Washingtonia robusta (Mexican Fan/Thread Palm) seeds
Stately, fast growing palm with large, fan shaped leaves and sprays of tiny, creamy-white flowers in summer on mature plants. One of the easiest palms to grow from seed, germinating in just a few weeks. Easy to maintain, this palm just needs the dead leaves taking off each year to form an attractive pineapple like trunk.
Minimum temperature -5C so it will need winter protection with a fleece jacket if grown outside. Also very happy when grown as a houseplant in a brightly lit position.
Hardy Palm (to -5C)
Flowers: Summer on mature plants
Height: to 15m
Position: Full sun in well drained soil
Packet of 10 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. Washingtonia like well-drained soil and lots of sun, preferably in a sheltered spot away from strong winds which may shred the leaves.