How to Plant Coconut Trees

Overview

In Hawaii, they are known as coconut trees or coco palms. Botanically, the tree is called Cocos nucifera. Although the definition of nucifera is "nut-bearing," the coconut is actually one of the largest fruit seeds on Earth. Coconut palms are quite particular about where they are grown; hardy to USDA zones 10 and 11, they need sunshine, heat and humidity. To determine if the coconut is ripe for planting, shake it. If you can hear the liquid inside slosh, it is ready to plant.

Step 1

Soak the coconut in a bucket of water for three days. Do not remove the outer husk.

Step 2

Select a pot in which to germinate the coconut. It should be at least 10 inches deep and the diameter must be wide enough to accommodate the coconut.

Step 3

Place some broken pottery shards or rocks on the bottom of the pot. Pour potting mix into the pot until it is 1/4 full. Place the coconut, bud end up (the part of the coconut that was attached to the tree), in the pot and finish filling the pot with the soil. At least 1/3 of the nut should be exposed above the soil.

Step 4

Place the potted coconut in an area where the temperature remains above 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The amount of light it receives is not important. Keep the soil moist at all times.

Step 5

Transplant the coconut palm into its permanent location when white roots appear (generally at about one year from germination). Dig a hole the same depth as the pot in which the coconut palm germinated, but twice as wide.

Step 6

Mix well-rotted manure into the soil you have removed. Place the coconut into the hole and backfill with the amended soil.

Step 7

Water the tree until the water puddles, allow it to drain and then water it again. Keep the soil moist, but not soggy.

Things You'll Need

  • Bucket
  • Planting pot
  • Potting soil
  • Pottery shards or rocks
  • Shovel
  • Manure

References

  • Library of Congress: Everyday Mysteries--Is a Coconut a Fruit, Nut or Seed?
  • University of Hawaii: Coconut Palms From Seed
Keywords: how to plant coconut trees, growing a coconut tree, how to germinate a coconut

About this Author

Victoria Hunter, a former broadcaster and real estate agent, has provided audio and written services to both small businesses and large corporations, worldwide. Hunter is a freelance writer specializing in the real estate industry. She devotes her spare time to her other passions: gardening and cooking. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.