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Coconuts in Lakeland, FL


kinzyjr

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Since I have planted mine, a number of folks around town have also planted some coconuts on their property.  Here are a few I have noticed in my travels:

This is the photographed lot before the coconuts were planted:

https://www.google.com/maps/@27.9526067,-82.0256258,3a,75y,339.11h,71.1t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sq5AALQIUqbg-nfpyB01Ikg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

Here is the lot with young coconuts in elevated plantings.  The one on the right isn't doing so hot, but the rest seem to be doing well after our brief cool snap.

20171222_153154_Coconuts_01_1024.jpg

  • Upvote 4

Lakeland, FL

USDA Zone 1990: 9a  2012: 9b  2023: 10a | Sunset Zone: 26 | Record Low: 20F/-6.67C (Jan. 1985, Dec.1962) | Record Low USDA Zone: 9a

30-Year Avg. Low: 30F | 30-year Min: 24F

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Here is another planting.  These seem to have breezed through as well:

20171222_094303_Coconuts_00_1024.jpg

  • Upvote 3

Lakeland, FL

USDA Zone 1990: 9a  2012: 9b  2023: 10a | Sunset Zone: 26 | Record Low: 20F/-6.67C (Jan. 1985, Dec.1962) | Record Low USDA Zone: 9a

30-Year Avg. Low: 30F | 30-year Min: 24F

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This is another pair that has been there for a few years on Main St. heading out of town.

https://www.google.com/maps/@28.0459036,-81.9255977,3a,50.6y,148.78h,77.93t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sNUhFBL0wdr2ty31KmA7_Kg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

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Lakeland, FL

USDA Zone 1990: 9a  2012: 9b  2023: 10a | Sunset Zone: 26 | Record Low: 20F/-6.67C (Jan. 1985, Dec.1962) | Record Low USDA Zone: 9a

30-Year Avg. Low: 30F | 30-year Min: 24F

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We've got at least 3 I'm aware of in my area that are fruiting thanks to the warm winters. :)

https://www.google.com/maps/@28.0342394,-82.5056087,3a,75y,35.61h,88.59t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s6_1MoiGMCdr3wTZQ4LH1gQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

https://www.google.com/maps/@28.0428744,-82.5321649,3a,75y,298.81h,80.37t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1ssGXE40n6ZOXdIEBwH-yP9A!2e0!7i13312!8i6656 (bare in mind the image is from 2015 so they've put a lot of size on since)

 

Have you noticed any fruiting by you?

 

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.

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@RedRabbit I haven't seen any with fruit on them here.  The ones I posted were just a few I had noticed as I traveled and are all post-2010 for sure.  I had hoped my Green Malayan would fruit by now, but it hasn't.  I don't think it is getting enough sun in the evening since it is so close to the house, so it may be a little while yet.

Lakeland, FL

USDA Zone 1990: 9a  2012: 9b  2023: 10a | Sunset Zone: 26 | Record Low: 20F/-6.67C (Jan. 1985, Dec.1962) | Record Low USDA Zone: 9a

30-Year Avg. Low: 30F | 30-year Min: 24F

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  • 1 month later...

This is what one set of coconuts looks like after a 28F advective freeze.  I warned the property owner to cover them, but he didn't.  Being exposed to wind didn't help either...

20180218_FriedCoconuts.png

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  • Upvote 2

Lakeland, FL

USDA Zone 1990: 9a  2012: 9b  2023: 10a | Sunset Zone: 26 | Record Low: 20F/-6.67C (Jan. 1985, Dec.1962) | Record Low USDA Zone: 9a

30-Year Avg. Low: 30F | 30-year Min: 24F

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3 hours ago, kinzyjr said:

This is what one set of coconuts looks like after a 28F advective freeze.  I warned the property owner to cover them, but he didn't.  Being exposed to wind didn't help either...

20180218_FriedCoconuts.png

Thanks for sharing, that's about how the ones look around there. There was a nice fruiting one with a little trunk about a quarter mile from me that's looking pretty dead. A few look like they'll make it though, wind exposure (or lack of) seems to have made a big difference.

.

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2 hours ago, Reeverse said:

Ouch. How did yours do? 

Mine have 3 good fronds on them and some partially dead fronds.  Mine were covered and are shielded from the north and west winds. 

13 minutes ago, RedRabbit said:

Thanks for sharing, that's about how the ones look around there. There was a nice fruiting one with a little trunk about a quarter mile from me that's looking pretty dead. A few look like they'll make it though, wind exposure (or lack of) seems to have made a big difference.

The advective nature of the freeze made a big difference.

