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Cathedral City, CA coconut palm


Conrad

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I thought I would share this coconut palm I planted at my house in the low desert near Palm Springs.

1492214971_PXL_20210211_0340279692.thumb.jpg.7bd859293f34025c8b795d942a0e818b.jpg

I bought this coconut tree online in February 2021 and left it outside in a 15 gal pot until December 2021.

808234096_PXL_20210613_0031223132.thumb.jpg.478dc66ac833375aa40b7cf6ad143717.jpg

Then I brought it inside and kept it in the house for about 4 months, using an indoor grow light to help it get enough light during winter.

465636797_PXL_20211208_1655165292.thumb.jpg.f0f36373eca737004a72d752cc4d4802.jpg

I planted it outside in March 2022. I used drip irrigation from March - October, then closed off the drippers and have only been watering as needed since then.

369734231_PXL_20220313_2226243612.thumb.jpg.94ba74c642df91f96e513ff669104257.jpg

It grew like crazy until October. Now the top of the most upright frond reaches about 7 feet in height!

1937244124_PXL_20221015_2346448523.thumb.jpg.1bd86b8e676f16dcc93c8a1391f9d43e.jpg

Without a doubt, this coconut has no problem at all with extremely hot and dry weather. It's been out in direct sun for the last two summers and 120 degrees doesn't bother it (the average high in summer here is about 109)!

763943599_PXL_20221021_0214464513.thumb.jpg.7d19dbc11975982ccb2d18011beaf435.jpg

The only real question is if it can survive outside all winter. We haven't had a freezing temperature in the last few years, but we've gotten close a couple times. Although it's not planted next to a building, I have it in a spot that gets lots of direct sun on winter mornings. I put some incandescent Christmas lights around the base, and I leave them on overnight on the coldest nights.

1936792463_PXL_20221217_1905200122.thumb.jpg.9f6095aace8aeff2292cc324e7bcbcb9.jpg

It has been a bit colder than normal lately and the leaves are showing some minor cold damage. It rained a few days ago with chilly weather and I used a tarp to keep the soil dry.

Right now I water the soil every 2 or 3 weeks with warm water if the weather is warm and sunny enough. We should get up to 78 on Christmas! So I'll give it more water next weekend.

Any care advice would be appreciated! If anybody else is trying to grow a coconut in California, let me know!

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So cool! Good luck. Where's the origin of your coconut palm? I have found the Hawaiian ones seem to do better than Florida ones (based off of limited observations). I actually planted a Florida-grown one in Cathedral City that pretty much died after the first winter (made it down to one leaf, then shriveled up in the summer), and am now trying three Hawaiian ones down in El Centro, CA. I am not too hopeful, considering we already had a frost this morning, but maybe I'll get lucky! They are all on south facing walls and two get no irrigation in the winter, and one gets irrigation, so we will see what happens! Here are photos from an hour ago... you can tell which one is getting irrigated based off of the wet soil. This is their first winter. I'm also experimenting with many other palms! Unfortunately, i travel extensively/excessively for work so these palms are all subject to lots of neglect. :(

36F7859B-4718-4B91-9756-44E1CBF84794.jpeg

24EEE4E5-27A2-411E-8E31-635087990559.jpeg

9C3CE79C-89E9-420A-95FB-13E99252C8F6.jpeg

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I'm always up for learning new things!

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1 hour ago, kylecawazafla said:

So cool! Good luck. Where's the origin of your coconut palm? I have found the Hawaiian ones seem to do better than Florida ones (based off of limited observations). I actually planted a Florida-grown one in Cathedral City that pretty much died after the first winter (made it down to one leaf, then shriveled up in the summer), and am now trying three Hawaiian ones down in El Centro, CA. I am not too hopeful, considering we already had a frost this morning, but maybe I'll get lucky! They are all on south facing walls and two get no irrigation in the winter, and one gets irrigation, so we will see what happens! Here are photos from an hour ago... you can tell which one is getting irrigated based off of the wet soil. This is their first winter. I'm also experimenting with many other palms! Unfortunately, i travel extensively/excessively for work so these palms are all subject to lots of neglect. :(

