How to coconut tree
Coconut Tree Tips: Growing A Coconut Palm
Table of Contents
It’s safe to say you’ve probably heard of coconut coir, and you’ve enjoyed the delectable dried and sugared shavings of coconut. But have you ever considered growing a coconut tree yourself? Not only can you harvest the delicious flesh of a tropical coconut in the right climate, but you can also use the fibrous fruit coat in soil mixes too.
So much can be done with coconuts and the coconut palm that it might as well be the signature feature of the tropics. The coconut fruit is commonly used in cooking, and mature coconuts contain hydrating coconut water. But there’s so much mystery surrounding coconut cultivation. That’s pretty incredible when you consider coconut fruits are the most widely used nut in the world.
You may think, “I can’t grow coconut palm. I live in Maine.” But that’s not exactly true! And what’s more, is you may not need as much space to grow a coconut palm tree in northern USDA zones as you would in the tropics. How is this possible? Read on, and let’s explore the wondrous Cocos nucifera.
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- PyGanic Botanical Insecticide
Quick Care GuideThe coconut tree is a lovely tropical palm. Source: zbigphotography
|Common Name(s)||Coco, coconut, coconut palm|
|Scientific Name||Cocos nucifera|
|Days to Harvest||At least 6 years|
|Water||1 inch per week|
|Soil||Loamy, sandy, well-drained soil|
|Fertilizer||High nitrogen granular, every 3-4 months|
|Pests||Mealybugs, coconut scale|
All About The Coconut TreeCoconut fronds are quite pretty, but may have sharp edges on leaf blades. Source: fossiled
The scientific name of coconut palms is Cocos nucifera, known commonly as coconut, coconut palm, and the succinct coco. It was first cultivated by Austronesian people in the neolithic era about 12,000 years ago. Austronesia encompasses a wide array of peoples and places in the Pacific Islands, all the way to Madagascar. It was in these vastly different cultures coconut was central to the way of life there, and still is in many regions.
Coconut palms are very large in their natural environment, growing up to 100 feet tall. Like other palms, the pinnate leaves break away from a central smooth trunk as the coco grows. In the right conditions, coconut palms produce fruit in the first 6 to 10 years of their lives. Although the fruit is considered a nut, it’s a drupe or stone fruit. Coconut palm cocos are closer in likeness to peaches or plums than they are to pecans.
In 15 to 20 years, healthy coconut palms reach peak production and produce up to 50 fruits annually. The fruits are multilayered and are either extracted from the top of the plant or collected after they fall to the earth. Some fall into the ocean and disperse significant distances. Coconut palms have shallow fibrous roots that thrive in moist, sandy soils. They produce male and female flowers on the same inflorescence throughout their lives and self-pollinate. The flowers are yellow and puffy, surrounding young fruit yet to ripen.
Coconut is the most important commercial nut crop in the world. Not only do people across the world center their lives around coconut palms, but the economies of coconut-producing countries benefit greatly from coconut production.
People in tropical environments are primed to grow a coconut palm, but those in other regions can enjoy coconut as well in controlled environments. In areas where it’s way too cold, coconut palm can stand in the home as a lovely palmate houseplant. Container-grown palms may not produce fruit, but they are still unique and vibrant plants you can enjoy!
Types of Coconut
Although a common coconut palm can get up to 100 feet tall, there are different varieties out there that reach lesser heights. Dwarf varieties grow anywhere from 16 to 30 feet tall. Semi-dwarf coconut palms reach the higher of the dwarf heights. Standard palms are those we’ve discussed in the previous section.
One standard, fast-growing variety called Jamaican Tall has a crooked, wide trunk and is well adapted to the tropical environment of South Florida. Another variety, called Malayan Dwarf, is slower-growing but doesn’t get as tall. This palm produces three different flower and fruit cultivars that come in green, gold, or yellow.
Recently work has been done to breed coconut palm trees to encourage resistance to the disease, lethal yellowing (LY). Malayan Dwarf has shown significant resistance to LY, making it a great dwarf variety for people in tropical areas of North America. Another of the dwarf cultivars with resistance to LY is Fiji Dwarf, which is best grown in isolation from other palms in Latin America.
