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The-ZonePusher

Updates on coconut palms in california?

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The-ZonePusher

I couldn't find any recent updates using the search function. Anyway I heard the NewPort Beach coco is doing great, but thats about it. I'll post my update later.

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bgl

Ryan,

Welcome to PalmTalk! And just for the benefit of everyone else - we had another "California coconut" thread very recently. That thread unfortunately had to be deleted after a number of Forum members found it necessary to make inappropriate, sarcastic and off-topic remarks. Any similar responses in this thread will be dealt with promptly, so stay on topic! Please!

Aloha! :)

Bo-Göran

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trioderob

zone pusher-

I was the one who started the other califonia coconut thread.

my hope was to obtain the approx number of large coconut palms which are now growing in california.

I really did not know if there were 3 or 30 or even more.

the thread fell apart when a number of the members felt that it was their duty to belittle me,

on the premise that the subject had no merit, therefore it was silly for me to have even posted it here.

I hope that this thread can stay on subject as I am very interested to know how many cocos are out there

besides the famous one in Newport.

the little I can add myself, is that I did see one of approx 10 foot total height growing in a mans home right

at the coast in oceanside.

he had it planted right up against the wall of his house and had a tarp over it to keep the

winter rain off the roots.

it looked like it was doing quite well.

Edited by trioderob
  • Upvote 1

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buccaneers37

The thread is back, good. I will re-ask my question & maybe get it answered. I just assumed (yes, I know what it means)that California, with 10a & b zones would be fine for coconuts and there would be thousands there like in Florida. Why wouldn't that be the case?

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trioderob

The thread is back, good. I will re-ask my question & maybe get it answered. I just assumed (yes, I know what it means)that California, with 10a & b zones would be fine for coconuts and there would be thousands there like in Florida. Why wouldn't that be the case?

the winters in california are the wet season unlike almost anywhere else.

its a mediterranean climate which is very rare on the planet, only a very small % of the land mass of earth has

this type of weather.

we get all our rain in jan-march and almost no rain at all in the heat of the summer.

its the rain in winter that kills the coco out here, the roots dont like being cold and wet.

Edited by trioderob

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pogobob

Ryan,

Welcome to PalmTalk! And just for the benefit of everyone else - we had another "California coconut" thread very recently. That thread unfortunately had to be deleted after a number of Forum members found it necessary to make inappropriate, sarcastic and off-topic remarks. Any similar responses in this thread will be dealt with promptly, so stay on topic! Please!

Aloha! :)

Bo-Göran

Sorry if my comments were of the sarcastic variety, but this topic is so repetitive and has been discussed, annalized, and answered since the first time palm trees not native to California(which is all but Washingtonia), It would seem common knowledge by now that it is just not warm enouph here to sustain vigorous avtive growth for cocos. The combination of long cool yearly average temperatures, cool wet winters, dreary overcast spring,summer and fall, cold soil. So contrary to popular city of commerce, Disneyland propaganda, and real estate brochures, the reality is...California is a warm temperate climate zone, not even remotely, subtropic, except for a day or two a month.

But I suppose new people always come along who are going to try and grow a coco and ask the same stuff so maybe I hope this helps :) Plant it on the southside of your house, line the wall with mirrors, install electic heating cables in the ground 20ft wide and deep, cover the soil in black rocks, install stadium heatlamps, and water only with 90 degree water. :) Happy Growing

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trioderob

its true.

the weather here is horrible.

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pogobob

its true.

the weather here is horrible.

Its not horrible, it is very nice for human comfort and we can grow more varieties of plants than almost anywhere else on earth, just not coconuts :D

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SoTropiCal Ben

Hi guys, I'm mostly a reader but I had to put my 2 cents. I agree, just like Wodyetias, Cocos Nucifera do not like cold, wet soil. They'll just rot. BUT if there is a way to get around that... Is there???

This subject, to me, is still worth talking about since this is still a 'flag-ship' palm for the palm as well as tropical plant cause... :winkie:

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happ

Ryan,

Welcome to PalmTalk! And just for the benefit of everyone else - we had another "California coconut" thread very recently. That thread unfortunately had to be deleted after a number of Forum members found it necessary to make inappropriate, sarcastic and off-topic remarks. Any similar responses in this thread will be dealt with promptly, so stay on topic! Please!

Aloha! :)

Bo-Göran

Sorry if my comments were of the sarcastic variety, but this topic is so repetitive and has been discussed, annalized, and answered since the first time palm trees not native to California(which is all but Washingtonia), It would seem common knowledge by now that it is just not warm enouph here to sustain vigorous avtive growth for cocos. The combination of long cool yearly average temperatures, cool wet winters, dreary overcast spring,summer and fall, cold soil. So contrary to popular city of commerce, Disneyland propaganda, and real estate brochures, the reality is...California is a warm temperate climate zone, not even remotely, subtropic, except for a day or two a month.

