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LF-TX

Caring for Gold Malayans in RGV winters

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LF-TX

Just today, thankfully, I’ve finally been able to get my hands on some fairly priced coconut sprouts online. I came across a certain company that has a small coconut plantation in Broward County FL, and to my surprise were giving 5” coconut sprouts for 5 dollars each, minimum purchase of two sprouts. The shipping was the only downside: 23$ to get them to the RGV! But nonetheless, I realized that I pretty much wasn’t going to find anything cheaper online. And a total of 33$ for two palm sprouts that aren’t very common here wasn’t the end of the world either. So now I’ve got two Gold Malayan cocos on the way! However, taking into consideration that these will be the first cocos I’ve gotten my hands on, I’d like to see if anyone can provide some helpful feedback on how to grow these cocos in the RGV, Zone 10A. I’ve read that they aren’t as hardy as the Mexican Tall variety that tends to be found here in South Texas, but taken that I’ve seen a fruiting gold malayan (it was just about as tall as the house it is in front of!) in Brownsville gives me some hope that the job can be done. 

Anything will be appreciated! 

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kinzyjr

Supposedly, the Golden Malayans are the most tender out of the common coconuts grown around here (Golden Malayan, Green Malayan, Maypan, MayJam, Panama Tall, Jamaican Tall).  Not a bad pickup for the price by the way :)

The biggest issue you will likely face are your cold spells.  If you have a sheltered spot near your house gets at least 4 hours of direct sunlight and has a high overhead canopy nearby, that's where you'll want to put it.  If a forecast calls for any amount of time below 40F, you'll want to be safe and provide some level of additional protection.  I personally use towels or comforters, depending on the size of the palm and the amount of cold expected. 

201712170300_CoveredCoconuts_04.png

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LF-TX
4 hours ago, kinzyjr said:

Supposedly, the Golden Malayans are the most tender out of the common coconuts grown around here (Golden Malayan, Green Malayan, Maypan, MayJam, Panama Tall, Jamaican Tall).  Not a bad pickup for the price by the way :)

The biggest issue you will likely face are your cold spells.  If you have a sheltered spot near your house gets at least 4 hours of direct sunlight and has a high overhead canopy nearby, that's where you'll want to put it.  If a forecast calls for any amount of time below 40F, you'll want to be safe and provide some level of additional protection.  I personally use towels or comforters, depending on the size of the palm and the amount of cold expected. 

201712170300_CoveredCoconuts_04.png

Thank you! It looks like the towel method seems practical - what else would you want when you’re cold? Lol. But thankfully if any cold spells come in the very near future, the palms won’t be very big, so the towel method is something I’ll use definitely. 

It also looks like I’ll put my palms on the south side of my home. It’s the most comfortable side of my home when the brutal winds are kicking in from the north. While it doesn’t have an overhead canopy, this spot receives sunlight all day long.

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PalmatierMeg

I suggest you keep them in pots then plant in spring so they have a growing season in the ground before the onset of next winter. Bring pots indoors on cold nights. Sounds obvious but I have to say it.

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LF-TX
12 hours ago, PalmatierMeg said:

I suggest you keep them in pots then plant in spring so they have a growing season in the ground before the onset of next winter. Bring pots indoors on cold nights. Sounds obvious but I have to say it.

Oh yes! I already have two pots specially ready for them :) I’m personally someone who is real quick to plant things in the ground, so thank you for the reminder! 

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LF-TX

Could somebody tell me if there’s a certain soil type that coconuts like? The soil in my area is pretty clay like. My neighbor’s coco seems to be doing just fine in the ground, but I was just wondering if there was anything else that they’d prefer over our salty, clay soil? I currently have some sand given to me from my neighbor - from sandbags given to the public when Harvey was threatening to hit - and I was planning on mixing it with some store bought potting soil. Any suggestions and or warnings? 

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kinzyjr

I have mine planted in a very rich top soil/sand mix, but that's just native soil in my small area.  I think that is due to this area being an old orange grove.  They tend to like well draining soil, but if yours is doing fine, I wouldn't amend it and disturb the roots.

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LF-TX

The RGV coconut population just went up by two today! 

FB67DDFE-D700-4164-89A2-C74EB13BD10B.jpeg

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Mr. Coconut Palm
On ‎12‎/‎18‎/‎2017‎ ‎8‎:‎20‎:‎30‎, PalmatierMeg said:

I suggest you keep them in pots then plant in spring so they have a growing season in the ground before the onset of next winter. Bring pots indoors on cold nights. Sounds obvious but I have to say it.

But I do like to expose my young coconut palms 1.5 ft to about 4 ft. tall, to at least 2 or 3 nights in the mid to upper 30'sF and about a dozen nights or more in the 40'sF to help harden them off to planting in the ground the following spring.  I even like to expose my young coconut palms to a light frost or two!

John

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Mr. Coconut Palm
On ‎12‎/‎18‎/‎2017‎ ‎8‎:‎36‎:‎56‎, LF-TX said:

Could somebody tell me if there’s a certain soil type that coconuts like? The soil in my area is pretty clay like. My neighbor’s coco seems to be doing just fine in the ground, but I was just wondering if there was anything else that they’d prefer over our salty, clay soil? I currently have some sand given to me from my neighbor - from sandbags given to the public when Harvey was threatening to hit - and I was planning on mixing it with some store bought potting soil. Any suggestions and or warnings? 

Roberto,

I make my own potting soil out of the bags of !00% organic compost from Lowe's, Hapi Gro brand (in the big white with blue lettering bags in the outside part of the garden center near the mulch), and topsoil from Lowe's, Timberline brand in the red and white bags, and loose fine sand from the fresh gopher mounds in my backyard. I mix it a rate of 5 handfuls of the compost to 4 handfuls of the topsoil to 8 handfuls of the sand, and this works great for all my plants!  My coconut palms seem to especially love it!  And since my yard soil is very sandy anyway, being so close to the Laguna Madre, I like to prepare my plants for ultimately being planted in the ground in very sandy soil.

John

P.S.  For fertilizer, I highly recommend MicroLife 8-4-6 Ultimate All Organic Biological Fertilizer that has over 70 minerals and micronutrients!  (4 times per year application)

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Mr. Coconut Palm
On ‎12‎/‎21‎/‎2017‎ ‎4‎:‎33‎:‎46‎, LF-TX said:

The RGV coconut population just went up by two today! 

FB67DDFE-D700-4164-89A2-C74EB13BD10B.jpeg

Roberto,

Those actually look like GREEN MALAYAN DWARFS AS OPPOSED TO GOLDEN MALAYAN DWARFS!  You may have wanted the Golden ones for their beautiful color, but the Greens are usually a little more robust and a little more cold hardy!

John

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