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Growing the mountain palm is not child's play, but it is feasible. Those who want to face the challenge and have enough stamina will find suitable opportunities here.
Mountain palm trees (Chamaedorea) are available almost everywhere in specialist shops. So you will have no need to stock up on the popular houseplants. This could then be the starting signal for hoping for the rapid flowering in order to harvest seeds yourself and then start the adventure of propagation.
The increase in mountain palms is associated with patience and perseverance and is not always successful.
The easy way - propagation by saplings
Propagation by saplings is easy to do. A prerequisite for this, however, is a mountain palm, which should already be in your possession. It is advantageous if it is an older plant. Adult plants regularly develop side shoots near the ground. These saplings can be cut off without damaging the existing plant.
" Tip: If possible, use a sharp knife to cut the side shoots so that the cut edges do not fray and you do no damage to the plant.
Then let the sapling dry slightly. The rooting is carried out in a plant container filled with growing soil. The process can be accelerated by putting a plastic hood over the cutting. Special rooting powder can also help. This is commercially available and also available on Amazon for less than 10 euros. If the interface is dipped in this powder, the growth of the young plants is also stimulated. If new shoots form, the plastic hood can be removed. The young plant now grows independently.
" Tip: Young plants have an increased need for water and nutrients.
Overview of propagation by saplings:
- Remove the side shoots with a sharp knife
- Place the sapling in a planter
- place in a bright location at room temperature
- Plastic hood accelerates growth
The pros and cons of sapling propagation
✔ This method works without much effort.
✔ There are no further costs.
✔ The young plants only need a few weeks to grow.
✔ This method is very promising.
✖ There must already be a mountain palm tree.
✖ The palm should have an appropriate size and form side shoots.
The test of patience - the propagation through seeds
Where do you get the semen from?
These can be purchased in stores. This option will apply to you if there is no mountain palm in your inventory. If, on the other hand, you have a flowering mountain palm, it is worth harvesting the seeds yourself.
In theory, you need two plants, because the mountain palm is sexually separate. But usually one copy is completely sufficient. When you buy a plant, it usually happens in the form of a so-called tuff. This means that several plants have been potted together in one planter. So there is a high probability that there are male and female plants in a planter.
So you can start the test on the example and wait for the flowering. If the plant blooms, you need to take action and move a thin brush over the flowers of the different plants. Now it is time to wait. If fertilization is successful, greenish seed pods will appear a few weeks later. With their maturity, the seeds turn black. When the first fruits detach from the mountain palm, it is harvest time.
Do the seeds need to be pretreated?
Regardless of whether you have won or bought the seeds yourself, the seed pods must be cleaned first. Use lukewarm water for this. The seeds should then be able to swell in a bowl filled with water for at least 24 hours.
Which substrate should I use?
It is important that the substrate is pest-free. As we will learn, germination is a lengthy process and it must be prevented that the substrate is used by insects to lay eggs.
" Tip: Mineral pearlites have proven themselves here. Commercial growing soil is also germ-free.
How to proceed with the planter?
The planter should have a cover made of film or glass. This creates the greenhouse climate that is beneficial for germination. The plant pots should be in a bright but not full sun location. Temperature fluctuations should be avoided if possible during germination. Temperatures around 20 degrees are ideal.
How long does germination take?
Patience is required in any case, it can take years until the plant roughly corresponds to the specimens offered in specialist shops. The actual germination can start after a few days or weeks. Then a first leaflet appears. After the first year, about three leaflets will have been added. After about five years you will have a stately and above all self-grown mountain palm tree in front of you.
Some tips for a successful sowing
- use germ-free growing soil
- Place the planter in a bright and warm place
- Keep substrate evenly moist, but not too wet
- do not fertilize in the first six months
- Cover the planter with glass or plastic wrap
The pros and cons of seed propagation
✔ Seeds can be obtained from existing plants.
✔ Numerous young plants can be grown.
✖ Obtaining seeds from existing plants is complex and not always promising.
✖ If you don't have a plant, you have to buy the seeds.
✖ It takes several years for full-fledged mountain palms to emerge.