But I suppose new people always come along who are going to try and grow a coco and ask the same stuff so maybe I hope this helps :) Plant it on the southside of your house, line the wall with mirrors, install electic heating cables in the ground 20ft wide and deep, cover the soil in black rocks, install stadium heatlamps, and water only with 90 degree water. :) Happy Growing

You might be a bit more accurate if you qualified your description of the "California" climate to the narrow coastal strip such as San Clemente. It's like someone from San Francisco characterizing California as overcast and cool all year.

I think, however that the likelihood of a coconut thriving anywhere in California is low. There's plenty of heat inland and the low desert is as warm in winter\ spring & autumn as central Florida. But summers are intensely hot and relative humidity can often be extremely low anytime of the year. Also winter night temps can reach freezing levels on occasion. If Palm Springs and Phoenix can not successfully grow coconuts than coastal areas are even less likely due to other factors. Even in the areas where winter minimums remain well above freezing and frost is non-existent the number of nights in the 40's works against tropical palms of many varieties including veitchia which I am ready to give up on growing. Winter rain leaves cold soil conditions even if winter day temps average near 70F because the regular dry air and chilly nights put coconuts into a near hibernation mode that they don't come out of until late spring. It just doesn't seem worth it to have a coconut look like crap for over 6 months when so many other really beautiful palms maintain so much better all year long.

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bgl

Happ, thanks a lot for adding your expert opinion and information. :)

Bob, you're right - this topic HAS been discussed before. But, if we were to introduce a new rule: "nothing that has been discussed in the past can be discussed again" then we would pretty quickly run out of topics. Fact is, as we all know, there are new members all the time, AND, just because a topic has been discussed in the past, maybe even numerous times, doesn't mean there can't be new information, new experiences or new viewpoints. Let's keep an open mind without sarcasm and the type of personal attacks that forced us to delete the other thread.

Bo-Göran

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Zeeth

This past winter in Florida has shown why Coconuts can't (with some exceptions) be grown in California. The amount of cool days was too much for the coconuts to handle, and many were severely burned, and many more perished, while palms with a similar cold tolerance, but greater cool tolerance, like Veitchia, often went undamaged. This is why palms like Veitchia can be grown in California, but coconuts can't. Even if one somehow was able to get a coconut fully established with 50 feet of trunk and a well established root system, it might survive one winter, but then it will either be too cool to too hot (and not humid enough) for the coconut to outgrow the winter damage. There are possibilities in certain microclimates (and you can do what pogobob said to help out), so I'd say it isn't automatically doomed for failure. I think Happ should try one out though, there aren't many zone 11 microclimates in California, so it'd be interesting to see how well he could grow one.

I like this topic though, I've heard of coconuts planted by members here, but no updates (or stories of death) in a while.

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JASON M

Hi, welcome to PalmTalk! I don't know if anyone has said this but I only read some bits of posts and they may have but I'll say it again.

The zones may show as the same number, but it's the duration that's most important. When Florida gets 30 for say 2 hours, and California gets the same for 2 days, which will the coconuts do better in? That is why most coconuts do not survive in SoCal.

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happ

This past winter in Florida has shown why Coconuts can't (with some exceptions) be grown in California. The amount of cool days was too much for the coconuts to handle, and many were severely burned, and many more perished, while palms with a similar cold tolerance, but greater cool tolerance, like Veitchia, often went undamaged. This is why palms like Veitchia can be grown in California, but coconuts can't. Even if one somehow was able to get a coconut fully established with 50 feet of trunk and a well established root system, it might survive one winter, but then it will either be too cool to too hot (and not humid enough) for the coconut to outgrow the winter damage. There are possibilities in certain microclimates (and you can do what pogobob said to help out), so I'd say it isn't automatically doomed for failure. I think Happ should try one out though, there aren't many zone 11 microclimates in California, so it'd be interesting to see how well he could grow one.

I like this topic though, I've heard of coconuts planted by members here, but no updates (or stories of death) in a while.

The USDA zones are misleading. The fact that even San Francisco doesn't experience frost at 37N latitude [same as Washington DC] has very little in common with Miami other than a 365-day growing season. The USDA zone 11 micro-climates in California are all foothill regions near the Pacific ocean. At my elevation I can see the Pacific ocean on extraordinarily clear days [around 15-20 miles away] so the marine influence is both a beneficial and disadvantageous factor. Far enough inland to be warmer than beach communities every month of the year; average summer maximums near 90F\ 32.2C and 70F\ 21.1C during winter coupled with some of the mildest monthly winter minimums in California [slightly above 50F\ 10C] would seem to be as favorable for coconut palms as possible. But Mediterranean climates are not humid enough during summer and too wet during winter to provide a suitable environment for tropical palms. To be honest, well established & mature veitchia palms do OK in my area but never as robust as they look in Florida. Planting 5-gallon container veitchia's in the ground as I have done means an extremely slow palm that isn't very attractive for over half the year. Coconuts are even more tempermental. Latitude and climate work against success for cocos nucifera and it must be a near miracle that any survive in California in my opinion.

