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Cycas cairnsiana

Mount Surprise Cycad

Formerly known as Cycas sp. 'Mount Surprise' this beautiful, medium-sized Australian cycad has the most amazing, powdery blue leaves, which make it quite unmistakable. It is very robust and adaptable and will do well in all but the very coldest and wettest climates. It prefers hot, humid summers and cool, dry winters and can take moderate frosts without damage. A open, sunny position and excellent drainage will ensure its successful growth. A superb cycad, don’t miss this opportunity to try it.

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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 very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
Easy Peasy. Soaked them in a thermos of warm water for 2 days, then in a fungicide bath for an hour. Followed this by putting them in sterilized coco peat in a ziploc bag. 2 germinated immediately. The rest I decided to leave in the at room temperature instead of forcing germination (with heat). After 2 weeks I placed them on a heat source ~90F and 5 more germinated within a week! 1 is looking iffy right now. So overall beween 70 and 80% germination, excellent considering this is a pricy cycad!
Submitted on 28/03/2011 by one of our visitors

... are easy to germinate and need up to 3 months to sprout.
Seeds were soaked overnight in room temperature water and sown in community tray of fine orchid bark. Seeds were half buried in bark and covered with single layer of burlap. Tray was kept in greenhouse on heat mat and watered every five to seven days. Germinated seeds were moved to individual pots when radical 1-3 cm long. Approximately 85% of seeds germinated within first month.
Submitted on 08/06/2010 by one of our visitors

... are very easy to germinate.
Cycas Carnsiana seeds februari 2010Realy super fresh seeds, very easy and very quick to germinated. A child can do it. 2 days 80F/25C in a thermobottle, refresh several times the water. Some seeds open and some not. Then i put them in some sterile clean sand ,light moist 80F/25C3 days and the first one started to germinated. So you see,fresh,fresh and good quality for the best results.
Submitted on 27/02/2010 by Gerard Meester

... are easy to germinate and need up to 3 months to sprout.
I received dried skin on seeds. Cut the seed tips then soaked in warm water for 24 hours. After dried skin absorb the water. Easy to peeled and cleaned by knife. Soaked again in water and fungisida for 48 hours, daily change the water and monitored. And there a sign of some splitted at hardshell. I put them on sterlized damp volcano/ lava sand half part of seeds horizontally,in close tight container. Keep in cabinet for 25-30C. Gradually some seeds germinated, then some sprouting the root after a month. I move them in individually deep pots. I hope all germinated.
Submitted on 20/07/2008 by hw IXIGena Nursery, Indonesia

...easy to germinate and need up to 3 months to sprout.
Sprouting is as for other Cycas. Soak 1-3 days in warm water changed daily (80F / 25C) then to baggies with coconut fiber kept at 30C / 90F. When shoots are 1 inch / 2.5 cm long, to pots with high-mineral low-organic open soil mix. Must be kept less moist than tropical Cycas or will rot easily. Does well with 40% shade cloth in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. When older I will try full sun.
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 Coastal Los Angeles in USA they need average care and grow slow.
This species of Cycas from Australia is one of few of this genus that achieves the desirable blue color that collectors desire under the correct conditions. The blue color is due to wax produced by the plant under xeric (hot and dry) conditions. Thus, in order to achieve this desired color, the plant needs to be grown outdoors in full sun and should not be over-watered. As with all cycads, the soil needs to drain well and should contain a large percentage of sand, pumice, perlite or other similar materials. Attempting to mimic the Australian hot summers and cool but dry winters is advisable.
Submitted on 15/10/2013 by Greg Ginsburg

... are of excellent ornamental value
In barkers creek ,central victoria in australia they need average care.
comes from harsh environment even though from tropics of far north queensland. two dysjunct populations and quite rare in cultivation in australia. likes to be dry in cooler times of year,can handle frosts when older but tender when young. have grown in central victoria in australia and can handle climate but grows slowly. grown in greenhouse in 50 percent light and in pots.
Submitted on 03/09/2010 by graeme ellis

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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