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Share your "bulletproof" germination strategies


byuind
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As a newcomer I would really like to hear your strategies for germination. I know that no one method is a guarantee due to a wide array of environmental factors, but my people with experience might be able to provide their best tips.

As a kid, I did the lima bean in a paper towel experiment in 1st Grade wo watch the seed sprout. I have seen various methods of soaking seeds in water, using sphagnum moss, etc.

 

For your palm seeds, what are your tried-and-true methods that produce a better than average result for germination.? If there are different methods for different palm orders, I'd love to hear that info as well.

 

Thanks!

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I remove the pulp, put the seeds in the sun for some hours and let them dry. put them in water for some days and then you can plant them.

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It depends on the species, for the cooler species I might put them in a ziplocked bag with compost sand and perlite at room temperature. For palms that need higher heat to geminate I used to use a heat mat but it's too hard to try and maintain the same temperature in all the bags. Something such as an aquarium or old mini fridge where the air is heated instead works much better in my opinion than heating the soil, that way the bottom of the soil isnt too hot and the top too cold.  You could either have them in ziplocked bags a plastic container or just planted in a pot.  Having them in a bag of plastic container would make it more easy to controll how damp the soil is though.

Edited by Foxpalms
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use a waterbed with heat set to 90 degrees, encase it with foam place 4 x4 in the middle to allow the water to drain off the waterbed. place 6 inches of soil the lid is best if you use clear fiberglass that is corrugated and i have personally germinated 10s of thousands of seedlings over the years. works perfect every time it is very cost effective during the winter outside if you encase it with foam

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2 hours ago, JohnStraz said:

use a waterbed with heat set to 90 degrees, encase it with foam place 4 x4 in the middle to allow the water to drain off the waterbed. place 6 inches of soil the lid is best if you use clear fiberglass that is corrugated and i have personally germinated 10s of thousands of seedlings over the years. works perfect every time it is very cost effective during the winter outside if you encase it with foam

do you have photos of this method? Want to make sure I understand this. 

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Big styrofoam cooler than I gutted a chicken egg hovabator and put all the components on the cooler . Great germination chamber holds constant temp . I then sprout everything in either perlite or sphagnum depending on species in zip Lock bags or Tupperware from the 99 store . So far everything I’ve tried has sprouted 

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no you just make raised frame on bricks with plywood on bottom with foam some 4 by 4s in the middle section about 2 feet long or so. this creates run off from the waterbed which lies on top of the 4 by 4s put soil on the waterbed foam in the sides and make corrugated fiberglass top which seals in the heat but provides sunlight and turn on the heater to 90. and it cranks. Ralph Velez an old buddy of mine who has passed on and was a past president of the southern california palm society told me that my operation was the best he had ever seen. 

Edited by JohnStraz
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My method may not work for all species, but so far I've had good results. I place all the seeds of the newly acquired species in a 5 gallon bucket containing 1 gallon of tap water. The water is changed daily. The pulp and floaters are discarded. Germination occurs in a few days to a few months. When the weather starts to cool I keep the buckets in the garage. Once the roots start to emerge, I place each seed in a  small "rose" pot containing coir covered with about a quarter of an inch of soil. After the first leaves are visible, I transfer the seedlings to a pot that's large enough for the root system.

Hi 97˚, Lo 67˚ evening showers

Tom Birt - Casas Adobes - NW of Tucson since July 2014

formerly in the San Carlos region of San Diego

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I use a germination box method. This has been my method for the past few years with good success. I mainly grow tropicals with high heat and humidity needs. I have had better success with this over the baggie method.
 

After cleaning the fruit off the seeds and soaking in water for 24-72 hours, I plant the seeds in 4” or 6” community pots. Then they go into a homemade germination box in the garage. The garage stays hot and warm most of the year. The germination box is just a clear storage bin, with a plastic shelf placed on the bottom. The shelf is a 1/4” plastic sheet purchased from big box store and cut to size. I drilled holes in the bottom plastic shelf to allow water to drain through, so the pots don’t sit in water. However, I allow some standing water under the shelf to keep the box humid. I also use a mister to mist the pots and whole box every 3-7 days or so. The lid just sits on top, allowing slight air ventilation. The lid can be slid over an inch or less to change ventilation. During the winter I do run heating pads under the box on a timer for extra heat when the garage is cold. Over the box is a compact florescent grow light also in a timer. Every 6 months or so the box is emptied and cleaned out to keep sanitary.  The germination box is essentially a small greenhouse, with versatility for cuttings, community pots, or even the baggie method placed in the box. Excuse the dirty bottom shelf in the photos, it’s ready for cleaning. I have not yet had any issues with fungus or mold. 

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