How to Take Care of a Coconut Palm

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Coconut palm trees fare best in tropical or semi-tropical climates that offer plenty of sunlight and high humidity. Coconut palms are the world's tallest palm trees and can grow to a height of 70 feet to 100 feet. Almost all parts of the tree can be used, from the coconuts it produces to its durable bark. This has led to the coconut palm to be known as the "tree of a thousand uses" (See References 1). Coconut palms should ideally be grown outdoors but also can be kept as house plants in areas where the weather grows too cold for the tree to survive outside. A coconut palm cannot tolerate temperatures below 30 degrees without injury.

Things You'll Need

  • Sandy soil
  • Palm fertilizer
  • Mycorrhizal fungi
  • Provide your coconut palm with a rich, sandy soil. The roots of the tree absorb nutrients more easily from sandy soil than from a standard dirt or manure mix.

  • Choose a location for your coconut palm that will provide the plant with plenty of direct sunlight. You may even opt to move an indoor tree outdoors on sunny days provided the temperature outside is warm.

  • Water an indoor coconut palm two to three times a week. If the tree is located outdoors, you should only need to water the tree if your area is experiencing a period of reduced rainfall.

  • Prune dead leaves from your coconut palm tree. The dying of palm fronds is natural and healthy for the tree, but the dead fronds should be removed to facilitate the growth of new ones. This may not be possible, however, for outdoor coconut palms since they typically grow too tall to prune.

  • Provide your tree with palm fertilizer during the spring, summer and autumn. Work the fertilizer into the soil to a depth of about one inch with your hands and then water the coconut palm liberally. This sends the nutrients in the fertilizer directly to the roots of the tree.

  • Introduce beneficial mycorrhizal fungi to the plant's roots. This fungi helps to strengthen and extend the roots of the plant. The palm can then absorb more nutrients from the soil (See Reference 2). Mycorrhizal fungi is a granular soil additive and can be purchased from your local nursery or online.

  • Mow liberally around coconut palms. Damage from a lawnmower or other garden equipment can leave small gashes in the bark of the tree, making it more susceptible to disease and insect damage.

References

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