How to plant and grow a date palm from a stone at home
The date palm is a widespread houseplant that is very easy to grow with your own hands from seeds. And in the subtropics of the Black Sea coast, dates can grow in the garden.
What are date palms and how they reproduce
In nature, several varieties of date palms are known, of which two species are of the greatest interest for indoor cultivation - Canarian and finger dates.
Absolutely all date palms are dioecious plants, in which male and female flowers are formed on different trees.
Indoors, dates do not bear fruit and are grown solely out of curiosity or for decorative purposes.
Real date palm (finger date)
Finger dates - the same palm that gives delicious sweet dates, sold in stores all year round. Each date contains an elongated pit with pointed tips. Seeds from store-bought dried fruits remain viable and suitable for sowing.
Date palm fruit - famous sweet and delicious dates
The date palm grows in the hot tropical deserts of Africa and Arabia. At the base of old trees, numerous root shoots are often formed, due to which the plants regenerate.
Real date palms grow in tropical deserts
Canary date palm
The Canary date in the wild grows only on the Canary Islands. It is often grown as an ornamental plant in the subtropics around the world, including in Russia on the Black Sea coast. This palm does not form root suckers and reproduces only by seeds.
The Canary Date Palm is grown as an ornamental plant in many countries
The fruits are not eaten due to their small size and fibrous pulp. Canary date seeds have an oval shape with rounded tips. You can pick up ripe fruits in December - January in the cities of the Black Sea coast, where these palms grow in abundance.
Canary dates are easily recognizable by their rounder bones than real dates.
In my opinion, for home cultivation, the Canary date is more interesting: its plants have more graceful leaves and a fluffier crown, they look much more attractive than the potted date palm plants at a similar age.
Canary date plants look very attractive
The room conditions are generally not particularly comfortable for a real date palm tree used to the hot desert climate.
Finger dates are less decorative, but their seeds are easier to find.
How to plant date seeds at home
Suitable for planting are seeds from fresh dates purchased in a store or freshly picked from a tree. The planting technology is very simple:
- Remove the seeds from the fruit and rinse thoroughly with water. For fresh, a simple rinse is enough, the bones from dry store dates can be soaked for two days in boiled water at room temperature.
Date seeds are removed from the fruit before sowing.
- Place each bone in a separate small glass with damp earth. You can stick them vertically (no matter which end up - blunt or sharp) or put them horizontally with the slit down. Above the planted bones, there should be a centimeter layer of permanently damp earth.
Date pits are stuck in the ground vertically or laid horizontally with the slit down
- Keep pots with crops in a warm place with a temperature of +25 .. + 35 ° C. It will take from one to three months before the emergence of shoots.
- Date seedlings should be kept on the lightest windowsill with a temperature of +20 .. + 30 ° C.
The seedlings of the date palm at first look like wide blades of grass, and not like an adult palm.
Date palm seedlings are not at all like adult palm leaves, but look like wide blades of grass in a fold. At least a year will pass before the appearance of true feathery leaves in young plants. If the leaves of two-year-old palms are still intact, this is a sign of insufficient lighting.
Sometimes it is advised to pre-germinate the seeds before planting in wet sawdust or hydrogel on a heating battery, but this method has at least two big drawbacks:
- it is very difficult to keep track of the fact that the sawdust on the battery never dries out in a month;
- the sprouts are quite fragile, and there is a risk of breaking them off when planting - it is much easier and more convenient to plant non-sprouted bones in the ground.
Growing a date palm from a stone - video
Transplanting indoor date palms and caring for them
Date palms are very susceptible to root damage and do not like replanting. Until the age of five, they are transplanted once a year in the spring into a slightly larger pot, more adults - once every three to four years. Pots need to be tall, stable and heavy, with drainage holes and a layer of pebbles at the bottom. When transplanting, it is important to keep the root ball intact. A soil mixture is prepared from mixed in equal amounts:
- leafy land,
- turf land,
- river coarse sand.