Maypan coco palm is a hybrid of a tall variety of coco that was cultivated in Jamaica to combat LY. The young coco on this palm is green, and the trunk is slightly crooked. It’s also suited to cooler areas on the Atlantic coasts of Florida. People in colder areas of the world grow almost any variety indoors for ornamental purposes too. Growth stunts here, making it easy to contain what would be a massive plant in its native region.
PlantingNursery-raised coconut seedlings emerge from their seed husks. Source: tmmtx76
The best time to plant coconut palm (Cocos nucifera) is in the warm, wet summer months. However, coco transplants are alright at any time of year. Transplant young palm coco in 12 inches of soil. If you’re planting in the ground, know that coco palm is native to the Pacific Coast, South America, and other countries with tropical climates. Do not plant coco outdoors unless you live in a place where annual rainfall is about 60 inches annually, and relative humidity is 70 to 80%. Otherwise, cultivate them in a greenhouse.
Coastal areas are great for these plants, and cold weather should be avoided at all costs. Likewise, even tall cultivars don’t do well in intense winds. Shelter them from these elements. Since the root system is shallow, plant your tree in sandy, loamy, well-drained soil and allow it to root. They’ll take off pretty quickly with the right conditions. For in-ground plants, prepare a hole that is 2 to 3 feet wide, and 1 to 3 feet deep.
Coco palm roots should be planted just an inch or two below the soil surface. For container-grown coco, a pot that is 3 gallons in volume and at least 12 inches deep is best. For those grown in the earth in coastal areas where the climate conditions and ocean currents are right, construct beds that are multiple feet high and wide, which promotes the drainage away from the roots. Coco roots are sensitive to rot in low-lying areas. Space in-ground coconuts at least 100 feet apart to prevent overcrowding.
CareSprouts emerge from the “eyes” of the inner coconut shell. Source: tree-species
Let’s discuss all the necessities related to growing coconuts. Care for them properly, and you’ll have that lovely fresh coconut meat when your palms are at optimal production.
Sun and Temperature
Because coconut palm (Cocos nucifera) thrives in the tropics, it needs full direct sun for at least 6 hours per day. Coco has a relatively small hardiness area – zones 10 through 12 – making coconuts a common occurrence today in South Florida, and for a long time for Caribbean native inhabitants. These zones are the only ones in USDA purview that have adequate amounts of heat.
Coconut palms are extremely sensitive to cold. They take on damage at 40 degrees Fahrenheit. At continuous temperatures of 30 degrees, coconut palms will surely die. That’s why it’s so important to ensure your coconuts have the right temperature conditions. As long as humidity is at least 70%, coconuts can take quite a bit of heat. Dry heat is not good for them, though. If proper humidity is not present, fruit drop can occur.
Water and Humidity
Water your coconut palms in the morning around the base of the trunk until the top two inches of soil is adequately moist. It’s hard to overwater a coconut palm, but note they do not like to be flooded. Give your plant in a container or the ground at least one inch of water per week. As long as your soil type is right, and good drainage is present, you can water in any format. In areas where palms are grown commercially, for their coconut meat, they are watered by drip irrigation with liters at a time every few days. In drier areas, water more frequently.
The only time to pull back on watering your coco is when there is a significant amount of rain and humidity in the summer.
Coconuts subsist in sandy soil or rocky ground that is loamy. Well-draining soil is a must. They can subsist in poor soil, but they won’t produce as many delicious coconuts in those conditions. They have a wide pH range for growing, from acidic (5) to slightly alkaline (8). If you’re planting a whole coconut palm in a container, give it a good palm soil mix. This will have the right balance of planting media needed to grow them. If you want to make your own palm soil, combine 2 parts potting soil, 2 parts manure or compost, and 1 part sand. This also works as a preparation for planting these palm shade trees in the ground.
Ripe coconuts require regular fertilizer. Palms enjoy a wide array of macro and micronutrients, and thankfully there are several “palm special” fertilizers out there. These contain an NPK of 8-2-12, with added magnesium, boron, and other micronutrients. They also come in a slow-release pellet form. Spread this under the canopy, at a ratio of 1.5lbs per 100 square feet of canopy. Of course, this will be greatly reduced for container growing, at under a cup per container. Apply this fertilizer every one to three months when the weather remains dry for at least 24 hours.
