For most of the gardeners, it is one of the most desirable tasks to learn how to grow date palm plant tree and germinate seeds. Actually, people all over the world know date palm tree for the sweet edible fruits. People of harsh area value date palm tree very much as it provides a large amount of food. The fruits are 3 – 7 cm long, oval cylindrical and depending on the variety, ranging between bright yellow to red. They are sweet and the dry fruits contain 75% sugar.
The trees are best known for the continuous length, long time production and the survival capacity in extremely high temperature and long drought. The healthy trees and seeds need same temperature to develop and germinate. It is one of the tough task for the gardeners to germinate of their own. Today, we’ll through light on how to grow date palm plant trees and germinate seeds with full guideline and attendance. If you’re also a date lover, be patient and go through the entire content.
Guideline to Date Palm Seed Germination
The fruit is an effective astringent as the fruit contains tannin. Also the fruit is used to heal sore throats, bronchial catarrh, colds, gonorrhea, fever, edema as well as abdominal problems. So, this is important to grow some trees and the best way to do this is to germinate seeds of your own. Let’s see how to germinate.
Types of Date Palm Germination
There are two ways to germinate date palm seeds. They are as below:
1. Remote germination
2. Adjacent germination
The method in which the seedling axis usually develops at a distance from the actual seeds is known as remote germination. Cotyledonary periole is the first structure which emerges from the seeds. It grows downward into soil; after that, swells its base. The desirable first seedlings root emerges from this swelling. The actual leaf lies inside the seed. It performs the role of haustorium which ensures the vital nutrients from the endosperm to the young seedling. Mediterranean fan palms, date palms, Chinese fan palms and Mexican fan palms usually germinate following remote germination method.
The rest is adjacent germination in which a tiny portion of cotyledon emerges. It seems to be a swollen body abutting the surface of the seed. It is the “button”. At the bottom and top of the button, the radical and plumule emerge. The first seedling root is somewhat short living and narrow; and soon is replaced by roots formed at the seedling stem base in adjacent germination.
Conditions to Consider
According to a research, without a high temperature, no palm seed will germinate rapidly. Though the acceptable range is from 70-100, the best range is 85-95 degree F. if you follow poor or unhealthy germination in spite of availability of fresh seeds, increase temperature range for the best outcome. Just provide some heat below the container or cover that with clear plastic. You can also place the container on a heat retaining surface to ensure increased temperature for several degrees.
Several palms may germinate in a forest canopy of their natives; even they can grow up well into the full sun. For those species, you can germinate them in full sun but the leaves can bleach to some extent. According to many gardeners, the overall growth of root and seedling is enhanced in the full sun despite bleaching. And if you grow some seedlings under shade or canopy, it’ll ensure you to have some deeper green seedlings.
The seeds need moisture at the first critical stage of germination at the time cotyledonary petiole emerges in remote germination and button- in adjacent germination. Extreme wet and dry during germination will have some deleterious effects on actual germination percentage. At the same time, if the substrate does not receive automatic irrigation, cover the container with clear plastic to retain necessary moisture in your soil. Remember, overwatering is equally deleterious.
An example of an ideal environment can be a temperature or humidity controlled greenhouse. It ensures more heat along with more consistent humidity. If you are looking for a less risk or predators, water related problems and weed contamination, perhaps it is the best environment to start in. You can install a simple warming device i.e. light bulb for best utilization.
And, if you’re not utilizing a germination box or greenhouse, provide your seeds with the warmest location that can ensure good humidity. At the same time, it is important that the location must be aside of direct sunlight. Filtered light is best suited for the germination. The level of humidity is 60-70 and don’t hesitate to avoid overly damp area.
Sowing the Seeds
You can use different types of container to germinate palm seeds. For example, they can be pots or flats. Pots are highly recommended for having the capacity of deeper soil and functional drainage. Besides, some of the deep rooting varieties need only deep container to germinate and flats are in no use for them. Again, some of the palm members can be sowed in flats; they can also be sowed in pots too. In many reign, gardeners like to sow the seeds in a large bed that is raised and constructed from either cinder blocks or wood logs. No matter what the container is. But the important matter is that it must allow sufficient drainage of extra water to prevent water logging from the substrate.
To germinate the palm seeds, you must ensure a well-drained substrate. Still, it should have the capacity to hold moisture in itself. Remember, you need to adjust the substrate depending the condition of the germinating environment. Such as, the seeds that are germinated in full sun, need substrate which can hold more water than the seeds- germinated in the shade.
In this method, several seeds are sown side by side in a container for germination in the soil. This is such a common technique. It is noteworthy to mention that this method is followed by the commercial growers as in this method, it is easy to observe them day to day. Within a short time, growers can handle with and take care of a lot of seeds. Easily they can remove or transplant the seedling according to their will.
