How to Plant a Coconut Palm


Not enough can be said for the coconut palm. The tree is grown throughout tropical and some sub-tropical areas of the world. Coconuts are the most used nuts in the world. Almost every part of the coconut is used for some purpose. There are many cultivars, from dwarf trees to those 100 feet tall. In the United States, the trees are hardy only in USDA planting zones 10b and 11. The chief product of the coconut is copra, the oil used in soaps, shampoos and margarine.

Step 1

Choose an area that has full sun and soil that drains well. Coconut palms will tolerate soggy soil once in a while but will die if it is prolonged. Consider the mature height of the variety of palm you purchased before planting near buildings or under power lines. Plant in an area that is not crowded with other landscape plants. Planting can be done anytime, but the rainy summer season is best.

Step 2

Dig a hole three times as wide and just as deep as the tree's container. If there is any clay or a layer of hardpan, break it up and mix it with other soil. If the soil is too heavy or the area is low and will not drain, build a raised bed 4 feet high and wide. Equal amounts of coarse sand, compost and top soil can be used to fill the bed.

Step 3

Remove weeds and lawn grass in a 3-foot diameter around the planting hole to keep them from competing with the young tree for water and nutrition.

Step 4

Carefully remove the tree from the container and place it into the planting hole. Fill the hole with soil and tamp down firmly.

Step 5

Water the tree immediately after planting by saturating the soil in the planting hole. Coconut palms should be watered twice a week for the first two months if it is not raining. Afterward, water once a week throughout the tree's first growing season. Palms are very drought resistant once they are established.

Step 6

Using a rotary spreader, apply palm-specific fertilizer to the entire disturbed area every six weeks after you notice growth from the tree. Once the tree is full grown, apply under its entire spread. Follow manufacturer's directions on the amount to use per size of the tree.

Step 7

Mulch the disturbed area to prevent weeds from competing with the palm for water and nutrition. The mulch should be a 3-inch layer, 6 inches from the trunk.

Tips and Warnings

  • Falling coconuts can injure people, damage vehicles and kill other plants. Plant in open, safe areas.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Fertilizer made for palm trees
  • Rotary spreader
  • Mulch


  • University of Florida Extension: The Coconut Palm in Florida
  • USDA Forest Service: Cocos Nucifera Coconut Palm
Keywords: planting coconut trees, coconut palm care, growing coconuts

About this Author

Dale DeVries is a retired realtor with 30 years of experience in almost every facet of the business. DeVries started writing in 1990 when she wrote advertising and training manuals for her real estate agents. Since retiring, she has spent the last two years writing well over a thousand articles online for Associated Content, Bright Hub and Demand Studios.