36F7859B-4718-4B91-9756-44E1CBF84794.jpeg

24EEE4E5-27A2-411E-8E31-635087990559.jpeg

9C3CE79C-89E9-420A-95FB-13E99252C8F6.jpeg

Thank you! I don't actually know the origin, I just bought it online but it was labeled "green Malayan"

Screenshot_20221217-203049.thumb.png.4e4dae29e1c48320a1893697e6ff77e8.png

When I got it in February 2021 and left it outside, it died back and lost most of its fronds within a couple months, but it also started a new growth (very slowly!) in March, and by fall it had grown quite big.

I think El Centro would be a great place to try a coconut! Similar to Cathedral City, but much higher summer humidity. Maybe a tad colder some nights because of low elevation and less "urban heat effect"? I would think if it could make it through the winter, the coconuts would grow even faster in summer because of the humidity!

When did you get those and when did you plant them?

What other palms are you experimenting with? I got a 15 gal Cuban royal at a nursery in Riverside this past April and immediately planted it, and it's doing well! 

PXL_20221013_005650638.thumb.jpg.39af2d6fc24b2950c1ddb2ebd0c2189a.jpg

I also have some butterfly/Areca palms from little 6" pots I got at the grocery store and planted in the backyard in dappled shade under a lemon tree. I planted this one in January, it's still a little thing but has fully pinnate fronds now:

PXL_20221121_003341617.thumb.jpg.db9ec21e224c784537b867fe99bc409e.jpg

 

One of my neighbors has big Areca palms! They were against an east facing wall with extra shade from a giant mesquite tree. I couldn't believe me eyes! Big areca palms in the desert?? Take a look, this photo was taken in August, just down the street from my house:

PXL_20220813_233018775.thumb.jpg.44ab5de51fd12a6a672dd1831a51066e.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Conrad
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1 hour ago, kylecawazafla said:

So cool! Good luck. Where's the origin of your coconut palm? I have found the Hawaiian ones seem to do better than Florida ones (based off of limited observations). I actually planted a Florida-grown one in Cathedral City that pretty much died after the first winter (made it down to one leaf, then shriveled up in the summer), and am now trying three Hawaiian ones down in El Centro, CA. I am not too hopeful, considering we already had a frost this morning, but maybe I'll get lucky! They are all on south facing walls and two get no irrigation in the winter, and one gets irrigation, so we will see what happens! Here are photos from an hour ago... you can tell which one is getting irrigated based off of the wet soil. This is their first winter. I'm also experimenting with many other palms! Unfortunately, i travel extensively/excessively for work so these palms are all subject to lots of neglect. :(

36F7859B-4718-4B91-9756-44E1CBF84794.jpeg

24EEE4E5-27A2-411E-8E31-635087990559.jpeg

9C3CE79C-89E9-420A-95FB-13E99252C8F6.jpeg

I highly recommend placing a brood lamp on it.  1.5Ft from it. 

Incandescent brood lamp. 125w will suffice for the cold nights.

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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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These palms are planted at my work in a relatively public place, so can't really do anything like that due to theft! Actually had a palm stolen within a couple days of obtaining them! 
 

Conrad, here is a photo album of photos I've taken in the valley of palm trees if you're looking for more inspiration! 
 

https://www.flickr.com/gp/36838058@N03/8q09438053


I got these coconuts in July and they were in 80% sun for the first two months, and then planted them in the ground in September of this year. I thought they would grow a lot this summer, but whoever I bought them from cut off all of the roots prior to shipping. 
 

Those Dypsis lutescens look great!

