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Cycas panzihuaensis

Originating in Szechuan/China, this is certainly the most cold hardy of all cycads. It will take severe frosts, and is tolerant of damp and wet as well as drought conditions. It is very fast and easy to grow, and, with heavy fertilizing, will produce three flushes of dark green to bluish leaves per year, and grow up to an incredible 60 cm (24 in.) of trunk in just five years from seed. It is THE cycad for outdoor use in cool climates and we are delighted to be able to offer it in quantity at long last.

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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.
soak fresh seeds from RPS overnight in warm 28ºc, by morning half of the were germinating, within a week those were in individual pots, and the rest was also germinating. very easy and rewarding even to a newbie. Fast growing seedligs too.
Submitted on 06/06/2010 by one of our visitors

... are easy to germinate and need up to 3 months to sprout.
I have grown many species of cycad from seed, but I have to say this was one of the easiest and fastest to germinate. I use coarse sterilised perlite, that has been dampened by warm water. The seeds of this species are relatively small compared to some other species, however I sow all in the same way by placing the seed longways so that half is exposed and the other half is buried in the perlite. I generally bury the wider end, where the root will emerge from, in the perlite. I find this works best for faster germinating species, as this ensures that the micropyle area remains damp and does not dry out for any length of time, as this could kill a germinating seed. It is essential to ensure that the perlite is coarse and allows air movement between the particles to prevent the micropyle from rotting due to excessive wetness. I place my seeds in a heated propagator with a temperature of 25-30c, and mist the seed gently with warm water once or twice a week. I open the vents on the propagator on a regular basis to remove excess moisture and allow better air circulation. After a month, I regularly check the micropyle area, and when germination is noticed, pot on into a deep pot filled with extremely free draining gritty compost, such as that used to grow cacti and succulents. A deep pot is required to allow space for the root which will rapidly grow downwards. I have had great success with this method. The key points are to keep warm and moist, but not wet during germination, and to allow air circulation and prevent stagnation in the germination environment to prevent rotting. Cycads may be slower germinating than some seeds, but when they do, they are some of the most beautiful and fascinating plants to watch develop, and Cycas panzhihuaensis is the fastest I've seen and a definite recommendation for beginners to this fascinating and ancient group of plants.
Submitted on 17/01/2009 by James Barnet

... are very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
Hi there, i bought 10 seeds of this species, Living in british columbia canada, i didn't soak my seeds first as they looked pretty healthy (ie, not overly dry or hard looking) sowed about 3/4 depth into an orchid mix i purchased from a local garden store (charcoal, pine bark and some proprietary nutrient) mixed with about 2 handfuls of Canadian peat per bag. put into individual pods in a seed tray with a clear dome lid and placed in a sunny window spot (more for warmth than light) after about two weeks i saw my first cracks on the first couple, and now after about 5 weeks of waiting each seed has a thick green tap coming from the seed and a small 1cm vertical shoot, 100% germination in late April in western Canada, great seeds, great shipping, thanks alot! will give growing info later
Submitted on 08/06/2008 by one of our visitors

... are very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
Soak for 3 days then sow half-buried in moist vermiculite, with the smooth part uppermost, and the notched end buried. Place on a heatmat at approx 30 degrees celcius. When the seed coat splits, simply pot into a 50:50 mix of compost:perlite with the split end facing down half buried. Keep the pots in heat. Some may split without the embryo developing, but most will send out a radicle within a few days. Expect to see the first leaf shoot within one month. Place in good light once the first frond starts to unfurl. 75% success rate achieved with fresh seed purchased from RPS. Great quality seeds - thanks Toby!
Submitted on 01/12/2007 by Ian Woodland ianwoodland849@btinternet.com

... are easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
I found this species to be one of the fastest cycad species to germinate of those that I have tried. After soaking for three days and then placing in a bag of slightly moist perlite, within three weeks 70% of the seeds had germinated and have been planted into individual pots.
Submitted on 19/11/2007 by Richard Corlett ricorlett@yahoo.com

... are easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
When I received the seeds they all rattled but soaking them in water rehydrated them very quickly and I had only very few floaters and rattlers after 2 days. However not all sinkers were healthy inside and about 30% of the "good" seeds were leaking brown, smelly liquid after being sown into perlite. They seem to be prone to rotting (or perhaps drying out and rotting when rehydrated). Get rid of those leaky ones as soon as possible as they attract flies. The rest of the seeds germinated very quickly at room temperature and I had about 50% germination after 3 weeks. The subsequent growth was amazing and even the first leaves which formed 1 month after germination had beautiful blueish colouration.
Submitted on 25/03/2007 by Marian Kubes maros@ltc.sk

... are very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
Hi Friends, I have brought Cycas panhihuaensis seeds from Tobi/PPP.I keept seed in plastic airtight bag with full water.After 4th day when i opened plastic bag 30% seeds cracked .Then i pick up them & placed in plastic pot having sand.Pots are keept on slab which facing to sunny side.After 28th day first sprout of cycas seen.I hope i will get 100% germination Mr.Deepak/Rajtialak India
Submitted on 04/02/2007 by Deepak/Rajtilak Patil hibiscusprasad@gmail.com