  • Upvote 1

Lakeland, FL

USDA Zone 1990: 9a  2012: 9b  2023: 10a | Sunset Zone: 26 | Record Low: 20F/-6.67C (Jan. 1985, Dec.1962) | Record Low USDA Zone: 9a

30-Year Avg. Low: 30F | 30-year Min: 24F

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 12/22/2017, 8:00:46, kinzyjr said:

20171222_153154_Coconuts_01_1024.jpg

Just an update: Went past these palms today.  100% mortality on every planting.  Not surprising considering this is over closer to the airport and outside of town in a known cold spot.

The two palms that were 100% brown in the other picture above now have some green showing, so they may recover if they don't perish from fungus issues over the summer and we don't get another rough freeze next year.

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Lakeland, FL

USDA Zone 1990: 9a  2012: 9b  2023: 10a | Sunset Zone: 26 | Record Low: 20F/-6.67C (Jan. 1985, Dec.1962) | Record Low USDA Zone: 9a

30-Year Avg. Low: 30F | 30-year Min: 24F

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6 minutes ago, kinzyjr said:

Just an update: Went past these palms today.  100% mortality on every planting.  Not surprising considering this is over closer to the airport and outside of town in a known cold spot.

The two palms that were 100% brown in the other picture above now have some green showing, so they may recover if they don't perish from fungus issues over the summer and we don't get another rough freeze next year.

Sad news, thanks for the update though.

  • Upvote 1

.

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  • 2 weeks later...

For those that have asked about my coconut palms in various threads or messages, all four survived in various levels of health:

My green malayan with minimal damage.  In the most protected spot.

201803251635_GreenMalayanDwarf.png

Jamaican Tall #1 - The most exposed.  Still has a green frond and a green spear.

201803251635_JamaicanTall_1.png

Jamaican Tall #2: A little more protection, so a little more green.

201803251635_JamaicanTall_2.png

MayPan: Moderately protected from wind, but not much overhead protection.

201803251635_MayPan.png

All of them were covered with towels/blankets during the worst temperature drops.

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Lakeland, FL

USDA Zone 1990: 9a  2012: 9b  2023: 10a | Sunset Zone: 26 | Record Low: 20F/-6.67C (Jan. 1985, Dec.1962) | Record Low USDA Zone: 9a

30-Year Avg. Low: 30F | 30-year Min: 24F

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Fantastic!!! Magesterially done.

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5 year high 42.2C/108F (07/06/2018)--5 year low 4.6C/40.3F (1/19/2023)--Lowest recent/current winter: 4.6C/40.3F (1/19/2023)

 

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  • 5 months later...
On 2/18/2018, 2:05:20, kinzyjr said:

This is what one set of coconuts looks like after a 28F advective freeze.  I warned the property owner to cover them, but he didn't.  Being exposed to wind didn't help either...

20180218_FriedCoconuts.png

Just a follow-up regarding the above coconuts.  Both had almost complete frond burn.  One is removed, but the other actually managed to survive.  We'll see for how long.  Apologize in advance for the picture quality.

20180902_090030_CoconutSurvivor_small.jpg

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Lakeland, FL

USDA Zone 1990: 9a  2012: 9b  2023: 10a | Sunset Zone: 26 | Record Low: 20F/-6.67C (Jan. 1985, Dec.1962) | Record Low USDA Zone: 9a

30-Year Avg. Low: 30F | 30-year Min: 24F

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  • 3 months later...
On 12/22/2017, 9:25:42, kinzyjr said:

This is another pair that has been there for a few years on Main St. heading out of town.

https://www.google.com/maps/@28.0459036,-81.9255977,3a,50.6y,148.78h,77.93t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sNUhFBL0wdr2ty31KmA7_Kg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

I had been meaning to follow up on the coconuts on Main St. out in the Lake Bonny neighborhood, right before Longfellow Blvd.  They did survive the 2018 advective freeze, even with a northern exposure and no overhead canopy.  I am unsure about any protection afforded to them by the owners.  They look wonderful though!

20181222_105225_MainStreetCoconut_1600.jpg

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Lakeland, FL

USDA Zone 1990: 9a  2012: 9b  2023: 10a | Sunset Zone: 26 | Record Low: 20F/-6.67C (Jan. 1985, Dec.1962) | Record Low USDA Zone: 9a

30-Year Avg. Low: 30F | 30-year Min: 24F

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10 hours ago, kinzyjr said:

I had been meaning to follow up on the coconuts on Main St. out in the Lake Bonny neighborhood, right before Longfellow Blvd.  They did survive the 2018 advective freeze, even with a northern exposure and no overhead canopy.  I am unsure about any protection afforded to them by the owners.  They look wonderful though!