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The-ZonePusher

My observations and quick update: I tried to over winter one up here in Californias Central Valley ( z9b ) but she died do to unusually cold winter down to 25f( usually we don't get lower than 28f) and not to say the next few days were rainy and below 28f. She did make it almost to mid Dec. If it wasn't for that cold front, it would have only went down to 28f two times. One of those times was before the cold front got bad, not even my banana's were damaged.

I have two palms now, and both are doing very well even though humidity is often below 24% and summer has been cool. My two year old coconut is doing the best ( I had it for two years but I think its older than that). She goes outside in spring and inside during fall, just this year she has grown 3 full fronds, a spear that is almost 2/3 openend with a new spear 3 inches up. That to me proves humidity and cool night time lows aren't too much of a problem as other claimed.

My other coconut palm I havent had long but its a start. She has been in the ground since spring, and put up a few fronds. Being in a south facing location up against my house, slightly uphill and under a small over hang is a fairly nice micro-climate I think and she has a fair chance of surviving the winter.

I am very aware of the problems and such with growing coconut palms here, but I like the challenge. I'll try to post pics of my palms soon if anyone wants to see them. Hope things go well for those who are trying, and thanks for your replies :)

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pogobob

Ryan,

Welcome to PalmTalk! And just for the benefit of everyone else - we had another "California coconut" thread very recently. That thread unfortunately had to be deleted after a number of Forum members found it necessary to make inappropriate, sarcastic and off-topic remarks. Any similar responses in this thread will be dealt with promptly, so stay on topic! Please!

Aloha! :)

Bo-Göran

Sorry if my comments were of the sarcastic variety, but this topic is so repetitive and has been discussed, annalized, and answered since the first time palm trees not native to California(which is all but Washingtonia), It would seem common knowledge by now that it is just not warm enouph here to sustain vigorous avtive growth for cocos. The combination of long cool yearly average temperatures, cool wet winters, dreary overcast spring,summer and fall, cold soil. So contrary to popular city of commerce, Disneyland propaganda, and real estate brochures, the reality is...California is a warm temperate climate zone, not even remotely, subtropic, except for a day or two a month.

But I suppose new people always come along who are going to try and grow a coco and ask the same stuff so maybe I hope this helps :) Plant it on the southside of your house, line the wall with mirrors, install electic heating cables in the ground 20ft wide and deep, cover the soil in black rocks, install stadium heatlamps, and water only with 90 degree water. :) Happy Growing

You might be a bit more accurate if you qualified your description of the "California" climate to the narrow coastal strip such as San Clemente. It's like someone from San Francisco characterizing California as overcast and cool all year.

I think, however that the likelihood of a coconut thriving anywhere in California is low. There's plenty of heat inland and the low desert is as warm in winter\ spring & autumn as central Florida. But summers are intensely hot and relative humidity can often be extremely low anytime of the year. Also winter night temps can reach freezing levels on occasion. If Palm Springs and Phoenix can not successfully grow coconuts than coastal areas are even less likely due to other factors. Even in the areas where winter minimums remain well above freezing and frost is non-existent the number of nights in the 40's works against tropical palms of many varieties including veitchia which I am ready to give up on growing. Winter rain leaves cold soil conditions even if winter day temps average near 70F because the regular dry air and chilly nights put coconuts into a near hibernation mode that they don't come out of until late spring. It just doesn't seem worth it to have a coconut look like crap for over 6 months when so many other really beautiful palms maintain so much better all year long.

Happ, I think I nailed the "California" climate on the head accuratly. Most palm enthusiasts live within the 15mi coastal zone and the differences aren't that great. I don't consider anything north of Santa Barbara in the same "zone". I may not be a weather expert, but I know which way the wind blows :D

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Tyrone

Coconuts need every day to be 20C or more. It's also advantageous to keep them above 4C on the coldest nights. They can take extended periods of winter drought.

I've put mine in the ground in a Californiaesque climate in SW Oz in a slightly raised sandy soil bed, with pebbles and rocks at the base and black plastic under the rocks except for a circle around the base of the palm. In winter I cover the rocks right to the stem in clear plastic allowing the sun through and keeping the rain out. I then put a plastic wind break around it. We've had a horrendous winter and on 31/08 the last day of winter it has continued to push a spear. True some of the leaflets don't look that great, but I'm growing a coconut. It'll push about 6 new leaves in summer and look fine. Even though officially we've been as low as -0.6C (30F) it's not dropped below about 4.5C(40F) in there. I think it will continue to get stronger and stronger as it gets older. I can use the pebbles and plastic around it indefinitely and even the windbreak I can put back every year, as the plant can continue to grow out through the roof.

