Growing A Travelers Palm From Seed
Travelers Palm How To Grow And Care For Ravenala Madagascariensis
Travelers palm or Ravenala madagascariensis is not a true palm, but is closely related to banana tree family and bird-of-paradise family. This monocotyledonous flowering plant is from Madagascar and has a beautiful display of leaves. The leaves are paddle shaped or banana leaf shaped and grows on east-west line. This acts as a compass for the travelers and this is the reason for the name travelers palm. The leaves are produced on long petioles and are 4m long. Leaves arise at 45 degrees from the trunk. The white flowers are similar to the flowers of bird-of-paradise. The travelers palm does not have any branches and the leaves first appear as a green stick and after attaining the full size, it unfurls. If you are growing the plant you will find it doesn’t bear any fruits, they are grown for their attractive leaf pattern. These plants are great addition to landscapes and are fast growing. The travelers palm can grow to a height of 25-35 feet and 20 feet wide. It produces multi trunks, if the suckers are not trimmed. The stem of the fronds is able to hold water so that the plant can survive the dry spells in tropical regions. It is believed that the early travelers use to cut the stems of this plant and drink its juice to quench their thirst.
Travelers Palm Care
This is a tropical plant and is well suited for regions with a warm climate. Travelers palm requires a lot of sunlight and tolerates sandy or clay soils. The best soils for these plants are rich and moist ones. They thrive in well drained soil and require some shade after planting. It needs protection from strong winds as the huge leaves may get damaged. Never keep the soil waterlogged or soggy if you want the plant to grow healthy. The plant cannot withstand freezing temperatures. You need to feed the plant once in every two months using good all purpose fertiliser or fertilisers specially formulated for tropical plants. You can prune the older outer branches whenever needed. Dead heading the wilted blooms prevents self seeding.
Travelers Palm Growth Rate
The growth rate of this plant is very fast, even though it starts out as a small bunch of leaves coming from the ground. It can grow more than 1metre annually when the conditions are optimal. At first, the trunk of the plant will not be visible. The trunk comes out of the ground when it is big enough to hold the crown or top. The trunk width is about 8-12 inches when the trunk is only 6 inches of height. Pruning the suckers prevent the growth of multiple trees. As they grow faster and taller, they are excellent trees for blocking the view where you need privacy.
How To Grow Travelers Palm From Seeds?
Allow the seed pods to dry on the plant, if you want to collect the seeds. The seed is brown and waxy with blue fibres, protecting the seed. When the pods are dry, break open and collect the seeds. Soak the seeds in warm water for 2-3 days. Change the water daily and remove any loose skin around the seed. Place the seeds in moist peat or carbonised rice hull and maintain a temperature of 70 to 80 degree F or 21 to 27 C. Germination will take place within 1-2 months.