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Nannorrhops ritchiana

Mazari Palm

Nannorrhops ritchiana, the Mazari palm, one of the very hardiest palms in the world was, until recently, also one of the rarest in cultivation. Finally, after several years of work, literally hundreds of faxes and phone calls, and not least of all, a trip to Pakistan (not our favourite holiday destination), we located what we hope will be a regular source of seeds of this tough and attractive palm. Its high altitude desert origin in Northern Pakistan and Afghanistan (to about 1700m/5600ft a.s.l.) gives an indication of its requirements viz: hot, dry, and bright. Mature Nannorrhops ritchiana are sucessfully culivated in such diverse places as Florida, California, Texas, Italy, France, and Venezuela, indicating that it will thrive in temperate areas just as well as in the cooler tropics. In winter, if kept dry, it may resist temperatures as low as -20°C (-4°F). With summer heat it is relatively fast growing, and will develop into a large shrub with several short, erect trunks and very thick, blue-green, leathery fan-shaped leaves. It is a palm which surely everyone will want to have in their collections.

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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.
Easy get fresh seed and good soil, give it a little water, don't over water. Plant it in zip lock bag, keep the temperature humid and warm. For three weeks a long shoot showed in the bag. Nice palm with a white leaves.
Submitted on 03/11/2007 by one of our visitors

... are very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
I purchased N ritchiana seeds twice from RPS and have sowed all of them outdoors. My first purchase I sowed in a low moist germinating bed that I thought may be too moist but, 10 of 10 germinated in 3 weeks after soaking for two days. Alternatively and my second most recent purchased of 100 seeds, agian from RPS, were sowed in a 7 gallon pot that contained a soil mixture of 60% organic (pine bark) and 40% perlite. With regular (daily) watering I achieved 92% germination in 1 month. Nannorrhops of all variaties are only behind Sabal palmetto in ease of germinating!
Submitted on 19/04/2007 by Jim Rodgers NearlyNativeNursery@hotmail.com

... are very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
I found this species very easy to germinate. 100 % germination of 5 seeds purchased from another site. Planted in 100% vermiculite about 1/2 inch down. Kept pots at room temp of about 75-85 degrees. Steady germination of 3 weeks for just about all 5. Grow moderately fast. They seem to love heat and the more sun the better.
Submitted on 02/09/2006 by Greg stepn2myride@aol.com

... are easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
4 out of 8 seeds germinated after 18 days on top of my refrigerator, in plastic container.Temperature was 30-32 C, and air humidity inside the container 85-90 %.Mixture: Palm soil : Perlite : Sand / 3 : 2 : 1
Submitted on 02/08/2006 by Tomislav crawler0001@yahoo.com

...very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
The seeds were soaked in water for 3 days on a heating mat bringing the temperature up to about 85 ºF (29 ºC). Instead of Ziploc bag, I've started using the Glad disposable plastic containers. I fill them up about 75% with a 50% peat moss and 50% perlite mix. The mixture is dampened slightly using a spray bottle while tossing the mix to help distribute the water thoroughly. The seeds were then placed on top of the mix and pressed in until they were about 50% in the mix. The cover was placed on the container and placed on a heating mat. The temperature of the soil on top was about 105 ºF (40 ºC). 2 seeds sprouted in about 7 days, 4 more in about 14 days and the remaining 4 within 21 days.
Submitted on 30/05/2005 by one of our visitors

...very easy to germinate and need up to 3 months to sprout.
Provided heat at 30c in a compost and sand mix using baggie method. Wait a little time after sprouting before transplanting in pots for roots and growing tips and you will get better subsequent growth. All sprouted within 4-6 weeks. Seedling growth is now strong.
Submitted on 26/03/2005 by one of our visitors

