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Starting a Washingtonia from seed


MSX

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Hello palmtalkers! I've already had some experience of germinating Butia and now I'm starting my second palm from scratch - Washingtonia, possibly a pure filifera.

This is a motherpalm, located in Termez, Uzbekistan. This Washy is 13 years old and it's fruiting for the first time this year. At age of 6-7 it managed to survive an extreme cold snap in february 2014, with a low temperature of -22C (-7.6F), the lowest recorded temperatures in the whole region, and continuous 168 hours of subfreezing temperatures, this is what makes this specimen interesting.

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These seeds arrived to me

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Cleaned and soaking in the water

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And again, I have some of questions to our seasoned palm growers:

1) I soaked Butia nuts for 7 days, changing water twice a day, how many days of soaking is enough for freshly harvested Washingtonia seeds?

2) What medium is better for Washy seeds:  pure coco coir,  coco coir/perlite (50/50)  or  vermiculite/perlite (50/50)?

3) Some sources suggest to soak the seeds in fungicide prior putting them in to the medium to control a possible mold/fungi growth inside a germinator (bag, container, etc). How important and necessary this step really is? I have some Previcur and Benlate powder fungicide if it's really really necessary...

4) Temperature regime: 22C(72F), 27C(80F), 35C(95F) or 40C(105F) what is better for germinating Washingtonia?

Thanks!

Edited by MSX
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16 minutes ago, MSX said:

And again, I have some of questions to our seasoned palm growers:

1) I soaked Butia nuts for 7 days, changing water twice a day, how many days of soaking is enough for freshly harvested Washingtonia seeds?

2) What medium is better for Washy seeds:  pure coco coir,  coco coir/perlite (50/50)  or  vermiculite/perlite (50/50)?

3) Some sources suggest to soak the seeds in fungicide prior putting them in to the medium to control a possible mold/fungi growth inside a germinator (bag, container, etc). How important and necessary this step really is? I have some Previcur and Benlate powder fungicide if it's really really necessary...

4) Temperature regime: 22C(72F), 27C(80F), 35C(95F) or 40C(105F) what is better for germinating Washingtonia?

Thanks!

Washingtonia seeds germinate easily, I germinated over 100 this year

1. Soaked them in water for 4-5 days

2. Sowed in a mix of perlite and miracle gro palm and cactus soil

3. Set container on top of TV box and within 5 days they were starting to germinate, with all germinating within 10 days

 

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@MSX

I agree with Ben, they are very easy especially with some heat.  I once started soaking Washy seeds in lukewarm water and forgot about them for almost a week (didn't even change the water once) and they began germinating in the water!  Looks like the palm is filifera or a filifera dominant hybrid.  You're starting with fresh seeds which is good - I'd wish you good luck but I'm sure you won't need it and you'll succeed regardless!  :D Seeds have a long shelf life also do if you want to try some at other times of the year in 2022 the seeds will still be viable.

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Jon Sunder

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That Washingtonia has managed some very cold weather conditions. How did you acquire seed from that palm?

It does not appear to have a reddish brown color at the base of the petioles, which would indicate a strong W. robusta genetic trait.

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22 hours ago, DreaminAboutPalms said:

Washingtonia seeds germinate easily, I germinated over 100 this year

1. Soaked them in water for 4-5 days

2. Sowed in a mix of perlite and miracle gro palm and cactus soil

3. Set container on top of TV box and within 5 days they were starting to germinate, with all germinating within 10 days

 

Ben, thanks for the input! 4-5 days, so a couple more days of soaking then. I think I'm going to place a bag/container (I haven't yet decided what method to use -a baggie or a regular food container) on top of a refrigerator, we have quite an old one at home and it gets warm on top and on the back of the fridge where coils are located.

18 hours ago, Fusca said:

@MSX

I agree with Ben, they are very easy especially with some heat.  I once started soaking Washy seeds in lukewarm water and forgot about them for almost a week (didn't even change the water once) and they began germinating in the water!  Looks like the palm is filifera or a filifera dominant hybrid.  You're starting with fresh seeds which is good - I'd wish you good luck but I'm sure you won't need it and you'll succeed regardless!  :D Seeds have a long shelf life also do if you want to try some at other times of the year in 2022 the seeds will still be viable.

