June 28, 2014

Cycad Reproduction. Here We Go Again.

If you read my blog regularly, you know that I have a compulsion to save seeds and plant them. I frequently deadhead plants so I won't see seeds.

The one cycad seed that I was able to bring to a plant has 2 new leaves and a tiny caudex.

My big Cycas revoluta has a cone, a female cone. Here we go again. There are no male Cycads in my garden. Well, I don't know if the Sago palms I grew from a neighbor's pups are male or female because they haven't shown any cones yet.

All three cycads above grew from Pups. They lost all their leaves during the cold winter. I cut off the old leaves, which you can see on the ground and new leaves grew, 9 one each of the smaller Sagos.

Despite not having a male plant, the last time the big plant formed a cone, some of the seeds were viable. It is believed that insects bring the pollen to fertilize the plants. They have a ways to travel but evidenced by the viability of the one seed that produced a plant, it happened.

The big plant had some winter damage but I never cut leaves that have some green, cutting off only the deadest looking. Some people give the whole caudex a scalping in the spring with good results in new leaves.

Maybe by next Easter when the seeds are ripe I'll feel like seeking out viable seeds and trying for more little Cycad plants.

You can read about the Seed Planting process Here.

The story about growing new plants from 'pups' from a large plant is Here.


outlawgardener said...

I've never seen a cone on a cycad before; it's incredible! I'm so impressed that you propagate these as here we struggle to simply keep them alive.

Alison said...

That cone on the Cycad is the strangest-looking thing! I hope you get more viable seeds. I compulsively stick broken branches and save seeds too.

I Blog Here & Here too