...very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
So very rewarding, bag method in perlite @ 29 to 34 C with bottom heat. So quick and strong growth they caught me completely off guard. 3 weeks to germinate almost all seeds at once and some show the beginnings of sprouts. Pre soak 24 hours and bleach wash, no fungicide used. Recommend to anyone. The problem with reviews is one reports successes not failures this plant has evened the balance for me in opposition to disappointments inevitable when experimenting amongst so many varieties. Best result I have ever had from any dried seed, additionally a very high germination rate 95 % all at once.
Submitted on 19/01/2005 by David Herbert rocmade@iinet.net.au

...very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
I am a first time grower. I sowed my seeds and waited impatiently looking evenyday. After 19 days I saw asmall white stem. I planted the seeds in a warmed sowingbox and kept is at about 28oC. I used 50% palm soil, 25% seedingsoil and 25% cocus soil. Ontop of this a handfull of sand. I hope to plant the palms in my Dutch garden later on. If growing palm trees is this easy I will have a garden full in ten years time.
Submitted on 07/05/2004 by Cary Hodgson cary1@tiscali.nl

...easy to germinate and need up to 6 months to sprout.
some of my favortie palms. grew in full sunlight in 90F at day and 70F at night. grew in mulch mixed with coarse sand. took about 4 months.
Submitted on 21/03/2004 by anton chuidian wutang8364

...easy to germinate and need up to 1 year to sprout.
Seeds were soaked in demineralised water for two days before sowing in cocofibre in ziplock bags. Most of the seeds germinated after about 2-3 months at 30C (86F), but a few took considerably longer (9 months). Strangely, I found the seedlings to be extremely slow growing, still having no divided leaves after ~3 years. Most people seem to say this species is quite a strong grower, possibly I am keeping mine too cool (~25C)
Submitted on 25/01/2004 by one of our visitors

...easy to germinate and need up to 3 months to sprout.
I have a nannorrhops ritchiana - 50 cm height - that survives at a -9 C temperature near Bergamo, north of Milan-Italy
Submitted on 20/01/2004 by reina, carlo reina@mondadori.it

...very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
I am a palm neophyte. I soaked the seeds for two days in a solution of kelp extract and vitamins. then placed in a baggie of just damp vermiculite and gave bottom heat of about 95 F. within 15 days 8 of ten seeds had 1/2 inch roots, and were transfered to a communal pot. I can only think that the quality of the seeds can be the explanation for such a success. thanks for a great first time.
Submitted on 31/12/2003 by Dave Bushlow Permaculturenow@hotmail.com

...very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
I can't believe how fast my Mazari palm seeds germinated - I soaked the seeds over night and used only the ones that sunk. I used a mix of peat moss and seedling starting mix - kept moist with underpad heat - I saw long white roots within a week and now I have many new seedlings in a bright sunny spot in the house - can't wait till spring to bring a few to harden them off. Thank you!
Submitted on 30/12/2003 by one of our visitors

...easy to germinate and need up to 1 year to sprout.
Reasonable success with this species. After being soaked for 2 days, 14 seeds were sealed in zip-bags in a pre-moistened mixture of 50% peat-based compost and 50% Vermiculite and kept at approx. 25 C. After approx. 1 month, 3 seeds germinated; 7 months later, 1 more seed appeared; all are still doing well, with 3 - 5 grass-like entire leaves, after 1 year.
Submitted on 30/11/2003 by David Matzdorf davidmatzdorf@blueyonder.co.uk

...very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
first ones I have even tried to spout. Placed 5 seeds in gladlock container with 50% perlite 50% peat moss. Misted mixture 1 time per week. Placed on top of hot water heater in closet. All seeds sprouted within 18 days.
Submitted on 19/11/2003 by daniel dwise100@yahoo.com

...very easy to germinate and need up to 3 months to sprout.
Seeds were soaked for 24 hours and then put into peat at 29C. The seeds readily gerninate. I remove the seeds as soon as I see a sprout and transfer them to a peat pot with soil. They grow quite rapidly and are well suited to growing on Vancouver Island BC. I had a 60% germination rate which I consider reasonably good.
Submitted on 16/10/2003 by Gerry Morgan gerryrmorgan@shaw.ca