Jon, thank you very much! Germinating seeds during the summer is much less problematic, no need to rack your brains about the warmest places at home! Wow sounds like these seeds don't even need a sophisticated medium if they germinate straight in the water, what an amazing genus!

11 hours ago, Las Palmas Norte said:

That Washingtonia has managed some very cold weather conditions. How did you acquire seed from that palm?

It does not appear to have a reddish brown color at the base of the petioles, which would indicate a strong W. robusta genetic trait.

It was really very cold and it lasted nearly a week and the air wasn't that dry at all with the relative humidity around 77-82%, so be it a pure filifera or filifera dominant hybrid, it withstood this hardiness test. I ordered the seeds directly from an owner of this palm, I just hope a mothertree passed off its hardiness trait to its future offspring!

termez1.jpg.0a06471976b57def88c131363fbff499.jpgtermez2.thumb.jpg.c22a6b2b8ae59f9f9bacf768d61704b4.jpg

Edited by MSX
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Germination process has started. Trying different methods:  a baggie and community pot (a sealed food container) filled with soiless medium (rehydrated and squeezed pure coco coir). I don't know if there's any technical difference between these two methods since both create sealed environment or if baggie has any advantage over community pots, but I never tried baggie so giving it a try. Also, I sowed some seeds in individual containers (disposable cups) filled with soil based medium (garden soil+vermicompost mixed with soil conditioners perlite+vermiculte+coco coir, and treated with Previcur a professional fungicide). Some seeds are still soaking as I too want to repeat Jon's experiment and see if they're going to sprout right in the water or not! Keeping everything at around 93-98F during the day and 70-77F during the nigh time. DSCN8436.thumb.jpg.7bbf09b8b8bd6a5ddbcbe8387478e93b.jpg

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Edited by MSX
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On 11/26/2021 at 1:13 PM, DreaminAboutPalms said:

Washingtonia seeds germinate easily, I germinated over 100 this year

1. Soaked them in water for 4-5 days

2. Sowed in a mix of perlite and miracle gro palm and cactus soil

3. Set container on top of TV box and within 5 days they were starting to germinate, with all germinating within 10 days

 

I germinate like 100 per square foot in my yard in the late summer on accident lol

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Soak for 24 hours. Add hydrogen peroxide if you have it. Put in a bag with coco and perlite. 90f bottom heat. Less than a week boom! Caos ina bag!

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8 hours ago, ahosey01 said:

I germinate like 100 per square foot in my yard in the late summer on accident lol

Do you pull them out or let them grow a bit? I've always been curious what happens if they all compete for nutrients and only the strongest prevail or what 

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1 hour ago, DreaminAboutPalms said:

Do you pull them out or let them grow a bit? I've always been curious what happens if they all compete for nutrients and only the strongest prevail or what 

Generally I pull them out.

There’s a grove of them up by the castle hot springs resort that was actually the first grove discovered by Europeans.  They kind of do that there - you ought to make a pilgrimage.  Hell of a place and never anyone out there.

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Wow Washy germinates faster than any veggie i've dealth with, faster than tomatoes, salad or sweet basil - 5 days!

 

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Edited by MSX
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I'll have to check on my seeds. It's been a week now on a heat mat. :D

Nope. Nothing. I won't disturb the soil to check. Just waiting for top growth to show.

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13 hours ago, Las Palmas Norte said:

I'll have to check on my seeds. It's been a week now on a heat mat. :D

Nope. Nothing. I won't disturb the soil to check. Just waiting for top growth to show.

Yeah I realize disturbing seeds twice a day isn't a good thing but I hope my washies will forgive me my impatience and curiosity ))

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I live in Ottawa, Canada. Last year I was able to get hold of 100 WR seeds. I have about fifty that are still thriving. I would love to start some more if there is anyone out there who has some Washingtonia Robusta seeds they would be willing to send me?

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On 12/3/2021 at 9:52 PM, MSX said:

Yeah I realize disturbing seeds twice a day isn't a good thing but I hope my washies will forgive me my impatience and curiosity ))

Well yesterday there was nothing above ground, today these are showing about ¼" to ⅜" above the soil.:D That's one day soaking, and 9 days planted at 78°F / 25°C on a heat mat.

Washingtonia filifera

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Edited by Las Palmas Norte
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On 12/4/2021 at 6:21 AM, SALOttawa said:

I live in Ottawa, Canada. Last year I was able to get hold of 100 WR seeds. I have about fifty that are still thriving. I would love to start some more if there is anyone out there who has some Washingtonia Robusta seeds they would be willing to send me?

