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Coconut palm I ordered online turning brown


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This is my coconut tree that I ordered online when I first unwrapped it and a week later after repotting it. When I took it out of its original pot I noticed the roots were cut to fit the pot. Does anyone know what it’s turning brown from. I was thinking maybe transplant shock. Will it be able to survive?



Edited by Palmsareawesome
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Hard to say.   It could be any number of things.  I don’t know where you are but I assume up north in a cold winter state.  Here are some things it could possibly be.   Keep in mind it still looks fairly good so you’ll need to Monitor it over the coming weeks.  

shipping shock.  
could have gotten cold during shipping.  
cut roots may contribute.   
too wet / too cold.  
cold draft.  
Dry air.  


it’s really hard to say.  Coconuts are not really the best indoor palms for multiple reasons.   They need direct sun, lots of heat. Lots of humidity.   You’ll need to keep the humidity indoors there at least 65-70% or higher.  Higher is better for it.  

also make sure you are using a very well draining / coarse pitting mix.  You don’t want it sitting in wet black mucky stuff.   

monitor it for a while and see how it goes and let us know.   Welcome to palmtalk.  

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It's probably because it was grown in hot, humid conditions in the nursery and it's not getting them where you are. Palms will grow physically-different leaves (stomata, chroroplast densities, etc.) that suit they current environment, but will perform poorly in a different one.

For example, here's my Verschaffeltia seedling:


See how the last 3 leaves are green and healthy, the 4th one is horrible, then the rest are still relatively green and healthy? That's because I put it in a mini greenhouse last winter because I though it might like the extra heat/humidity, and in there it grew the 4th leaf. Then I took it out in spring and the leaf deteriorated in non-greenhouse conditions. Needless to say I didn't do that this winter!
I think you might be getting a similar phenomenon with your coconut, although perhaps less extreme.

I also wonder what your potting medium is as it looks rather dark and water-retentive. Wet + too cold will spell doom for a coconut seedling; too cold is ~ anything below mid 70s, preferably 80s+.

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Coconuts are uber tropical. They need sun, high heat (80+F), high humidity. Your house is likely too cold, too dry and too dark for it. You need to make concessions to its needs, i.e., supplemental bright light, heat, humidifier. Also, that ceramic pot must have drain holes. The palm should never sit in water or roots may rot. I agree the potting mix looks black and mucky. Coconuts are not overly fussy about soil but in pots they do better with loose, coarse, well draining mix. Do not overwater, which is the most common offense committed against potted plants.

Welcome to PalmTalk.


Palms of Victory I shall wear

Cape Coral (It's Just Paradise)
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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