I am currently experimenting with:

Phoenicophorium

Areca catechu

Carpinteria

Dypsis decaryi

Bottle palm

Roystonea oleracea, borinquena, and regia

Bismarckia

Ravenea rivularis

Wodyetia 

Ptychosperma elegans

Adonidia

Chambeyronia

Dypsis lutescens

Hydriastele "Obi island" 

My summer deaths include:

Areca vestiaria (MELTED in 100% shade in like one week)

Ravenala madagascriensis (sadly burnt up)

Phoenicophorium (I have three - 2 are in a protected courtyard and look flawless still, the one more exposed has since died) 

Corypha - it died in shipping, but my fault for getting it in the summer 

I guess it's too early to see what the winter deaths are! 

 

 

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I'm always up for learning new things!

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4 hours ago, kylecawazafla said:

So cool! Good luck. Where's the origin of your coconut palm? I have found the Hawaiian ones seem to do better than Florida ones (based off of limited observations). I actually planted a Florida-grown one in Cathedral City that pretty much died after the first winter (made it down to one leaf, then shriveled up in the summer), and am now trying three Hawaiian ones down in El Centro, CA. I am not too hopeful, considering we already had a frost this morning, but maybe I'll get lucky! They are all on south facing walls and two get no irrigation in the winter, and one gets irrigation, so we will see what happens! Here are photos from an hour ago... you can tell which one is getting irrigated based off of the wet soil. This is their first winter. I'm also experimenting with many other palms! Unfortunately, i travel extensively/excessively for work so these palms are all subject to lots of neglect. :(

36F7859B-4718-4B91-9756-44E1CBF84794.jpeg

24EEE4E5-27A2-411E-8E31-635087990559.jpeg

9C3CE79C-89E9-420A-95FB-13E99252C8F6.jpeg

I would highly recommend you to water those two cocos left on their own, watering wise, at least every 2/3 days, but with not too much water. Always keeping an eye on rainfall you get in winter. 

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  • 2 months later...

Coconuts are sensitive to continual cool weather as well as plunges to freezing. They require high heat and sun. Winter days in the 40s to 60s followed by chilly nights will surely kill them. What lows did you get? What were average winter highs? Does the sun shine each day in winter? Did it rain when temps fell below 60F? Cold rain can be lethal. Losing 30+ species of palms one miserable winter taught me that.

If you replace it, look into major ways to protect it next winter.

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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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1 hour ago, Conrad said:

My coconut died 😥 It was an unusually chilly winter. Maybe I'll try again next year

PXL_20230210_013447885.jpg

It's a day of mourning for some of us. 

Sorry.  

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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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On 12/17/2022 at 11:20 PM, Conrad said:

 

Thank you! I don't actually know the origin, I just bought it online but it was labeled "green Malayan"

Screenshot_20221217-203049.thumb.png.4e4dae29e1c48320a1893697e6ff77e8.png

When I got it in February 2021 and left it outside, it died back and lost most of its fronds within a couple months, but it also started a new growth (very slowly!) in March, and by fall it had grown quite big.

I think El Centro would be a great place to try a coconut! Similar to Cathedral City, but much higher summer humidity. Maybe a tad colder some nights because of low elevation and less "urban heat effect"? I would think if it could make it through the winter, the coconuts would grow even faster in summer because of the humidity!

When did you get those and when did you plant them?

What other palms are you experimenting with? I got a 15 gal Cuban royal at a nursery in Riverside this past April and immediately planted it, and it's doing well! 

PXL_20221013_005650638.thumb.jpg.39af2d6fc24b2950c1ddb2ebd0c2189a.jpg

I also have some butterfly/Areca palms from little 6" pots I got at the grocery store and planted in the backyard in dappled shade under a lemon tree. I planted this one in January, it's still a little thing but has fully pinnate fronds now:

PXL_20221121_003341617.thumb.jpg.db9ec21e224c784537b867fe99bc409e.jpg

 

One of my neighbors has big Areca palms! They were against an east facing wall with extra shade from a giant mesquite tree. I couldn't believe me eyes! Big areca palms in the desert?? Take a look, this photo was taken in August, just down the street from my house:

PXL_20220813_233018775.thumb.jpg.44ab5de51fd12a6a672dd1831a51066e.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

All good, except DON'T plant any tropicals including palms in January, or anytime before March or April.  I wouldn't even plant palms and other tropicals in January in Miami.  They need warmer weather to properly get established.

