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Ptychosperma elegans

Solitaire Palm

This well-known and much-loved palm is often used in smaller gardens and for indoor decoration. It is a solitary species with leathery leaves; a slender, gray trunk; and bright red fruits. The seeds are easy to germinate, and the plants are easy to care for and capable of growing rather quickly if given adequate water and feed. The Solitaire palm is best suited to tropical and subtropical conditions, but will also grow in protected spots in warm temperate climates, and keeps up well indoors even in low-light situations.

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germination comments by our visitors
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Also see plant cultivation comments below.

Seeds from this species ...

... are easy to germinate and need up to 3 months to sprout.
Easy, I used a ziplock bag with vermiculite and put them in the shade out side here in Uganda. More than half germinated very quickly but lost some seedlings to slugs. A year later and they now have three to four leaves.
Submitted on 07/09/2013 by John Wright

... are very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
mine were in perlite, half died out cos i left them in there too long, in the foam box, and didnt plant them out, cos i ran out of room at home, otherwise 90% germination
Submitted on 21/11/2009 by Adam-Grant SydneyPalms.com.au

... are easy to germinate and need up to 3 months to sprout.
The small red fruit are quickly cleaned and the ridged seed put in shallow trays, where most will germinate in three months. Standard horticultural practice will produce a 1. 5m specimen in 2 years, ready to plant in a semi-shaded position. They do equally well in sun or shade, but extremes of heat or dry wind will scorch even the most well watered mature specimen.
Submitted on 01/11/2008 by Shirley A Billingsley

... are very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
I harvested over 200 seeds of the solitaire palm and soaked them for 2 days. After that, I mixed up a soil mixture of dirt, sand, and bark , especially lots of bark, and sand for good drainage.Then I planted them just below the surface and then watered them.About a month later,they started germinating.It seemed like every day more and more germinated. In the end, I had about 90%-95% germination.
Submitted on 16/08/2006 by one of our visitors

... are easy to germinate and need up to 3 months to sprout.
After failing to raise the Roystone seeds, I harvested some seeds of Ptychosperma elegans from my brother's compound in Kampala, Uganda. I soaked the seeds for 2 days in luke warm water. I sowed them in a bed. After a month about half had sprouted. I then shifted them to polythene tubes.I was very happy
Submitted on 10/03/2006 by Kasozi Frederick kasofre@yahoo.com

...very easy to germinate and need up to 3 months to sprout.
I self harvested about 100 seeds of this species in Homestead, Florida in December of 2000. After removing all pulp and fibre from the seeds, they were soaked for three days in warm tap water with daily water changes. No other pretreatments were used before sowing. The seeds were placed in Sterilite containers in a 50-50 mix of Canadian peat moss and perlite. Seeds were hand irrigated with tap water when top of mixture seemed a bit dry (about every two weeks since their container has a lid). Heat was supplied by placing the container in front of a south facing window (sorry, don't know exactly how warm). I had about 85% germination. First seeds began germinating after about four or five weeks.
Submitted on 10/03/2003 by Jason C. Skelly Skellsbells@aol.com

...very easy to germinate and need up to 3 months to sprout.
Soaked seeds over night. Planted in 50/50 peat moss and vermiculite. Bottom heat about 75 degrees. At 1 month 80% germination. By 2 1/2 months 100%
Submitted on 18/12/2002 by Brandon Gauthier porkchopxxx@hotmail.com

...very easy to germinate and need up to 1 month to sprout.
soak for 24 hrs place in bag with moist spagnum moss or community pot they will all germinate in 3 weeks -6weeks over 95% success
Submitted on 13/11/2002 by jason pasahow JPSE66@aol.com

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

Plants from this species ...

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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

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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