Updated: Jun 15, 2021
There is something about the grace and charm of a date palm that is indescribable. The same can be said for the flavor of the sweet, sticky, almost creamy fruits. Dates have become a huge part of the produce area in the supermarket due to it's well known health benefits. Little do we know, dates have a history almost as rich as their taste.
Date palms have been cultivated for as long as man has been a farmer, as early as 4000 BC in recorded times. The ancient Sumerians treated the date palm as the tree of life as can be seen in some their inscriptions!
The Assyrian Tree of Life was the Date Palm according to the translations of Zechariah Sitchen in his series, The Earth Chronicles. (I believe they were grown and trained very much like the braided trees of other ancient cultures around the world.)
So the next time you enjoy the fruit of this almost mythological tropical plant, you may think twice about discarding those seeds so easily.
Starting a date palm from seed is an incredibly simple thing to do in the right circumstances. Last year I sprouted one by simply plucking it into the pot of an another houseplant...
Follow these simple steps to get your own happy little palm tree family.
Start by eating a few dates. Most people are familiar with the Medjool variety which I have had success with sprouting. However I will be using Halawai dates, which are lighter in color and taste like caramel... 🤤
Save the pits and clean them either with a gentle brush, or simply suck all fruit off.
Put them in a small dish of water overnight. Discard the floaters. 💩
The next day move the pits into a slightly moist paper towel and then into a (reusable) sandwich baggy. Place this in a sunny windowsill. This is where they will spend their incubation period.
Change the paper towel every few days, ideally before there is any mold. If mold forms simply clean off your seeds.
Over the next couple-few weeks repeat this process until you see what looks like a little tail begin to emerge!
This is the baby root! If you are clear of the last frost of the winter, place it in root down in a small 4” pot that has been prepared with an inch of gravel and a little garden soil.
Be patient, and you will see your new tree come to life after 3-4 weeks.
Just a few weeks later and they are really shaping up!
At the end of the first year repot it into a larger pot and make sure to keep it someplace sunny! Place your pots in a larger dish to collect water run off. If you are in a cold climate like we are, make sure to bring your plant in during the winter, or grow it in a more temperate green house.
If the situation is just right, you may be eating out of the palm of your own hand in no time!
Make sure in preparation that you acquire for yourself a lounge chair and a favorite tiki drink recipe, and then in about ten years you’ll have your own palm tree to vacation under! 🌞🌴
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