Ensuring good air circulation
Being easily handled
Application of chemicals easily
Willing removal of seedlings
Difficulty in setting them up
Greater desiccation risk
Potentially less heat
Chance to be contaminated by fungus
This is one of the simplest and easiest technique to germinate palm seeds. All you need to do is to place seeds with some damp moss inside a plastic baggie that is transparent. Then, allow the baggie in a warm place. You can select direct sunlight or just beside the water heater.
Best for small amount of seeds
Potential rapid fungal demise
Need for timely removal when ready
Lack of ventilation
Without warming, risk of under hydration
Sprouting the Seeds
At first collect some dates. You can easily purchase from any of the groceries. Remove the seeds from the center. Set your seeds aside and eat the edible parts of the fruits. Clean the seeds off removing any leftover flesh. Rinse them thoroughly and rub off. Besides, you can soak your seeds for about 24 hours in warm water and rub them off.
In fresh water, soak the pits for approximately 48 hours. Fill the pit with a cup of water. Change the old water once a day. It’ll help the mold forming. The coat of seeds absorb water and prepare it for germination. Into a damp paper towel, fold 2 seeds; run water over paper towel so that it may dampen. Allow the towel out flat and let the two seeds place on either end. Fold the towel to cover the seeds and refold it in half. You must cover the seeds fully. Ensure that they are separated with the help of a layer that is made of paper towel.
Finally Follow These
Take a plastic bag; put the paper towel inside and seal it. Open up a plastic sandwich bag; truck the folded paper inside. Be sure that the seeds are at the same place as they were placed at. Close the bag’s seal. Place the bag in a warm place for about 6-8 weeks. Remember, the seeds require the temperature range between 70-75 degrees F for best germination. Find out a warmer place or use a warming mat to provide essential temperature regularly.
After every two weeks, open the bags to check the process. Don’t forget to check for mold and to take care of mold, replace the paper towel with a damp and fresh one. Within 4 weeks, you must see roots developing out of seeds.
As soon as it sprouts, pot the seeds. Keep checking the germination process and growth progress. If there is a shoot off of the roots, hurry up to take them out and pot them immediately. Prepare a pot for per seed filling it with half of seed starting compost and half of sands. Water the soil lightly to ensure moisture. Plant the seeds exposing half of each seed. Apply some sands to cover the exposed part. Take a plastic warp to cover the container and allow it at a location that is warm but not directly sunny. The temperature of the location should be around 70-degree F. if you think that the container is not getting required temperature, put it on a warming mat.
Growing date palms from seed.
It is very easy to grow date palm plant from seed but to yield fruit from your trees is more challenging. If you want to grow a palm, simply eat the edible part of the fruit, take the seed. Clean it off any additional flesh.
Soak the seeds in water for a day. This will allow the coat of the seeds to absorb water. There are so many methods and among them, people prefer two easy and simple methods. The first is to sow your seeds into a pot that is filled with potting soil. Place it about one inch deeper from the ground level. Water the soil lightly to ensure moisture. You must be careful not to water the soil excessively.
And, according to the second process, warp the date seeds in a paper towel that is well moist. Place them inside a plastic bag. Allow the bag in warm place. 70-75 degrees F is the best range. Soon a tiny root will appear at one side of the seed. Then the seeds can be transplanted into a container that is well prepared with palm potting soil.
The success of seeds germination largely depends on the medium. And, during the germination process, it must have a steady texture and temperature to keep the seeds unstressed. The ratio of peat moss to perlite may act as the best medium for the germination. The seeds need consistently 70-75 degrees F temperature.
A root substrate, moisture, nutrients and aeration should be provided. The seeds do not dry so quickly and accept a gentle level of water easily. The mixture of perlite and peat moss may be 2:1 or 3:1 by ratio. You can prepare the mix at home or simply can purchase as germinating mixture.
Frequent Q and A
Can you grow a date tree from the pit?
Yes, you can. You also can grow date palm plant from seeds. Soak several seeds for a week in cold water to grow trees from a date pit. Changing the water regularly will prevent the bacterial contamination. Plant several seeds in a pot as you don’t know which of them will germinate and which won’t.
How long does a seed take to germinate?
Generally, viable seeds germinate within 14-21 days in an ideal temperature and medium. But, it the environment is not actual or exact, it might take up to 100 days to germinate.
Can you grow dates from a date seeds?
Of course you can. To do so, eat the edible part, collect the seed. Clean it off and remove the leftover flesh if there is. Soak the seed for a day. Follow one of the two methods as mentioned above. Happy gardening.
How long it takes to grow a date palm tree?
Actually it is difficult to say the exact time. It depends on the growing environment. But on an average, it takes 4-8 years from planting to bear fruit. They start producing crop yields for commercial purpose within 7-10 years.
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