How to Plant and Grow a Coconut Palm

Overview

Coconut palm trees shed their unripe and ripe fruit all over the ground. If you've ever passed a coconut palm and thought not of the waste but the opportunity, try growing your own tree. Unripe coconuts can be used to propagate new trees. While growing a mature palm takes time, the trees are hardy and attractive. They cannot tolerate cold, but can withstand salty growing environments and hurricane wind. When mature, their coconuts an be harvested for juice, milk and flesh.

Step 1

Find a location that offers full sun and well-draining soil. Turn the soil over to a depth of 8 inches prior to planting. The University of Florida recommends planting in warm, rainy summer months since the seeds germinate best in heat of 90 degrees Fahrenheit or above.

Step 2

Test coconuts from local coconut palms by holding them up to your ear and shaking them. When you find one that makes a sloshing sound, it's a good coconut to plant.

Step 3

Dig a hole that will fit the coconut. Then bury the coconut halfway in the hole (so that half of it is above ground), placing it on the side, not top to bottom. Tamp the dirt around the coconut.

Step 4

Keep the area moist. The coconut palm should germinate within three months, notes the Floridata website.

Step 5

Give the developing palm 1 inch of water per week, unless you receive sufficient rainfall.

Step 6

Fertilize the palm every two months with special palm fertilizer, which provides the right nutrient boost for these trees. The University of Florida recommends 1 lb. of palm fertilizer for every 100 feet of tree canopy, but your young palm will need far less. Apply the recommended dose for your tree's size using the manufacturer's dose range table.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Coconut palm seed
  • Palm fertilizer

References

  • University of Florida: The Coconut Palm in Florida
  • Floridata: Cocos nucifera
Keywords: plant coconut palm, grow coconut palm, coconut palm care

About this Author

Based in Northern California, Elton Dunn is a freelance writer and nonprofit consultant with 14 years' experience. Dunn specializes in travel, food, business, gardening, education and the legal fields. His work has appeared in various print and online publications. Dunn holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English.