The Christmas palm (Veitchia merrillii) is a small palm with bright red ornamental fruit that develops during December each year. It grows to a height of 16 feet with leaves that reach 2 feet. Native to the Philippines as a common landscape plant, the Christmas palm does well in USDA plant hardiness zones 10-12 (where winter minimum is 35F) and its seeds are easy to germinate and grow.
Things You'll Need
Christmas palm seeds
Purchase seeds from a reputable nursery or collect them by opening the ripened fruit of an existing Christmas palm and removing by hand.
Remove as much of the pulp from the collected seeds as possible and briefly dip them into a measured solution of 10 percent bleach and 90 percent water to kill bacteria that may be present. Rinse the seeds immediately with plain water.
Fill a container with potting soil and moisten with water. Insert the seed just below the surface. Place the planter in a warm location with temperatures ranging between 70 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a thermometer to be sure. Do not place in direct light as this will dry out the seed rapidly. Keep the soil moist by misting with water from a spray bottle daily or as needed. The seed should germinate within 100 days.
Transfer the growing seedling to larger containers as necessary or plant in your outdoor landscape. Its location needs to receive full sun and moderate rain. The soil should be moist but not soggy. Water during periods of drought.
If you are unable to plant the seed right after cleaning it, place it in a plastic bag and store in a cool location with temperatures between 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. When ready to plant the stored seed, place in clean water for 24 hours prior.
Never allow germinating seeds to dry out as this will cause them to die quickly.