How to Plant a Coconut Seed


Add an element of the tropics to your landscape with your own backyard coconut tree. Coconuts are commonly found growing wild along warm beaches, and have become the most-grown palm in the world, according to the University of Florida. The warmth-loving tree thrives in USDA zones 10A or higher. Instead of buying an expensive coconut sapling in a nursery, plant the palm's nut itself to start your own coconut tree.

Step 1

Collect a coconut that's fallen from an existing coconut tree, or purchase a coconut from a grocery store. Shake the coconut. The coconut is prime for planting if you hear the sound of liquid inside, according to the University of Hawaii. If you don't hear liquid inside, select another coconut.

Step 2

Fill a bucket with water and soak the coconut in the water for 72 hours. This helps prepare the coconut for planting. In the Pacific region, wild coconuts often spend time floating in the ocean before they reach land and start germinating.

Step 3

Select a pot for your coconut. The bigger the pot, the better. At the minimum, the pot must measure 10 inches deep and be wide enough to accommodate the size of the coconut, according to the University of Hawaii.

Step 4

Fill the pot with commercially prepared potting mix. If you don't have such a mix on hand, create your own by combining equal proportions of compost or peat moss, garden loam and sand.

Step 5

Bury the coconut partially in the soil. The coconut's narrow end face downward. The top two-thirds of the coconut should be visible above the soil.

Step 6

Water the coconut every three days, applying enough water to moisten the potting soil at the bottom of the pot. The coconut will sprout a shoot in three to six months, according to the University of Hawaii.

Tips and Warnings

  • Don't fertilize the coconut during its first year of growth. During this time, the coconut sapling uses the nutrients from inside the nut. After a year, apply a standard tree fertilizer according to the specific fertilizer's labeled guidelines, since potency varies by product.

Things You'll Need

  • Coconut
  • Pot
  • Potting soil
  • Water


  • University of Hawaii: Coconut Palms from Seed
  • University of Florida: The Coconut Palm
  • University of Georgia: Coconut
Keywords: growing coconut seed, plant a coconut, grow coconuts

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.