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Brahea armata

It could be argued that this is the most impressive of the Braheas with its thick and fissured grey trunk, and its crown of silvery blue, sometimes almost white leaves that in moonlight take on an almost ghostly appearance. In the wild it grows in arid canyons, sometimes with Washingtonia, and manages to survive in incredibly dry conditions.

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germination comments by our visitors
For general germination instructions click here.

Also see plant cultivation comments below.

Seeds from this species ...

... are easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
I cleaned the seeds then soaked in water for 2 days then diped seeds in a copper fungecide. Placed the seeds in a seeled plastic box between damp kitchen towl at a temperature of 30c. Seeds started to germinate in three weeks.
Submitted on 30/03/2013 by Jungle Jas.

... are very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
ok amature here, soaked seeds 24 hours, put into 4" soiless mix. 110F days 70s nights...all 3 pots have first spears in 4 weeks...used large fish tank as a greenhouse with wood board as a lid.
Submitted on 03/08/2012 by anton philipp

... are easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
total amature, soaked seeds 24 hours, then planted in high quality soiless mix with perlite. They were put into 4" pots, out of 10 seeds 2 have taproots at 4 weeks coming out the bottom already. Put pots into large aquarium with lid to act as greenhouse...works very well
Submitted on 02/08/2012 by anton philipp

... are average to germinate and need up to 1 year to sprout.
Many people think Brahea armata is difficult to sprout because they can take a long time. Actually I've been sprouting them for years. Old seeds seem to sprout the best. If collected when the fruit body has rotted and disintigrated that is good. Discard any that have obvious holes from boring insects or worms. If placed in a pot or in soil you can water and forget about them. (in the ground may work best in my experience) Keep watering and anywhere from 6 months to a year later you'll have the majority sprouting blue leaves.
Submitted on 17/01/2010 by William

... are very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
Placed seeds in ziploc bag with potting soil mixed in sand, then put on top of water heater (where safe) and got spouts in 2-weeks, I was surprised to see but it happened. Now planted in separate pots. Have 10 new palms growing.
Submitted on 05/10/2009 by m harris

... are easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
Soaked for 4-days warm water, placed in ziploc bag with potting soil, until spout, then moved outside where temps are 110+ (phx az) mourning sun only. How they love that heat! Brahea's are common in phoenix.
Submitted on 29/09/2009 by one of our visitors

... are not rated.
I have just completed planting my palm seeds I received from "rare palm seeds"We have property in Southern Mexico, I germinated in water after keeping the seeds in my fridge until travel time. I then picked my spots for my seeds and planted them on our lot in the sand. I hope they grow, I will keep an eye on them each time we travel to our piece of paradise with hope that they will sprout naturally over time. Thank you,being able to pick my own species and style of palms that are able to grow in our tropical location is great.
Submitted on 01/01/2009 by Kim Willick

... are easy to germinate and need up to 3 months to sprout.
I collect fresh seed from a palm. Germinated in a Zip loc bag full of soil and keep it in the warm place. For 2 months a lot of root shown in the bag, with sliver shoot.
Submitted on 01/12/2008 by one of our visitors

... are difficult to germinate and need up to 1 year to sprout.
On 25 September 2007, B. armata seeds presoaked for 3 days in oridinary Charleston, SC tap water. Seeds were planted in Miracle Grow palm/cacti potting mix. Pots were placed in germination tray with plastic clear cover and placed on standard bottom heat germination mat. Temp averaged at 85F. First seedling emerged 22 June 2008. Do not give up, it's a beautiful palm well worth the wait.
Submitted on 22/06/2008 by William Wall

... are difficult to germinate and need more than 1 year to sprout.
Collect 36 seed in the Stockton park , they germinated in a pot of soil, one took 2 years. I think the seed need to be new and fresh.
Submitted on 03/12/2007 by one of our visitors

... are difficult to germinate and need more than 1 year to sprout.
Can't make this seed to grow, but I just left them for 2 year and in the summer time a bluelish gray color have came out of the ground. That a long germination. Collected seed from tree in Stockton Park CA.
Submitted on 29/10/2007 by one of our visitors

... are very easy to germinate and need up to 3 months to sprout.
We are beginners and really didn't know what to do. But seriously, this was childs play. We planted the seeds in mulch and a couple came up after one week and since then approx. 3months later, we have 90% up. The seeds were fresh and of good condition. This is an awesome blue palm, suitable for the tropics and a must to have for collectors. It really pulls the wow factor. Thanks rarepalmseeds for the opportunity and keep collecting the rare stuff for us. Greetings from some Aussie outback hobby growers.
Submitted on 07/11/2006 by Jan Aardoom aardoom@westnet.com.au