20181222_105225_MainStreetCoconut_1600.jpg

They look great. Fantastic recovery. 

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This is why I will probably always have at least one coconut going in the yard even if they are semiannuals in my area. They are very fast growers here in general and look great even as small non-trunking palms. And who knows, maybe I’ll get lucky and plant a magical one that can actually make it long term here ;)

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Parrish, FL

Zone 9B

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  • 6 months later...
On 2/18/2018 at 2:05 PM, kinzyjr said:

This is what one set of coconuts looks like after a 28F advective freeze.  I warned the property owner to cover them, but he didn't.  Being exposed to wind didn't help either...

20180218_FriedCoconuts.png

The survivor out of this pair as of this month:

201906102315_CoconutNeighbor_1.png

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Lakeland, FL

USDA Zone 1990: 9a  2012: 9b  2023: 10a | Sunset Zone: 26 | Record Low: 20F/-6.67C (Jan. 1985, Dec.1962) | Record Low USDA Zone: 9a

30-Year Avg. Low: 30F | 30-year Min: 24F

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2 hours ago, kinzyjr said:

The survivor out of this pair as of this month:

201906102315_CoconutNeighbor_1.png

That's a heckuva recovery. Looking great!

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On 12/23/2018 at 5:31 PM, ruskinPalms said:

This is why I will probably always have at least one coconut going in the yard even if they are semiannuals in my area. They are very fast growers here in general and look great even as small non-trunking palms. And who knows, maybe I’ll get lucky and plant a magical one that can actually make it long term here ;)

They are rockets (growth-wise) anywhere.

Not even the W. robustas hold a candle to the speed of growth C.nucifera has in the same environment.   

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5 year high 42.2C/108F (07/06/2018)--5 year low 4.6C/40.3F (1/19/2023)--Lowest recent/current winter: 4.6C/40.3F (1/19/2023)

 

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  • 3 months later...
On 6/30/2019 at 11:36 PM, pj_orlando_z9b said:

That's a heckuva recovery. Looking great!

It's recovery is going pretty well.  I'm not entirely certain yet which variety this might be.  If it is a Golden Malayan, it's the hardiest one I've encountered in person.

20191011_172948_2018CoconutSurvivor_1200.jpg

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Lakeland, FL

USDA Zone 1990: 9a  2012: 9b  2023: 10a | Sunset Zone: 26 | Record Low: 20F/-6.67C (Jan. 1985, Dec.1962) | Record Low USDA Zone: 9a

30-Year Avg. Low: 30F | 30-year Min: 24F

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That looks terrific Jeremy.  I wonder if that specimen is actually a golden petiole tall of some sort.  Seems less likely, based on what is commonly available commercially, but you never know.

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@palmsOrl The crown is always the part that made me think Malayan.  It has always been more upright with more of an umbrella shape.  There was a second one next to it that bit the dust in 2018 and it had the upright crown too. 

@Zeeth Could you weigh in with your much more observant eye?

  • Upvote 1

Lakeland, FL

USDA Zone 1990: 9a  2012: 9b  2023: 10a | Sunset Zone: 26 | Record Low: 20F/-6.67C (Jan. 1985, Dec.1962) | Record Low USDA Zone: 9a

30-Year Avg. Low: 30F | 30-year Min: 24F

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Great job Kinzy! Coconuts have to grow in Lakeland. I can still remember the fully mature Coconuts throughout Orlando in the late 1950's. I believe they disappeared in the 1962 freeze. Eric and all of you are showing resurgence post 1989. Long live the Coconut in central Florida...

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What you look for is what is looking

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2 hours ago, bubba said:

Great job Kinzy! Coconuts have to grow in Lakeland. I can still remember the fully mature Coconuts throughout Orlando in the late 1950's. I believe they disappeared in the 1962 freeze. Eric and all of you are showing resurgence post 1989. Long live the Coconut in central Florida...

I can certainly believe that 1962 would have been one of the years where tender palms and tropical plants took a dive in our area.  We set a record low here that year (20F) that has since been revised to 19F.  My guess is that when Weather.com merged their data (20F) with Wunderground.com (18F), they averaged the two and arrived at 19F.  Then came the 1980s with 1985 (20F) and 1989 (21F).  After living in this city for almost 15 years, I'm starting to get better at finding the warm pockets of the city.  Downtown is a treasure trove of pre-2010 goodies.