There's probably members on the other forum  willing  to fill your request PALM EXCHANGE - PLANTS, SEEDS, & "PALMY" ITEMS FOR SALE / SWAP

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19 hours ago, Las Palmas Norte said:

Well yesterday there was nothing above ground, today these are showing about ¼" to ⅜" above the soil.:D That's one day soaking, and 9 days planted at 78°F / 25°C on a heat mat.

Wow congratulations on the success! what a cool lawn!

Are you germinating them in soil-based or soilless medium, and when are you going to transplant the seedlins into individual pots?

Edited by MSX
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5 hours ago, MSX said:

Wow congratulations on the success! what a cool lawn!

Are you germinating them in soil-based or soilless medium, and when are you going to transplant the seedlins into individual pots?

It's a mix of perlite and HP Pro Mix (peat based medium). I plan on waiting until the top growth is at least two inches tall before I transplant, and that won't be too long from now. More have emerged today. I wonder how many will germinate of the 60 I planted? 

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Mine are at about that same stage of growth. I'll wait a bit before I pot them. Perhaps in a week or 10 days.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 11/27/2021 at 1:21 AM, Las Palmas Norte said:

That Washingtonia has managed some very cold weather conditions. How did you acquire seed from that palm?

It does not appear to have a reddish brown color at the base of the petioles, which would indicate a strong W. robusta genetic trait.

You are correct, this is a real deal Filifera. For photos like this, looking up at a tall trunk, a good indicator is that the newest dead leaf bases at the top are already a light tan color. If there's red-brown present in the petioles, that will translate to these leaf bases until they slowly fade out to tan 

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  • 1 month later...

http://mcmullen-engineering.org/?fbclid=IwAR2wrd20AuqL2PfhzxRLIYP20q3NRjdi53SY5SR_rl4qGABW864zQ4IkCic

 

found this article about a Filifera that sprouted up next to a highway in Dallas

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On 2/3/2022 at 4:06 AM, MSX said:

2-month-old filibaby

Seedlings in regular garden soil vs vermicompost

Thank you for documenting this so extensively. I'm looking forward to the growth progress

 

23 hours ago, DreaminAboutPalms said:

http://mcmullen-engineering.org/?fbclid=IwAR2wrd20AuqL2PfhzxRLIYP20q3NRjdi53SY5SR_rl4qGABW864zQ4IkCic

 

found this article about a Filifera that sprouted up next to a highway in Dallas

I was thinking about this palm the other day and wondered if it survived the 2021 winter

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I think I found the palm that lines up with the images posted in your article. This is about the best view possible with street view, but it only goes up to 2018. So, someone will have to drive by in the google car again for us to see if it survived

https://www.google.com/maps/@33.0099766,-96.9064726,3a,20.4y,210.2h,91.29t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sip9RRmJOKDa_HKULF0XQ5g!2e0!5s20180301T000000!7i13312!8i6656

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  • 2 months later...

Interestingly enough, the cataphyll (rudimentary leaf) and eophyll (the first true leaf) base of all the seedlings from w. filifera motherpalm are now reddish anthocyanin-colored

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Edited by MSX
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Marat, I have to congratulate you on the many germination successes.  I have to admit ignorance relating to Namangan, so I looked at published data.  You are 41 degrees north where I am 34 degrees north, you don't have any ocean influences on your climate where I am 45 miles inland, you are approx 1470 ft. elevation where I am 1304 ft in my backyard, but what was shocking to me is this wiki-climate chart.  Other than the 100 year cold event you quoted, this suggests to me you have a great opportunity to try many different species:

hideClimate data for Namangan (1981–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 4.4
(39.9)
7.9
(46.2)
15.3
(59.5)
23.0
(73.4)
28.5
(83.3)
34.0
(93.2)
35.1
(95.2)
33.9
(93.0)
28.9
(84.0)
21.7
(71.1)
13.3
(55.9)
5.7
(42.3)
21.0
(69.8)
Average low °C (°F) −3.1
(26.4)
−0.7
(30.7)
5.1
(41.2)
10.9
(51.6)
15.2
(59.4)
19.6
(67.3)
21.1
(70.0)
19.6
(67.3)
14.5
(58.1)
8.6
(47.5)
3.2
(37.8)
−1.4
(29.5)
9.4
(48.9)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 18.1
(0.71)
25.7
(1.01)
28.9
(1.14)
23.9
(0.94)
20.6
(0.81)
11.1
(0.44)
4.3
(0.17)
2.4
(0.09)
2.9
(0.11)
15.7
(0.62)
20.6
(0.81)
26.2
(1.03)
200.4
(7.88)
Average precipitation days 9 10 10 9 10 6 5 3 3 5 6 9 85
Source: Centre of Hydrometeorological Service of Uzbekistan[19]

