Musa, Strelitzia, Canna and Yucca sowing instructions

september 25th, 2017 · No Comments


For good germination results, fresh seed is a necessity. Seeds that can’t be sown straight away are best kept in the frige for better conservation. Seeds harvested by yourself, with fleshy seed coats are best cleaned before conservation to prevent mold grow.

Certain species will have seeds with very tough seed coats (b.e. Musa). You can choose to scrub the end of the seed (scarification) so that the water can penetrate into the seed coat better. It is also adviced to scrub off the inhibators on the seeds coat with a brush.

Soaking the seed

It is advised to soak the seeds before sowing for about 24 – 48 hours in warm water. This wil soften the seed coat and accelerate the overall germination. Therefore, fill a cup with warm water, put in the seeds and cover up with some aluminium foil to conserve the warmth. Place the cup on your central heating or other heat source. A thermos bottle can also be used for this purpose but it may be to smelly to use for normal use afterwards. Renew the water every 12 hours or so.

Ravenala madagascariensis seeds


Take a pot and fill up with a layer of quality seed raising mix. Then put your seeds on this mix and cover them with another layer of soil. (On Strelitzia (orange) and Ravenala (blue) you may delete the duvet before).  A good rule is to cover them with a layer as thick as twice their own size. Humidify the soil but do not over water to prevent mold. Then you can cover up with some plastic foil to preserve humidity but ventilate enough to prevent mold grow. Humidify the soil when needed.

Tip: You can perfectly sow multiple seeds in one bigger container, this way you’ll economize space and energy.

musa-sikkimensis-manipur6jan musa-sikkimensis-manipur12jan1


Place the pot on a warm spot, close to a heath source if needed. 25-35°C (77-95°F) will do for most species. For bananas (Musa) a temperature alternation of 9h on 30-35°C followed by 15h on 12-15°C and so on… could be favorable. The seeds do not need any light in this stage. The time required for the seeds to germinate varies form species to species and depends on multiple conditions. Generally it may take from 1,5 to 3 months but also can take for one whole year to germinate. Be patient, just hang on and keep providing the ideal conditions. Do need dig in to see if something happend yet. You will only risk to do damage on the germinating seeds. As soon as the first leaves are showing up you can remove the foil and place the pot elsewhere than on the heath source to avoid the ground from drying to quickly. From this stage on the plant needs sufficient light.


When the seedlings are big (en strong) enough, they can be transplanted. Generally this is when the have their second leaf.  Take a container that is big enough and which has draining holes in the bottom. Use a good quality potting soil and mix in some perlite or grit for optimal drainage.  Do not use (to much) fertilizer yet, to prevent to roots form burning. Now your plant is good to go for a while and only needs to be transplanted again when new roots will grow from the drainage holes in the bottom.


Add fertilizer in spring and during summer (growing season), during winter this makes little sense. Organic fertilizers are good fertilizers but be careful with non organic fertilizers which are more agressive. Do always respect the manufacturers prescriptions.


Strelitzia and Ravenala aren’t hardy and must therefor be cultivated in containers in colder climates. Other more cold resistant species may be planted out in open. Do inform yourself on the specific needs and especially on the hardiness and your local climat.

© La Palmeraie

Photos: and - palm seeds, cycad seeds, banana seeds

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