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Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
Seed Germination of Several Indoor Ornamental Foliage Plants
R. T. Poole and C. A. Conover1
Central Science University of Florida, IFAS
Library Central Florida Research and Education Center Apopka
CFREC-Apopka Research Report, RH-88-8
MAR 9 19Rq
lniersit nof iliAlthough most indoor ornamental foliage plants are propagated from
Unirsity 'Lc ngs, a few must be produced from seeds. Chamaedorea elegans, (Parlor
palm)-and Coffea arabica (Coffee) are grown exclusively from seed. Ardisia
crenata and Schefflera arboricola (dwarf schefflera) are grown from seeds
and cuttings. These studies were initiated to determine effects of seed
storage durations at various temperatures on germination.
Seeds of Parlor palm, coffee and dwarf schefflera were placed about
1/2 inch deep in 1/2 inch cell packs, 10, 5 and 5 seed per unit,
respectively, with a mixture of Canadian peat:perlite (1:1 by volume). The
mix with Parlor palm and coffee seeds was moistened and placed in storage
temperature of 65, 75, 85 or 950F with 80% relative humidity, November 19,
1984, dwarf schefflera was planted under the same conditions January 29,
1985. Parlor palm seeds were removed Feb 21, 1985, coffee seeds, January
8, 1985 and dwarf schefflera seeds, February 20, 1985. Best storage
temperature for Parlor palm seed was 850F (Table 1). Seeds of Parlor palm
began germinating January 29 when stored at 850F, March 5 when stored at
950F and March 12 for 750F. The best storage temperature for coffee was
also 850F with germination beginning the first 2 weeks of January. Storage
temperature between 65 and 850F was not as critical for germination of
dwarf schefflera, but 950F appears to be too high.
Ripe red fruit and green unripened fruit of Ardisia were used in this
experiment. Both types of seed were planted November 19, 1984 under
conditions previously described. Green fruit were placed 10 per cavity,
red, 5 per cavity and stored for 1, 2, or 3 months at 45, 55, 65 or 750F,
or planted immediately. Seeds of both colors had almost 100% germination
when planted immediately (Table 2). About 30% or more germination occurred
at all storage temperatures when stored only 1 or 2 months. Seeds stored
at 3 months germinated poorly regardless of storage temperature.
Summary: All seeds tested had better germination when planted
immediately. Eighty degrees appears to be a satisfactory temperature for
storage, if seeds must be stored. Previous research has also shown 800F to
be a good germination temperature, but once roots are initiated 70-75F
soil temperature should be maintained, since higher temperatures retard
1Professor of Physiology and Professor and Center Director, respectively.
Central Florida Research and Education Center Apopka, 2807 Binion Road,
Apopka, FL 32703.
1. Broschat, T. K. and H. Donselman. 1986. Factors affecting storage and
germination of Chrysalidocarpus lutescens seeds. J. Amer. Soc. Hort.
2. Donselman, H. 1982. Palm seed germination studies. Proc. Fla. State
Hort. Soc. 95:256-257.
3. Ishihata, K. 1973. Studies of the morphology and cultivation of
palms: on the germination of seed in ornamental. The Bull. of the Fac.
of Ag. #24, Kagoshima Univ.
4. Perry, L. P. and J. w. Boodley. 1980. Germination of foliage plant
seeds in response to pre-sowing ultrasonic exposures, water soaks and
fungicides. HortScience 15(2):192-194.
5. Perry, L. P. and J. W. Boodley. 1980. Germination of foliage plant
seeds in response to sowing medium, depth of sowing, pH level and
medium temperatures. HortScience 15(2):194-196.
6. Perry, L. P. and J. W. Boodley. 1981. Foliage plants from seeds.
Foliage Digest IV(5):3-6.
7. Poole, R. T. and C. A. Conover. 1974. Germination of 'Neanthe bella'
palm seeds. Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc. 87:429, 430.
8. Poole, R. T. and C. A. Conover. 1983. Germination of 'Neanthe bella'
palm seeds. University of Florida, ARC-A Research Report RH-83-23.
Table 1. Percent germination of seed stored at various temperatures and
moved to a glasshouse with 700F minimum temperature.
Storage Chamaedorea elegansx Coffea arabicaY Schefflera arboricolaz
temp oF April 30, 1985 March 12, 1985 March 12, 1985
65 0 8 69
75 9 9 75
85 38 20 73
95 28 0 35
planted immediately 52 30 93
29, 1985 -
19, 1984 -
19, 1984 -
Table 2. Germination of Ardisia crenata stored for various
times and temperatures. April 30, 1985.
Storage Storage Percent germination
temp, time, Red Green
OF months fruit fruit
45 1 58 92
45 2 62 52
45 3 10 0
55 1 47 59
55 2 63 40
55 3 5 12
65 1 45 28
65 2 62 29
65 3 13 9
75 1 62 38
75 2 37 46
75 3 0 8
Nov. 19, 1984 98 100
when test initiated