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  #1 (permalink)  
Old March 20th, 2010, 05:12 PM
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Default Mediterranean Fan Palm - success & failure details

The Mediterranean Fan Palm seed donation came from 2 different sources locally. I had kept the 2 segregated for the first 3 months not knowing what could happen. I will post the picture of donor #1 but do not have a picture of donor #2 that was a single about 30” tall.



The incubator picture can be seen on the Pygmy Date Palm posting. I followed the same “Baggy” method to germinate these. These did need to have the fruit removed, cleaned and soaked in warm water for nearly a week changing it twice daily. I did a final rinse with 5% bleach and water. If you were only doing a few, the manual method using a sharp knife would work fine. Once again, I went crazy and hand cleaned about 500-600 seeds. If there is a next time, I would use an old cement mixer with ¾ gravel and save my fingers from cuts and soreness. It took from December 4, 2009 until January 22, 2010 to get to this picture.



With so many seeds in as many as 6 baggies, I would inspect each bag daily for mold and adequate moisture and put the sprouted seeds in their own baggie. I found that if the small root was scraped by others, it would get knocked off and die. I would let the root get about 1” long before transplanting it to a medium container. Notice that along the bottom of the picture, I have pointed the seed up where a root had once been visible. They can die at anytime.



Initially, I made the same mistake as with the Pygmy Date Palms….I transferred them into “50/50 sand and pearlite”. Sure the water ran right through to the bottom and the root dried up and they were dead within days. I know now that there is a balance between too much water and none at all and to use a potting soil. The next mistake I made was planting good ones into 4” containers as these need every bit of 6” for the root to extend vertically, enlarge the middle section where the green rises. Here is the Med Fan Colony.


Last edited by TheMadScientist; March 20th, 2010 at 05:15 PM.
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Old March 20th, 2010, 05:25 PM
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I seemed to have exceeded some limits in the detailed coverage of the Med Fan Palm and will add a post to finish it up.

From approximately 1-22-2010 to today 3-20-2010, I replanted some of the initial seeds that were at the same point of development into 2 different containers and more spread out. I found that some had died in the initial transfer and some were doing quite well. I think I should not handle them as much as the root can be very brittle. I plan to wait until they get about 4” tall and then put them into 5 gallon containers for a long time. I don’t know at what point the horizontal roots develop and can get tangled with others in the same container. But right now, I have only discovered a single vertical root with green coming out of the soil.





I'm keeping these outside during the day and indirect sun. They come in for the night. Every morning I have poured enough water in each to barely puddle and it leaches through within 15 seconds.
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Old May 18th, 2010, 05:31 PM
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It's 5-18-2010 and the next update. Over 100 Med. Fan Palms have been transplanted into their individual 2 liter plastic soda bottles. 50 additional palms have sprouted in 5 community pots and are ready to transplant as soon as I drink more soda or beg for the empty bottles from friends. I have taken 1/3 top soil, 1/3 Amends Potting Soil and 1/3 sifted sand to grow in. Next time, I will put fewer in each community pot or plant them directly into their own 2 liter plastic soda bottle. I started to get roots tangled together increasing the chance of injury.

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Old May 28th, 2010, 11:33 PM
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Default Chance of injury...

I have grown Canaries myself and even in the community, the tap root have been cut and they still grow. I cut the roots to separate them and they are good still... No worries...

But I have to say, very good reporting and updating... You should be commended... or at least be nominated for the Community Article... Front page on the realpalmtrees.com website...

Just a thought.
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Old July 14th, 2010, 08:59 PM
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Today, 7-14-2010, I finished transplanting all my Med. Fan Palms from the 20 oz. styrofoam cups to 1 gallon containers I scored in a local free online recycling program in the local community. But it was more dirt, more potting soil, more sand enough to create another Hawaiian Island.....(that's my version in 105 degree California summer heat wave). I wished I had done this a couple of weeks ago as roots were finding their way through the drain holes burnt into the cups. Most of the palms have their second leaf and are around 6-8" tall. These are by far the most tolerant of the conditions in my yard. Today was 3 waterings mostly for the tomato plants but every plant got a sprinkle. Here are the latest family portraits:



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Old August 10th, 2010, 07:29 PM
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Default European Fan Palm Germination

Love what you are doing. You are helping me get back in growing some palms. Sometimes I make money off them and sometimes I use them for gifts. A hobby that everyone can enjoy. Its awesome.

Kudos to you.

Keep up the good work.

I have a few palms I germinated as well, with the same technique. Its seems to always work. ha
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Old September 19th, 2010, 04:42 PM
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I have pointed out that these are the most tolerant of the HOT (105-111 degree) California heat wave. I have managed to keep them in the most shady area in my yard but I have 1 that has died. Is there any way to determine why..I still worry about over watering. The soil was easily removed from the dead palm and I will say the soil was damp..not soggy or runny water...JUST NOT DRY. Thanks for any help.

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Old September 23rd, 2010, 10:02 AM
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Default Very interesting..

any updates, it looks like it was over watered by the images posted! it looks saggy and pale.
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Old February 10th, 2011, 03:35 PM
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It's been more than 1 year and time for another update.....I just finished transplanting all of the Med. Fan Palms from 2 and 3 liter plastic soda containers into matching 1 gallon black containers. The plastic soda containers seen in the photo around the outside are a different project that is leaning towards failure.

