Thursday, June 24, 2010

Jubaea chilensis Manual Cracking

When looking for information on germinating Jubaea I noticed to different groups of people; those who said sow as they are and those who lived by cracking them.  I decided not to crack them for fear of damaging the seeds.  Today I changed my mind.  I took a look and there were no signs of germination.

At first I thought a nutcracker would work.  I asked the landlord if I could borrow one.  There is no way that a hand-held nutcracker could ever open one of these things!  I thought for sure I was set and would have better control so I wouldn't damaged the seeds.  Nope.  Nothing.  I think if I kept trying the nutcracker would've broken.
Next I found a way that actually worked.  I set the seeds up vertically so that one of the pointed sides faced up on a brick walkway.  Then I grabbed a rock and smashed.  To my amazement the shell exploded like a bomb and the seed was completely unharmed.  Ideally your only suppose to do it in one blow to prevent damaged.

I cracked them all with varying degrees of success.  Some still have their entire shells, some half and others are completely naked.  They are more prone to mould this way but I'll check daily and take care of any that shows up.  I did split one seed.  I died a little inside but then remembered that they're edible.  They do look and taste like mini coconuts.  Just no coconut water.

I'm going to soak them another few hours then plant them in a mix of sand and compost/potting soil in 15cm (6") depth pots.  They tend to put out a deep taproot before showing any signs of top growth.  Hopefully it works!  They should be up within a month now (at least the first few).

I've been a little distracted lately so sorry about the lack of posts and commenting. Things are still a little crazy. Hopefully I'll be getting more settled soon. ;)


  1. Mini coconuts! Lol! Now you just need some mini Pina Coladas! I would be terrified to try and smash one open. You have nerves of steel!

  2. Whoa...I'm glad that rock smashing method worked out!!! :)

    The mini pina coladas sound good (above)! Hee hee hee...

  3. I was extremely concerned but I think it will be worth it. Love the idea of mini pina coladas. Give it 30 years and I might have some home grown seeds!

  4. hahahaha....I would die a little too. Hope these eventually germinate!

  5. I think they will. They looked healthy but we'll have to wait and see.

  6. I love Animal Planet. I saw on Blue Plant, I think, these monkeys that smashed nuts on rocks to get to the good nut meat inside. Sorry, your post just made me think of that show. LOL Good luck!

  7. Well I am just a monkey crushing things with a rock. I guess it makes sense. I think my Trachycarpus fortunei are going to sprout soon. I dug down and saw a root coming from a seed!

  8. Next time use a nut cracker that is purposely made for cracking macadamia nuts it works best it only cracks the outter shell then with a regular nut cracker which breaks the whole nut.

  9. Hopefully they'll sprout and I won't have to worry about it, but if I do I'll keep it in mind.

  10. I have had one growing all year long, from seed. I cracked it in a vice. Last week it was doing fine about 3 leafs on it. I just noticed it died, I think from the past heat. I live in Charlotte, NC. I am going to pour the dirt out of the pot and inspect the roots.

  11. I am currently trying to germinate some Jubeas too. Did they sprout? do you have any pics of them lately?

    1. Unfortunately they never sprouted for me. I currently live in a much colder climate but I'll probably try them again in the future.


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