Date (Phoenix dactylifera)
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Wendy Maurice
Posted on: June 16, 2003

I see you have date (phoenix dactylifera) seeds available. Has any consideration been given to Richter’s growing some to sell as plants?

Many years ago we grew them but the demand was poor so we reverted to offering seeds only. We might consider trying them again, except that the plants get quite big and they are difficult to ship with our present packing and shipping system (which requires that plants be in 2-1/2" square pots and no taller than 10 inches). We are seeing increasing interest in exotic food plants so we will likely review the possibility of growing date plants in the next year or two.

How many seeds come in a packet?

About 5-6. The seeds are large: similar to the size of date pits.

How slow is slow for germination, weeks? months? years?

Germination is typically below 50% and is sporadic with seedlings appearing one by one over several months. Germination is usually complete by the end of the fourth month. Bottom heat definitely helps.

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