How to Grow Coconut Fiber

Overview

Coconut fiber is called coir, a material used for packaging, rope, potting mixes and fuel. The fiber comes from the outer husk of the fruit, which grows on single-trunk palms reaching up to 100 feet in height. This tree will not produce fruit indoors, so in order to grow coconut fiber, you must live in a tropical or subtropical climate where the temperature stays above 35 degrees F. Knowledge of how to plant and care for coconut will help you produce this useful fiber.

Step 1

Find an area with full sun and well-drained soil. Coconuts can tolerate clay, loam, sand, acidic and alkaline soils as long as they are well-drained. Soak the coconut fruit in a pail of water for two or three days.

Step 2

Dig a shallow hole and lay the coconut on its side. Bury only the lower third of the nut. Water deeply twice a week.

Step 3

Fertilize the coconut every two months beginning the second year of growth. Obtain a coconut-specific fertilizer and apply 1 pound per every 100 square feet around the tree. The coconut will require less fertilizer when young. Follow the directions on the package for application instructions; each brand will differ.

Step 4

Harvest the coconuts one month before full maturity. These fruits turn brown and fall off the tree when ripe--this can take up to a year. You must get them off the tree a month before they fall for the best coconut fiber material.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Fertilizer

References

  • University of Florida IFAS Extension: Cocos Nucifera
  • University of Hawaii: Coconut Palms from Seeds
  • University of Georgia: Coconut
Keywords: growing coconut, coconut care, producing coconut fiber

About this Author

Sarah Morse recently graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English language and literature. She has been freelancing for three months and got her start writing for an environmental website.