Main sites

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

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6 hours ago, MSX said:

Interestingly enough, the cataphyll (rudimentary leaf) and eophyll (the first true leaf) base of all the seedlings from w. filifera motherpalm are now reddish anthocyanin-colored

IMG_20220417_115217.thumb.jpg.e82497bd507acba56fe73a75588499ab.jpg

IMG_20220417_115237.thumb.jpg.cc976311566f736b9add97d80d61a7e7.jpg

 

 

That's basically what my robusta seedlings look like.

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Palms - 3 S. romanzoffiana, 1 W. bifurcata, 4 W. robusta, 1 R. rivularis, 1 B. odorata, 1 B. nobilis, 2 S. palmetto, 1 A. merillii, 2 P. sylvestris, 1 BxJ, 1 BxJxBxS, 2 BxS, 1 C. nucifera, 1 P. roebelenii, 1 H. lagenicaulis, 1 H. verschaffeltii, 9 T. fortunei, 1 C. humilis, 2 C. macrocarpa

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19 hours ago, TheMadScientist said:

Marat, I have to congratulate you on the many germination successes.  I have to admit ignorance relating to Namangan, so I looked at published data.  You are 41 degrees north where I am 34 degrees north, you don't have any ocean influences on your climate where I am 45 miles inland, you are approx 1470 ft. elevation where I am 1304 ft in my backyard, but what was shocking to me is this wiki-climate chart.  Other than the 100 year cold event you quoted, this suggests to me you have a great opportunity to try many different species

 

Scott, thanks a lot! I never thought that I'd enjoy the germination process so much! I started with Butia and now it's turn of California fan palm. I intentially was looking for a local fruiting specimen that survived in our climate, including 100 year cold event. I'm glad I eventually found what I had been looking for, the motherpalm looks close to pure W. filifera, so I hope to receive a robust generation. As for Namangan, despite being the second most populous cities in the country it is not a popular tourist/backpackers destination at all so you normally never hear about it in the news, travel catalogues, etc, but what makes this place special is fertile land of the Vergana Valley which is already one of the most expensive in the region, water resources and climate, so this huge oasis is a hub of agriculture business and cotton/textile industry. Also, the valley is projected to be one of the very few climate in-migration hotspots in Asia 2030-2050 in the the World Bank's updated Groundswell report, they project the subregion to be hotter with increased water availability in this area, hopefully this will open new opportunities for local palm growers

Expedition 60 overflying my place :)

iss060e0159932.thumb.jpg.4f58c31ce24f14a11fd4f80b71bd020e.jpg

  

15 hours ago, JLM said:

That's basically what my robusta seedlings look like.

Inspected the seedlings today and as the base of the second true leaf slowly opens up on some seedlings it becomes apparent that they are mostly green-colored for now

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IMG_20220422_152449.thumb.jpg.5123273af0ba204fd2a4ef4a57ceb418.jpg

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4-month-old seedlings. Pushing the 3rd leaf with the first white filifera-filaments.

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Edited by MSX
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On 11/29/2021 at 6:12 PM, ahosey01 said:

Generally I pull them out.

There’s a grove of them up by the castle hot springs resort that was actually the first grove discovered by Europeans.  They kind of do that there - you ought to make a pilgrimage.  Hell of a place and never anyone out there.

I took a look on google maps, looks wild! 1777748861_Screenshot(67).png.6f6a8dd4484f49d1700549396ba72286.pngTo go list for sure

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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...
1 hour ago, MSX said:

8-month-old. Pushing the 10th leaf

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first armor

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wow i wish mine grew that fast!

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An Autistic 18 year old who has an obsession with Palms!

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Wow , they grow fast . In 4 months mine went from blades of grass to real plants .

March 

51922465085_0d1d931031_b.jpg

Four months later :

 

52243301383_a2d4d6c727_b.jpg

 

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