Life of the oil palm
5. The oil palm may have a very long life.
It is important to know about the life of the oil palm. If you
know all about the life of the oil palm, you will understand better how to
If you do not take care of the seeds, they will germinate only
after several years.
At the research stations, the seeds are kept in a room where it
is always very hot.
This makes the seeds germinate sooner, after 90 to 100 days.
6. Each seed germinated is planted in a small plastic container.
A new leaf grows every month.
The young seedling stays in the container for 4 to 5 months.
When you see a left with two points (bifid leaf) coming up,
transplant the seedling out into the nursery.
7. The seedling stays in the nursery for 1 year. When it has
about 15 green leaves, it is planted in the palm grove.
The seedling is therefore 16 to 18 months old when it is ready
to be planted in the palm grove.
Seedling with bifid leaf
Spikes of male flowers
8. When the young oil palm has been planted in the palm grove,
it produces male flowers.
The flowers form at the base of each leaf.
months, the oil palm produces only male flowers.
After that, for several
months, it produces only female flowers.
The male flowers are grouped in
spikes. The female flowers form other spikes. The male flowers fertilize the
female flowers. Fertilized female flowers turn into a cluster of fruit.
Produces male flowers
9. The oil palm has no branches.
It has a trunk and leaves. The trunk, sometimes called a stipe,
is the stem of the palm.
At the tip of the stem there is one bud - one only:
This is the growing point, which makes the oil palm live and grow.
growing point dies, the tree dies as well.
The growing point of the adult oil
palm produces 20 to 25 leaves every year.
It is most important that the
growing point should produce many leaves, because there will be a flower at the
base of each leaf.
If there are many leaves, there will be many flowers. And if
there are many flowers, there will be many clusters of fruit.
The oil palm grows well and produces a lot in regions where it
is very hot, where the sun is very strong, and where it rains a great