...very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
Soaked seeds for 5 days in plain water, then sown 60 seeds in 50/50 peat/perlite and placed in ziplock bags and placed at 80 - 90 degrees. Germination began in one week and after two weeks had 30% success. Fully expect more in the weeks to come.
Submitted on 18/05/2003 by Greg Kerns gkerns@bellsouth.net

...easy to germinate and need up to 6 months to sprout.
I found these seeds easy to germinate. I first filed a small area of the seed and then soaked for 3 days in warm water changed daily. The seeds were then placed into a plastic bag of just moist compost that had first been steralised for a couple of minutes in the mirowave on high. The bag was placed next to the airing cupboard boiler and within a couple of weeks 4 had germinated more germinated a coupple of months later in batches again.
Submitted on 10/04/2003 by Lou Smith dia.smith@ntlworld.com

...very easy to germinate and need up to 1 year to sprout.
Very tough seeds, germinated after 8 months, including several months in which the container was inadvertently allowed to dry out. 40 % germination even under these harsh conditions.
Submitted on 01/03/2003 by Steve Flynn sflynn22@mac.com

...not rated.
The nannorops richiana seed was placed in an air tight plastic storage container filled with peat/vermiculite mixture this container was placed into another container approximately 5 times larger than the smaller one the larger container was filled with just regular soil which I used to bury the smaller box so no air can get in. The larger box containing the smaller box is placed on a propagation mat or electric blanket germination occurred in 8 days within 2 weeks 20% of all seeds have sprouted. Average temperature is a steady 85°F day and night.
Submitted on 01/02/2003 by Jim Harris Northwestpalms@aol.com

...difficult to germinate.
I foud this palm to germinate slowly, as well as the subsequent growth. I had about fifty percent germination, using bottom heat.
Submitted on 23/12/2002 by Van vandringar@hotmail.com

...very easy to germinate and need up to 1 year to sprout.
I am only 17 years old and have always loved to grow plants.As I grew older the rare and exotic plants proved to be the most exiting and interesting to grow. About 7 months ago I stumbled into this web site. I was very exited and imediatly put out an order for 9 different varieties of palm seeds. None of the palm seeds germinated more sucsesfully than the Nannorrhops ritchiana. Out of 10 seeds I had 8 seeds sprout in just over a month. The subsequent growth has been very fast. In about 5-6 months each plant has 5-8 leaflets. I planted each plant in decent size pots, and all of my Nannorrhops are already rootbound. I Would Suggest this palm to anyone who wants a palm that is easy to germiate, interesting, fast growing, easy to grow and very tolerent of adverse conditions including suvere cold and drout, and very wet, warm, humid conditions. I hope my insites have pursuaded you to give this palm a try.
Submitted by Daniel Limbert KaiserDan@aol.com

...easy to germinate and need up to 3 months to sprout.
Placed in bags of just damp coconut fibre and kept at ambient shade temperatures in summer (some days to 40 degrees C but nights are cool). Germination began in about 6 weeks. 80% had germinated within 10 weeks.
Submitted by Jeff Nugent permaculture@telstra.easymail.com.au

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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 grow very slow.
Here in the tropics we have had a difficult time with this palm. It seems very slow and not liking root disturbance. Our best palms are still in the shadehouse as others moved to full sun were burnt and some died. Various methods were tried but nothing seemed to work well. They definitely prefered a sandy soil.
Submitted on 10/02/2007 by Jim Valentine snlsavusavu@connect.com.fj

... are of low ornamental value
In London in England they need little care and grow very slow.
I have four seedlings, two years old. They live indoors in a window that receives ample morning sun, year-round. They have proved to be extremely easy to grow, but after two years and one repotting, still have only a few grass-like leaves approx. 300mm high. They are in a mix of 50% soil-less compost, 30% John Innes no. 3 loam-based compost and 20% vermiculite and are fed approx. once a month during the growing season with a balanced inorganic fertiliser - I intend to change to a specialist Palm fertiliser next year. It remains to be seen whether they will ever be large or attractive enough to merit a place in the garden - much depends on global warming.
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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