Best regards

Tyrone

post-63-12832173253562_thumb.jpg

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happ

Ryan,

Welcome to PalmTalk! And just for the benefit of everyone else - we had another "California coconut" thread very recently. That thread unfortunately had to be deleted after a number of Forum members found it necessary to make inappropriate, sarcastic and off-topic remarks. Any similar responses in this thread will be dealt with promptly, so stay on topic! Please!

Aloha! :)

Bo-Göran

Sorry if my comments were of the sarcastic variety, but this topic is so repetitive and has been discussed, annalized, and answered since the first time palm trees not native to California(which is all but Washingtonia), It would seem common knowledge by now that it is just not warm enouph here to sustain vigorous avtive growth for cocos. The combination of long cool yearly average temperatures, cool wet winters, dreary overcast spring,summer and fall, cold soil. So contrary to popular city of commerce, Disneyland propaganda, and real estate brochures, the reality is...California is a warm temperate climate zone, not even remotely, subtropic, except for a day or two a month.

But I suppose new people always come along who are going to try and grow a coco and ask the same stuff so maybe I hope this helps :) Plant it on the southside of your house, line the wall with mirrors, install electic heating cables in the ground 20ft wide and deep, cover the soil in black rocks, install stadium heatlamps, and water only with 90 degree water. :) Happy Growing

You might be a bit more accurate if you qualified your description of the "California" climate to the narrow coastal strip such as San Clemente. It's like someone from San Francisco characterizing California as overcast and cool all year.

I think, however that the likelihood of a coconut thriving anywhere in California is low. There's plenty of heat inland and the low desert is as warm in winter\ spring & autumn as central Florida. But summers are intensely hot and relative humidity can often be extremely low anytime of the year. Also winter night temps can reach freezing levels on occasion. If Palm Springs and Phoenix can not successfully grow coconuts than coastal areas are even less likely due to other factors. Even in the areas where winter minimums remain well above freezing and frost is non-existent the number of nights in the 40's works against tropical palms of many varieties including veitchia which I am ready to give up on growing. Winter rain leaves cold soil conditions even if winter day temps average near 70F because the regular dry air and chilly nights put coconuts into a near hibernation mode that they don't come out of until late spring. It just doesn't seem worth it to have a coconut look like crap for over 6 months when so many other really beautiful palms maintain so much better all year long.

Happ, I think I nailed the "California" climate on the head accuratly. Most palm enthusiasts live within the 15mi coastal zone and the differences aren't that great. I don't consider anything north of Santa Barbara in the same "zone". I may not be a weather expert, but I know which way the wind blows :D

Do you honestly believe that inland regions are?: "The combination of long cool yearly average temperatures, cool wet winters, dreary overcast spring,summer and fall" Do you ever drive over the hill into Mission Viejo or Escondido on a summer morning? A simple review of climatic data shows how much warmer it is within relatively short distance from the ocean. This summer is probably not a good example but even during a record cool July that averaged only 82F\ 27.7C at my location it was still warmer than a normal July in San Clemente or any beach city and in-fact an 82F average July in San Clemente would be considered a very warm month. The Woodland Hills section of Los Angeles averages 96F in July and is less than 10 miles from the ocean; that's about 20 degrees warmer than where you live.

I don't want to be a climate snob but growing conditions are better inland, in my opinion especially if winter minimums are also warmer than coastal cities.

But none-the-less, it is my contention that the most ideal climates in Southern California will not produce a healthy coconut; meaning it won't produce fruit and is stunted in growth.

Edited by happ

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BS Man about Palms

Bob and I were talking about this today. For some reason, he and I seem to be the only folks that will admit to not being coconut fans. (At least for So Cal). We both admitted we could easily think of several other zone -pushing palms that we would rather try and probably stand a better chance growing.:)

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happ

Coconuts need every day to be 20C or more. It's also advantageous to keep them above 4C on the coldest nights. They can take extended periods of winter drought.

I've put mine in the ground in a Californiaesque climate in SW Oz in a slightly raised sandy soil bed, with pebbles and rocks at the base and black plastic under the rocks except for a circle around the base of the palm. In winter I cover the rocks right to the stem in clear plastic allowing the sun through and keeping the rain out. I then put a plastic wind break around it. We've had a horrendous winter and on 31/08 the last day of winter it has continued to push a spear. True some of the leaflets don't look that great, but I'm growing a coconut. It'll push about 6 new leaves in summer and look fine. Even though officially we've been as low as -0.6C (30F) it's not dropped below about 4.5C(40F) in there. I think it will continue to get stronger and stronger as it gets older. I can use the pebbles and plastic around it indefinitely and even the windbreak I can put back every year, as the plant can continue to grow out through the roof.