Coconut palms are not deciduous, and only drop leaves as a part of their normal cycles. Therefore, they are green most of the year, barring improper nutrients or growing conditions. They don’t need pruning but benefit from the removal of old yellowing leaves once per year. In the taller varieties of South Florida, people climb ladders to remove old fronds. Early Polynesian voyagers pruned them by tying a sash tightly around their ankles which helped them compress their feet around the trunk to climb it. This method is not recommended for those who don’t have experience.
The only propagation mode is seed. When the coconuts themselves make a sloshing sound, the seed can be planted. Place it on its side with the three eyes angled very slightly upward, and bury it with sand to about half the thickness of the hard shell of coconut. Maintain high humidity and temperatures between 90 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit, in full sunlight. Germination will occur, and at 6 months young palms can be transplanted.
Harvesting and StoringInside the coconut husk is an inner shell that contains the meat and water. Source: avinashbhat
This is probably the coolest part about a coco plant: getting to that sweet sweet solid endosperm that is coconut meat. There are so many more uses for coco than that though.
Once a coco plant is at full maturity and begins to produce fruit, harvest mature fruit right away or up to 12 months after first maturity. A plant grown for coco water or coconut milk should be harvested at most 7 months after maturity. Green coconuts (immature coconuts) can be harvested when they reach the desired size. Those harvested for coconut flesh need to be fully ripe before they can be harvested. You’ll know a coco is mature when the water-filled nut emits a slosh when rocked.
As mentioned above, harvest coconuts with a large sharp knife on a ladder for taller plants. You can also use a knife attached to a long pole if climbing up isn’t your style. Cut at the base of the stalk of the lowest nuts, and let them drop below. Or put them in a basket or other receptacle. There are some different ways to process products depending on the coconut products you’d like to use. Trim young coconuts with a sharp knife to enjoy their fruit and water. For fully mature nuts, trim the husk with a very sharp knife. Use a knife to dig into the vulnerable eye for coco meat, water, and generally the inside of the coconut.
From here, separate the husk and process it into coconut coir for gardening, rope, or matting. Alternately, crack open the nuts, and dry them in the oven for 10 minutes at 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Then blend the meat in filtered water, and strain the flesh from the liquid. Heat the resulting liquid in a pan on low for 1 to 2 hours. Remove the remaining solids and strain coconut oil into an airtight container. Store the coconut oil in the refrigerator for up to five years.
Fresh coco meat lasts for 2 to 3 weeks in the refrigerator. Opened and processed, they’ll keep in the fridge for 1 week. Roasted, shredded coconut lasts for 2 to 3 months in the refrigerator. In each of these states, they’ll keep in the freezer for up to 8 months.
TroubleshootingCoconuts hang heavy on this loaded tree. Source: J Fortune
Although coconut is a pretty laid-back plant, it does need some attention in non-native regions (for instance, in the US, outside of South Florida). There are a few things you’ll commonly come into contact with, so let’s cover those.
One of the main issues coco growers deal with is nutrient deficiencies. These present in the form of yellowing leaves, and blossom or fruit drop. Simply add palm fertilizer in the case of nutrient deficiency. Consult the Fertilizer heading above to determine what type to use.
If it’s too cold, coco takes on damage, or at worst, dies. Keep it in humid, hot, direct sunlight. If it’s not humid enough, growth will slow on your plant. If you live somewhere a coco wouldn’t get enough light from the surrounding environment, give the palm a grow light.
Coco doesn’t appreciate flooding for long. If your plant experiences flooding for more than a few days, it could experience root rot. Add sand to the soil or transplant it if the area you planted it in is prone to flooding.
There are quite a few coco pests to look out for. Here, we’ll cover just two prominent pests. Mealybugs look like small cotton-ball insects that excrete a sweet liquid called honey dew on coco fronts and fruit. On smaller trees, wipe them away with a clean cloth soaked in rubbing alcohol. On larger trees, apply spray insecticidal soap or neem oil every 7 to 10 days. Pyrethrin is a good option for larger infestations.
Coconut scale looks like a white scaly fungus, but is actually flattened insects that congregate on all parts of coco plants. These insects suck sap from the parts of the plant where they exist. Damaged parts of the plant can be removed to prevent spread, and the rubbing alcohol trick works well for small area issues as well. In larger infestations, horticultural oil, neem oil, or azadirachtin sprays can be applied once every 7 to 10 days.
