How to Grow a Coconut Palm

Updated February 21, 2017

The coconut palm tree is a widely popular palm with unknown native origins. The standard size of the coconut palm found throughout tropical regions can reach heights up to 100 feet tall. Dwarf variety coconut palm trees, which make excellent indoor container plants, reach heights up to at least 5 feet tall. Coconut palm trees do not grow well in colder climates with temperatures falling below freezing.

Purchase a fresh, brown coconut from the store or an online coconut palm tree distributor. Attempt to get a freshly fallen coconut if possible. Make sure the coconut still has its shell all around it. Shake the coconut to check for damage. If you can hear the liquid inside sloshing around, the nut is good. Fill a large bucket with water and soak the coconut for up to three days.

Choose a container with 12 inches of depth capacity and plenty of drainage holes. Place a 1-inch layer of gravel, or rocks, in the bottom of the container.

Fill the empty plant container with a potting mix of 50 per cent sand and 50 per cent topsoil. Bury the coconut pointed side down, leaving 1/3 to 1/2 above the soil line.

Move the container to a sunny place where temperatures stay above 21.1 degrees Celsius.

Water the container on a regular basis to keep the soil moist. Do not let the container dry out in between watering. Coconuts take quite a while longer to germinate than any other seed. Coconuts will germinate in as little as three months, or up to nine months.

Keep the plant outdoors in a sunny and warm area until the first signs of frost appear. Feed the coconut palm tree with a slow-release fertiliser, specially formulated for palm varieties. Apply fertiliser according to the label directions. Bring in the coconut palm tree during the winter and supplement light with 40-watt grow lights.

Replant the coconut palm tree annually into a larger container filled with the same 50/50 mixture of potting soil and sand. Potted coconut palm trees live a short time--five to six years. Transplant the potted coconut palm tree outdoors into a hole dug two times wider and deeper than the plant's root ball. Location of the hole must be in an area that receives full sun and warm temperatures. Plant the coconut palm tree in the hole and cover with the potting mix. Water the plant thoroughly.

Things You'll Need

  • Coconut
  • Large container
  • Palm tree fertiliser
  • Bucket
  • 40-watt grow light
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About the Author

Rachel Turner has been writing professionally since 2000, focusing on gardening and home improvement topics. Her articles have appeared online at SlowTravel and in publications such as the "Arkansas Gardeners," "One Step Ahead" and "Writers Now." Turner holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Arkansas State University.