The soil in the depths of the pot should always remain slightly moist, when the earthen coma dries out, the palm tree dies. In adult plants in large tubs, it is advisable to let the top layer of soil two to three centimeters dry between waterings so that mold does not appear.
In summer, date palms are useful to keep outdoors.
The optimum temperature for wintering date palms is about + 15 ° C, in summer it is advisable to expose them to fresh air, first in partial shade, then in a brighter place, gradually accustoming them to direct sunlight. Dates tolerate dry air well, but the leaves must be wiped weekly with a cloth from dust.
Planting dates in open ground
In the subtropics of the Black Sea coast, the Canary date palm successfully grows and bears fruit in the open field.
On the Black Sea coast, the Canary date grows well in the open field
Residents of the subtropical zone of the Krasnodar Territory and the southern coast of Crimea can plant a young palm tree grown from a bone in the garden, taking care of winter protection for the first ten years after planting... Plant in a sunny location with well-drained calcareous soil. It is best to plant young seedlings grown in pots at the age of 3-4 years. When planting, it is important not to damage the fragile roots and maintain the same position of the root collar relative to the soil level. Young palms should be watered in drought so that the soil at the roots does not dry out. Adult specimens do without watering.
The Canary date blooms in the fall from the age of five, and in the presence of a number of female and male plants, it will bear fruit... Fruits ripen by December of the following year after flowering, they are theoretically edible, but fibrous and tasteless.
The fruits of the Canary date are not used for food due to their small size and fibrous pulp.
Adult specimens of the Canarian date palm tolerate short-term frosts down to -8 ..- 9 ° C. Young plants need protection from agrofibre or matting for the winter.... The most vulnerable place in a palm tree is the apical growth bud at the base of the leaves; if it is damaged, the plant dies. If only the leaves themselves are damaged, this is not fatal, they can be cut off, then new ones will grow in their place.
Finger dates in the Black Sea subtropics do not survive due to excess moisture.
It is quite easy to grow a date palm from a stone, but it takes a long time to wait for the result. It is clear that she will never give a harvest of fruits on the windowsill, but there will be an interesting exotic plant in the room, grown by her own hands.
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All date lovers have probably thought more than once about whether it is possible to grow this plant with their own hands at home. And if that works out, will the date look like a tree growing in the wild? Let's say right away that it is possible to grow a palm tree, but you should not expect dates from it, since this plant does not bear fruit indoors. In this article, we will show you how plant dates from stone and what is required for this.
First of all, we need good sedimentary material. Where can I find it? At the market or supermarket. It is only important to choose a date that has not been processed. An excellent option would be dried or dried dates.
It is better to take several seeds to be sure of getting the result. The seeds are thoroughly cleaned of pulp, since the smallest part of them on the fruit can lead to the formation of fungus. Now the bones need to be immersed in cold water for a couple of days, while periodically refreshing it. Then check again for pulp residues. The planting material is ready, but experts recommend using a couple of tricks to speed up the germination of date seeds. To do this, you can:
1. Pour hot water over the bones for 10 minutes. Thanks to this, the first shoots will appear in a few weeks, instead of months of waiting.
2. Rub the seed with sandpaper or punch its surface with a sharp object. The essence of this method is simple: the faster the water penetrates into the seed, the faster the ripening process will begin.
Peel the bones from the pulp
To plant a date, you need to take care of creating the necessary conditions. Which ones, we will find out further.
Selection of seeds and their preparation for planting
Any work on growing plants always begins with the selection of seeds and the creation of the necessary conditions for life. How to grow a date from a stone? You need to choose a variety suitable for growing your palm at home. It is very simple to do this - just find any dates that have not been heat treated.
It is best to take fresh dates for this, but dry fruits, which are freely sold in the markets, can also be used.
But before you buy dried dates for seedlings, you should ask the seller if they have undergone additional cooking in sugar syrup. If there was such a heat treatment, then the seeds will no longer germinate.
