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A Coconut in London


John in Andalucia
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I've finally succumbed and bought myself a Malayan Red Dwarf variety, very reasonably priced on eBay at $36 inc. shipping!

It appears the seller shaved both sides of the nut to fit it in the shipping box, although I imagine that making the sides more porous by doing so, expedites the emergence of roots? I can see roots starting to poke through on both sides already.

My mix as follows (roughly in equal parts):

Seramis / 2 - 7 mm pine propagating mulch / Coir

I'm using rainwater in my mix. This is in keeping with my 'grow box' seedling cultivation, whereby I've been using only steam evaporated distilled water; too expensive for a coconut, so rainwater seems like the next best thing.

The plastic planter has a 23 cm (9") deep removable liner. For now, the rest of the planter is packed with bubble wrap, and placed between that and the underside of the liner is a 4w reptile heat mat.

So for now, as they say...'watch this space!' :yay:

 

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Best of luck to you John! You chose well: a dwarf variety. 

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 weeks later...

Thanks for the support, guys.

Quick update...... and very pleased with the progress; bottom heat, sunny position, humidity chamber, and a heatwave in London.

What could be more ideal for my city coconut? :D

 

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Looks great. I choose to grow mine Without humidity domes or anything because as it gets bigger. It won’t get that anyway. It’s been doing just fine. Only problem I made was introducing it to the sun to fast and the first fronds got sun burn 

oh and I have sprayed an anti transpiration product on the fronds to help it survive in drier conditions

Edited by Rickybobby
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Hi John,

looks fine. Actually the summer should increase its growth. Maybe I'll give it a trial too :unsure:

Eckhard

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Tempting as it is to have the nut showing for a nice decorative effect, I had trouble with one planted like that. When in a pot outside in the wind it rocks on the roots too much, the wind loosens the nut around the soil surface. If the nut is buried the stem takes all of the wind stress which is ok, not the roots flexing.

If inside all of the time it will be fine.

Cheers Steve

It is not dead, it is just senescence.

   

 

 

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Rob - I'll remove the dome at some point. I'm not sure how many strap leaves it'll push or how big they'll get, but as they're so cute I wanted them to look their best!

Eckhard - Sure! Why not? The seller still has 4 available. If you buy one though, check for ants. Mine had around 60 baby ants nesting under the stem, which you can see I removed.

Steve - This is strictly an indoor palm for me, but I will bury the nut when the foliage gets top-heavy, especially since my soil mix is very friable.

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  • 1 month later...

It's been two months since I acquired a sprouted Malayan Red Dwarf, and I couldn't be more pleased with it. ;)

Recently I bought some porous ground sheet and cut it to size and my wife sewed it into a bag to fit the planter. No longer inside a plastic bag or with humidity dome, and it looks to be doing just fine. The heat mat beneath the liner bag is keeping the soil at +2 degrees Celsius halfway down and +4 degrees at the the bottom of the bag, at a depth of 35 cm. You can see a mark I made on the planter; that's where the heat mat sits, below which is a mass of bubble wrap for insulation. I have also cut a hole in the bottom of the planter to let excess water drain out. Which reminds me - all that's needed now is a square tray to sit the planter in!

 

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  • 2 months later...

Four months old now, and it doesn't seem to be slowing down.

Looking forward to the next emerging leaf. Will it be strap, or part-pinnate?

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Bifid. Nice looking palm, John.

Meg

Palms of Victory I shall wear

Cape Coral (It's Just Paradise)
Florida
Zone 10A on the Isabelle Canal
Elevation: 15 feet

I'd like to be under the sea in an octopus' garden in the shade.

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8 hours ago, John in Andalucia said:

Four months old now, and it doesn't seem to be slowing down.

Looking forward to the next emerging leaf. Will it be strap, or part-pinnate?

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Awesome!! I think strap for about the next 2 or 3 shoots. 

 

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 1/27/2019 at 11:24 PM, sandgroper said:

Great looking coconut,  I hope it does well mate.

Cheers! I appreciate the comments. 

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On 1/27/2019 at 1:08 AM, Merlyn2220 said:

@John in Andalucia, great looking palm!  How about a January update? :) 

Todd, I promise - this weekend. Too dark here now to show it off. All is well, I have to say. :)

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I no longer have a heat meat in the base of the planter, since it failed. It doesn't seem to need it anyway. There's reflected heat from the radiator keeping the room temperature at around 22 C / 72F. The fourth leaf is showing steady growth over winter, moving at approximately half the speed of the previous leaf, which took 2 months to fully open from mid-August of last summer.

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Looks awesome great job. Mine is over a year old doesn’t look like that. For bad reason. Too large of a pot too much water. You know the routine. But still such a fun plant. It’s funny I asked you earlier about the dome you made and said I wasn’t going to use it. Well I’ve gone back to it since my coco was way too dry and hey if you can shelter and keep it humid. Why not 

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  • 3 months later...

Now one year old! I purchased my Malayan Red Dwarf as a sprouted nut in June 2018.

The fifth leaf is part pinnate. :w00t:

It's 26 C - nudging 80 F - here in London today. The sun would burn it in this corner of my yard, so it's back indoors after a quick photo.  B)

 

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Why did you put in inside then? Not used to that much light?

Mine is outside today with 26C in my work-in-progress garden, just like the Becarriophoenix A.