... are easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
purchased 5 seeds scrubed off brown fibre down to creamy white seed keeping note of where the crown was, soaked in luke warm water for 3 to 4 days changing water every day this must be done because there is another protective coating on the seed, then potted up in a mixture of john innes no 2 and perlite sterilized with boiling water then left to cool, half fill a 9 cm pot place seed crown up just pressed lightly into surface and fill to top with sterilized vermiculite sterilized as before,covered with half a clear plastic coke bottle and placed next to bathroom radiator after thirty days 100 percent germination, seemed easy,very happy.
Submitted on 14/05/2006 by one of our visitors

...easy to germinate and need more than 1 year to sprout.
many of the brahea armata seeds i purchased two years ago sprouted and continued to sprout this summer,merely languishing in a spagnum filled baggie.
Submitted by one of our visitors

...difficult to germinate.
No luck with this palm, seeds have been sowing since January in cocopeat and a heat source below with no success.
Submitted on 16/06/2004 by Cheri Wilson reininrabt@aol.com

...easy to germinate and need up to 3 months to sprout.
slow germination. took 3 months to grow. I soaked 5 seeds for 2 days and put them in a clay pot with 70% sand, 30% mulch. i left them outside in full sunlight in the evening through sunset. very nice looking palms.
Submitted on 21/03/2004 by anton chuidian wutang8364@yahoo.com

...easy to germinate and need up to 6 months to sprout.
soak seeds for 24 hours in plain water, change water and repeat. treat seads with fungicide. place in play sand in rubbermaid container with 100% sand nd wet the sand completely. Press seeds into sand and cover. 90 to 98 deg. F for 4 to 5 months. 40% germination.
Submitted on 23/09/2003 by one of our visitors

...very easy to germinate and need up to 1 year to sprout.
I have had great sucess with these seeds I have a couple of hundered and each time I check loads more are sprouting. I soaked for a few days changing water daily and then filed a small area of the seed coat. They can take a while to germinate whereas some sprout very fast so keep the seed! the seeds were put in a plastic bag with steralised (in a microwave)multipurpose compost, reccomended and fast growers.
Submitted on 10/04/2003 by Lou Smith dia.smith@ntlworld.com

...very easy to germinate and need up to 6 months to sprout.
1st seedling up in 3 months. Excellent germination rate, 70 %. Seedlings resemble grass-clumps for quite some time but do show a bluish tinge, even under fluorescent lights.
Submitted on 01/03/2003 by Steve Flynn sflynn22@mac.com

...easy to germinate and need up to 6 months to sprout.
Easy to germinate. Sealed in plastic bag with damp peat moss and placed in commercial seed house at 90 degrees. seeds started to germinate at 3 weeks and continue to germinate after 3 months. 40% germination so far and cotinuing to climb.
Submitted on 17/12/2002 by Neil Miner sactovalleypalms@attbi.com

...easy to germinate and need up to 3 months to sprout.
After soaking the seeds I put them in a baggie with seed start mix. I left them on the table with no bottom heat. After 2.5 months I had 6 of 10 germinated. Now after a full 3 months I have 9 of 10 germinated.
Submitted on 18/06/2002 by Mark Bebee mmebb@aol.com

...easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
Easy Peasy! After a 24 hour soak in a copper fungicide solution. I place them in vermiculite soaked in the same solution (this is important as it is a sterile medium). This is squeezed dry in my fist, then placed in a re-sealable sandwich bag. The bag is labelled and placed on top of my fishtank, which gives a temperature of 27 - 32 degrees night to day. After about 15 days the seeds germinate and are left in the bag until the main tap root was about 50mm long before potting up into five inch pots. The compost was John Innes number 2 mixed half and half with vermiculite. After several attempts I consistantly achieve about 90% germination and good, strong seedlings.
Submitted on 03/09/2002 by Jason Gilbert jaize@jaize.com

...easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
The key to fast germination of this species is to find the embryo cap. After presoaking in warm water for a couple of days I cut off the cap with sharp knife and treated the exposed embryo top with hypermanghane solution. Better is to cut in layers and very carefully to not hurt the embryo. Temperature around 30 degrees C and moderate humidity are also important. The seeds started to germinate in incredible 3 weeks instead of 6 months. Now the plants are 1 year old and are quite vigorous in growth.
Submitted on 26/02/2002 by Marian Kubes maros@ltc.sk

