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Growing Cocos nucifera (Coconut) in marginal climates outside the tropical monsoon, in subtropical, Mediterranean type climate, methods used


Maltese coconut project

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I think it's very similar to Malta. Some might succeed if they aren't too small and young 

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On 11/11/2021 at 1:09 AM, Maltese coconut project said:

Which area do you live in? (just to have an idea of your climate) 

Hi,

I live in Flour Bluff on the east side of Corpus Christi, Texas, near the Laguna Madre (about 6/10 of a mile east of me), and about 5 miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico.  The latitude here is 27.65 N Latitude.

John

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On 11/11/2021 at 1:09 AM, Maltese coconut project said:

Which area do you live in? (just to have an idea of your climate) 

I think the average high/low here at my place in January is 65F/50F.  We normally get down into the 30'sF here about 3 to 5 times each winter, with the normal coldest morning at my place about 33F, and I can go without a freeze usually for 3 or 4 years at a time.   But here, we start warming up significantly in late February and early March.  We have very warm springs and falls here, and hot summers.  Our annual average rainfall, where I live is right at 30 inches per year, but the Corpus Christi Airport, which is about 20 miles inland from me, averages 31.76 inches per year.  I hope this info helps you.  By the way, I estimate the normal high/low in July here where I live to be 94F/78F.

John

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On 11/11/2021 at 1:09 AM, Maltese coconut project said:

Which area do you live in? (just to have an idea of your climate) 

Oh, and we have high humidity here in the spring and most of the fall, and very high humidity here in the summer, which I think really helps the growth of Coconut Palms here.

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On 11/11/2021 at 5:49 PM, Alicante said:

All of the monthly averages are in the World Meteorological Organization / WMO website.

This is the link: https://worldweather.wmo.int/en/city.html?cityId=2904

There you have all highs/lows during each month. 

 

On 11/11/2021 at 9:31 AM, Alicante said:

@GottmitAlex @Mr. Coconut Palm @Maltese coconut project What do you think about the growing possibilities in this city within the province of Almería?
I just found this official WMO data about this city, didn't know about it before, turns out it's the 2nd biggest city in the province of Almería. 
It's naturally protected as well as it gets constant heat currents from Africa. These are the averages: 

https://worldweather.wmo.int/en/city.html?cityId=2904

- Only 3 months have average highs under 21ºC / 70F
- The coldest month is January with an average high of 17.5ºC / 63.5F 
- The annual average is 19.87ºC / 67.8F and the summers are hot with very warm nights. 

Do you think coconuts hold any chance in this climate? Delonix Regia / Royal Poincianas grow in Roquetas de Mar if that's an indicator. 
 

I think there is a chance.  

If the numbers are correct for "Roquetas de Mar" , I believe there may be a chance for cocos nucifera.

 

 

Screenshot_20211112-210435.png

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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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I understand. Living in an area in a very close proximity to a sea makes a big difference due to the fact that the night time low won't drop as low as in inner continent. It's similar in Malta 

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In Degrees Fahrenheit, from what I have noticed (if all the data presented here is near correct) you have a better winter than Malta in Flour Bluff Corpus Christi Texas 

Screenshot_2021-11-13-11-09-46-740_com.android.chrome.jpg

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In the case of Malta, the winter temperatures are quite near correct in the picture (though usually slightly warmer than pictured) but our summer is hotter then those pictures I just presented say, sometimes it starts getting hot after the first 10-20 days of May.  But in coconut palms and other full tropical plants,  too high summers above 100 degrees Fahrenheit daytime temperatures with fairly low winters in the isn't as good as a more balanced summer vs winter, you have better balanced climate there with most of the winter still in the 70s daytime temperatures  although nighttime lows also count. Tropical trees simply have a narrower temperature range where they do best, but at their best temperatures they grow faster than plants adapted for temperate or polar regions 

Edited by Maltese coconut project
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  • 2 weeks later...

Moving the oldest ones to the east side to shelter from the upcoming gale storm from the west 

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  • 1 month later...