The 20-30 short palms seen in the upper right were chewed to ground level 1 night around Thanksgiving time by an ungrateful cotton tail bunny. He jumped my makeshift barrier and attacked some of my palms. They have grown an inch or 2 since that time and appear to still be living. On Christmas day, we had got home from visiting family. The weatherman had predicted low 40's for the night which I felt was fine. At 3pm, only the second snow in 20 years started coming down and the temp.'s were already at 32 degrees and dropping fast. It took me 2 hours to move all these palms into the empty spaces left in the garage but I saved all the palms.



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Old April 22nd, 2011, 01:54 PM
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Default Any updates?

Mad scientist, how are your palms doing any updates?
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Old October 18th, 2011, 02:07 PM
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In California, I believe we have earthquakes and fires more often than a significant change in a palm trees life to report on...so here goes 10-18-2011 about 11 am.

As you can see, I have rearranged my family portrait just a little....made it earier to reach and feed these while still in their 1 gallon containers. In the close up photo, you can start to see a stem growing from the center of the plant to the fond. Approx. every other month, I take (2) 5 gallon buckets, pour approx. 2 cups of the palm fertilizer pellets from the big warehouse stores into each bucket, fill each with water while mixing about 15 minutes to dissolve the pellets. I now scoop about 1 cup of solution and pour it into each 1 gallon palm container until the 2 buckets are empty.

On the alternate months, I take the same portions of Epsom Salts which contain more of the Magnesium and Manganese that I have read about...this dissolves much easier than the pellets....pour the same 1 cup into each 1 gallon palm container again until both 5 gallon buckets are empty. Is this working? I've still had 2 or 3 die during this summer heat wave.

I am about 40 miles north of Los Angeles and 40 miles inland from the ocean....hotter and dryer with less humidity and cloud cover than others posting from So. Cal. From about Mid May to Mid September, there is direct sun beating down on these palms while sitting on a cement patio. As tolerant as these Med Fan Palms are, I think this causes the tips to turn brown on each new and existing fond sooner than I would expect should happen. So I would suggest and hope to find a little more filtering of the sun at least during their younger growth period.

Also, watering is always being discussed about palms. When I have tried to skip a day or two to see if I am over watering these palms, I think I can see a slight wilting taking place and the soil is rock hard dry. So I try to water these every day using a fan spray nozzle getting each container wet and within about 15 minutes, all water has soaked into the soil. The soil stays darker until the next morning. The palms seem to like more water than less....I KNOW I'M CONFUSING THOSE THAT GET SOMETHING CALLED RAIN.



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Old October 18th, 2011, 05:10 PM
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TheMadScientist,

Great picture journal. If you don't mind I have a constructive recommendation. You are caring for your babies great, the one suggestion I have is to build a shade cloth tent/canopy or move them to a shaded location in the summer. Although med fans are one of the few seedlings that can withstand the blazing sun, the will grow much faster under a shade cloth, MUCH faster, 2 to 3 times. It will let the seedlings concentrate their energy in growing more leaves faster (which will increase their size), rather than growing fewer, thicker leaves (so they can handle the sun). Even though I am in a beach city, I still grow all my trees under a shade cloth and in a hot house.

I have to admit, I tend to get overexcited about a new seedling and put the biggest one of a batch in the ground as soon an possible, but it never fails that the seedling's brother and sisters that are still potted under a cloth shortly outgrow their "bigger" sibling.

To each his own way, I'm sure their are some that will disagree with me, just take my advise with a grain of salt. Either way, Awesome Journal!
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Old October 12th, 2012, 08:21 PM
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It's time for another update....10-12-2012

I've transplanted 80% into 5 gallon containers and they really seem to like this while the 20% that stayed in 1 gallon containers were further out in the full sun struggling with growth. I still lost 3 or 4 this year for no apparent reason. Still continuing the feeding schedule seen previously.



We had an entire week of 112 deg. F and the surrounding cement patio/flagstone walkway was 139 deg. F. Watered twice a day during that period.





Here is a close-up of the happiest palm. Notice the thorns appearing and the fans starting to open up.

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Old October 22nd, 2012, 05:43 PM
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I commend you for your diligent documentation; well done sir!
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Old November 2nd, 2012, 04:59 PM
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Question They look fantastic MadScientist

What are your plans for growth? Are you going to add any boosting agent? Maybe put some4 in the shade like Surf City said for a trial run...
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Old September 7th, 2016, 01:26 PM
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So glad the cyber graffiti has been removed.......

It's been almost 4 years since I last UPDATED this species. I will be posting 1 picture that has been planted in full sun causing the growth to be much slower, a picture of a group under the California Pepper Tree that seem to be a lot happier and have grown much larger and the final picture of 1 we brought inside the living room over a year ago somewhat near a south facing window and it is reaching for the moon....all the same age.





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Old September 26th, 2016, 02:17 PM
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Default Thanks so much Mad Scientist for the info

definately well done in explaining the growth of the palms
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