Leafhoppers are common to find on coconut, but usually don’t do lasting damage to the tree themselves. Unfortunately, they can be a vector for diseases, which we’ll go into in just a moment. Neem oil, insecticidal soap, or pyrethrin are effective treatment measures for leafhopper pests.
Lethal yellowing (LY) is one of the most prominent diseases coco plants experience. Leaves drop from the fronds, fruits drop, and flowers drop too when LY is present. In the late stages of this phytoplasmic disease transferred by leaf hoppers, the entire crown turns yellow. The only way to prevent LY is to plant varieties that are naturally resistant. In extreme cases, antibiotics can be administered, but often this proves unsuccessful. In this case, remove the entire plant and dispose of it in the trash.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the difference between a coconut tree and a palm tree?
A: Coco is in the palm family, but produces the delectable nut that so many people love.
Q: Where do coconut trees grow?
A: Coconut trees grow in sunny, hot coastal climates.
Q: Can I grow a coconut tree?
A: Absolutely! With the right know-how, you’ll be able to at least grow a lovely houseplant. In the right conditions, you can enjoy coconuts after many years.
How to Grow a Coconut Palm
Coconut palms are a symbol of the tropics, and knowing how to grow them can be a lot of fun! They bring a breezy, beachy feeling to the scenery, and of course, the delicious coconuts they produce are well worth the effort of growing them. Who could say no to piña coladas and coconut shrimp made with fresh coconuts straight off the tree from your yard?
How Fast Do Coconut Palms Grow In Florida?
When people first consider learning how to grow coconut palms, their first question usually revolves around the wait time for growth. While it does require some patience before your coconut palm starts producing fruit, they do grow faster than your typical tree! When grown from seed, you can expect your coconut palm to start producing fruit in 6–10 years, but it won’t reach peak production until about 15–20 years after planting.
How to Germinate Coconut
If you’ve got a fresh coconut, you can germinate it! This is definitely the most inexpensive method for how to grow a coconut palm. Your coconut should still have the husk on it, and when you shake it, you should be able to hear the water splashing around inside. Follow these steps to get your coconut ready to be planted:
- Soak the coconut in water for three days.
- Fill a 12-inch container with a well-draining potting soil that has some extra vermiculite or sand mixed in.
- Plant your coconut with the pointy side down, and the top ⅓ of your coconut should remain uncovered.
- Place the container in a spot that’s warm and well-lit—at least 70°F.
- Water frequently, but don’t let the soil get soggy and waterlogged. It’s much easier to avoid soggy soil—if you follow step 2 and make sure the soil is extra sandy and fast-draining!
Planting a Coconut Tree
If you’d like to keep your palm tree as a container plant, it will only live for about 5–6 years, and likely won’t produce fruit. However, if you want to know how to grow a coconut tree in the landscape, it’s quite simple! You can transplant your potted coconut tree into the ground—you’ll just need to make sure you’ve sufficiently prepared the soil. In Florida, you don’t have to wait for a specific season for optimal planting—you can plant them whenever!
Find an area with lots of sun and loose, sandy soil, and dig a hole that will allow you to transplant your small tree at the same depth as the pot. Don’t pile up any soil around the trunk! Use a granular 2-1-1 fertilizer when first planting your tree outside—it helps to reduce transplant shock and stimulate root growth. There are also formulas tailored specifically for coconut palms that you can use.
Care Requirements After Planting Your Coconut Tree
Particularly during those first few months after planting, you should water your coconut palm generously and consistently! This will help the roots to establish. A soaker hose is an easy way to irrigate the soil around your tree—it releases a slower, controlled amount, so you won’t end up wasting extra water.
One of the most important parts of learning how to grow coconut trees is knowing how to keep them well-fed! These plants are heavy feeders, so you’ll need to use lots of fertilizer, or else they’ll start showing signs of nutrient deficiency. Use a fertilizer formula that’s fortified with extra nutrients like manganese, boron, and magnesium.
The best way to fertilize young coconut palms is with a foliar fertilizer, because it delivers those nutrients straight to the leaves, so they grow lush and green! Use one that includes a wetting agent, so it’s able to soak through the waxy leaves. Apply every 1–2 months for the first year after planting, on a dry day that isn’t windy. After that first year, you can switch to a granulated 2-1-1 formula. You’ll only need to apply it every 3–4 months at this point.