... are very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
2 weeks to germinate and sprout!soak 2 days in warm water plant in approx 50% coir and john innes no2 -I used a fairly deep pot for 3 seeds. Planted 1/2 buried -top showing.left a couple of days in a heated room -seed husk started to crack - removed shell -be careful !make sure soil well soaked but drain excess after watering by placing kitchen tissue underneath the pot.Then used "Heat Shock" treatment by placing on a hot radiator -cover with cling film with holes -for an hour or so until germinated!I've germinated stubborn Bismarckia seeds with this method whilst waiting for the damned husks to break down!PM Murray-Stockport England
Submitted on 22/12/2006 by Paul M Murray paul.palmking@ntlworld.com

... are very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
I couldn't believe how quick these were. I had just three seeds, which I potted in 150mm/6" pots each with different media with no pre-soaking. I placed the pots inside a large, clear airtight container with gravel and water in the bottom to help maintain humidity. The container was put inside my polytunnel and kept at 30°C/86°F day and 24°C/75°F night (+/- 2°C/4°F). Within a couple of weeks I could see the first leaf of all three.
Submitted on 14/12/2006 by Corey Lucas-Divers corey@palm-trees.org

... are very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
I sowed three seeds into one gallon pots with no pre-soaking. One in perlite, one in coco peat and the other in normal compost. Each pot was watered until water came out of the drainage holes, then each pot was placed in a large, clear storage container, part filled with gravel and water, inside my heated polytunnel at 24/30°C night/day. They each germinated within a week and the first leaf on each was shooting up within two weeks.
Submitted on 01/11/2006 by Corey Lucas-Divers corey@palm-trees.org

... are easy to germinate and need up to 3 months to sprout.
Have 10 seeds germinating in just enough seed starter mix to barely cover seeds. Temps reaching 105 degrees F during the day in shaded greenhouse.
Submitted on 31/07/2006 by William Read weread@mac.com

... are easy to germinate and need up to 3 months to sprout.
I bought 200 seeds recently from Toby, and soaked them for around a day in warm water until they had ceased rattling. Moved them into plastic containers nestled into some perlite at around 25c. About 10% had germinated within the first week, 20% by the 2nd week, and then about 5 more per day since. After less than a month I have over 100 with long radicles in deep communal pots and are still seeing seeds crack open every day. Great seeds Toby, thanks.
Submitted on 13/05/2006 by Trevor trevor27@bigpond.com

... are difficult to germinate and need up to 1 year to sprout.
I sowed 5 seeds in pure vermiculite, scarcely moist, sealed them in a screw-top jar and kept them at approx. 30¼C in a central heating cupboard. One germinated within about a month, was potted up immediately and, approx. 6-8 months later, after filling the pot with roots, has finally shown a bit of top growth, although no fronds as yet. One seed rotted off after 3 months. Another seed rotted off after 6 months. Two seeds swelled and split their sarcotestae, but have not produced radicles after nearly 8 months and are probably moribund.
Submitted on 19/11/2005 by David Matzdorf in London davidmatzdorf@blueyonder.co.uk

...very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
Placed the seeds in baggies of moist sphagnum moss. Placed them in the hot water cupboard and have had almost immediate results. The first one germinated in one week. 75 of 200 have germinated in the first month and I am sure most of the others will follow shortly. Fantastic quality. Awesome results.
Submitted on 29/06/2005 by one of our visitors

...difficult to germinate and need up to 1 year to sprout.
Sowed 5 seeds in March in moist vermiculite in a sealed container, kept at approx. 30º C. (85º F.) in a heating cupboard. One seed germinated within a month and, 5 months after being potted up, the first seed has just started producing top growth. Two seeds rotted after 2-3 months. The remaining two seeds started to germinate after 3 months and then stalled without producing a radicle. I suspect that this is because the heating was off for the Summer. Within 2 weeks of the heating being on again, both have started to show signs of progress again.
Submitted on 09/10/2005 by David Matzdorf (London) davidmatzdorf@blueyonder.co.uk

...easy to germinate and need up to 3 months to sprout.
I soaked 10 cycas panzhihuaensis seeds in the water for two days. I put the seeds in a well drained mixture in a nursery where temperature is 15-28°C. In 7 weeks the first cycas panzhihuaensis germinate, others followed and in 2,5 months I have 6 cycas panzhihuaensis. Not too bad for a cycas!!!
Submitted on 04/08/2005 by Guillaume Chomicki-Bayada willy89@wanadoo.fr

