How to Grow Coconut Trees in Florida

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Coconuts will grow into trees.
Coconuts will grow into trees. (Image: Coconut image by Mario Ragsac Jr. from Fotolia.com)

Coconut palm trees thrive in tropical and semitropical regions and are found in almost all areas of Florida. Because the tree is highly salt tolerant, the Coconut palm also grows well in coastal areas of the state. Although you can purchase Coconut trees at most garden centers and nurseries in Florida, you can also grow your own tree from a coconut. Luckily, the Florida humidity and temperature increase the success rate of growing the coconut into a tree.

Things You'll Need

  • Coconut
  • 3-gallon plant pot
  • Rocks
  • Potting soil
  • Sand
  • Garden spade
  • Water
  • Shovel
  • Granular palm tree fertilizer

Find an existing coconut tree and look on the ground for a fallen coconut that is brown and dry to the touch. The outer smooth husk should still be on the coconut so that none of the brown fibers are exposed. Shake it. You should also be able to hear water sloshing around on the inside.

Fill the bottom of a 3-gallon pot with rocks to provide proper drainage for the soil.

Place one part of an all-purpose potting soil and one part sand into the pot and mix it well with a garden spade. Dig a shallow hole in the top of the soil that is the depth of half the height of the coconut.

Set the coconut on a flat surface to determine which way to plant it. When the coconut stops rolling and is still, pick it up and maintain the position while placing it into the hole in the soil. Push the soil around the sides of the coconut but do not mound it on top.

Place the plant pot in a partly sunny outdoor location and water it until the top of the soil is moist but not saturated.

Water the soil in the pot during periods of drought. Otherwise, the normal Florida rainfall patterns will supply sufficient moisture for the coconut. The coconut will sprout in approximately nine months.

Wait until six months after the coconut sprouts and transplant it into the ground. Dig the coconut out of the pot gently with your hands so as not to damage the roots. Choose a location with full sunlight and use a shovel to dig a hole twice as deep as the roots of the plant.

Add a 3- to 4-inch layer of composted manure to the hole and set the roots of the coconut into the hole so that they are 1 inch below the surface of the soil. Fill the hole in with additional soil and pack it down firmly.

Spread a slow-release palm tree fertilizer around the base of the trees at a rate of 1 1/2 lbs. per 100 sq. feet, according to the University of Florida IFAS Extension Service. Repeat the fertilizer application every three months.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can plant coconut palms any time of the year, but according to the University of Florida IFAS Extension Service the best time for planting is in the summer.

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