Jump to content
mxcolin

Coconut Palm

Recommended Posts

mxcolin

We visited Hawaii last year where my daughter and I fell in love with the Coconut Palms. She's really getting into Palms and when we saw one in a local nursery we couldn't resist getting it. Now, I know this might be a fools errand (almost certainly is) but I'm not expecting much, it's just a fun project for us. She's been keeping it well watered and spraying the fronds and it's responding well. It's grown 2 new fronds as you can see at the front with a 3rd on on the way. It's in a South West facing window so it gets a decent amount of sun. It's incredibly sunny where I live so I think it's getting enough. I have a few questions though:

  1. I've been told these need some outdoor summer heat to survive. We have very hot, sunny and dry summers (100+ regularly). Will it be able to take those conditions and still survive? If so, in full sun or partial shade?
  2. We get a large diurnal temperature variation here. Although it's unlikely to get too cold you can see high 50's overnight even is summer. Any issues there?
  3. When will it break out of the coconut? Will it happen naturally or will it need some help from us?
  4. How about container size? Should we go bigger? 

Coconut.thumb.jpeg.9d296375d7335a8f918c6fb562dbde28.jpeg

I get that this is a crazy plan to grow this long term where I'm located, but it's a fun project for my daughter and I so go easy on us :-D

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KyleD

Hi mxcolin! 

Growing a coconut inside is a great learning experience and will really open the door to palm/tropical collecting or obsession. You must replicate the closest to its native conditions as possible for it to survive and grow.

For coconuts that means conditions similar to coastal, tropical places like Hawaii. Ideally, they like 70% humidity, temps of 70F-90F and well draining soil. Bright light is good however they can be grown in outdoor shade. You don’t want the soil to hold a lot of moisture. If it doesn’t dry out fast enough it will promote fungus and likely cause issues. Fungus can be quite a problem indoors. I suggest a mixture of some coco coir with lots of vermiculite and some course sand. 

It is important to understand that coconuts do not grow when temps fall below 70 ish. They can only handle being below that for a short time or they will weaken and begin to die. They can handle a little bit of cold, like the cold nights we get in Florida occasionally, but they need to regularly see 80F to do well. They REALLY want hot and humid conditions. They also don’t like drastic changes in environment ex. suddenly moving it outside after being inside for months. If you want to put it outside I would definitely NOT put it in full sun it will burn, no point to acclimating an indoor plant to outdoor sun it will only miss it and be sad when it goes back in. It’s important to note that outdoor shade is still strong light when comparing to indoors. They also don’t like dry weather (below 50% humidity) especially dry winds. It’s my understanding that night temps are pretty important for proper growth so consistently cool nights could cause an issue? Where I live they handle our cool nights in the winter but we have a long, consistent, hot and humid summer when night temps never go below 70 so maybe that allows them to take the cold for a bit during winter. However regularly over 100 is probably too hot so perhaps leaving it inside would be best. 

The nut contains the nutrients and energy it needs for about the first two years and produces the roots, never try to remove the nut. It will eventually break apart over the years and degrade by itself I think it usually takes ab 2 or 3 years. Container size looks big enough, coconuts don’t need much space for their roots, 3gallon pot is typical for young cocos. Make sure the nut is halfway buried and the palm is above the soil. 

I suggest to get some kelp or seaweed solution it’s great for plants.

Indoor coconuts have been “successful” before but they are definitely a challenge outside the tropics. If unsuccessful you learned a lot and pave the way for future gardening success! 

*beccariophoenix alfredii shouldn’t be hard to find and would give you the coconut look that you fell in love with in your own yard! 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mxcolin

Thanks for the information this is awesome. Think I'll leave it indoors. Our summers are going to be way too dry for them. Humidity can drop below 15% when it's 100 outside and that's probably going to kill it as you say. It definitely wouldn't like our winters. I'll keep it going indoors and see where it goes. I don't have huge expectations. The beccariophoenix alfredii is interesting. Going to be difficult to source one in Northern CA so maybe online somewhere.

Really appreciate the information and the time you've take to reply. Will update the thread on how the Coconut Palm progresses!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ando.wsu

Hi Mxcolin,

I am in Phoenix and I leave mine outside all year long except for a month when we are the coldest during winter.  Despite low humidity, they do just fine.  Lots of water helps during the hot months.  This is two years of growth from a sprouted nut I brought back from my old place in Maui. 

A0CA5302-17D2-4907-B1B4-638E0B8ABB9A.jpeg

  • Like 3
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mxcolin

Wow!! In Phoenix. How big was it when you put it outside? Do you have it in shade? Afternoon or morning sun? If it can survive in Phoenix summers it can survive here.

Edited by mxcolin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ando.wsu

My balcony at the condo is East facing.  During summer the last frond dips out of the sun around 1pm (morning sun). It’s over 7 ft tall now and it’s been outside it’s entire life (except for the month of January it becomes a very large houseplant). Lots of water in well draining soil and she will be just fine. Make sure you acclimate it slowly into sun or it will burn.  Yes, the low humidity does dry out the leaf tips, but you know, the palms in Hawaii look the same, so I don’t fret over it.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mxcolin

Very cool. How often do you water it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ando.wsu

Hi there,

I water twice a day now that we have hit triple digits.  Once in the morning and at night (since our nights don’t really cool off much).  Winter time, I water much less.   Warm water maybe once a week or a bit longer.  Better to let the soil dry out between waterings during cooler months.  She still pushes out new growth all winter long just at a much slower rate. When it is in the house as a houseplant during cold spells, I water once a week. The air in the house is really dry and indoor temps are usually 70 inside my condo.   I also mist (light mist) her frequently during the winter to make sure bugs like spider mites do not make a home.  
 

Additional note, I always place her outside with the same exposure and avoid rotating the plant to mimic as if she was anchored to the ground.  This way the fronds that see less sun to not get over exposed and possibly burn.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...