Germinating Cycad Seeds

There are more than one way to germinate cycad seeds. One of the more common ways doesn’t require equipment, but products and a breathable bag.


Step 1 - Harvesting the seeds.

The seeds will become loose on the female cone and fall or break off easily when broken off. This means the cone is ready to be harvested.

The cone can be cut off, but we have better results with cutting the stem of the cone out and treating the plant immediately with a fungicide. The cone is then broken apart and the seeds cleaned from the fleshy coating around it.

Step 2 - Pollinated or not?

After the seeds are cleaned and left to air dry for a couple of hours, they can be tested to see if they are pollinated and viable or not.

Fill a bucket ¾ way with water and putt the seeds inside. The bucket must be big enough for some seeds to be able to float and some to sink and one must be able to distinguish between the ones that float and sink.

Leave the seeds in the water for about 24 hours. The seeds that float is most likely not pollinated and can be discarded. The seeds left on the bottom is most likely pollinated and might grow.

Step 3 - Bag and Tag

Some seeds are big enough to write the names of the species on with a marker. If you can do that the seeds are easily identifiable especially if you have seeds from more than one species.

Should you not be able to write on the seeds, it is advisable to put them in a bag similar to a mesh bag or the ones that oranges come in and put a tag on the bag with the species and the date it was harvested.

Step 4 - Hurry up and wait

Keep the bag with the seeds in a dry place to avoid fungi and somewhere where the temperature is more or less 28.8 degrees Celsius. After 14days, prepare a mixture of water, RootStim and a good fungicide and submerge the bag of seeds in the mixture for 24 hours. Return the damp seeds to the warmish dry place it is kept. Repeat the mixture and submerging every 14days.

Check the bag of seeds before submerging them for seeds that start sprouting.

Step 5 - Results at last

No one can say with certainty how long the seeds will take to germinate and to make it more of a guessing game, some species take longer to germinate than others.  

When the seeds does sprout, they are ready to be planted.

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