Coconut Oil Facts: Using Coconut Oil For Plants And More
By Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist
You can find coconut oil listed as an ingredient in many foods, cosmetics and other items. But what is coconut oil and how is it processed? There are virgin, hydrogenated and refined coconut oils with each being made a slightly different way. Learn more here.
When Are Coconuts Ripe: Do Coconuts Ripen After They Are Picked
By Amy Grant
If you live in a suitably tropical region, you may be lucky enough to have a coconut in your landscape. The questions then arise, when are coconuts ripe and how to pick coconuts from trees? Click this article to find out all about harvesting coconuts.
What Is Lethal Bole Rot: Learn About Lethal Bole Rot Disease
By Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer
What is lethal bole rot? Also known as basal stem rot or ganoderma wilt, lethal bole rot is an extremely destructive fungal disease that affects various palms, including coconut palm. Learn more about bole rot in coconut trees in this article.
Growing Coconut Palms – How To Grow A Coconut Plant
By Heather Rhoades
Growing a coconut palm tree is easy and fun. All you need is a coconut to get started. In the following article, you will find planting information for coconut palms and how to care for them.
How to Grow Coconut Palms Indoors
If you're looking to transport yourself to the beach—even if only in your mind—then you should consider trying your hand at growing a tropical varietal, like a coconut palm. Word of warning, though: Unless you do actually call a beachside bungalow home, this pesky palm will probably give you a run for your money.
Characterized by a tall, grey-brown slightly curved trunk, sprawling palm frond, and, of course, coconuts, this plant is native to many tropical regions (think: the western pacific islands, Florida coast or Caribbean islands) and loves all things, well, tropical. Even with unlimited space and resources, it can be tough for a home gardener to replicate the moisture, temperature, and sun levels needed for the coconut palm to thrive indoors—not to mention that mature plans (between four and 10-years-old) can sprout to be up to 100 feet tall!
Besides acting as a charming backdrop to every island paradise dream out there, coconut palms are an extremely valuable plant, regularly harvested to provide food and oil, as well as material for clothing, construction, and more. While it's built up a tough reputation as a house plant, we're all for encouraging you to give coconut palms a shot—even pint-sized palms can be a great, summery addition to any home.
|Botanical name||Cocos nucifera|
|Common name||Coconut palm|
|Plant type||Tropical evergreen|
|Mature size||50–100 ft. tall, 20–40 ft. wide|
|Sun exposure||Full sun|
|Soil type||Sandy, loamy, well-drained|
|Soil pH||Neutral to acidic|
|Hardiness zones||10–12 (USDA)|
|Native area||Western pacific|
What Environment is Best for Coconut Trees?
Coconut trees can only grow in a tropical climate. A tropical climate is characterized by significant heat and humidity and the prevalence of sandy soil. Coconut trees need significant rainfall to thrive and also require temperatures that don't dip far below 40 to 50 degrees.
Because of the need for sandy soil versus the kind of rich peaty soil that characterizes the climate of places like Europe and the American northeast, coconut trees live only in climates that are near beaches or shorelines. Areas with low humidity, like the California desert, for example, is a climate in which some palm trees can survive, but the coconut palm tree isn't among them.
The best weather conditions result in the best coconut fruit production. Coconut palm trees can flower and produce up to 75 coconuts a year per tree if they're granted their optimal living conditions. However, these conditions are extremely rare, particularly outside of farming areas since weather patterns are unpredictable and the chance of blight is high. Typically, most coconut trees produce about 30 coconuts per year.
- Coconut trees can only grow in a tropical climate.
- ** Areas with low humidity, like the California desert, for example, is a climate in which some palm trees can survive, but the coconut palm tree isn't among them.