John

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4 hours ago, Conrad said:

My coconut died 😥 It was an unusually chilly winter. Maybe I'll try again next year

PXL_20230210_013447885.jpg

Sorry for your loss.  I have lost 2 more from this winter here, after losing 3 nice looking larger ones two years ago.

John

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4 hours ago, Conrad said:

My coconut died 😥 It was an unusually chilly winter. Maybe I'll try again next year

PXL_20230210_013447885.jpg

Try to get a Pure Mexican Tall, Pure Jamaican Tall, or Pure Green Hawaiian Tall (NOT The typical Golden Hawaiian Tall that is often shipped as a sprout to buyers on the mainland).  If you can't get any of these, then try another Green Malayan Dwar, but first grow it in a pot for about 2 years, exposing it to about 20 to 30 nights in the 40'sF over the coarse of 2 winters, and exposing it to at least 6 or 7 nights in the 30"sF over those two winters, and if possible to at least one or two frosts with temps around 32F or 33F to harden it off before planting it in the ground, and don't plant it in the ground until it is about 8ft. to 10 ft. tall in overall height.  For your climate, I would plant it on a really warm day in mid to late April, in order to give it the whole rest of the year to get established before the following winter.  I would also use these techniques with the other varieties I suggested too, but it is more critical with the Green Malayan since they are a little less cold hardy than the other varieties I mentioned.

I also suggest you used ONLY All Organic Fertilizers with lots of micronutrients like MicroLife 8-4-6 Ultimate as a granular slow release fertilizer for the root zone 4 times per year in mid February, mid May, mid August, and mid November, and use MicroLife Ocean Harvest 4-2-3 as a foliar spray off and on throughout the year, at the rate of 2 ounces per gallon of water placed in a handheld spray bottle and sprayed thoroughly all over the crown of leaves.  And I suggest applying a layer of organic mulch about an inch deep at the time of planting, and mulching about 2 inches deep with a native hardwood mulch twice per year, in the spring and summer to help add organic matter to the soil, help with moisture retention in hot dry weather, and to help increase microbial activity in the soil which is beneficial to the palm, and increases soil temps with lots of microbial activity going on in the soil, which is very important in marginal chilly winter climates to increase soil temps.

John

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3 hours ago, idontknowhatnametuse said:

Would a Mexican Tall work in California?

That would be the best bet, followed by a Green Hawaiian Tall, and then followed by a Jamaican Tall.

John

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16 minutes ago, Mr. Coconut Palm said:

Try to get a Pure Mexican Tall, Pure Jamaican Tall, or Pure Green Hawaiian Tall (NOT The typical Golden Hawaiian Tall that is often shipped as a sprout to buyers on the mainland).  If you can't get any of these, then try another Green Malayan Dwar, but first grow it in a pot for about 2 years, exposing it to about 20 to 30 nights in the 40'sF over the coarse of 2 winters, and exposing it to at least 6 or 7 nights in the 30"sF over those two winters, and if possible to at least one or two frosts with temps around 32F or 33F to harden it off before planting it in the ground, and don't plant it in the ground until it is about 8ft. to 10 ft. tall in overall height.  For your climate, I would plant it on a really warm day in mid to late April, in order to give it the whole rest of the year to get established before the following winter.  I would also use these techniques with the other varieties I suggested too, but it is more critical with the Green Malayan since they are a little less cold hardy than the other varieties I mentioned.

