Monday, August 18, 2008

How to Sprout Royal Poinciana seeds! Delonix regia

Todays post is going to be on sprouting Delonix regia, Royal Poinciana seeds. I have a few varieties of seeds. Most come in a pods that are quite large. When I was a kid we used them for swords. I will start with the largest pod first. This came from a light orange/red flower poinsettia tree, the next is a medium size pod which came from a blood red color flower poinsetia, and the final is a smallest pod coming from the dwarf poinsetta. I planted each variety in a snap-tite container with moist dirt not to wet. I snipped 1/2 of the seed tips off, and left the other 1/2 untouched. I planted them 1/4" under the surface. After 4 Days all the snipped seeds had begun the germination process, and after 7 they were ready to come out of the containeers and go into pots. Here are my pictures of the seed pods, the seeds, and the sprouts.

Orange/Red Seed Pod

Blood Red Seed Pod
Dwarf Red Seed Pod
Very carefully, I snipped 1/2 of the seed tips off to see if there would be a difference in germination time.

Planting the seeds just barely below the surface in a snap-tite container.

Success in just 4 short days! All of the snipped seeds germinated.
These are the Dwarf Seeds

These are the Blood Red Seeds.

This is the remaining cover from the seed after they pop out.

This is what I hope to have in a few years!

Thanks For Stopping By.
I hope this was helpful.


  1. Looking good! I do hope your a patient gardener, as it may take up to ten years to flower when propagated by seed. You could always use the seedlings for rootstock for grafting! Then you'll get flowers alot sooner

  2. Can you explain exactly what you meant by "snipping 1/2 of the seed tips off"? I would like to try this but don't want to ruin the seeds. Thank you! Susan

  3. susanpalmseed, Fantastic name! I just read the post again and realized it was a bit confusing. The amount I took off was as minimal as possible. Maybe 1/16, just the very tip. They sprouted 5 days faster than the unsnipped seeds. brandank

  4. Eric that is a great idea. I have a friend that started 1 from seed 6 years ago and he fertilizes the crap out of it and it gave him his first bloom this year. Although it may be a little funny because it snapped in 2 during the 04 hurricanes and came back to a very nice looking tree.

  5. Thank you. I got 2 seeds from a Royal Poinciana that was growing along the road on Sanibel Island. I will use your sugggestions and attempt to plant them. If they sprout I will grow them in a pot until I can return to South Florida and give them to My brother in law who lives in Naples.

  6. Hi, My husband's favorite tree is a Royal Poinciana. His birthday is this month. I called a bunch of nurseries and trees START at OVER $100! Then, you've got to have someone help you dig a big hole to plant it in (or installation STARTS at $150!). So, with the economy being what it is, and seed pods being everyplace in South Florida now (we even saw pods hanging from trees at the movie parking lot!), I'm going to grab my DH and bring him out to get a pod and we're going to try to do this ourselves. Should be fun to see our little seed sprout into a tree. It will have a lot more meaning than something you just buy. Thanks for the blog, it was really helpful!

  7. Hello - On a recent holiday I brought home some poinciana seed pods from a tree in the tourist park we were staying.

    I followed your instructions on sprouting the seeds and they were 100% successful. After 5 days I transplanted to pots and kept in the semi shade outside but the next morning the growing tips were 'eaten' by something.

    Could you please give further instructions on successful transplanting, upkeep and at what stage to plant in the garden.

    I sprouted 8 seeds and all 8 were 'eaten'.
    thank you

  8. I just purchased some seeds and I hope I have success with them for I want this to work for me. My question is do you plant more than one seed per tree or one will do the job . Your instructions seem simple enough.Wish me luck

  9. Hi everyone! Just wondering as to how much nipping was done, because I've tried the method on two different planting sessions and both had been failures (the seeds rot in the casing). Any ideas or suggestions? Also, Has anyone tried to graft branches on delonix and what the results had been so far? I'm working on two delonix bonsai, and need branches! Thanks.

  10. I scrape designs onto the poinciana seed pods as there is a lighter color to the woody pod under the outer skin. I also paintand shellac these pods. I'm a cab driver in Key West and so usually share these with tourists. You can view these at my facebook wall. You would have to first e-mail me and request I befriend you on facebook. Let me know its about these. These are actually known as musical instruments in the Lesser Antilles, called a Shak-Shak or Chak-Chak. Their version of maraccas.

  11. We bought a 2' Royal Poinciana tree in Key West 4 yrs ago for $5.00. It was cute and perfectly shaped. We drove home to SWFL with it and planted it the next day. It has now grown to a magnificent 18ft tall tree with a spread of about 30' and it hasn't even flowered yet. They guy that sold it to us said it would flower in 5 yrs, so we can't wait until spring.

  12. Can it stand a lot of water?

  13. Your pictures show that your seed pods are already brown - can the green pods be used? I can't get any seeds out of the brown pods, as they are all dried out.

  14. re: planting poinciana seeds you mention that you cut 1/2 of the tip of the seed. I am not sure I understand...which half?? Or how do you do it?