If there’s an unexpected cold spell headed your way, you might want to consider wrapping your young tree in some canvas or tree wrap to protect it overnight, as they are very sensitive to cold. Cold weather isn’t a common occurrence here in South Florida, but it’s always good to be prepared just in case!
Now that you know how to grow coconut palms, you’re probably eager to get started! We’ve got all the fertilizers, soil amendments, and other equipment you’ll need to plant a healthy, gorgeous tree. We’ve also got some starter coconut palms for sale if you want to skip the germination stage! Visit us soon to see all the amazing plants we have in store for summer 2021.
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All about plants
- Message from GeoGlass
All about the plant
This palm tree is the only representative of the Coconut genus. The name comes from the Portuguese word "coco" - a monkey, because on the nut that the tree brings, there are three spots arranged so that their pattern resembles the muzzle of these animals.
The phrase coconut palm brings to mind a tall tree with huge leaves swaying under the sea breeze in hot tropical countries. And few people know that it can be successfully cultivated as a houseplant. A house palm tree can be grown from a nut, but since this is a very long process, flower growers believe that it is better to buy a coconut tree in a store.
Coconut Tree Care
Air: The palm tree needs fresh air, so the room where it is located must be regularly ventilated. In addition, for the coconut palm, you need to keep the air in the room moist. To solve this problem, you can install a special humidifier or micro-sprinkler.
Lighting: Coconut trees need a place with plenty of light. Therefore, the best location for her will be the southern window sill. But, while the palm tree is young, it must be protected from the direct midday rays of the sun, so at this time the tree needs to be slightly shaded. When the palm tree grows up and gets stronger, the hot rays will no longer be afraid of it. In the dark season, when the daylight hours are short, it is necessary to use plant lighting.
Every 2 weeks the tree pot will need to be turned. If this is not done, then the light will fall only on one side of the palm tree. This is fraught with the fact that the trunk will lean towards the light, and the crown will form asymmetrically.
Temperature: It is important that the tree does not suffer from the cold either. The coconut tree likes a fairly high temperature. The optimal mode is + 23-28 ° C. If the temperature drops to +16°C, the tree will stop growing. A palm tree can withstand a short drop to 0 ° C, but, definitely, sub-zero temperatures will destroy it.
Watering: The palm should not be overdried or overwatered. From the beginning of the autumn season until spring, water the plant as the soil in the pot dries out. Use only soft, settled water at room temperature.
The palm tree does not need frequent top dressing, but without them the bottom can lose its decorative appearance. Feeding can be done in one of two ways.
- Place granular fertilizer into the soil substrate in spring. They will dissolve throughout the year, gradually giving nutrients to the soil.
- From April to August, once every three weeks, you need to feed the tree with a special solution for palm trees.
Handling of the palm tree
It is important to protect the part of the coconut that is above the soil of the pot from rotting. Make sure that it does not get water from watering or spraying.
It is not necessary to specially shape the crown and trim the castings of the palm tree. You should not even remove the yellowing and drying leaves, because the plant takes nutrients from there until they are completely dry. Only such leaves can be removed from the tree.
The palm is propagated in two ways - from nuts and shoots. Since only an adult palm tree gives daughter shoots, at home the main method, and, as a rule, the only method of reproduction is seed.
Of course, the nut must be intact, as only filled with liquid can germinate. If such a nut is shaken, you will hear how coconut water splashes inside. One "but" - the nuts that are sold in the store are not suitable for planting.
Inhabitants of the tropics call the palm "the tree of life". The fact is that people use almost all parts of this tree. Broad leaves and long trunks are used for construction, the famous coconuts are used for food.
Where to buy coconut?
Coconut palm can be bought and ordered in our online store with delivery in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Krasnodar.
