Growing a Windmill Palm From Seed

 

 

 

 

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Growing a windmill palm from seed to a mature size is a long process.  If you have the advantage of using a greenhouse it will greatly speed the growth rate.  However, no specialized equipment is needed if you are willing to wait.

You can buy seed online or speak to a local property owner who has a bunch of ripened seed on the tree.  Using local seeds is advantageous because it helps grow a tree adapted to the local climate and will result in stronger growth and additional cold hardiness.

Start your seed in plugs or 4″ pots in a free draining soil mix.  If started in the spring the seeds should sprout in 3-6 months.  Keep the soil mix damp and in a sunny location.  A greenhouse is ideal.  The new seedlings are not completely cold hardy and care must be taken in the winter so they do not freeze solid.  Light frost is ok, a full on solid week freeze will probably kill them.  A fall transplant into a 1 gallon size pot will help protect the fragile roots.

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The next spring transplant the seedlings into larger pots if you have not already done so. Use a good quality slow release fertilizer to provide nutrients.

Now sit back and wait, your palm will put out a leaf every month or two until it is eventually growing faster as it gets bigger.

Here is an example of a one year old palm tree.

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Here is an update on the 2016 crop!

Its nice to see the seeds I put out in winter starting to sprout up.

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Its now mid July here in Mission and after all the rain we have had the sun is shining.  Its nice to see my hard work paying off, who am I kidding, its easy.  Anyways I had planted seed in plugs using promix in January and February this year and now the little seeds are sprouting.

This is extra exciting because this is my first crop of Wagner Windmill Palm Trees that are an even slower growing version of the usual Trachycarpus fortune.  These seeds were collected locally on the Gulf Islands and will be well adapted to the Vancouver and Lower Mainland climate. 

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Just look how little these start out.  In no time they will be filling in two gallon pots.

Here is an example of a two year old tree grown from seed, one from the start of the page.

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This would be a good size to grow out in a field or garden as from here the growth is much more rapid.