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50 minutes ago, MelvinB said:

Why did you put in inside then? Not used to that much light?

Mine is outside today with 26C in my work-in-progress garden, just like the Becarriophoenix A.

 

Because it grows perfectly well indoors by the kitchen window, where it gets plenty of light. I'm not going to pretend I have a tropical, or even a sub-tropical garden. :P

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It grows so well indoors by the window, so I just think why bother to move it? Having said that, I think that by next summer it'll take up too much space in the kitchen. In which case, I'll probably build an outdoor heated chamber for it, whereby I can wheel it in and out of it's 'comfort zone' according to the weather. I'm aware of the problems ahead growing so many plants indoors, so it's easier for me to not think that far ahead yet.

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Yeah, i get it. Mine grows well indoor also behind a window but it doesn’t care when staying in the sun for a whole day when temperatures are high enough.

It’s pushing a new leaf also (pretty quick after the last new leafs if you ask me). 

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  • 1 year later...

In February, my wife and I moved 7 miles out from the inner London suburbs, from a 2-room basement studio, to a 3-bedroom, semi-detached house with front garden and drive, double garage, and 75ft rear garden. A few weeks later we were lock-downed for 3 months. To say we were fortunate, is an understatement.

Now we now have the luxury of a conservatory! :drool:This is great news, not only for my 2-year old Malayan Red Dwarf, but a number of other 'big' seedlings such as my Joeys, Borassodendron and Syagrus amara seedlings that have outgrown the small humidity chamber they were started in. 

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41 minutes ago, John in Andalucia said:

In February, my wife and I moved 7 miles out from the inner London suburbs, from a 2-room basement studio, to a 3-bedroom, semi-detached house with front garden and drive, double garage, and 75ft rear garden. A few weeks later we were lock-downed for 3 months. To say we were fortunate, is an understatement.

Now we now have the luxury of a conservatory! :drool:This is great news, not only for my 2-year old Malayan Red Dwarf, but a number of other 'big' seedlings such as my Joeys, Borassodendron and Syagrus amara seedlings that have outgrown the small humidity chamber they were started in. 

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Wow! Your coconut looks a picture of health, what a fantastic looking palm. That looks as good as any coconut I've ever seen.

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Terrific!  The palm looks so healthy.  You're an inspiration to us other cold-climate growers of potted palms.  I like the conservatory.  Yes, good timing for your family to have found a nice place outside the congested city areas to ride out the covid worries.

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1 hour ago, piping plovers said:

Terrific!  The palm looks so healthy.  You're an inspiration to us other cold-climate growers of potted palms.  I like the conservatory.  Yes, good timing for your family to have found a nice place outside the congested city areas to ride out the covid worries.

We were so fortunate. My wife and I are both 56 and we don't have any kids, so we definitely felt blessed. I water the living daylights out of that coconut in summer and very occasionally over winter. Other than that, it looks after itself. My wife sewed a liner out of weed control fabric, such that it doesn't touch the bottom of the plastic planter. I'm sure it helps. 

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How high is the ceiling of your conservatory? And length and width? That coconut is looking completely at home there, I hope it doesn't grow too fast, with it looking this good you'd like to have a few years to enjoy it before having to worry about moving it.

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12 hours ago, sandgroper said:

How high is the ceiling of your conservatory? And length and width? That coconut is looking completely at home there, I hope it doesn't grow too fast, with it looking this good you'd like to have a few years to enjoy it before having to worry about moving it.

Exactly that was the problem I had with my (too) fast growing Cocos: the ceiling. So the only remnant of my palm I have now is a small stem segment: :crying:

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My photos at flickr: flickr.com/photos/palmeir/albums

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15 hours ago, sandgroper said:

How high is the ceiling of your conservatory? And length and width? That coconut is looking completely at home there, I hope it doesn't grow too fast, with it looking this good you'd like to have a few years to enjoy it before having to worry about moving it.

16 ft x 8 ft and 7ft to 8ft high, front to back. I reckon in a couple of years I'll have to think about plans for donating it. Kew Gardens is only 10 mins. away. In my opinion, they should remove their less-than-majestic-looking Bismarckia nobilis and plant a Malayan Red Dwarf Coconut!

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13 hours ago, John in Andalucia said:

16 ft x 8 ft and 7ft to 8ft high, front to back. I reckon in a couple of years I'll have to think about plans for donating it. Kew Gardens is only 10 mins. away. In my opinion, they should remove their less-than-majestic-looking Bismarckia nobilis and plant a Malayan Red Dwarf Coconut!

Well, whatever your doing is fantastic and Kew Gardens need to give you a job mate! At least you'll get a few more years from it before you have to part company, that'll be a sad day!

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 8/5/2020 at 10:39 AM, sandgroper said:

Well, whatever your doing is fantastic and Kew Gardens need to give you a job mate! At least you'll get a few more years from it before you have to part company, that'll be a sad day!

Ha ha! If only. My other wish would be to move back to Spain and plant it out in a place I could call home. The other option of course, is to just keep growing more palms from seed! 

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  • 3 months later...
On 15/8/2020 at 23:07, John in Andalucia said:

Ah ah! Se solo. L'altro mio desiderio sarebbe tornare in Spagna e piantarlo in un posto che potrei chiamare casa. L'altra opzione, ovviamente, è continuare a far crescere più palme dal seme! 

what is the temperature in the conservatory where the coconut lives? temperature December January ...

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