Real coconut palms are one of the most capricious. Care at home. Photo - Botanichka
Real coconut palms, surprising in nature with gigantic size and a generous harvest of giant nuts, are considered not the most suitable plants for indoor cultivation. But, nevertheless, homemade coconut trees can be found in almost every flower shop, and many hobbyists even grow their own coconut trees from purchased nuts. Whichever way you get the coconut palm, you should prepare for trouble: despite its beauty, it is one of the most difficult (if not the most difficult) palm trees to grow. And only experienced and very attentive flower growers can save it, and even then only for a few years. Care for her will require not just regular, but super-careful.Home-sprouted coconut palm. © PalmTreeDude
Home version of the coconut
There are so many palm trees named coconut on the market today that even experienced growers can get confused. Consultants often tout Weddel coconuts, and other types of palm trees, as an indoor version of the coconut that is compact, beautiful, and hardy. But such pinnate and fan beauties have almost nothing to do with coconut palms. Most often, under the guise of coconuts, we sell lithocarias ( Lytocaryum ) (Weddel's coconut ( Lytocaryum weddellianum ) and other species of the genus) and butia ( Butia ), whose name is still found as a synonym for coconut. They are also not easy to grow palm trees, but they are very far from genuine coconut. Only one type of palm belongs to the genus Cocos - Cocos nucifera . It is simply impossible to confuse this palm tree with any other.
Coconut palm ( Cocos nucifera ) is not only a tropical palm, but also usually found only in coastal areas. Nut-bearing coconuts are classified as feathery palms and are quite large in size. In room conditions and even greenhouses, coconuts can grow up to only 3 meters. But since it is very difficult to keep a palm tree until adulthood, coconuts are limited to much more modest parameters. Considered a fast-growing palm, the coconut develops as a slender, bushy plant with a tall trunk and an asymmetrical crown-top of broad and unevenly pinnate leaves, the number of which in an adult palm can reach up to 35 wai.
The trunk is formed and "stretched" gradually, it has vertical cracks and rings from falling leaves, the expansion at the base is small. The slope of the trunk is determined by the growth of the walnut, it is more or less pronounced. The leaves of the coconut palm change with age. Young they are almost whole, but gradually the cuts on the leaf plates become deeper, and the wide leaves turn into pinnate and long. In indoor coconuts, the leaves are often divided into just a couple of segments. In the coconut palm, the leaf plates and their lobes, like the petioles, are very rigid. The length of the leaves is up to 2 - 3 meters. Flowering of nut-bearing coconut is impossible not only in room conditions, but also in greenhouse conditions.
Coconut palms look very attractive: the contrast between a half-buried nut, from which rises at first a slender and small, and then more and more graceful and interesting palm tree, adds to its decorative effect. Palm nuts are lost at such a significant age that it is almost impossible to wait for this in a room culture.
Coconut palm care at home
It is believed that indoor coconuts can "last" - even with very good selection of conditions and the most careful care - only 2-3 years. This palm is indeed very difficult to grow and is more likely to be planted for experimentation or if you want to test your skills. As a stable ornamental palm tree, it would be a very big mistake to buy coconut nut. Firstly, because of the sun-loving nature, it cannot be placed in the interior. And, secondly, the risk of loss is always higher than the probability of success. But if you want to try, get ready for relentless care.Growing coconut palm at home in the form of bonsai. © Coco Bonsai
Lighting for the Coconut Tree
The need to provide the coconut tree with very bright light throughout the year is one of the main difficulties in growing this plant. Nut-bearing coconut is not just a photophilous plant. It needs long daylight hours all year round. And the only lighting option that will suit this palm tree will be a sunny place on the southern windowsill or places with artificial lighting. In winter, lighting is welcome anywhere.
Comfortable temperature conditions
This is one of the most heat-loving palm trees, for which the minimum allowable temperatures are limited by the value of short-term drops to 16-17 degrees Celsius. Throughout the year, the coconut tree will prefer the heat over the subdued temperatures. In summer, coconut feels best at a temperature of 23 degrees Celsius, but if the indicators remain above 21 degrees, then there should be no difficulties with the selection of premises.
The coconut tree will need constant access to fresh air, regular ventilation. But it will not be so easy to carry them out with the dislike of palm trees for drafts and sudden changes in the environment.
Coconut Tree Watering and Air Humidity
To keep your coconut tree healthy, you will need to keep the substrate moist. Even a single drying of an earthen coma, and even more so the lack of stable watering or prolonged drying, can lead to the rapid death of a palm tree. The soil for coconut nut must always remain moist. Allow only a few inches of soil to dry out between waterings. Coconut is afraid of excessive watering and dampness, so for this crop it will be necessary to constantly control the degree of drying of the substrate. The approximate frequency of watering is about 3 times a week in summer and once a week in winter. In summer, abundant watering can be carried out, and from autumn to spring, less water is used.