I also suggest you used ONLY All Organic Fertilizers with lots of micronutrients like MicroLife 8-4-6 Ultimate as a granular slow release fertilizer for the root zone 4 times per year in mid February, mid May, mid August, and mid November, and use MicroLife Ocean Harvest 4-2-3 as a foliar spray off and on throughout the year, at the rate of 2 ounces per gallon of water placed in a handheld spray bottle and sprayed thoroughly all over the crown of leaves.  And I suggest applying a layer of organic mulch about an inch deep at the time of planting, and mulching about 2 inches deep with a native hardwood mulch twice per year, in the spring and summer to help add organic matter to the soil, help with moisture retention in hot dry weather, and to help increase microbial activity in the soil which is beneficial to the palm, and increases soil temps with lots of microbial activity going on in the soil, which is very important in marginal chilly winter climates to increase soil temps.

John

Thanks John for the advice! I actually did buy one of those sprouted coconuts shipped from Hawaii a couple weeks ago, thinking it might be a little more hardy than the green Malayan. Whoops! But this time I'll keep it in a pot and move it indoors through at least 2-3 winters and maybe I can find a more protected spot to plant it next time. When I do plant it, I'll find those fertilizers you mentioned.

PXL_20230210_015154934.thumb.jpg.45b3ab911860f4b88b4906403f4b89c3.jpg

It still baffles me how unbothered my last coconut was in the desert heat. It took consistent temps above 110 and wasn't affected, even above 120 a couple times. Meanwhile my mature queen palms got heatstroke and their new fronds died.

You all might find this interesting: https://www.redfin.com/CA/Palm-Desert/73330-Desert-Rose-Dr-92260/home/5940520?utm_source=android_share&utm_medium=share&utm_nooverride=1&utm_content=link&2010988919=variant&813945303=variant 

Apparently the new homeowner cut it down. But it got that big, just 10 miles away.  And there's a live one in the La Quinta cove that I've seen. So it can be done here!

Does anyone know where to get one of those tall coconut varieties for shipping to CA that John mentioned?

 

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5 hours ago, PalmatierMeg said:

Coconuts are sensitive to continual cool weather as well as plunges to freezing. They require high heat and sun. Winter days in the 40s to 60s followed by chilly nights will surely kill them. What lows did you get? What were average winter highs? Does the sun shine each day in winter? Did it rain when temps fell below 60F? Cold rain can be lethal. Losing 30+ species of palms one miserable winter taught me that.

If you replace it, look into major ways to protect it next winter.

It was cooler than usual... Highs mostly in the 60s and lows in the 40s. I think the coldest temp was 37. Sunny most days but we had a few more cool cloudy days than usual. Very little rain but I did cover the ground around it with a tarp when it did.

Average high here is normally around 70 in the coldest months... We only average about 3" of rain per year. 

I rarely watered it once the cool weather set in, just a couple times on the warmest days with warm water... But I wonder if I should have given it have a little more water? I gave it lots of water from March - October and tapered down in November.

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Not enough heat. Coconuts need regular temps of 80-85+F, preferably higher. They will show cold damage at temps in the 40s - all my coconuts have spotting and yellowing from just a few dips into the 40s (winter low of 41.2F). We had nearly a week of 60s/40s days around Christmas and they really hated that. Normally, my temps rebound from a chilly morning soon after sunrise. Also, keep in mind that coconuts cannot photosynthesize below 50F and will die even given many sunny but cool days.

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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On 2/20/2023 at 8:35 PM, Conrad said:

Thanks John for the advice! I actually did buy one of those sprouted coconuts shipped from Hawaii a couple weeks ago, thinking it might be a little more hardy than the green Malayan. Whoops! But this time I'll keep it in a pot and move it indoors through at least 2-3 winters and maybe I can find a more protected spot to plant it next time. When I do plant it, I'll find those fertilizers you mentioned.

PXL_20230210_015154934.thumb.jpg.45b3ab911860f4b88b4906403f4b89c3.jpg

It still baffles me how unbothered my last coconut was in the desert heat. It took consistent temps above 110 and wasn't affected, even above 120 a couple times. Meanwhile my mature queen palms got heatstroke and their new fronds died.

You all might find this interesting: https://www.redfin.com/CA/Palm-Desert/73330-Desert-Rose-Dr-92260/home/5940520?utm_source=android_share&utm_medium=share&utm_nooverride=1&utm_content=link&2010988919=variant&813945303=variant 

Apparently the new homeowner cut it down. But it got that big, just 10 miles away.  And there's a live one in the La Quinta cove that I've seen. So it can be done here!