Preparing seeds for planting:
- After the dates are selected, the seeds must be freed from the pulp, rinsed and slightly dried. How many seeds should I take? At least 6-10 pieces. Many of them will not sprout at all, and some of those sprouts that still please the gardener will die in the first few years.
- Now clean bones must be placed in warm water for a couple of days and kept in the sun. Experienced gardeners are advised to do this in the winter season, when the plant still does not need as much sunlight as in the later stages of cultivation. And so that all the time while the bones of the date are soaked, there is no rot or infection, the water should be changed 1-2 times a day.
- Once the seeds have settled a little, you can pierce or rub the outer shell with sandpaper. The bones are very hard, and in order for water to penetrate inside, it is better to deliberately violate their integrity. But you do not need to erase the entire layer - one small area is enough. After that, the grains are again sent to a jar of water, where they should ripen for another 2-4 days.
You can also hurry up the process of ripening in another way: for a few minutes, place the bones ready for planting in hot water with a temperature of about 80 degrees. How do you know if the seeds are ready to be planted in the soil? They will swell slightly.
How to germinate a date bone
Once you have selected fruits for seeds, you need to process them before sowing. This is done in the following order:
- A bone is removed from the date.
- Remove the remaining pulp very carefully and rinse well with warm water.
- Peeled seeds are placed in warm water for 48 hours in order to rid future plants of harmful microorganisms that can infect the soil and cause rotting of seedlings. The water should be changed daily.
- Clean seeds are dried within 24 hours.
We advise you to read
Date seeds have a very dense shell, and in order to facilitate access to the embryo for water, its integrity must be violated. This can be done in 4 ways:
- Pour hot water over the bones (not boiling water!). The water temperature should be around 80 degrees.
- Gently pierce the shell with a sharp object, being careful not to damage the seed itself.
- Sand the bone, thus removing part of the shell.
- Slightly cut the bone with a sharp knife along the seam.
- The most effective soak is with cotton wool. A piece of cotton wool in a small container (for example, in a plate) is abundantly moistened with water, a bone is placed on it, and covered with another layer of moistened cotton wool on top to prevent rapid evaporation of moisture. Cotton wool can be replaced with gauze, sawdust, hydrogel.
- Germination requires a high temperature, so the cotton container can be placed on top of the battery. Every day you need to look at the moisture content of the cotton wool and add a little water.
- When the bone swells well, it can be transplanted into the ground.
Thanks to soaking, several months are saved. The best time to start germination is February-March. Even if you want to grow only one date from a stone, you need to take several seeds. Some sprouts will die due to illness or your inept actions during transplantation, so a safety net will not hurt.
Caring for stone dates at home
For the successful growth and development of a plant, it is necessary to choose the most suitable substrate for planting. So, it must be necessarily light, as well as loose. The date has a rather weak and fragile root system, so you should choose the most suitable soil mixture for growing it. This soil can be purchased at a specialized store. But you can also do it yourself. To do this, it is necessary to combine sawdust, humus, peat, and also sand.
Planting a date is not difficult at all. To do this, it is necessary to lower the prepared bone into a hole made in the soil vertically, and then sprinkle it with soil. Then the soil needs to be watered, while not very much water needs to be used. After that, the pot is moved to a warm enough place. In order to plant a date, you do not need any special containers. You can take a pot, a large bowl, etc. After the plants show both a small leaf and a sprout, they will need to be transplanted into separate containers.
It is necessary to transplant the plant very carefully together with an earthen clod. Try not to compromise the integrity of the root. If the root system has been damaged, then such a seedling can be thrown away, since it will not take root in a new pot.
The date palm is quite undemanding and not capricious. This plant responds well to moisture, heat, and feeding. Fertilizers should be applied to the soil several times a year. Watering should be done in moderation. Such a palm tree reacts negatively to both drying and waterlogging of an earthen coma. In the summertime, he is advised to take a shower. Also, the date needs direct sunlight.
Planting a date palm, as well as caring for it, will not cause much difficulty. And in a few months you will have a luxurious plant grown by your own hands on your windowsill.