But if difficulties with watering are well known to everyone who grows exotics and various beautiful flowering beauties, and they are almost standard for any demanding plant, then the coconut palm will surprise anyone with its intolerance to dry air. This species needs very high humidity levels - from 70% and not lower. Even a slight decrease in these values leads to a loss of decorativeness. And we are talking not only about the dry tips of the leaves of the coconut palm, but the fronds themselves gradually dry out and disappear. And the lower the humidity, the faster the palm tree dies. To create optimal conditions only by spraying, you will have to carry out these procedures not only in the morning and evening, but also up to 5-6 times a day. For a coconut palm, it is better to install large pallets with wet gravel, moss or expanded clay, and even better - to maintain air humidity with special humidifiers.
Both spraying and irrigating coconut palms can only use settled, soft and warm water.Coconut growing at home. © Coco Bonsai
Nut Coconut Nutrition
The coconut tree needs very specific nutrition. For this plant, it is best not to use fertilizers for ornamental foliage plants or special preparations for palms, but mixtures of fertilizers for bonsai or citrus fruits. Top dressing is applied only during the period of active development with a frequency of 1 time in 2 weeks in summer and 1 time per month in winter (reducing the dose of fertilizers by 2 times). You can refuse winter dressings of the coconut palm, but then the risk of losing decorativeness increases. You can carry out top dressing according to the principle of garden plants: apply fertilizer at the beginning of spring growth, then 2-3 times in summer, and carry out the last top dressing in mid-autumn. But in this case, highly concentrated fertilizers are used, which increases the risk of death.
The coconut tree is not shaped, but it still needs periodic cleaning. Dried or damaged leaves are cut off from the plant. But at the same time, you need to be careful: you can only cut completely dry fronds, but only slightly changed color and even half-dry sheets should not be touched.
Transplanting coir and substrate
Coconut does not need frequent repotting. She is afraid of injury to the roots and reacts painfully to changing containers. If you buy an imported palm tree, then it is better to transplant it next spring into a new container (in no case before the end of the period of full adaptation to room conditions and quarantine). But the optimal frequency of transplants is 1 time in 2 years for compact and nut-preserving palm trees, and only as needed, once every 4-6 years for adults. In years when transplantation is not carried out, the top layer of the substrate must be replaced.
The substrate for the cultivation of coconut nut is selected from among fibrous, coarse, but very permeable earth mixtures. Suitable ready-made substrates for palm trees. If you are preparing the soil mixture yourself, mix sand, peat, soddy soil, clay, humus and expanded clay or agroperlite in equal parts. A mixture of soddy soil with heather and sand in equal proportions is also suitable.
Coconut palms are not transplanted, but transshipped, trying to avoid even the slightest contact with the roots. You need to be especially careful when taking out the plant: any injury to the taproot, even as a result of a difficult excavation from the previous container, will be fatal. When transplanting a coconut, make sure that the nut is not completely covered: for a palm tree, the same level of deepening is observed that was in the previous container - about half the nut. But a higher planting is not as dangerous as overfilling the nut with the substrate. If a palm tree has dropped a nut, we are talking about a very old plant, then the level of deepening is still kept the same. A very high layer of drainage is laid at the bottom of the containers.
Coconut palm containers are usually taken quite large, increasing their diameter not by 2-3 cm, but by 4-6 cm, in order to eliminate the need for frequent replanting even at a young age.Planting a coconut in a sprouting pot. © Z4Devil Coconut sprouting. © Z4Devil A sprouted coconut has opened its first leaves. © Z4Devil
Diseases and Pests of the Coconut Palm
In room conditions, two main "enemies" annoy coconut palms - mealybugs and various types of rot. But there are scale insects and spider mites on the palm tree, which are especially active in violation of care in terms of air humidification.
Common growing problems:
- drying tips and leaves due to improper watering or feeding;
- leaf curl during overflow or drought;
- slow growth and lack of new leaves due to improper feeding or need to repot;
- darkening and wilting of leaves in cold weather.
Coconut Palm Propagation
This is one of the most difficult palm trees to propagate and can only be obtained from seeds. But that hasn't stopped many from trying to grow their own coconut tree.
Only mature, ripe and fresh coconuts are used for cultivation.