...very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
Started with 10 from RarePalmSeeds. Soaked for two days in filtered water. 9 seeds sank in the water and were viable, 1 floated and appears dead (no growth after 4 months). Placed all seeds in a moist cactus mixture in baggies. Of the 9, 3 swelled and sent out a root immediately/ within one week. 3 more took about a month- I lost 2 of these 3 to rot! Of the remaining 3, after several months the seed itself has swollen and shed the hard coating. They are a healthy green, but only one has sent out the radicle. Not one of the original seeds has sent up a leaf yet, but the roots have dug impressively into the soil. Note that all this has occurred over winter with temps dropping into the 50's at night and the low 80's during the day. I have no additional heat source besides artificial daylight. I am convinced that as soon as warmer temperatures arrive, the well-developed roots will quickly send up shoots.
Submitted on 18/02/2004 by Will WillGillis@aol.com

...very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
I had no problems with this specimen. 100% germination. I was amazed at how quickly these seeds germinated and sprouted. Kept in plastic bag w/spaghnum peat moss mixture at 20-30degC, little moisture. I just set them on the shelf in my garage and waited. Just three weeks to germinate, and 1 month to sprout. Fast grower.
Submitted on 22/09/2003 by Zach Heern Wizard8458@aol.com

...very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
Very quick to germinate, the 1st tropical plant I have tried growing, one seed has already thrown up a shoot after 11 days.
Submitted on 26/12/2002 by one of our visitors

...very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
A few seeds were sacrificed to view the embryo development and they were found to be very well developed and ready to germinate.The seeds were soaked for 4 days with the water changed daily. After 2 days, about 10% of the 1000 seeds split open and were then removed from the soaking tub. The following day another 10% split and were also removed. At the end of the 4 day soak the entire seed shipment was placed in a greenhouse seed bed. The daytime air temp. reaching 100 degrees F and the night time in the low 80's. The seeds were placed on the top of a pine bark, peat and sand soil mix then misted with micro jets for two minuets daily.The seeds began to germinate after only 1 day. At the end of 2 weeks 30% germinated and here at the end of two months, nearly 70% has germinated. At this point I expect to achieve a final germination rate near 90%. Subsequent seedling growth is steady in the greenhouse environment with none being lost to date. These are high quaility seeds at a truely bargain price!
Submitted on 04/10/2002 by Jim Murphy mursago@aol.com

...easy to germinate and need up to 3 months to sprout.
Seedlings less tolerant of drying out than other Cycas. Soaked 2-3 days in warm (80F / 25C) water changed daily, then to baggies with barely moist coconut fiber kept at 30C / 90F. Transplanted out when shoot 1 inch / 2.5cm long. Do not let seedlings dry or they will die.
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 Augusta, GA (Southeastern US) in USA they need little care and grow normal.
Cycas panzhihuaensis is an excellent cycad. I have a male and a female in the ground and they have been outdoors in full sun for five years. They flush new growth early in the spring - much earlier than Cycas revoluta and a few weeks earlier than Cycas taitungensis. I have had no problems with scale insects, but my cycads are sprayed on a regular basis with insecticide just to be sure that the scale doesn't get started. C. panzhihuaensis is similar in size to C. revoluta. Last year (2008), I crossed my male panzhihuaensis with a C. revoluta x C. taitungensis female. Many seeds were produced. It remains to be seen if they will germinate (May, 2009).
Submitted on 26/05/2009 by Joe Le Vert

... are of high ornamental value
In Southampton in England they need little care and grow normal.
This is one of the fastest growing cycads I've cultivated from seed, with 2 leaves produced by he end of the first year alone. I grow the plant in my greenhouse, and the plant has so far taken temperatures down to 0c in its stride. I suspect that as with my Cycas revoluta, the plant may not grow so well outside in the English winter due to the damp, however I am yet to buck up the courage to try. I've had the plant for 4 years now, and it has produced ~7 leaves and now has a small trunk (~1cm) forming at the base. My specimen now resides in a position of partial shade, however has been in a position of full sun in the past with little damage. I water the plant frequently during summer, but more sparingly during winter, always conscience of the dislike of cycads to cold/wet conditions. I grow my plant in a deep terracotta pot, which captures the heat from the greenhouse and further warms the soil within the pot, whilst allowing plenty of depth for root growth. A plant that really requires very little care, apart from watering in summer and some general purpose plant food for fastest results!
Submitted on 18/01/2009 by James Barnet

... are of high ornamental value
In Norrbotten in Sweden they need little care and grow slow.
One seed germinated in May 1998.I didnt know how to care .But i did the same as for my other cycads.I am living in Sweden near the arctic circle,so I have most of my cycads indoors the hole year.This cycad I later put near the window in a house whith low temperature in the winter.Sometimes near 0 or under.(celcius).I did not give any water in many months.One time all fronds faded.I thought the plant was dead.But in the spring I gave it water and new fronds grew up.The fronds is about 80 cm long.The soil is sandy.Like cactus soil.I do not give much water. Now in the end of 2005 the plant is still living.I recommend this species.
Submitted on 02/12/2005 by Hans Rönnqvist hans.ronnqvist2@spray.se

win € 75 worth of seeds
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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

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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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