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Livistona chinensis

Chinese fan Palm, Fountain Palm

A much-loved fan palm that has been popular since Victorian times and makes a superb potted palm for the home or terrace. In warmer climates and over a period of years, it grows into a handsome, medium-sized tree with a slender trunk. The common name is something of a misnomer since it is actually native to Japan's Ryukyu Islands and Volcano Islands. The broad, lime green leaves have elegantly drooping and curled tips, which gives rise to its other name, "Fountain palm." The fruits, which are produced in large numbers, are blue. Livistona chinensis shows a good tolerance to cold and frost and may be used in the sheltered temperate garden, but will also happily accept hot and humid tropical 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 very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
One of the easiest palms I have ever germinated. Clean seeds and soak in water for 2 days dip in a suitable fungicide, place in a plastic box with a lid, between damp sheets of kitchen towel. Place in a propagator at 30c. 60% germination within three days.
Submitted on 28/02/2013 by Jason Hall.

... are very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
I've tried various ways for germinating these seeds, and they all worked. You just can't seem to go wrong with this one... Some of the seeds I got, I put them after soaking for 1 day in water, in a pot with germinating soil, they all sprouted in their pot after about 3 weeks. Some of them were soaked and put in moist sphagnum moss in a plastic bag or in petri-dishes that I brought from the laboratory I work for. Some bags and dishes were heated by a lamp an some were not, but it didn't seem to matter, they all had an increddible lust for life.
Submitted on 06/11/2006 by one of our visitors

... are very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
Wow! Shockingly easy to grow, Geminated in just 5 days in the UK. Bought 100 seeds from rarepalmseeds.com. Placed all the seeds in a black container and soaked them for 5 days in tap water. Propergation house temperatures (min and max) where 15c minimum at night and 35c maximum during the day, and placed the tub on a shelf in our propergation house. After 5 days when i took the lid off the conatiner, An amazing 80% had germinated in just the tap water, the remainder where placed in zip lock bag with 50/50 vermiculite and perlite and dampened, within 10 days of first soaking i now have 95% germination. Been growing palm seeds for 5 years and these really amazed me!
Submitted on 15/05/2006 by Chris Bertins cbertins@hotmail.co.uk

...easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
Seeds purchased from rarepalmseeds.com. When seeds arrived I soaked them overnight in RO water. The next evening they were sowed in aluminum baking pans (13x9") with plastic see-thru lids. Medium used was a mixture of 40% Canadian Spagnum Peat Moss, 30% Miracle Gro Potting soil, 15% Sand, and 15% Vermiculite, with a very small amout of watering crystals mixed in to retain moisture. Seeds sowed 1/2"-1" below surface in pans. Then sprayed thoroughly with water mixture with miracle-gro fertilizer and a rooting hormone. Germination started after 4 weeks. These seeds were germinated in a central Florida garage in Sept 2004. When seeds sprouted they were transplanted to 1 gallon containers with same medium used with small amounts of watering crystals mixed in (appox 1/2 tsp per 1 gallon). Kept in garage with door opened daily for 3-6 hrs for fresh air & sunlight. When soil appears dry, I water only with plain water since Miracle-gro potting soil has slow realease fertilizer already in it. Seedlings are doing well so far. Will buy a grow light to keep on them 14 hrs a day next week since garage door stays shut most of the time.
Submitted on 11/10/2004 by Robin Reed robinreed@earthlink.net

...very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
20% germination at 3 weeks. 100 seeds placed in Ziplock bag with moist peat only and no soaking beforehand. Maximum daytime temp was 95F-105F and minimum night temp was 65F-75F.
Submitted on 11/08/2004 by Al Freeburne FreeburnesHoney@cs.com

...easy to germinate and need up to 3 months to sprout.
Soaked seeds for 24-48 hours in warm water then placed in regular poting soil. Left outside during summer months (60 to 85 degrees) to germinate, it took about 2 months. Brought in as fall set in has really taken off in warm climate of the house.
Submitted on 12/12/2003 by one of our visitors

...easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
Sowed seeds in moist coir in plastic food trays. I kept the seeds in my airing cupboard, 20% germinated in about 3 weeks, and others are still popping up! Sowed others in same medium and kept at room temperature, germination was a little slower but still successful.
Submitted on 03/03/2004 by amanda amanda@readytogrow.co.uk

...very easy to germinate and need up to 3 months to sprout.
Placed seeds in mulch and kept moist. Seeds germinated in about four weeks. Temperatures were in the upper 80's to low 90's.
Submitted on 17/03/2003 by one of our visitors

...easy to germinate and need up to 6 months to sprout.
I germinate 2000pzas fresh seeds soaked in water for 2 days and then i put them into a place on the floor. it took them 4 months for the first 50% and the other 50% 5 months.
Submitted on 25/07/2002 by manuel rivero rilatel2@prodigy.net.mx

...very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
Seeds were self harvested in April 2001 in Central Florida. After removing pulp, seeds were soaked in tap water for 24 hours. No other pre-treatments were made. Twelve seeds were sown in a 50/50 mix of Canadian peat and perlite in a 3gal/12L container approximately 1/4 in./6mm deep. Container was left outside in the sun and subjected to temperatures ranging from the upper 50sF/14C to around 90F/32C. Seeds were lightly watered with tap water when germination medium appeared slightly dry. First seedling germinated at approx. two weeks and the last at about three and a half weeks. All seedlings have subsequently survived. This was my first experience with palm seed germination, they're obviously a good species to begin with.
Submitted on 05/02/2002 by Jason C. Skelly Skellsbells@aol.com

...very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
These seeds are ridiculously easy when fresh. The seeds I germinated were self harvested from a plant in St. Cloud, Florida in April of 2001. Seeds were stripped of all pulp, soaked in tap water for 24 hours, then sowed in a 50/50 mixture of Canadian peat and perlite. Seeds were buried about 2mm below surface and left outside in a black plastic pot in the sun. Germination began in about 10 days. After three weeks, all 12 seeds I harvested had germinated. Temperatures were ambient Florida April/May temperature (20-30C roughly). When germination medium appeared dry the seeds were lightly watered (every few days). These seeds are remote germinators and will burrow down about 3 inches (7 cm).
Submitted on 02/02/2002 by Jason C. Skelly Skellsbells@aol.com

...very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
Soak seeds for 24-48 hours. Place in a ziploc with sphagum moss, seeds started to germinate within 9 days. Seeds were purchased from rare palm seed, these are the freshest l. Chinensis seed I have purchased, I have seed from another company, has been in baggie since 11-10-01, zero germination. Very easy to germinate if seeds are fresh.
Submitted by RENEE CECIL RCCACRANCH@aol.com

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

Plants from this species ...

... are of average ornamental value
In north in Fiji Islands they need very little care and grow fast.
Likes shade when young but needs full sun to mature well. Not at all fussy about soil type and is happy in coastal areas. Very tough and easy to transplant at any age. Nearly indistructable and very vairable in looks.
Submitted on 10/02/2007 by Jim Valentine snlsavusavu@connect.com.fj

... are of high ornamental value
In London in England they need average care and grow slow.
Early days yet. I've had my small plant for 2 years now and have repotted it once in a mix of 50% soil-less compost and 50% John Innes no. 3 loam-based compost. It lives outdoors in bright dappled shade nearly all year, but I take it indoors during frosty periods - although it has easily coped with one-night frosts of -1ºC to -2ºC. It has proved to be robust, drought-tolerant and slow-growing (5 modest new leaves this year); it is a very attractive and glossy plant. It requires little attention. I have fed it with a weak inorganic fertiliser about once a month - I intend to change to a specialist Palm fertiliser for all of my Palms next year. In 2 years it has gone from 300mm to 500mm in height, but now has much more foliage and about 150mm of slim trunk.
Submitted on 19/11/2005 by David Matzdorf davidmatzdorf@blueyonder.co.uk

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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