The coconut palm is native to the Malay archipelago and, according to the University of Florida, is widespread throughout the tropics. The coconut palm is spread through natural means and via human intervention. It is normally found along sandy shorelines---the fruit floats for long distances, then is washed ashore, where it germinates. The coconut palm produces fruit about eight years after germination and continues to produce fruit until the tree is about 80 years old.
Propagate a palm by placing the nut on its side and burying it with sand to about half its thickness. When the nut germinates, a shoot and the root emerges through the end of the coconut. For best results, plant when the outside temperature is 90 to 100 degrees F.
Transplant the coconut palm in the ground or into a larger bucket once the sapling reaches six months of age. The soil pH should be between 5.0 and 8.0. The coconut palm is salt tolerant, but it does not require salt in the soil to grow. Keep the palm in full sun (6 or more hours of continuous sunlight per day).
Water the coconut palm frequently---as much as an inch of water twice per week until the palm is well-established (about a year). Once the palm is established, water throughout the season as needed; keep the soil moist. Depending on rainfall in your area, this could mean watering as often as twice per week or as infrequently as once every couple of weeks. Do not allow the soil to become drenched. The coconut palm is drought tolerant, but provides more fruit when the soil is kept moist.
Drain excess water away from the tree. If, after a storm, the water does not recede after two or three days, dig a trench to help move the water away from the tree. The coconut palm has tolerance for water-logged soil but can only withstand these situations for a few days.
Keep the coconut palm from freezing. Temperatures below 32 degrees F could kill the buds. Cover the palm with blankets, and mulch with at least 4 inches of compost or pulverized bark. The blanket and the mulch insulate the tree from the cold and help to keep the soil moist.