Best regards

Tyrone

I admire your determination, Tyrone and love the idea that palm aficionadoes living in latitudes 32-34 are willing to grow coconuts. We know they will survive and even look half way decent in some areas. But how many people are going to put the effort into protecting cocos during winter? It is ironic that some tender palms growing well outside their native climates seem fine yet get no additional attention. I doubt that the Newport Beach coconut is protected during winter. Not far from me are a dozen veitchia arecina growing along the street in front of an apartment building. I don't even think they get much water and probably are never fertilized yet look so much better than mine. :wacko:

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oliver

This type of post is really getting old. California seems not to be very good place to grow coconuts. You guys can grow lots of cool stuff that others in the Southern US cannot (ie temperate dypsis sp, etc) Coconut palms have a classical look and everyone sees them in the tropics when they go on vacation, but they are really not "ALL THAT" They grow here quite well, but I have lots of trouble with most high altitude dypsis and many other much more beautiful species such as C. macrocarpa. You guys in southern Cali should be happy and not always be "pining" to grown coco's. They are really not much better than a Washingtonia as far as looks!

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pogobob

Yes, we all know that it gets warmer away from the ocean, I have more important stuff to do like listening to the Mommas and Pappas (California Dreaming)and takeing out the trashcans full of dead coconuts...hasta

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epicure3

This type of post is really getting old. California seems not to be very good place to grow coconuts. You guys can grow lots of cool stuff that others in the Southern US cannot (ie temperate dypsis sp, etc) Coconut palms have a classical look and everyone sees them in the tropics when they go on vacation, but they are really not "ALL THAT" They grow here quite well, but I have lots of trouble with most high altitude dypsis and many other much more beautiful species such as C. macrocarpa. You guys in southern Cali should be happy and not always be "pining" to grown coco's. They are really not much better than a Washingtonia as far as looks!

Thank you. Very old. :badday:

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The-ZonePusher

@ trioderob- I hope this thread stays on topic also. I think any question relating to coconut palms growing in california should be discussed as more and more data is collected. Maybe it should have its own section or topic?-lol I also think there is a lack of people trying. From what I have gathered, correct me if I mistaken, that the owner of the NewPort Beach coco planted it not knowing they don't grow here. Imagine how many people might be growing them and not know that its rare.

Earlier you mentioned there being a few California coconut palms, is that true, and do you have any pics? If it is then its not as impossible as everyone makes it up to be. It may take a few tries, but its worth it.I never thought the one in NewPort was ugly,to me it looked like one's in Florida:) One day soon I wouldn't be surprized to see fruiting coconuts in California.

Thanks for replying everyone:)

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LJG

Pretty sure there will be no new data on a coconut unless this global warming thing comes to be or unless genetics alter. Coconuts are tried by the thousands here every year. Where do you think the ones at Home Depot end up?

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mnorell

One major point I suspect that dooms Cocos in California is that, since palms do all of their growing at night, they probably need to have a threshold temperature once the sun goes down, no doubt combined with a warm-enough soil temperature, while they commence growing new tissue. Not only in coastal California, but also inland, nighttime temperatures are quite chilly from the perspective of a lowland tropical plant. Even this morning, temperatures across the L.A. basin were in the mid-50s (admittedly lower than normal)...but those low temps extended approximately 90 miles inland to San Bernardino! But beyond that is the phenomenon of the cold eddy that spins over the cold Pacific, and the fact that as the inland deserts heat up, the pressure gradient sucks in that chilly air sometimes rather early in the afternoon, and often, within 10-15 miles of the coast, temperatures by 5-6pm are already cold enough that sweaters are in order, even though the day may have been 80F at 1pm. This give a unique temperature curve compared to climates where cooling happens much later at night.

In terms of absolute low temps, in Miami Beach the average nighttime low temp in the coolest month, January (62.8F), is equal to that measured in the warmest month, August, on the coast in Santa Monica (62.2F). Meanwhile Bermuda, on which coconuts grow plentifully, has daytime temps only a little warmer than coastal and near-coastal California throughout the year, but the nighttime temps are 10F warmer consistently throughout the year.

I would be curious to hear from Tyrone if Perth's evening temperatures from, say, 6pm-midnight (as opposed to morning absolute minima) are as cold as those in Southern California, since the absolute minima appear to be similar (though days appear to be much hotter in summer in Perth). If it's a little warmer there in the evening hours, perhaps that's what allows a coconut to push some growth and survive with less herculean efforts than are required in SoCal?

Ultimately if you want the look of a coconut in Southern California, why not grow a Beccariophoenix or a Howea? Those are both absolutely beautiful palms that carry the relaxed grace of the tropics and grow well, despite the year-round chilly evenings and nights found in California.

Edited by mnorell
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John in Andalucia

@ trioderob- I hope this thread stays on topic also. I think any question relating to coconut palms growing in california should be discussed as more and more data is collected. Maybe it should have its own section or topic?-lol I also think there is a lack of people trying. From what I have gathered, correct me if I mistaken, that the owner of the NewPort Beach coco planted it not knowing they don't grow here. Imagine how many people might be growing them and not know that its rare.