So December starts to be significantly a bad month in terms of temperature for coconut palms. By just one month from my last photos, they look significantly battered especially the ones in the front row farthest from the corner.  During our December, daytime high goes below 21 degrees celcius (70 degrees Fahrenheit) and night time low below 15 degrees celcius (below 60 degrees Fahrenheit). January, February and March are also among the bad months with April being borderline (similar to November) and May to October being the best. Also I noticed that the dehusked ones germinated by myself and more cool tolerant than the ready ones purchased from Lidl. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

From my experience with Indian,  Nicaraguan, South East Asian and Dutch greenhouse coconut varieties (I didn't have access to other varieties by nation yet) Indian coconut palms seem to be the most cool tolerant for a Mediterranean winter climate. These 4 are Indian varieties 

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Nicaraguan ones (biggest three). Their colour doesn't look as beautiful as the Indian ones but they survived winter 2020 - 2021 in the same area 

IMG_20220112_121020~2.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

Update of the few Coconut varieties by country that I have. The Indian ones persist to be the most cool resistant and still in nice condition 

IMG_20220123_130659.jpg

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Not sure about the origin of these two.  They could be from South East Asia or from Ivory Coast but the supermarket staff selling it weren't sure 

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On 8/1/2021 at 8:49 PM, 3 Milesfrom Gulf of Mexico said:

I'm here is Florida north of Tropic of Cancer.  This coconut is 16 years old.  Coldest temperature last winter 37 degrees Fahrenheit .

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Nice looking Central Florida Coconut Palm.  Do you know what variety it is, and are the nuts viable?

John

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On 8/2/2021 at 6:46 AM, 3 Milesfrom Gulf of Mexico said:

Seminole, Florida  is located at 27°50′19″N 82°47′6″W (27.838502, -82.784913).  It is surrounded by Pinellas County enclaves in all directions. Its closest neighbors are Indian Rocks Beach to the northwest, Largo to the north, Pinellas Park to the east, St. Petersburg to the south, and Madeira Beach to the west.

Seminole has a humid subtropical climate.  We are  far enough south that it lies in the broad transition zone from subtropical to tropical climates. As such, Seminole is mostly warm to hot year round, with few nights of frost. Most of the annual rainfall comes in the wet season (June through September), when daily thundershowers erupt due to the strong solar heating. The dry season starts in October and runs through May, at which time the weather is sunny, dry, and there is little change in daily weather.  Historical average for rainfall in August is 8 inches.  

Last winter we had no frost.  If we do get nights in the low 40's or high 30's it only last a few hours.  As soon as the sun rises in the morning the temperature usually rebound quickly.  I used to wrap the tree when it was a juvenile during cold nights.  Not anymore.  I haven't done a thing since we have had mild winters last few seasons.  

Last month we had Hurricane Elsa.  We had 50-60 MPH winds.  Coconut had no wind damage except for a few coconuts falling to the ground.  

I bought the  sprouted coconut tree from a small road side produce stand in Maui for $5.00.  I got it inspected at the airport and was able to put it in my carry on luggage.  I never potted it and stuck it in the ground the next day when I arrived home  in Florida.  After 16 years it is still going strong.  

Good luck with your coconut project.  

If you got it in Hawaii, judging by the color of the petioles, it might be a Green Hawaiian Tall, which is one of the more cold hardy/cool weather hardy varieties, slightly more cold/cool weather hardy than the Golden Hawaiian Tall.

John

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On 8/13/2021 at 12:21 PM, Aleitalyyy said:

@GottmitAlex 

hi alex I have followed many many posts here on the forum ... the idea was born from all the posts with coconut on the edge ... corona, new port beach, then those in the desert etc etc are all yellow ... I was convinced then that the yellows were more tolerant of the winter cold ... it will be just coincidences then ..

It has been my experience with several trials, that with the exception of the Golden Orange Colored Petioles of the the Panama Tall, that the Golden and Yellow varieties ARE LESS COLD/COOL WEATHER HARDY than the Green Varieties.  Here on the South Texas Coast, you can ONLY grow Golden Malayan Dwarfs and Yellow Malayan Dwarfs in the Lower part of the Rio Grande Valley around San Benito, Olmito, Brownsville, Los Fresnos, Bayview, Port Isabel, and South Padre Island in Cameron County, whereas the green varieties, including the Green Malayan Dwarf can be grown as far inland as Mcallen, and as far north in the Valley as Harlingen, and we can succesfully get the Green Malayan Dwarfs to grow here on the east side of Corpus Christi,  along the east side of Ocean Dr. (bayfront), in Flour Bluff (small peninsula right before you get to the island), and on Padre Island.  We are even able to get Green Malayans to produce woody trunk here and produce a few nuts between really bad coconut killing winters, but we CANNOT get the Golden Malayans and Yellow Malayans to grow here for any length of time at all.

