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Palm and Cycad Distance Education Course
Palms are a very important group of plants, primarily throughout the tropics, but also extending into cooler areas. There are some palms which will even grow very well in temperate climates. There are palms growing successfully in cooler places throughout the world, including Tasmania, England, Canada and Cape Cod in the USA. Many palms however are not particularly hardy to the cold, and will be injured by temperatures approaching freezing point. In temperate climates, palms are also often grown as indoor plants.
There are 8 lessons in this course:
Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.
What you will do:
These plants are an integral component in creating a "tropical" appearance to a garden.
Where to Grow them:
Temperate, Sub tropic or tropical climates (some grow in even cooler temperate areas)
As Indoor Plants or Greenhouse plants anywhere
Most palms are truly tropical plants, preferring wet tropic or subtropic climates to do their best. Some palms and plants that have a palm-like appearance will grow under harsher conditions. These may be used in cooler climates, harsher inland areas (eg. deserts), or as indoor plants, to create similar affects when other varieties of palms become difficult to grow.
When you plant a new palm, it usually takes a period of time to settle in to its new position before starting to put on significant growth. In warm climates, most of the plants listed below should grow reasonably fast, once they have settled in (6-18 months after planting).
SELF CLEANING OR NOT
Self Cleaning Palms : These drop old fronds naturally.
Not Self Cleaning : The old fronds still cling to the trunk after dying. This is both unsightly, and provides places for cockroaches and other insects to breed. Fronds need to be physically removed, making more work for the gardener.
SOLITARY OR CLUMP FORMING
Most palms have either a solitary trunk (ie. one trunk to a plant), or develop multiple trunks from the base, to form a more bush-like clump.
PINNATE OR FAN-SHAPED FRONDS
Most palms have either fan-shaped fronds or pinnate (divided feather-like) fronds.
True palms (ie. Araceae family) are propagated by seed. Seed needs to be collected close to the time it is about to drop. If you pick it too early, it is less likely to germinate. Palm seed can be spasmodic in germinating. Generally speaking, some may germinate within a month or two of planting, but other seed from the same batch may progressively germinate over many months or even years. Seed needs to be kept moist and warm to achieve this progressive germination. Waterlogged or cold seed will tend to rot.
Cycads look like palms, but are not! They are in fact more closely related to conifers. Cycads are "ancient" plants; sometimes called Dinosaur plants because they were around millions of years ago.
Who Should Study This Course?
Horticulturists, Gardeners, Landscapers, Nurserymen, Botanists, Plant Enthusiasts
Interior plantscapers, or anyone working in supply and maintenance of indoor plants
Keen amateurs with a passion for palms and cycads
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