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Lakeland, FL

USDA Zone 1990: 9a  2012: 9b  2023: 10a | Sunset Zone: 26 | Record Low: 20F/-6.67C (Jan. 1985, Dec.1962) | Record Low USDA Zone: 9a

30-Year Avg. Low: 30F | 30-year Min: 24F

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On 10/11/2019 at 8:56 PM, kinzyjr said:

@palmsOrl The crown is always the part that made me think Malayan.  It has always been more upright with more of an umbrella shape.  There was a second one next to it that bit the dust in 2018 and it had the upright crown too. 

@Zeeth Could you weigh in with your much more observant eye?

Seems maypan-ish but it's pretty hard to tell from the photo. Maybe in a few years once it's bigger it'll be a bit easier

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Keith 

Palmetto, Florida (10a) and Tampa, Florida (9b/10a)

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  • 8 months later...

Just a few updated photos of the coconuts on Main St.

20200627_180526_MainStCoconuts.jpg

And a pair that were planted near the wastewater facility.

20200627_183730_GlendaleCoconuts_1500.jpg

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Lakeland, FL

USDA Zone 1990: 9a  2012: 9b  2023: 10a | Sunset Zone: 26 | Record Low: 20F/-6.67C (Jan. 1985, Dec.1962) | Record Low USDA Zone: 9a

30-Year Avg. Low: 30F | 30-year Min: 24F

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On 6/30/2019 at 10:55 PM, GottmitAlex said:

They are rockets (growth-wise) anywhere.

Not even the W. robustas hold a candle to the speed of growth C.nucifera has in the same environment.   

So true, Alex.  My Maymex Hybrid that was the most cold injured of my 3 in ground ones, has totally recovered and growing like a weed, putting out HUGE ROBUST LEAVES NOW, AND GETTING A VERY FAT BASE OF THE TRUNK, and it hasn't even produced any woody trunk yet!

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1 hour ago, kinzyjr said:

Just a few updated photos of the coconuts on Main St.

20200627_180526_MainStCoconuts.jpg

And a pair that were planted near the wastewater facility.

20200627_183730_GlendaleCoconuts_1500.jpg

Looking GREAT, at least by Central Florida standards!

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  • 2 months later...

How are the coconuts doing? They look great. Are these from palm collectos or are they somewhat common up there now?

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1 hour ago, chinandega81 said:

How are the coconuts doing? They look great. Are these from palm collectos or are they somewhat common up there now?

So far, things are OK.  That could change quick.  I don't think any of these folks are palm collectors as they typically do not have a lot of other species present.  A few have really nice gardens, so I'm sure they have an interest in gardening in general.  Home Depot was selling Green Malayans with a bit of gray wood for ~$150 and there is a coconut grower that ships out of Frostproof on Craigslist that has large coconut palms for sale.  The availability and generally mild winters we've had in recent years are probably pushing the trend toward them being more common.  There is one at the top of Luce Rd. now, but it's just a few years in the ground thus far.  I'll probably have some updated photos of mine in the coming months.

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Lakeland, FL

USDA Zone 1990: 9a  2012: 9b  2023: 10a | Sunset Zone: 26 | Record Low: 20F/-6.67C (Jan. 1985, Dec.1962) | Record Low USDA Zone: 9a

30-Year Avg. Low: 30F | 30-year Min: 24F

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  • 10 months later...

Here is one off of the Parkway as you pass through Lakeland.  It does get protected as you can see from one of the Google Maps photos:

April 2021   March 2021   Jan. 2019   May 2018

 

20180501.png

20190101.png

20210301.png

20210401.png

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Lakeland, FL

USDA Zone 1990: 9a  2012: 9b  2023: 10a | Sunset Zone: 26 | Record Low: 20F/-6.67C (Jan. 1985, Dec.1962) | Record Low USDA Zone: 9a

30-Year Avg. Low: 30F | 30-year Min: 24F

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  • 2 months later...

Updated photos of some of our local Coconut Palms:

Main St.:

20211008_081042_MainStreet_02.jpg

Glendale:

20211008_083138_Glendale_02.jpg

Hallam:

20211008_085340_Hallam.jpg

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Lakeland, FL

USDA Zone 1990: 9a  2012: 9b  2023: 10a | Sunset Zone: 26 | Record Low: 20F/-6.67C (Jan. 1985, Dec.1962) | Record Low USDA Zone: 9a

30-Year Avg. Low: 30F | 30-year Min: 24F

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  • 6 months later...

Looking at some of the pictures, I didn't think they could be planted so close to the house. I was assuming you would need more room for the fonds to grow out. I guess the point would be to force the palm to bend away and not grow straight up?

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8 hours ago, idanny76 said:

Looking at some of the pictures, I didn't think they could be planted so close to the house. I was assuming you would need more room for the fonds to grow out. I guess the point would be to force the palm to bend away and not grow straight up?

they would grow away naturally but gradually

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Lucas

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