Planting & Spacing of a Coconut Palm


Coconut palms thrive in tropical and subtropical areas. They grow well in the southern coastal areas of the U.S. where temperatures remain mild for much of the year. Coconut palms grow well in sandy areas near beaches as well as in the home landscape. Although a coconut palm is primarily grown as an ornamental in home landscapes, it can produce 50 or more coconut fruits a year, according to the University of Florida Extension. Proper planting and spacing is vital, whether you grow the palm for the fruits or as an ornamental tree.

Step 1

Prepare a well-drained, full sun site for the coconut palm. Coconut palms thrive in a wide variety of soils as long as the soil isn't soggy or prone to standing water. Work peat moss, wood chips or compost into the planting area to improve drainage if necessary.

Step 2

Dig the planting hole to the same depth as the palm's nursery pot and twice as wide. Space the trees approximately 20 feet apart to allow proper light filtration between the palms.

Step 3

Lift the palm out of the nursery pot and set it in the planting hole. Add or remove soil from under the palm until it is sitting in the hole at the same depth it was at in the pot. Fill in the hole around the root with soil, firming it into place with your feet.

Step 4

Water immediately after planting, thoroughly soaking the area to at least an 8-inch depth. Water once weekly when rainfall during the week is less than 1 inch.

Step 5

Spread 2 to 3 inches of an organic mulch, such as wood chips, over the ground around the palm to help preserve soil moisture. Apply the mulch over the entire area above the root ball.

Tips and Warnings

  • Palms cannot survive temperatures below 32 F.

Things You'll Need

  • Peat moss, wood chips or compost
  • Shovel
  • Mulch


  • University of Florida Extension: The Coconut Palm in Florida
  • University of Georgia Extension: Coconut
Keywords: planting coconut palms, coconut tree spacing, growing coconut palms

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.