Earlier you mentioned there being a few California coconut palms, is that true, and do you have any pics? If it is then its not as impossible as everyone makes it up to be. It may take a few tries, but its worth it.I never thought the one in NewPort was ugly,to me it looked like one's in Florida:) One day soon I wouldn't be surprized to see fruiting coconuts in California.

Thanks for replying everyone:)

@The-ZonePusher- Welcome to PalmTalk! Slightly unfortunate that you appeared when the last topic disappeared on such bad terms. As intimated in yours/trioderob's thread, there really is little chance of coconuts thriving in a Mediterranean climate. Just a fantasy really, but some do like to spark a debate. There are so many more "viable" species being grown with regards to "zone pushing", so I'll be looking forward to hearing all about you and your garden in due course, as no doubt everyone here will be. Please start a new topic and introduce yourself when you can, so we can get to know you better. We are all waiting!!biggrin.gif

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Tassie_Troy1971

After seeing Dave and Justins Parajubaea cocoides it's hard to believe anyone would bother growing a cocos in SO CAL !

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happ

One major point I suspect that dooms Cocos in California is that, since palms do all of their growing at night, they probably need to have a threshold temperature once the sun goes down, no doubt combined with a warm-enough soil temperature, while they commence growing new tissue. Not only in coastal California, but also inland, nighttime temperatures are quite chilly from the perspective of a lowland tropical plant. Even this morning, temperatures across the L.A. basin were in the mid-50s (admittedly lower than normal)...but those low temps extended approximately 90 miles inland to San Bernardino! But beyond that is the phenomenon of the cold eddy that spins over the cold Pacific, and the fact that as the inland deserts heat up, the pressure gradient sucks in that chilly air sometimes rather early in the afternoon, and often, within 10-15 miles of the coast, temperatures by 5-6pm are already cold enough that sweaters are in order, even though the day may have been 80F at 1pm. This give a unique temperature curve compared to climates where cooling happens much later at night.

In terms of absolute low temps, in Miami Beach the average nighttime low temp in the coolest month, January (62.8F), is equal to that measured in the warmest month, August, on the coast in Santa Monica (62.2F). Meanwhile Bermuda, on which coconuts grow plentifully, has daytime temps only a little warmer than coastal and near-coastal California throughout the year, but the nighttime temps are 10F warmer consistently throughout the year.

I would be curious to hear from Tyrone if Perth's evening temperatures from, say, 6pm-midnight (as opposed to morning absolute minima) are as cold as those in Southern California, since the absolute minima appear to be similar (though days appear to be much hotter in summer in Perth). If it's a little warmer there in the evening hours, perhaps that's what allows a coconut to push some growth and survive with less herculean efforts than are required in SoCal?

Ultimately if you want the look of a coconut in Southern California, why not grow a Beccariophoenix or a Howea? Those are both absolutely beautiful palms that carry the relaxed grace of the tropics and grow well, despite the year-round chilly evenings and nights found in California.

Excellent summary, Michael. There's a mystic about coconut palms that seems to entrance many a palm tree lover. It is more than just the graceful fronds and bending trunk; certainly the fruit can not be matched by any other palm species. Agree that howea are particularly attractive and am glad that I have a wonderful specimen but still consider cocos to be the most beautiful of palms.

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JEFF IN MODESTO

Hi, welcome to PalmTalk! I don't know if anyone has said this but I only read some bits of posts and they may have but I'll say it again.

The zones may show as the same number, but it's the duration that's most important. When Florida gets 30 for say 2 hours, and California gets the same for 2 days, which will the coconuts do better in? That is why most coconuts do not survive in SoCal.

It Never fails to get above 32f in lowland Cali, even on the worse winter day.

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Tyrone

One major point I suspect that dooms Cocos in California is that, since palms do all of their growing at night, they probably need to have a threshold temperature once the sun goes down, no doubt combined with a warm-enough soil temperature, while they commence growing new tissue. Not only in coastal California, but also inland, nighttime temperatures are quite chilly from the perspective of a lowland tropical plant. Even this morning, temperatures across the L.A. basin were in the mid-50s (admittedly lower than normal)...but those low temps extended approximately 90 miles inland to San Bernardino! But beyond that is the phenomenon of the cold eddy that spins over the cold Pacific, and the fact that as the inland deserts heat up, the pressure gradient sucks in that chilly air sometimes rather early in the afternoon, and often, within 10-15 miles of the coast, temperatures by 5-6pm are already cold enough that sweaters are in order, even though the day may have been 80F at 1pm. This give a unique temperature curve compared to climates where cooling happens much later at night.

In terms of absolute low temps, in Miami Beach the average nighttime low temp in the coolest month, January (62.8F), is equal to that measured in the warmest month, August, on the coast in Santa Monica (62.2F). Meanwhile Bermuda, on which coconuts grow plentifully, has daytime temps only a little warmer than coastal and near-coastal California throughout the year, but the nighttime temps are 10F warmer consistently throughout the year.