John

Edited by Mr. Coconut Palm
More info.
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14 minutes ago, Maltese coconut project said:

Wow and it's bearing fruit 

Are you responding to me?

John

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On 1/23/2022 at 1:38 PM, Maltese coconut project said:

Yes regarding the Florida coconut, very beautiful 

It is in Pinellas County on the Pinellas Peninsula west of Tampa.  There, it is not unusual for Coconut Palms to reach maturity and have a good amount of large viable nuts on them.  Even Green Malayan Dwarfs can reach maturity there with viable nuts on them.

John

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It's windy. Malta has a windy overall climate with a majority of North Western winds (around 18% of all winds from NW mostly concentrated in winter season) 

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Even though in my area we're just 99m or 324.8 feet above sea level. Our islands are affected by the valleys between the mountain ranges between Spain and France and from the alps in northern Italy.  Wind gains speeds due to the tunneling effect. But on the other hand, I placed them in that particular corner on purpose to protect them from North Western winds as much as possible 

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This is valuable information for me. We have longer cools though but without freezing temperatures. It never freezes here. December to end of march sometimes extending to first two thirds of April might have shade temperatures below 20 degrees celcius or below 70 degrees Fahrenheit. But then the mostly sunny weather + 3000 hours yearly sunshine might compensate for that 

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Same here, winds are mostly N-NW. However where I live it is windy all year round. Unfortunate because that makes summer drier and winter colder. We had 1-2 C last night, coldest so far.

previously known as ego

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Our current temperatures.  From May till end of November we'll experience mostly southern winds. Our humidity is mostly above 60% in summer and above 80% during cooler months (because we're an archipelago of small islands). Humidity only drops occasionally (as shown in the screenshots) (Top celcius, bottom Fahrenheit) 

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Edited by Maltese coconut project
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Your weather is similar to that of southern Greek islands. 

By the way, which season is best for propagating coconuts you reckon?

previously known as ego

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I use artificial means all year round. I use aquarium heating cable and thermostat, clear transparent plastic storage boxes, food containers filled with water, litter tray and off course coconuts for step one. Here are some pictures :

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In step two I still use the concept of heat and humidity. I always keep temperature ranges between 25-30 degrees celcius, no more, no less. They have a narrow ideal temperature range.  This time in step two I use the highest possible transparent clear plastic boxes,  aquarium heating cable and thermostat, litter tray (this time directly in water) with pots filled with aquarium gravel with the germinated coconuts in more advanced stage placed on each pot with gravel. In this second phase, I use grow light (try to aim at 5 red: 1 blue :1 white light ratio). Here are some pictures of phase 2 :

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Here is and interesting article about coconut genetics carried out by plant evolutionary biologist Professor Kenneth M. Olsen, Professor Bee F. Gunn and Professor Luc Baudouin regarding coconut genetics.. According to their study, there were two major genetically differentiated coconut tree populations, one in Indian and the Indian ocean basin and the other in the South Pacific basin. The two were dispersed in different parts of the tropical world by travelling humans. The chart shows that the Indian type was dispersed on both sides of tropical Africa and on the Atlantic side of tropical American continents, and the South Pacific type was dispersed on the west coast of tropical America. In Madagascar and nearby areas they found a mixture of both population genetics.  Possibly the Indian type might be more cool tolerant than the Pacific type.  In my experiment, Indian type were most Hardy, Nicaraguan types which are probably a mixture due to East and west tropical American coasts being connected by the Panama canal showed medium cool resistance and the Philippines green variety which are from South Pacific were the most cool sensitive with all of them probably dying in December.  This could also be a lead why Florida, Jamaican and Eastern Mexican coconut varieties are said to be more cool tolerant, possibly due to being on Indian ancestry. Here is a link to the article https://source.wustl.edu/2011/06/deep-history-of-coconuts-decoded/

Coconut chart edits.jpeg

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These photos are so useful for beginners like me! I have a silly question: when do you switch the lights on? Immediately after sprouting or even before sprouting? 

I have some Veitchia Joannis seeds in a propagator since the beginning of December, sitting on a heat mat and nothing yet. I'm wondering what I'm doing wrong. Temperature inside the propagator is about 27C. 

previously known as ego

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