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Dioon edule

This Mexican cycad is rapidly gaining popularity in the plant trade for its outstanding ornamental and horticultural qualities. While it is slow growing, its compact crown with many stiff, flat, bluish green leaves gives the plant a beautiful appearance even as a small seedling. It is best suited to temperate and subtropical climates, will take even severe frost without a mark, will grow in nearly any well-drained soil, can survive long periods of drought and yet also does very well in wet climates, and can take full coastal exposure. It also makes a particularly nice potted plant and can easily be trained as a bonsai. Apart from all that, its easy-to-sprout seeds have the lowest price possible for a cycad. So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and try some!

(read all testimonials here)

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.
Soaked 100 seeds in warm water for 2 weeks taking out seeds as they germinated. Seeds started germinating on the second day. 90 seeds germinated in the water with 5 others germinating afterwards sitting on top of moist potting mix. Planted the germinating seeds into potting mix wth the seed sitting on the surface. Lost 8 seeds due to the potting mix being to damp causing the root to rott. First leaves were comming up after 2 weeks. Temp is 35 degrees C during the day & down to 25 degrees C at night.
Submitted on 27/01/2009 by one of our visitors

... are very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
Dioon edule seems to be one of the easiest cycads to germinate and is a good bet for anyone such as myself having a go with cycad seeds for the first time. Soaking the seed in tepid water for three days, several seeds were already sprouting or showing signs of doing so in the water. I then moved them into bags of slightly moist perlite in a warm place, transferring each one to individual pots of sand & perlite mix once the radicle was reaching half an inch. Within three weeks of sprouting the first leaf had started to appear on a couple of them. I had one freak seed that decided to send out two radicles! Overall rate of germination for this species was around 90%.
Submitted on 19/11/2007 by Richard Corlett ricorlett@yahoo.com

...easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
I planted the seeds in Costa Rica at the dry season. From the 25 seeds only 6 germinated. The germination was too quick, the seeds were soaked in warm water during 24 hours. Then, planted in trays. Like 8 seeds rott, the rest of the seeds are still in the trays.
Submitted on 25/06/2005 by Adolfo García C. ado_gc45@hotmail.com

...very easy to germinate and need up to 3 months to sprout.
soaked the seeds in luke warm water for 5 days, than to baggies with peat (covered), used bottom heat, temperature was around 90°F (30°C) germination started in the water and kept on going for 1 month.... I received 80% germination.
Submitted on 29/04/2004 by Jón Ágúst Erlingsson johnny13@torg.is

...very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
Extremely easy. Seeds started germinating while being soaked in warm water (approx. 35C for two days). They were then planted in 50% peat 50% perlite in a "germination chamber" with max. temp of 37C during daytime and min. temp. 22C during nightime. They are germinating one after the other. What remains to be seen is the germination percentage.
Submitted on 24/02/2004 by Christos Djamas ctzamas@spidernet.com.cy

...very easy to germinate and need up to 3 months to sprout.
I soaked 10 seeds in slightly moist vermiculite. Incubated them at around 30C The first seeds germinated after ten days, the others over a time frame of 1-3 months. Potted the germinated seeds in to a mixture of cocopeat (Kokohum), gritty sand and perlite and kept them on the windowsill (well heated room, well isolated window, heating below). First one pushed a leaf after 3 weeks.....
Submitted on 16/02/2004 by Frank H. f_h_bln@gmx.net

...very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
So easy!!!! I soaked 200 seeds in water for for 2 days and then placed in a propogator on the highest setting. Two days later 25 of the seeds had germinated and within a week I had 53 having germinated. 25% of the total.
Submitted on 03/08/2003 by Ian Keith Jones iankeith@welshnet.co.uk

...difficult to germinate and need up to 1 year to sprout.
this particular mexican cycas germinate only in temperate climate and in little rich earth
Submitted on 14/03/2003 by one of our visitors

...very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
soaked the seeds for two days in water then out them in a ziplock bag with some moist coconut peat mixed with vermaculite, the bags were stored at roomtemp. and the first seeds germinated within 9 days, and about 80% within a month. had some problem with mold but moldy seeds were cleaned with a toothbrush and put back in the bag
Submitted on 03/03/2003 by andy andyolsson@home.se

...very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
Very large seeds, need fairly large container. Rapidly send out a rootlike stalk, from which emerges the first frond after another week or two. Unlike palms, resembles a (rather sparse) adult plant immediately.
Submitted on 01/03/2003 by Steve Flynn sflynn22@mac.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 little care and grow normal.
This cycad is one of the easiest I've grown and requires little care. I've had mine for 7 years and the plant produces an average of 1-2 new green leaves a year and is now building a small (1-2cm) trunk at the base. Moderate growth rates for a cycad and tolerant of drought and temperatures at least down to 0c under dry conditions. I water mine fairly frequently during summer for fastest growth rates, but very sparingly during the winter rest period. Tolerant of full sun and partial shade, I grow mine in a deep terracotta pot in the greenhouse in very free draining cactus compost for good drainage, with good ventilation allowing air movement around the plant.
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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