Palms are monocots, a division of flowering plants, with some woody tissues, but not to the extent of maple trees or viburnum shrubs. Palms lack a cambium layer in their stems and new leaves emerge only from a growing tip. These attributes make propagation by cuttings futile.
In non-palm plants like woody trees, cuttings taken from young branches can produce differentiated tissues to form root and shoot tissues. This isn't the case with palm leaf, stem or root cutting. Palms are best propagated from seed or by dividing plant clumps.
Although usually called division, cutting apart a small suckering palm plant from a cluster will develop into a healthy "new" plant. Each division or offset must include intact original roots and an undamaged growing tip. If the growing tip on an palm is damaged or killed, no new tip develops and the plant later dies.
With few exceptions, the best means of propagation of palms is germinating seeds. Cut fronds and severed growing tips from palm stems need to be composted or temporarily used as floral decoration.
- University of Florida IFAS Extension: Palm Seed Germination
- "An Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms"; Robert Lee Riffle and Paul Craft; 2003
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
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