Brahea armata (Mexican Blue Palm) seeds
Lovely little palm with powder blue, fan shaped leaves originating in Mexico. A slow grower, it will eventually form a stout trunk from which sprout the showy leaves. Prefers dry soil and as such is well suited to a Mediterranean, arid or gravel garden. Also tolerant of dry air so can be grown as a houseplant in any room with good light.
Minimum temperature -8C so may need winter protection with a fleece jacket if grown outside and for the first few years. Also very happy when grown as a houseplant in a brightly lit position.
Hardy Palm (to -8C)
Height: 2m, Spread: 1.5m - smaller as a houseplant
Position: Full sun in very well drained soil
Packet of 5 seeds
Sowing Instructions: Sow at any time of the year in moist, peat-based seed compost, eg Levington or Arthur Bowers mixed 50:50 with vermiculite. Seeds can be sown individually in pots, in deep trays, or if space is limited in small bags. Cover seeds with about 5mm of compost. Place containers in a propagator or above a radiator at about 25-30C during the day and 20C at night. Keep compost moist at all times but not wet or the seeds may rot. Palm seeds often make a large root before a shoot so carefully check seeds regularly. When a root appears, pot up individually into 9-11cm pots. Germination can be erratic but should take place in 1 - 4 weeks.
Growing Instructions: Grow the seedlings on at a minimum temperature of around 18C reducing this as plants become stronger. When plants are a year old they can be placed outside in summer (at least 10C at night) after a period of hardening off (move plants outdoors during day and back indoors at night for 10 days). Can be planted out in the garden when 3-4 years old but will need to be protected from frost by wrapping with straw and fleece/bubble wrap. Brahea like very well-drained soil and lots of sun, preferably in a sheltered spot away from strong winds which may shred the leaves.