why it has to be enclosed, I can't have the whole house lit up at night.  It's even too much light during the daytime.  

The problem with humidity is that it's too low.  It stays around 30-40% which is why I had to put the humidifier in there.  And it has to be on the high setting or it barely does anything.  

I can turn the fan up and scavenge more heat out but the humidity seems to leave at a higher rate than the heat.  I could purchase a cool mist humidifer, that would drop the temp in the box by 6 or 7 degrees.  

Consider a grow tent and you can put better lights in it.  Because the inside is reflective, it's more efficient use of the lights and virtually no light will escape to your living room.  It will hold humidity better, and you can tailor the ventilation because the tents have options for fan installation.  Basically everything you would use to grow weed will work perfectly for palms except you won't need expensive carbon scrubbers to control smell.  One thing to keep an eye out for with high humidity is fungus gnats.  They get into the soil and eat tender roots.  They are like little fruit flies.  They are hard to eradicate.

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On 9/27/2021 at 11:07 PM, Jesse PNW said:

I've got a couple sets of LED grow lights.  

If you try to look up any info on grow boxes or grow tents, or anything to do with growing things indoors, the only thing you can find is, "THIS IS HOW I GROW WEED!!!!"  

I don't care about weed, I just want to grow some nice palms. 

Us Canadians take great pride that we can grow four Weed Plants in our homes LEGALLY :yay:

Edited by Palmlover_78
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