I have a palm which is full of flower blooms which will soon be spilling all over my floor as tiny balls. Can I try propagation with these seeds or do they need female/male seeds or other methods for success?
Are we talking Chamaedorea elegans? Parlor Palm? Most sources say it is dioecious, meaning males and females are borne on separate plants. The tiny balls you mention are probably not seeds. I too wondered if they were viable seeds, but their tiny size (slightly smaller than a BB) does not match pics of Chamaedorea elegans seeds I've seen. Rather than a boon, they can be clearly put in the nuisance category.
Male flowers generally grow on a very much branched structure. Females are not nearly as branched. That is a rule of thumb for most plants that are dioecious.
Seeds of palms are quite big, and nut hard. Ive received and sown quite a few. If you eat dates keep the stones . Wash them and plant them. In a few months youll have a date palm (Phoenix sp.)
My large pot of many individual parlor palms (Chamaedorea elegans) has apparently produced seeds at one point. Where else would a sprout come from?
Larry, have you seen Date Palms? Spines that would make a cactus proud. How big is your plant now? The make a nice tree, but are armed to the teeth.
Purple, what do you mean by sprout? Another plant in the same pot? These grow with underground runners, so new plants in the same pot are likely clones. It is easy to tell the males from the females on these. Males have a really feathery appearance, while the females are less than 1/2 as branched. So when it blooms, and you have one plant with 50 branches on the flower stalk and another with 15, then you have both sexes and will get viable seed.
Thanks, interesting info. I will try to pay more attention when they bloom soon. The sprout was in another pot...
Dzitmoidonc, I dont have a date palm anymore, it got too big and spiny so I put it outside. It lasted a while before it succumbed to frost. Theres a smaller, tamer species more suited to indoor growing (Phoenix roebelliana) but youd have to buy the seeds or the plants themselves.
When separating some of the individuals from the above-mentioned group pot, I did have to use a saw to separate them. This pic shows the cut ends.
Here's the baby palm after I separated it from the other plants in the pot in which it sprouted (Dracaena and Philodendron.) You can see the seed still attached to the roots. I don't remember seeing seeds forming on any of the adult plants, just yellow balls. But until the recent separation, the thickness of the foliage could have hidden the seed as it was forming. The yellow balls are not seeds unless/until they are pollinated.
Yes thats quite common to see. Pots of palms are often made up of lots of seedlings to give a lush look. Seperating them can be hit and miss tho as palms tend to dislike root disturbance.
The sprout pictured above came up in a pot of Dracaena and Philodendron.
I do have a pot of babies that I confiscated from my Mom. Those didn't mind being separated and replanted farther apart at all. They did lose at least one leaf each, but have grown many more since doing that in early summer.
I've always disturbed the bottom and sides of my big parlor palm clump when repotting, occasionally separate one from the herd to give away. Never noticed any adverse effects.
Curious what else people are doing to these palms besides disturbing roots that's causing them to make this observation. I don't think the factor adversely affecting the health of their plants in conjunction with repotting is root disturbance. I would be more suspicious of large volumes of un-root-occupied soggy peat at the bottoms of new, bigger pots, possibly in conjunction with a totally different texture of soil inside the root ball as the new soil around the outside... as seems to be the case with any other similar myth, "prefers to be pot bound" and "won't bloom until it fills its' pot."
This thread makes me want to ID which individuals in my pot may be male, which female. I wouldn't want to give away the last of either... Like any committed plant junkie, if any plant can make flowers/stolons/babies/change colors/aerial roots/mature leaf form, or especially balls, I want mine to do it.
"plant junkie". You are in denial. You are an addict.
What a nice thing to say! (Huge, beaming smile!)
Plant addicts unite!