Germinating Kentia Palm seed is fairly easy but you must have patience as the seed can take up to 12 months to germinate.
If you have access to your own Kentia Palm tree always pick the lower seed hands on the tree as they are the mature ones to be used for germinating. A mature Kentia Palm tree normally has three crops of seed on it at various stages of growth. The second seed hands above the lower light yellow color mature seeds are next years crop that are developing, and then the flowering spikes protruding from the center of the tree are the formation of the third year’s crop.
The hand seed in this picture shows the second year’s crop, and just under that you can see some lower hand seeds which are the mature seed ready for picking and germinating.If you don’t have access to your own Kentia Palm seed you can always purchase some from a reputable seed distributor. Your seed should be similar in color to this picture.
Notice that there are some reddish color seed but they are fine. Red seed is actually seed that has been growing on the tree for four years. Some pickers let the seed develop for four years, and that is why you have a difference in color with mature seed.
To germinate your own Kentia Palm seed at home I would suggest getting an 8 inch nursery pot and three quarters fill it with a mixture of 2 parts potting mix and one part perlite. Water lightly. Spread 8 to 10 seed on the top of the mixture and mist the seed. Cover the seed with about two inches of your planting mixture and then once again water lightly. Cover the top of the pot with plastic so that the potting mixture is airtight. This procedure will ensure that the pot has the ideal temperature in it for the seed to germinate. Place your pot anywhere in your home where it will not get any direct sunlight.
You will see some condensation appear under the plastic and this is good. You can monitor the pot regularly, and if you see little condensation then undo the plastic and very lightly sprinkle the top with water. Cover the pot again with the plastic.
Kentia Palm seed can take from 8 to 12 months to germinate. The first appearance of germination will be small pointed spikes coming through the mixture. There is no need to take the plastic off the pot until the spike is about an inch tall. Once that height is reached, take the plastic off and let the seeds continue to grow to a swallowtail height like the next picture.
You can then harvest the seedlings and pot them up singularly into six inch pots.
The unique thing about Kentia Palm germinated seedlings is that the seed attached to the spike or seedling has enough nutrients in it to supplement the growing needs of the plant for at least two years.
So it is imperative that when you harvest your seedlings that you be careful to ensure that the seed is still attached before replanting.