Germinating and Growing

Common African Indigenous Trees

 

 

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Wild Date Palm

Phoenix reclinata
 

 

 

 

 

1/ Fresh, clean seed germinates easily. Sow the seeds in flat seedling trays filled with a mixture of river sand and compost (5:1) and cover the seeds lightly, or they can be pressed into the medium with part of the seed still sticking out, keep moist. The first seedlings should appear after 25-35 days. As soon as the first leaf is 50 mm long it can be transplanted into a bag filled with a mixture of sand and compost (1:1). Plant out into the open after one season in the bag. It can also be propagated from suckers taken off adult plants. The growth rate is relatively fast if the plants receive enough water. They can withstand light frost but young plants must be protected against cold wind and frost for the first two years. The wild date palm prefers full sun but also thrives in light shade. Drought-resistant. Transplants easily. This a protected tree in South Africa.

 

 

2/ The wild date will tolerate light frost and waterlogged conditions. In colder areas the young plants will need protection from frost for the first few seasons.

 

For propagation by seed, mature fruit should be selected and all the pulp removed. Sow in a mix of river sand and compost. The seeds can either be pressed gently into the medium or covered lightly. Do not allow the medium to dry out. Germination should begin after about a month. Transplanting can be carried out when the first leaf is 50 mm long. Young plants grow quite slowly and will need slow release fertilizer in the growth medium. For vegetative propagation, suckers from an adult plant can also be removed and planted.

 

The wild date is best planted in full sun but does grow in light shade. The growth rate is variable, depending on a good water supply which will also probably affect the ultimate size and shape of the palm.

 

 

3/ Treated seeds germinate satisfactorily, but grow very slowly. It is sensitive to frost and sometimes subject to fungal diseases. Need not to be planted close to water, but prefers damp localities.

 

 

 

 

More pix - click to enlarge

 

 

 

 

 

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This web page was last updated on: 07 August, 2012