Palms are always raised from seed. Of our commercial species the cham-aerops and rhapis can be propagated by suckers, but all our leading palms grow easily from seed, which is now imported in large quantities, and it must be quite an industry, the gathering of the seed where the several species flourish. The seeds, which are large (the kentia as big as the common acorn, and the cocoanut will fill out a vest pocket) are sown in any light soil in flats or pans. A mixture of leaf-mold, sand and loam in equal parts, will do finely. Just cover the seeds, and place the pans over some heat. If the compost is at a temperature of 75 to 80 degrees, the seeds will germinate much quicker than at 60 degrees. Keep them moist but not saturated.
When they have made one or two leaves at most, pot off singly in 2-inch or 2 1/2-inch pots. Don't pot them too deep; just to the base of the young plant Keep close and warm till they get started in their new surroundings. Young palms for the first few months take up little room, as they can stand close together, and I should have added that the seed can be sown very thickly, as the young growths go straight up and do not interfere with each other at all before time to pot.
For the first year young palms will grow slowly if kept in a shaded house without fire heat during summer, for these houses get very dull and cool. The cool nights lower the temperature and the heavy shade prevents the sun from raising it in the daytime. A hotbed with the sash shaded will bring them along fast in the summer months, but I would prefer a little fire heat in the palm house every night in the year. Having a few palms and orchids that I wished to treat properly this summer I have never been a night without fire heat, and I am sure it pays. This is not forcing them because we also have the ventilators up. It is giving them only a genial heat and good circulation of air. Young palms that are expected to grow should have fire heat every night in the year and ventilation too. Not as I have seen in some plant manufacturing establishments, fire heat with ventilators shut, 75 degrees outside and 110 degrees inside.