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Chamaerops humilis

Mediterranean fan Palm

A popular and widespread hardy fan palm occurring naturally in the countries around the western half of the Mediterranean Sea. It is a nearly foolproof palm to grow, easy and rewarding, and tolerant of a wide range of climates and conditions. It is very variable and can be green, silver, or blue, tall or short, suckering or solitary, with large or small fruits. Our seeds come from the eastern edge of its natural distribution in southern Italy.

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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.
this palm is easy to grow it take 1 month to germinate. i got fresh seed that i picked from las veges from a female tree i peel of the red skin than i went back home to stockton CA. than i soaked them in water for a couple of day than i try some of in the pot of soil and the other one i try them in a zip lock bag. the zip lock back is more easy for me. i wet the paper in cold water then i put the seed on the wet paper roll the paper over then put it in the zip lock bag.then the other day i check the bag every two to three day and one day i check i saw it sprout. by planting in the pot is kind of easy soil must good planting.this palm have a deep root but more smaller this palm is a nice looking plant. i got a other one that is a 3 gallon size palm planted by my pond. this palm have a fan leaves is a slow growing palm.
Submitted on 15/12/2006 by Vida Sopheap vidasopheap@yahoo.com

...easy to germinate and need up to 3 months to sprout.
Germination of this common palm depend of freshness of the seeds. I have good resultats withs seeds I collect : I put 20 seeds in a good mixture (without soaking) in a nursery where the temperature is about 25°C; 3 month lather I have 19 chamaerhops !!!!
Submitted on 04/08/2005 by Guillaume Chomicki-Bayada willy89@wanadoo.fr

...very easy to germinate and need up to 3 months to sprout.
6 of 10 germinated within 3 weeks of sowing. Soaked in warm water for 3 days then sowed in cocopeat with heat source below in tray sized greenhouse. When seeds started to dry out I sprayed them with an organic fungicide.
Submitted on 16/06/2004 by Cheri Wilson reininrabt@aol.com

...very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
Very easy to germinate 1 to 2 months; I used a ziplock bag with a 40 60 perlite spagnum mix. soaked seeds in water for a day or two. I rinsed with fungicide spray placed in bag with mix. Mix sould be wet but not dripping, squeeze excess water. Take care in transplanting, I have had success with 2 inch pots as well as 1.5 inch cone trays.
Submitted on 01/06/2004 by Ed Mijares ed.mijares@boeing.com

...very easy to germinate and need up to 3 months to sprout.
I soaked seeds in luke warm water for 19 hours, after soaking I sowed them in peat moss, temperature was above 95°F/35°C. It took the first seed 17 days to come up, seedling growth is very fast.
Submitted on 07/05/2004 by Jón Ágúst Erlingsson johnny13@torg.is

...easy to germinate and need up to 6 months to sprout.
very slow grower but worth the money. I soaked 6 seeds for a week and planted them in a aluminum tray in desert sand. I sprayed it with water 2 times every week. I dug them up every week to see how they were doin, this i think was my mistake. after 5 months, the first shoot came up, im still waiting for more.
Submitted on 21/03/2004 by anton chuidian wutang8364@yahoo.com

...easy to germinate and need up to 1 year to sprout.
Place seeds in a pan, pour hot water (steaming, but not boiling) on the seeds. after 24 hours drain and refill with cold water after another 24 hours drain and coat with fungicide (I use "captain"). Use a 28 quart rubbermaid container with 50% peat moss and 50% playsand and 1 gallon of water. Place up to 500 seeds into container, spreed them out evenly and press down into the soil (the tops of the seed can be showing). Place lid on container and store at 80 to 90 deg F. Hurry up and wait 3 to 4 months. remove cover and place in lighted area when seedlings are touching the lid. More seeds will germinate as the months go on. Seedlings do almost nothing for a year or 1-1/2 year then burst into growth.
Submitted on 23/09/2003 by one of our visitors

...very easy to germinate and need up to 1 year to sprout.
This was the very first palm I grew from seed. I bought a packet of about a half dozen seeds and just put them outside in a pot of normal potting compost. Not realising at the time that palms could be slow in germinating, I reused the compost after a while for some other plants. Then three of the seeds subsequently germinated. One specimen, now about 5 years old has survived in a pot outside, but the others died overwinter. Here in Toulouse the winters are not usually severe, but there is normally one week per year when the temperature falls to -10 or lower. A couple of years ago I realised that these plants grow wild near the Mediterranean coast in Spain, so on one of my summer visits I collected some seed. I put these immediately into pots, one seed per pot, in the late summer and they germinated within a few weeks. The seedlings have survived outside since then although last winter was cold enough to kill a mature Pheonix canariensis in a neighbour's garden.
Submitted on 10/09/2003 by Terence Hollingworth terence.hollingworth@airbus.com

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

Plants from this species ...

... are of high ornamental value
In Southampton in England they need very little care and grow slow.
I have had a specimen of Chamaerops humilis growing in the ground outside in southern England for 3 years now, and the plant is growing very well. The plant has tolerated temperatures as low as -8c and seems to cope fine with the winter wet of the English winter. For fastest growth, I water the plant fairly copiously during summer, however have also noticed that it is quite tolerant of short spells of drought. The plant is now about 1 metre tall, but the main trunk grows very slowly and has not grown a lot over the 3 years. However numerous green fan palm leaves emerge from the trunk each year and a nice collection of suckers are forming around the base which no doubt can be separated and grown on as individual plants. My specimen is situated in partial shade, but I have seen this plant growing in a situation of full sun in southern Spain, so no doubt the plant can also adapt to full sun. I mulch the base of the plant during spring with well rotted horse manure, keeping the manure away from the trunk itself. A very easy palm to grow with minimal attention required, and due to the small and slow growing nature of the plant, can also adapt well to pot culture.
Submitted on 18/01/2009 by James Barnet

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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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