Blackboy - Grass Tree propagation from seed

Vicki1655(NSW Aust)March 27, 2005


I have just been given 10 fresh Blackboy "Xanthorrhoea Preisii" seeds. I would like to propagate the seeds unfortunately I have no idea how to go about it. Any help would be greatly appreciated.



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danili(Vic Aust)

I hope you are patient. They can take 20 years to develop stems and longer to flower, that is why they are expensive. Propogation by seeds in a coarse free draining mix is fine in spring or autumn.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2005 at 10:13PM
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I've had a X quadrangulata flower after approx. 7 years from seed. That's not much longer than for many Banksias from seed, and much better than digging them out of the bush and subjecting them to a lingering death.
A little patience is very rewarding with Xanthorrhoea, go for it. They are not difficult with fresh seed and don't usually need any special treatment.
Also, try a search of the forum past posts. These chaps seem to be the subject of every tenth post or so...

    Bookmark   March 30, 2005 at 2:12AM
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Vicki1655(NSW Aust)

Thank you Danili & Kearnage,
I have heaps of patients when it comes to growing plants, I have all sorts of things growing from seeds that are long term. Mostly I do it just to see firstly if I can do it & then to watch them grow bit by bit & I enjoy getting to know the plant.

I can't believe the little that is written on the blackboys, I'm off to our local forestery commission to find out what info they have on them.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2005 at 5:13AM
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Jane_23(SE Qld Aust)

Fresh seed usually germinates within 12 months but it could take longer and, in this politically correct climate, they are now referred to as grasstrees or xanthorrhea not blackboys. :)

    Bookmark   March 31, 2005 at 5:36PM
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I am awaiting my seeds to arrive, desperate to get started on them but looking now into how to get those seeds growing into beautiful plants.

thanks for the tips given on here

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 2:29AM
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funnelweb(NSW Aust)

I agree with Jane, I have 2 xanthorrhoea's that send up spike of flowers every year - they've been in approx. 10 years. The flower spikes feed the lorrikeets and when the flowering is over I usually have to cut the spike off at the base and leave it lie on the garden by the plants. After a month or two the seedling spring up from the fallen stems and, well, I have to pull them up as I do weeds! (see photo),

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 4:53AM
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funnelweb(NSW Aust)

By the way, mine are seed grown and haven't yet put on stems below the leaves. Both have multiplied their heads and are not quite as attractive as when they had single stems - what they really need is a good fire through them. Alternatively cutting way back, but I reckon fire is better, it's more natural for them. Also, a purchased 'bush' collected specimen (anything up to $200 plus) by a licensed collector, can take up to 2 years to die: they can be transplanted but care needs to be taken to disturb the roots as little as possible.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 5:00AM
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There's quite a few different species of Xanthorrhoea (only one in the genus Kingia), and they come from all sorts of climates and conditions. Some don't ever form trunks, others get quite tall. I've seen large ones for sale in the thousands of dollars, but I reckon they're most likely dead now. Seeds and patience are the surest way to go.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2014 at 6:40PM
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