I would be curious to hear from Tyrone if Perth's evening temperatures from, say, 6pm-midnight (as opposed to morning absolute minima) are as cold as those in Southern California, since the absolute minima appear to be similar (though days appear to be much hotter in summer in Perth). If it's a little warmer there in the evening hours, perhaps that's what allows a coconut to push some growth and survive with less herculean efforts than are required in SoCal?

Ultimately if you want the look of a coconut in Southern California, why not grow a Beccariophoenix or a Howea? Those are both absolutely beautiful palms that carry the relaxed grace of the tropics and grow well, despite the year-round chilly evenings and nights found in California.

You've brought up some interesting points regarding night time temps. I think you're totally right. Perth in summer can sizzle. I'm 18km inland (11 miles) and in the heat of summer we may not get a cooling sea breeze at all on some nights. Also if we do get a seabreeze, it's warmed up by the time it reaches my area after passing over hot land. From mid Dec to mid March the mins happen just before sunrise and are around the 16-19C (61-67F) range on average. However we can get mins as high as 27,28C (81-84F) during a heat wave. The 6pm - midnight temp range will always be above 20C (68F) with midnight temps frequently around 25-27C (77-81F) and sometimes as high as 32C (90F). It's nothing to walk outside at 10pm from an airconditioned house into a wall of real heat in my area. Closer to the coast it's cooler and more humid. Often we'll go down to the beach at night, and it will feel pleasant and cool. By the time we're half way home it's stinking hot and your sweating again at 10pm. I think the high heat in summer between 6pm to midnight is the key. It's also the time when I irrigate and so the humidity goes quite high on those sort of nights. I've never thought about this before, but I think you're right.

Best regards

Tyrone

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sarasota alex

Old or new, why have I not seen it to be possible for someone to ask a question about growing coconuts in California without someone else asking "Why would you want to do it?"

Like it or not, it's hard to dispute a significance of a coconut palm, especially to people who move down from non-palm growing climates. On 99% of all tropical vacation photos, that's what you see. So to 99% of people it's The Palm.

I personally don't grow coconuts and prefer to save my very limited precious space for other stuff. But that's only because I can enjoy viewing coconuts growing in other people's yards. If no one else was growing them, then I would.

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The Germinator

I guess it is the equivelent to a thread on Washies growing in Florida; which is much esier. Don't be a Dream killer we all wish we could grow a Coco. I did see a nice one growing indoors at the Catamaran in San Diego. We always get hammered for bring up the subject. Why do you all chime in if the subject is old. We should have a don't click don't tell policy. Don't click if you don't like; go to the next thread.

Without all the sarcasim this thread would die very fast. All the comedians come out when the subject is bought up.

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Tyrone

Everyone has a right to choose what to grow and why? If it dies in your area, it dies. Where's the harm in trying. I understand both sides of the fence. If my coconut dies one day, I'll be happy growing a few Beccariophoenix, or I'll move to Darwin. I haven't figured out which one yet. :D Maybe do both.

Best regards

Tyrone

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The-ZonePusher

I think most of the coconut palms sold here in california are labeled as house plants? I know in may area that no matter where you go ( home depot, lowes, osh, etc) they are all small house plants. If it is the same down there in SoCal then it wouldn't be hard to kill them by putting them outside. When I first started growing coconut trees a few years back, I almost lost my oldest one do to sun burn. They rebounded back when I put them in a shadey location:)

Something else I noticed about climate and my coconut palms is that they love temps to be 95f-106f ( sounds like an average summer in the valley). Highest my coco's have seen was 110f, anything much hotter would probably kill them. That I think is why we don't see them in hot deserts and the fact you couldn't water them enough.

One is for sure, I haven't heard of anyone trying to grow coconut palms outside in the valley? Summer heat we got, and winters are mild but are very cool. I think a fruiting coconut could be possible in the same kinds of micro-climates as the ones in SoCal. I have seen banana's go through the whole winter here in some micro-climates. I am gong to try and try again. No other palm to me is worth trying or can ever replace a coconut palm. Someday soon I hope to be some of the few growing coconuts outside in CA, but so far my attempts have been without success.

Good luck everyone and thanks for all the great info:)

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Zeeth

I think most of the coconut palms sold here in california are labeled as house plants? I know in may area that no matter where you go ( home depot, lowes, osh, etc) they are all small house plants. If it is the same down there in SoCal then it wouldn't be hard to kill them by putting them outside. When I first started growing coconut trees a few years back, I almost lost my oldest one do to sun burn. They rebounded back when I put them in a shadey location:)

Something else I noticed about climate and my coconut palms is that they love temps to be 95f-106f ( sounds like an average summer in the valley). Highest my coco's have seen was 110f, anything much hotter would probably kill them. That I think is why we don't see them in hot deserts and the fact you couldn't water them enough.

