Licuala mattanensis var. pauciseptate ‘Licuala Mapu’
Grown from seed. Seeds are long and thin with a slight curve. I take two different approaches. First, I soak the seeds for 24-36 hours in 50/50 water and hydrogen peroxide mix. I then place the seeds into a small pot 3⁄4 filled with either coconut coir, or perlite. I cover the seeds lightly. Place the pot into a sealed plastic bag. I sometimes use an incubator or place the seeds under a covered shade-house. Constant temperature is important. Sprouting is sporadic, starting after 1 month and up to 18 months. Be patient.
First Few Years:
‘Licuala Mapu’ seedlings are sensitive to cold and drying out. Also, water quality is very important. Hard water can burn the young leaves. Using a fungicide when planting can help. They are slow. It may take a few years to get a mature leaf.
Shade and a good acidic draining mix. They like water but not soaked. A bark, Canadian peat, coarse sand or perlite would work. Use a good fertilizer. I use Harrells 24-4-14 for younger plants. Don’t bunch the plants too close together, they need good air movement thru them.
Known Pest and Diseases:
Root fungus will be the greatest concern. There are many fungicides available. I use Empress and Pagent.
In the Landscape:
I feel they would make a much better container plant than in the ground. They wouldn’t like our limestone. If you want to try planting, I suggest digging a large hole and use a good draining organic mix and mulch. Needs plenty of shade and cold protection.
Nature’s Tapestry, Redland, Florida
Local grower of rare palms & SFPS Member