So on one of my many adventures to Costco (I make a trip at least weekly) while careening the cart through the produce section I noted stacks of California mejool dates. Having only tried them once or twice before, and with my healthier eating I opted to throw them in the cart.
I must say, if you’ve never tried a mejool date, pick some up and try them. They have a slightly chewy, sticky, sugary texture that kind of melts in your mouth. I only eat a couple a day due to the carbs, but they certainly make a delicious snack.
When you bite into the you have to be careful because each date has a seed in the middle and if you’re not careful your teeth will quickly remind you of this fact! So after eating the first couple I thought to myself “I wonder if these will germinate?”. Having germinated thousands of other palms, I figured I’d give it a shot.
So the mejool date is the fruit from the true date palm, Phoenix dactylifera. There are many other types of Phoenix palms that produce their own fruit, but this palm is the only one commercially used for food production. To be honest, I’m not even sure if the fruit from other types are edible.
To germinate my store bought dates seeds, I followed what I do for all my palms seeds. First they are cleaned to remove all fruit residue, then the seed is soaked in warm (not hot) water for several days, changing the water daily. After about a week of this I simply left the mejool date seeds in the same container but covered to keep the humidity up. Every couple days I’d pop the lid to give the seeds a breath of fresh air, check for germination and then maybe another soaking of water. After a couple weeks the first sign of germination from the seeds appeared, with the radicles popping out the sides. These were then removed from the container and placed in some tubes I use for growing my seedlings.
So to answer the original question, yes, you can germinate seeds from store bought dates and grow then into your own palm tree!