Coconut Palm - Zone 5

rwallen1961(Iowa City, IA Zone 5)May 20, 2011

Yea, yea, yea. They say it can't be done, but they are just plain wrong. Of course you can successfully grow a Coconut palm in zone 5.

Here's some updated pics of my 15 year old little guy. Spent his winter in the basement with just some plain old flouresent lights, nothing else special. No humidifiers, no special fertilizer, just cut back on the watering during the winter.

He's a hapy little guy and getting a nice trunk as well!

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cmventura

Very impressive! I tried growing one in Zone 10, Coastal Los Angeles.....didn't work. Long story short: It was a happy, beautiful coconut grown INDOORS. For 3 years it had been grown indoors only and it had tons of beautiful green leaves. I had to go out of town for 2 weeks so I left it with my sister-in-law to water, etc. She took it out and put it in her deck and left it there. My coconut, not used to the strong summer sun in L.A was roasted. Next thing I know I get a text message with a picture of my crispy, burned coconut that read: "Is this supposed to look this way?" I wanted to kill her!!!!!!!

So keep up the good work and good luck! :)

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 11:53AM
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rwallen1961(Iowa City, IA Zone 5)

I think I might have killed her! Very true though, even here in the Midwest, you have to gently ease these guys out into the sun. Either just filtered light at first, or some type of shade until they can build up some tolerance to the UV rays.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 12:27PM
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tropicalzone7(7b)

Beautiful palm! I love how it managed to stay small, but still healthy. My coconut palm is 2 years old from sprouting and so far so good. I have no problems with it indoors but I usually get some slight burn from it when its outside in the spring. It grows back just fine though!
Thanks for sharing and for proving that these are great outdoor palms in cooler climates as long as your summers are warm and you have a nice spot for it in your home during the winter.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 6:05PM
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statenislandpalm7a(7a)

Nice palm, maybe the only indoor coconut to grow a trunk

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 8:33PM
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tropicalzone7(7b)

Actually speaking of indoor coconut palms, I saw a beautiful coconut palm at the Orlando Airport indoors. Apparently they have been in their spots for nearly 20 years and they are giants! Heres a pic! Although, this palm is not in typical indoor conditions. It has a large amount of space for its roots to grow in, it is underneath a large sunroof, and the sun in Florida is much stronger in the winter (and more frequent) than in northern states. But coconut palms can be grown indoors. One thing Im not sure of is if they can fruit well (or even attempt to fruit at all) indoors.

-Alex

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 1:54AM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

Hi
Curious as to how you keep it so small?? What are you using as a media.?? have often been told that a coconut can't be Bonsai but you are certainly getting a dwarf.
have been trying many yeras to dwarf all kinds of palms
but found with coconuts they croaked if not allowed to grow, Have had some success with Queens but they fail to seed so can't really say they are a Bonsai. lol
Anyway good job you must be doing something right.
gary

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 5:47AM
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stanofh

Uh-huh..and how much wattage is the Metal halide light you use in your greenhouse-lol..I know!
Still,congrats..even greenhouse grown coco for that long (15 years and that small?) is still nice.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2011 at 10:58AM
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wetsuiter(7b/8a)

Well done! I've had several coconuts grown from "souvenir" coconuts I collected while on military trips to some exotic beaches. I always searched for the smallest coconut that had a tiny sprout to give it a head start at home and could survive the trip home. I had hoped that small coconuts would produce smaller palms, but that was never the case.

They did very well in my big south-facing sunny plate glass windows in the winter and on the balcony in the summer. But, I always had to get rid of them after a few years because they'd outgrow my place. The last one didn't like the move down to the beach.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2011 at 5:27PM
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andyandy(6bMI)

Very impressive, my goal is to have mine look like tthat some day. My tall is really looking good and I hope to post a picture in the next few days. It has three full great looking fronds and the spear has taken off the past few days of lots of sun and evening rain. Last three days 77 84 78, sunny and 70 right now.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 11:38AM
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lzrddr(91360)

rwallen... that is probably the healthiest indoor/outdoor coconut I have ever seen in the 'lesser' climates. You should get a gold star for that plant. Keep it up!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 2:47PM
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wetsuiter(7b/8a)

When you get dwarf coconuts on it, we'll be all lining up for one!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 11:04PM
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rwallen1961(Iowa City, IA Zone 5)

No special lighting at all really. I put him in the basement during the winter season and since there is just 1 overhead flood light, I rigged up a few fluorescent lights from Lowe's that run 8am-8pm.

So special growing medium, just a mixture of my good Iowa farm soil and some potting mix from Lowes.

What can I say...I'm lucky.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 10:13AM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

Hi
So you're not doing anything to control the size?? I've tried root pruning and standard Bonsai techniques Which work on the queens but not the coconuts .
You must be achieving a winter dormancy some how lol
If that palm was in an ideal setting would be at least 25 feet in both directions by now !!!
Do you know which strain it is ?? Looks like a Malayan dwarf to me?? gary

    Bookmark   May 28, 2011 at 5:24AM
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andyandy(6bMI)

It looks like you moved. Didn't you used to be in or around Chicago and have a 15 foot foxtail palm? Whatever happened to that. It looks like the new house is not tall enough for it.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 12:25PM
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andyandy(6bMI)

I think it has remained smaller simply because of the conditions. Being in a pot and only getting 3-4 months of good growing weather a year rather then 8 + in Florida or even more in REAL tropical conditions is going to mean it grows much slower. I get virtually no growth for mine when they are inside (keep house at 65 whn home in dead of winter and 60 at night or when at work) All that matters is that it is alive and doing great! It's just like fish in a tank. They are never going to get as big as in their natural envirnment.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2011 at 11:52AM
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rwallen1961(Iowa City, IA Zone 5)

Andy....yes, we moved from the Chicago suburbs to Iowa and brought the 15' Foxtail with us, unfortunately, our new house didn't have any ceilings tall enough to accommodate our little baby. After spending the summer outside and doing well, I donated it to the Des Moines Botanical Center where it's now living very happily under their dome with tropical conditions (except for the light eh?) year round. I also donated a Royal Palm that I started from seed which was about 6 feet tall as well.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 9:57AM
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andyandy(6bMI)

I thought it was you, I hope you like Iowa. When I grew up my families closest neighbors( in terms of freindship not geography) were from North Libety and were huge Hawky fans. They have since moved back. I'm gald to see your coconut doing so well. The first couple I tried ended up dieing after a couple of winters but I think I have gotten past that. I probably over-watered during the winter. I have a green dwarf which is what I believe you have and a tall from Hawaii. It has been loving all of this heat this month and is really getting big. The only place I can keep it where every leaf and every frond get sun is my living room window. It's about 4 heet high and six feet wide. Please post another picture at the end of the summer so we can see how much growth you got since May.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 11:26AM
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Hunter_M(Kentucky Z.6)

How many gallons is your pot?

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 1:21PM
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andyandy(6bMI)

Hunter-
I honestly don't know. maybe 10. I did not re-pot it per say a month ago. I took it out and added about 2 new inches of potting mix to the bottom of the existing pot and put it back in. In all of these heat I noticed that the tap root had already shot out of one of the drain holes.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2011 at 1:56PM
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