Microcycas in culture
The oldest and most famous is a group of microcycas grown in Fairchilde Tropical Garden in Florida.
Fertile seeds were obtained repeatedly by artificial pollination and were distributed to other botanic gardens and to private collections. Nevertheless, in 1991 the parental plants were destroyed by a lightning and since then, Microcycas is nearly inaccessible.
In the Czech Republic, there is a nice grown-up individual /male/ on display in the Liberec botanical garden. Microcycas is extremely rare in privat collections.
Mature seeds in a cone
The mature seeds are best cleaned from the outer layer and should be planted soon as they lose their viability relatively soon. The germination occures within weeks – the main root perforates the seed´s layer, pointing vertically into the soil, it divides in the proximal part after a time and the first leaf emerges. Soon appears a pair of horizontally growing roots which give the origin to the first corraloid roots.
A seed containing two embryos, both germinating.
Microcycas - bonsai
One year old seedlings
Three and five year old seedlings
The first leaf is usually some 10-15 cm long and has app. 20 leaflets, in the next season a new and a bit longer and stronger leaf appears. In the following years different, growing number of leaves appear in a single flush. The very first seedling leaf keeps alive for as much as 10 years.
The plants are best kept in relatively deep pots with a well-drained soil, optimally in a warm and sunny place.
Seedlings´ re-potting and transport
It is optimal to re-pot the plants before the vegetational period begins. The old leaves can be cut off and the evaporation diminished, contorted roots released and reduced with drying-up the cutting surfices. Thus, the plants are also in optimal shape for a transport. New roots´ growth appears within a month - see the 3rd picture, and after the roots are well established in the pot, new crown of leaves sprouts.
Sprouting re-potted plants
Seedlings with a flush of fresh leaves
Plants used to the open air conditions tolerate well a short temperature drop /2012 Autumn/.
First coning can take place after 16 years, but coning was even documented in 8-year-old plant.