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Planting & Spacing of a Coconut Palm

Palm Trees image by Olivo from

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


Coconut palms do produce fruit until they are at least six years old. The trees reach full maturity and production when they are around 20 years old.

Coconuts take six months or longer to germinate. Purchase established palms from a reputable nursery instead.


Palms cannot survive temperatures below 32 F.

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