Does anyone know where to get one of those tall coconut varieties for shipping to CA that John mentioned?

 

You are welcome.  Beautiful Coconut sprout from Hawaii.  The Hawaiian Talls are so beautiful and stately palms.  Is it a Green Hawaiian Tall, or the Golden Hawaiian Tall?  That is an amazing Mature Coconut Palm in California, and actually looks a lot like one in the little courtyard area in front of the house that was posted on here several years ago, but got chopped down when new owners bought the house!!!

John

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On 2/20/2023 at 9:11 PM, Conrad said:

It was cooler than usual... Highs mostly in the 60s and lows in the 40s. I think the coldest temp was 37. Sunny most days but we had a few more cool cloudy days than usual. Very little rain but I did cover the ground around it with a tarp when it did.

Average high here is normally around 70 in the coldest months... We only average about 3" of rain per year. 

I rarely watered it once the cool weather set in, just a couple times on the warmest days with warm water... But I wonder if I should have given it have a little more water? I gave it lots of water from March - October and tapered down in November.

For ones in the ground in, you should water them about once every 10 to 12 days when in the ground in the cooler winter months, and about once every  4 to 5 days in your very hot, dry summers, maybe even watering them thoroughly every 3 days in the summer.  If in pots, ONLY water them about once every 5 or 6 days on warmer days in the winter, and water ones in pots at least every other day, if not every day in the summer.

John

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  • 3 weeks later...

So sorry to hear you lost your coconut, Conrad, but I am not surprised...am near you, in Rancho Mirage, and I lost two young test subjects this winter as well, due to a combination of poor placement (too much winter shade) and, due to a break in an upslope perimeter wall, a river of cold air coming down from the canyons in the mountains above us right over those coconuts.

With Cocos, if I remember correctly from other posts here, the fellow in La Quinta has said that he put the sprouted seed (brought back from a trip to Hawai'i) in the ground and planted next to a Plumeria he also brought back, these in a sheltered courtyard inside a wall. He said he felt the Plumeria provided protection while it was young and that it had gradually grown up (intermingled with the crown) alongside the Plumeria and both are large healthy specimens to this day. I know that the young palms hate the hot afternoon sun (I've lost them here to that) so they need western protection in the summer, the trick being to get them into a suntrap under some canopy that will get winter sun (southeastern exposure) and retain warmth (and paving or even black lava rock as a mulch) would help warm the root-zone and also to radiate warmth up into the crown of a protective tree at night...but the palm will need room to emerge. Just very tricky.

I do believe that access to cool-adapted cultivars is key, as was discussed above. Also per some comments in a recent thread here, coconuts that are multi-generational survivors in Central Florida are probably at least marginally hardier than those from South Florida or the Keys, but there doesn't seem to be a commercial source for these. Cocos is a marginal species here and just has to have a convergence of appropriate genetics, location, timing (with weather during youth), protection, and probably adaptation of surroundings with canopy and material selection, to make it work a la the Palm Desert and La Quinta examples. I keep playing with them but it's mostly for fun and experimentation, I will be surprised if I wind up with a mature tree, but I enjoy having the young plants around and meanwhile I wait for my slow-growing Attalea cohune, Beccariophoenix, Syagrus amara, etc. to gain some size and give some similar effect.