One is for sure, I haven't heard of anyone trying to grow coconut palms outside in the valley? Summer heat we got, and winters are mild but are very cool. I think a fruiting coconut could be possible in the same kinds of micro-climates as the ones in SoCal. I have seen banana's go through the whole winter here in some micro-climates. I am gong to try and try again. No other palm to me is worth trying or can ever replace a coconut palm. Someday soon I hope to be some of the few growing coconuts outside in CA, but so far my attempts have been without success.

Good luck everyone and thanks for all the great info:)

In the mean time, try growing a Beccariophoenix alfredii.

post-3598-12832608555681_thumb.jpg

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JEFF IN MODESTO

I think most of the coconut palms sold here in california are labeled as house plants? I know in may area that no matter where you go ( home depot, lowes, osh, etc) they are all small house plants. If it is the same down there in SoCal then it wouldn't be hard to kill them by putting them outside. When I first started growing coconut trees a few years back, I almost lost my oldest one do to sun burn. They rebounded back when I put them in a shadey location:)

Something else I noticed about climate and my coconut palms is that they love temps to be 95f-106f ( sounds like an average summer in the valley). Highest my coco's have seen was 110f, anything much hotter would probably kill them. That I think is why we don't see them in hot deserts and the fact you couldn't water them enough.

One is for sure, I haven't heard of anyone trying to grow coconut palms outside in the valley? Summer heat we got, and winters are mild but are very cool. I think a fruiting coconut could be possible in the same kinds of micro-climates as the ones in SoCal. I have seen banana's go through the whole winter here in some micro-climates. I am gong to try and try again. No other palm to me is worth trying or can ever replace a coconut palm. Someday soon I hope to be some of the few growing coconuts outside in CA, but so far my attempts have been without success.

Good luck everyone and thanks for all the great info:)

They'll all be dead by Chrstmas.

They have to have soil temps that stay above 60f or maybe a tiny bit lower for a short time.

My lowest winter soil temp in Modesto is 47f -48f untill feb.. You do the math... we are about 12 degrees too cold for a coconut to survive.

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LJG

Coconuts have been tried here since San Diego decided to move from a desert to a tropical paradise over a century ago. Sailors and travelers have been bringing them back and planting them for over a 100 years. Even the Hotel Del use to try and even brought in big ones WAY back when. The coconut is like the Delonix regia to tree lovers. If a mature coconut existed in CA, we would know about it. We seem to know where the flowering Delonix regia's are. Anytime a thread is brought up about these, then people will just have to deal with the fact others will point out the eventual results. I am going to take a leap here and say the Newport coconut will be dead in five years. Just a hunch. I think any plant that struggles is just a time bomb for disease or insect attack. I certainly hope it not. I would love to see fruiting coconut.

I understand that zone pushers are very important for other palm growers. Without them how would we know what all that grows here? While zone pushing is vital as there are so many new things to try, it seems like the coconut zone pushing will not die while other hopeless palms attempts have faded. No more sealing wax attempts in SoCal? Anyway, for those that want to try, go for it. What's the harm other then lost time? If the reward is worth the effort and time, then that is all that matters. I for one will leave it up to others like Ryan. :)

---

By the way, the only thing more common then a "Do a search. This has been discussed before" comment on forums, is the "Don't click if you don't like; go to the next thread." post. These seem to be the standards you will find on any forum. But as they say, it is a "public forum", so deal with it. I know I expect to see these replies almost daily. I guess I just know certain threads will always yeild the same replies. "Queen palm are ugly". "Where is the best place in the world to grow palms". "I just pulled a spear, will it live" and "Coconuts won't grow in SoCal". :)

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Gtlevine

I agree with Len, Coconuts will never grow in So Cal long term and the Newport Coconut will be dead sooner rather than later. The problem with the coconut is that even if you provide the perfect conditions and the coconut survives and grows for many years, the palm is subjected to continuous stress every winter. As long as the palm stays healthy in every other respect, it can struggle along and survive. Eventually, every single palm in our yards will get attacked by bacteria, fungi, or some other naturally occuring pathogen. Cold hardy palms usually recover because they are not subjected to the additional stress of a long cool winter. Coconuts and other tropical palms cannot deal with multiple stresses and survive a long cold winter in so cal. Like Len said, people have been trying coconuts for hundreds of years and I don't think any coconut has ever reached maturity in so cal. So in my opinion, the jury is not still out on coconuts in so cal. They will not grow here long term, period!

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palmazon

John Cressey and Greg Haines wrote an article for the journal 15 or so years ago about multiple Cocos nucifera growing near the Salton Sea, including b&w photos of some (admittedly) ratty-looking coconuts; I'll have to contact them for more information. Incidentally, they have (had?) a Cocos in the ground outside in Alta Dena.

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