Jump to content

Cocos nucifera (Coconut) in Malta


Maltese coconut project
 Share

Recommended Posts

now we have more or less the same climate and the same temperatures...

now all those elements of cold are mixed, damp roots, cool rain and cool temperatures that kill the coconut... don't you have a canopy to shelter them from the rain?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No I don't have. But then how are we going to discover whether foliar fertilizer truly bridges their survival or not if I cover them? The experiment shouldn't have any other variables from previous practice except the foliar fertilizer use, higher potassium, Magnesium, sulphur, silicon, calcium, manganese, Zinc, soil biota, lower Nitrogen, removal of underplate in November and the all summer south facing hardening 

Edited by Maltese coconut project
  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

yes, unfortunately I think that the foliar fertilizer cannot make a big difference on the mix (rain, wind, cold, vase) lethal for coconut.

I would worry more about mitigating the problems associated with that combination of natural elements unfavorable to tropical palms. surely the fertilizer hardens and helps ... I'll tell you what my thoughts are! I also think that the most unpleasant thing for your cocos is the freshness combined with the roots in a vase ... everything gets cold and cold roots with rain cause problems ...

surely a winning combination for you is certainly a 2/3 year old palm, planted in the ground, sheltered from the wind, and foliar fertilizer!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am giving the saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) together with the liquid fertilizer but I don't know if it can give a positive ... I noticed some more intense green leaves ...

20230121_093645.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

57 minutes ago, Aleitalyyy said:

it will work only planted in the garden... as Alex is doing in Tajiuana...

these days it has lows of 4 degrees celsius in tajiuana

The problem is not the minimum temperatures but the maximum ones.  The coconut bears minimum temperatures of a few degrees above zero without excessive damage if the daytime maximum remain around 20 degrees.  Compared to the coastal areas of the Mediterranean basin, the climate of Southern California has greater temperature ranges and the temperatures of the central hours of the day are a bit higher, which makes it possible for some coconut plants to survive in favorable microclimates (such as that of Corona, that of La Quinta and the famous one of Huntington Beach): the slightly lower latitude provides further help because the solar radiation and the duration of the hours of light are greater.

My coconut plant is now showing extensive signs of leaf distress and I don't think it has much chance of making it. Apparently in Palermo the coconut can stay outside for 10 months of the year but January and February are too cold and rigid for it to spend the winter outdoors.

N.B.: this week in Palermo we had minimum temperature peaks of 7°, therefore 3° more than Tijuana. Unfortunately the maximum temperatures did not go beyond 12-13°...

Edited by Palermogreen
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

yes. but malta has an excellent, very favorable climate and better than palermo and the rest of sicily... i've been there... but a coconut planted in the ground makes a lot of difference from a coconut planted in a pot out in the wind, rain and cold. .. not to mention that the bigger and bigger it is, the more resistant it is... even a classic potted lemon plant suffers or dies from frosts.... while in the open ground it has no problems...

Screenshot_20230123-205005_Google.jpg

Screenshot_20230123-205506_Google.jpg

Screenshot_20230123-205605_Google.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello,

the coconut grows at the maximum speed in the temperature range that occurs in the tropics at sea level, the further one moves away from the tropics the more the temperatures, absolute and average, decrease and with them the speed of growth and the resistance to diseases. The absolute lows and the averages can act both individually and jointly, depending on the duration with which they occur. Taking the concept to extremes, if the temperature decreases to the point of freezing the vegetative apex, the plant dies regardless of the temperatures preceding (and following) the cold impulse. But it can also die if the absolute lows are much higher than the freezing point, but the average lows remain low for a long time. It seems to me that we can say that the survival of the coconut depends on the absolute minimum and/or average temperatures, or if you like, on these insufficiently high temperatures, but the concept is the same.

In an extremely simplified way, palms have a single point of growth, the meristem, in which the cells reproduce at a very high speed, greater than any pathogen, and which is the "engine" that makes the plant grow. All other conditions being equal, the speed of cellular reproduction depends on the temperature, the lower than the optimal one, the lower the growth and the resistance to diseases and environmental stresses. For coconut, cellular reproduction stops in a range between 10 and 13 °C and if it continues for a certain time, the plant has a very high probability of dying. The greater resistance of an adult plant compared to a very young one is largely due to a simple problem of heat transmission. The meristem is located almost in the center of the crown, it is therefore protected by the leaf bases, therefore it takes a certain time for its temperature to equal the external one. If the ambient temperature has few oscillations and is high enough, the temperature at the level of the meristem equals the average ambient temperature. If the air temperature drops suddenly due to a cold impulse of short duration, it takes several hours for the temperature of the meristem to equal the external one, being protected by a mass of vegetable matter, therefore it does not have time to reach critical temperatures, the younger it is the plant, and therefore the protective thickness, less this time. But even in the absence of a severe cold impulse, if the average temperatures fall for a sufficiently long time in the critical range, the coconut stops growing, the sap no longer circulates in the leaves, and it dies because its defenses have been reduced to zero.

Excuse the prolixity.

 

  • Upvote 1

Regards,

Pietro Puccio

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our climate in Malta falls within the "absolute low is higher than freezing point but averages are low for a long time". This is a vulnerable time for them because roots don't absorb nutrients properly. I already experienced such winters with previous coconut specimens without using foliar fertilizer. The big question is "will foliar fertilizer bypass this problem enough and increases survival rates significantly?" or are there other factors apart from the lack of nutrient absorption from roots at lower temperatures which significantly impact survival rates? We will have an answer when April 2023 finishes 

  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Update as of 01/27/2023:
At the moment the Cocos continues to resist.  The leaves show extensive cold burn which does not bode well, but the sprout and the base of the innermost leaves still appears to be vital.
Outside temperatures are around 10 degrees Celsius, typical of this period of the year in my area.  I'm trying to "help" the plant with weekly waterings of warm water with foliar fertiliser.
However, I wouldn't have bet a penny on the fact that the plant would still be alive at the end of January: let's say that however it goes, it will have been a success...

 

20230127_084203.jpg

20230127_084211.jpg

Screenshot_20230127_084847_Samsung Internet.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Acclimatising them before winter makes significant difference. In summer 2021 I put mine North facing to avoid the harshest sun and they grew big but leaves had thinner waxy cuticle and fewer larger stomata resulting in leaves which are less resistant to abiotic stress. In winter 2021-2022 I had a disaster. Last summer I left everything south facing. Keeping them in the hot sun makes the plant produce more abscisic acid which helps it's immune system and defense against both biotic and abiotic stress.  I also read that adapting plants to the outside might even have an effect on the gene expression for cold adaptation, that's why I don't want to protect the plants too much as I used to do before. The aim is to possibly have a few specimens that can survive our winter. They also will have the ability to "remember" such climatic conditions 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mine was exposed southwards all summer long...

Lamarck had theorized the possibility of modifying the genetic heritage of a species by exposing it to certain conditions, but his theories are now considered wrong: the only possibility of selecting a cocos more resistant to cold in my opinion it would be either to cross specimens of some variety coming from some climatically borderline zone or to use genetic engineering.

Edited by Palermogreen
Link to comment
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.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...