Care of a Coconut Palm Tree Plant


Coconut palm trees are tropical plants, growing in areas with year-round warmth and plenty of sunshine. Coconut palms have tall trunks with a profusions of long, feathery leaves at the top. The nut is not only edible but used in items ranging from cosmetics to soap. Coconut palms make interesting landscape plants in tropical and subtropical areas, and will thrive for many years with proper care.

Step 1

Plant in well-draining soil in full sunlight. Coconut palms tolerate most soil types as long as they drain well.

Step 2

Plant coconut palm trees 18 to 30 feet away from other palms and trees. Avoid planting too close to buildings, which may block sunlight or cause crowding once the palm reaches maturity.

Step 3

Water during dry periods, providing at least 1 inch of water to the soil per week. Rainfall of at least 1 inch alleviates the need to irrigate in a given week.

Step 4

Fertilize with a specially formulated palm fertilizer every three months. Broadcast 1 1/2 pounds of fertilizer per 100 square feet over the ground area directly beneath the tree's canopy. Canopy spread is usually 450 to 500 square feet.

Step 5

Harvest coconuts throughout the year once the outer husk of the nut turns dark brown. Use a coconut harvesting knife, a blade attached to a long pole, to harvest the nuts while remaining on the ground.

Tips and Warnings

  • Plant palm varieties that are resistant to Lethal Yellowing disease, which quickly kills infected trees and is difficult to eradicate. Do not use tree spikes to climb coconut palms for harvest. The trunk does not heal and wounds from the spikes leave it prone to disease.

Things You'll Need

  • Palm fertilizer
  • Coconut harvest knife


  • University of Florida: The Coconut Palm
Keywords: coconut palm tree care, tropical trees, growing coconut trees

About this Author

Jenny Harrington is a freelance writer of more than five years' experience. Her work has appeared in "Dollar Stretcher" and various blogs. Previously, she owned her own business for four years, selling handmade items online, wholesale and via the crafts fair circuit. Her specialties are small business, crafting, decorating and gardening.