...easy to germinate and need up to 3 months to sprout.
I think the seeds of Brahea armata are easy to germinate. I soaked the seeds for 24 hours in handwarm water. Then I put them in a heated mini-greenhouse in a mixed substrate of 50% cocopeat and 50% perlite. I keep the temperature between 25 and 30 degrees Celsius. I planted the seeds august the 6th 2001. The first seeds germinated after 3 months and now (February 2002) they are about 20 centimeters tall. And still other seeds are germinating.
Submitted on 12/02/2002 by Harrie van der Keijlen h.vanderkeijlen@chello.nl

...easy to germinate and need up to 1 year to sprout.
Like all desert oasis palms, need high temperatures to sprout and like to be very damp. Soaked 7 days in warm water (80F / 25C) then into baggies with coconut fiber somewhat damper than usually used for palm seeds. Kept at 30C / 90F. Seeds sprout irregularly beginning in a month.
Submitted by Leo Martin leo1010@attglobal.net

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plant cultivation comments by our visitors
Also see germination commnets above.

Plants from this species ...

... are of excellent ornamental value
In california central valley in united states they need little care and grow slow.
I live in the central valley in California which experiences blazing hot summers and moderate winters. This past month (December 2013) temperatures dipped down to 18 f for a couple of days in a row with a prolonged below freezing temperature of 12 hours. My blue hespers in the ground have 1-2 feet of trunk and suffered no damage. These palms are relatively carefree but to speed up growth need a good soaking a couple times a week ( especially during the growing season in summer). growth really speeds up after a trunk is formed. I fertilized this past summer in april, june and august with a slow release palm fertilizer and got explosive growth. carefree once established.
Submitted on 23/12/2013 by neil miner

... are of excellent ornamental value
In santa barbara/ventura in usa they need little care and grow normal.
Very tough palm once established.. Growing at 1900' elevation on the coast of santa barbara/ventura county line. Soil is a little clay . Been in the ground for 10+ years about 5'-6' tall. can handle heat. moderate water but can handle drought
Submitted on 21/04/2012 by mike organista--rincon mountain palms

... are of high ornamental value
In Southampton in England they need little care and grow slow.
I have a beautiful specimen of this palm that has been growing outside here in southern England for 6 years without any problems. The plant grows well in full sun and partial shade and is also tolerant of drought, but grows fastest when watered copiously during summer. I have given protection with bubblewrap and fleece during our coldest weather, but the plant has taken temperatures of -5c and also seems more tolerant of the winter wet than Phoenix canariensis and a similar hardiness to Trachycarpus fortunei despite it's apparent desert origins! Definitely an exotic to try in less favourable climes, regarding very little in the way of care and producing 3-4 beautiful blue fan shaped leaves a year.
Submitted on 17/01/2009 by James Barnet

win € 75 worth of seeds
by writing a plant cultivation comment about how to cultivate the plants of this species. Click here!

If you wish to read more on palm cultivation, we highly recommend Ornamental Palm Horticulture by Timothy K. Broschat and Alan W. Meerow, available in our bookshop.

Ratings and comments reflect individual experiences and the views of our visitors. They do not necessarily describe the most appropriate methods, nor are they necessarily valid for all seeds or plants of this species. Germination and plant cultivation success depends on many different factors; nevertheless, these experiences will hopefully aid you in your effort to get the best germination results from our seeds and the best growth results from your plants.

We recommend:
The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms

The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms
by Robert Lee Riffle, Paul Craft, Scott Zona

2nd edition
Completely revised and updated

Hardcover - 528 pages
11 x 8.5 inches

Our rating:
Suitable for: all

The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms is the definitive account of all palms that can be grown for ornamental and economic use. Palms are often underutilized as a result of their unfamiliarity—even to tropical gardeners. To help introduce these valuable plants to a new audience, the authors have exhaustively documented every genus in the palm family.
825 species are described in detail, including cold hardiness, water needs, height, and any special requirements. Generously illustrated with more than 900 photos, including photos of several palm species that have never before appeared in a general encyclopedia, The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms is as valuable as an identification guide as it is a practical handbook. Interesting snippets of history, ethnobotany, and biology inform the text and make this a lively catalog of these remarkable plants.

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