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Michael Norell

Rancho Mirage, California | 33°44' N 116°25' W | 287 ft | z10a | avg Jan 43/70F | Jul 78/108F avg | Weather Station KCARANCH310

previously Big Pine Key, Florida | 24°40' N 81°21' W | 4.5 ft. | z12a | Calcareous substrate | avg annual min. approx 52F | avg Jan 65/75F | Jul 83/90 | extreme min approx 41F

previously Natchez, Mississippi | 31°33' N 91°24' W | 220 ft.| z9a | Downtown/river-adjacent | Loess substrate | avg annual min. 23F | Jan 43/61F | Jul 73/93F | extreme min 2.5F (1899); previously Los Angeles, California (multiple locations)

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On 2/21/2023 at 6:58 AM, PalmatierMeg said:

Not enough heat. Coconuts need regular temps of 80-85+F, preferably higher. They will show cold damage at temps in the 40s - all my coconuts have spotting and yellowing from just a few dips into the 40s (winter low of 41.2F). We had nearly a week of 60s/40s days around Christmas and they really hated that. Normally, my temps rebound from a chilly morning soon after sunrise. Also, keep in mind that coconuts cannot photosynthesize below 50F and will die even given many sunny but cool days.

Meg, I agree with you on their preferred temps, I noticed in the Keys that most coconuts just stalled out in the "cold" season, and that was with a typical winter temp regime of 72/79F (punctuated with 4-5 days of 60s after passage of a cold front. In March, as temps hit 80s more and more, they would start cranking and by summer (consistent 83/91F) their leaf/trunk production was awe-inspiring.

But with that said, there are these oddball specimens that have grown to maturity, mostly in the California desert (and one recently documented in Phoenix), the downside here is that the temperature falls like a rock the minute the sun goes behind the tall mountains fringing this valley due to low humidity, but it also heats up (by something like 20F) within an hour of the sun appearing in the morning. The upside in the desert is that spring usually (not this year!) arrives at Valentine's Day and heats up fast, while the coastal and intermediate valley areas (where the late Corona coconut and cool-tortured but tenacious Newport Beach coconut grew) continue to shiver until June because of a persistent eddy sitting over the cold Pacific. But there is still typically a two- or three-month winter with plenty of nighttime chill in the desert...that's why I think there is something to the genetic adaptation theory, that those growing in latitudinal extremes (northern Mexico) or cooler tropical areas (Hawai'i, southern China) may be the best route of exploration for adaptability. 

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Michael Norell

Rancho Mirage, California | 33°44' N 116°25' W | 287 ft | z10a | avg Jan 43/70F | Jul 78/108F avg | Weather Station KCARANCH310

previously Big Pine Key, Florida | 24°40' N 81°21' W | 4.5 ft. | z12a | Calcareous substrate | avg annual min. approx 52F | avg Jan 65/75F | Jul 83/90 | extreme min approx 41F

previously Natchez, Mississippi | 31°33' N 91°24' W | 220 ft.| z9a | Downtown/river-adjacent | Loess substrate | avg annual min. 23F | Jan 43/61F | Jul 73/93F | extreme min 2.5F (1899); previously Los Angeles, California (multiple locations)

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  • 3 months later...

I am no expert for temperature and climatic conditions. But based on my observations with coconut occurence along the whole brazilian atlantic coastline, I would say that in general, their soil granulometry is a major issue for their survival and production. Cocos don’t like clay predominant soils even here in the tropics. Fast draining soils, to several meters deep, direct sun exposure and frequent moisture, waterings and rain are actually more important than ocasional minimum temperatures I believe. Just my two cents 🌴

Cheers, Gileno

IMG_4769.jpeg

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Sirinhaém beach, 80 Km south of Recife - Brazil

Tropical oceanic climate, latitude 8° S

Temperature extremes: 25 to 31°C

2000 mm average rainfall, dry summers

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  • 10 months later...
Coconut palm in Calexico, CA

I'd like to add to the list of coconuts in California. I found this sorry looking coconut palm in Calexico, CA! I am going to try to go to the owner and ask if I can come by and amend the soil and water it over the summer. I

I had two coconuts in the ground that survived one summer and one winter in El Centro, CA, however died in the summer when I was out of town and the person in charge of watering them forgot to water them.

 

I am trying again, and had four coconuts in pots and they all survived a summer and winter in El Centro, CA, and have now planted one in the ground three weeks ago and letting the other three get to a large size in pots before trying them outside. 

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I'm always up for learning new things!

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