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Saw Palmetto: Its Features, Main Uses, and How to Grow It at Home

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What This Plant Actually Is

Saw palmetto is a common name, and it is widely used for one famous palm (Serenoa repens). These days, this ingredient is very popular when producing several herbal supplements. Consumers can buy its extract on its own as well. Some people still believe that this plant is nothing more than a tiny and inconspicuous palm, but they are wrong. Saw palmetto is native to North America, as this is where local inhabitants recognized its healing qualities. It is interesting that this plant can grow in different regions, so it is suitable for varying weather conditions and easy to maintain.

Interesting Characteristics

This plant grows quite slowly. It can reach up to six feet tall in its standard conditions. Its stems are stout, and saw palmetto may grow in different directions.

I am still quite interested in growing this palm at home, and one of my favorite choices is to cultivate the type called Cinerea. The key reason for its popularity is its silver foliage. This plant can offer a great decorative alternative. It makes sense to mention that saw palmetto is perfect for wildlife. I have the opportunity harvest its fruits from August to November. This palm is native to the Southeast, but it is possible to find it in some Northern regions. 

Growing Saw Palmetto Berries

When it comes to growing saw palmetto berries, it is always best to do that in a warm place. This is how I always do. These berries have a blue-black color, and they are famous for different nutritional and medical purposes both in the US and Europe. For instance, the honey that you can produce from saw palmetto is quite expensive. That’s why some people decide to make this endeavor their profitable business, and I can understand them.

The main drawback about growing this palm is that rattlesnakes can damage it fast and with ease. Another common issue that I had to face is all about its sharp stems. This means that you should be quite careful when touching these palms if you do not want to have injuries. I use special gloves to protect my hands.

Saw palmetto can come in a few forms. These plants range in colors, so you should choose the most suitable variety based on your personal tastes. One of my popular choices is an emerald green type, and it usually grows inland. These plants can serve as a great shrubby cover for the ground, and this is how they add a new texture beneath other trees. Saw palmetto is perfect for coastal gardening because of its salt tolerance. It is essential to choose the right place to grow this tree, as I agree that it is very hard to move saw palmetto later on. You should select the spot that can provide plants with enough room for growing. It should grow far from animals and kids, since its sharp stems may cut them. This palm likes a lot of sun, but it can grow in different light conditions. Gardeners should not forget that these plants are drought tolerant, so there is no need to water them very often. It is possible to buy saw palmetto from local nurseries. I prefer to plant it year-round. 

Important Growing Requirements

There are two possible ways to grow saw palmetto. You can either do it from a seed or try to transplant a young plant. The second option may not be suitable because this tree doesn’t transplant very well. I can say that most seeds usually take up to several years to establish, so you should not expect to harvest berries quite fast. You need to plant your small cuttings in special containers, and these must be big enough. The only thing that you should do is to water them, and then you can leave your palms alone. It is interesting that saw palmetto can live for a very long period of time. There are some trees that are several hundred years old. 

Different Uses

This amazing palm has a variety of uses. First, it is edible. Saw palmetto was a food source for many American Indian populations and Spanish conquerors. Presently, it provides nutrition for such animals as wild pigs and bears. They like eating berries, and bees often use the nectar of its flowers to make valuable honey. There are other interesting uses that you should know as well:

  • This type of palm is quite tolerant when it comes to extreme conditions, such as heat and drought. That’s why people use it for a wide range of decorative and landscape projects. I cut and use its fonts as these are great Christmas decorations, especially if they are silver-blue.
  • It is advisable to dry saw palmetto fruits and remove their seeds. After that you can make a special powder that has amazing nutritional qualities.
  • This plant has a high ecological value.
  • Saw palmetto can sustain fires, and this is what makes it resistant to any permanent damage. This feature is important for the re-growth of wild forests.

In summary, it is clear that saw palmetto has a number of amazing qualities that make it so popular nowadays. There are many people who decide to use its potential, so they start growing it at home for different decorative or other reasons. 

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