To get a coconut palm to fruit...

us_marineJuly 19, 2010

Temps need to be fairly warm. I wonder if its possible to have one fruit in a mediterranean climate? If one would provide winter heat and protection,it might be possible to get a few coconuts. The rest of the year would be above 72f, and lows would be above 43f. What might not allow them to fruit is the overall cool lows, even though the days are very warm to hot. Even in summer lows average to between 58f-64f. Do you guys think it would be too cool?

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I would think so I'm afraid and I have three coconuts. The temperatures you describe would mean you would need to have complete control of the environment (i. e.) keeping the plants potted and indoors in the winter. They need REALLY mild over nights (72-78) with at least mid 80s for highs to grow with enthusiasm in the summer. I would be interested to hear from someone in Hawaii considering the July they are having. I noticed a few days ago that the temperatures in Honolulu are running below normal this month. They've beem regularly having 83-73 days when the average high this time of year is 88. Because of the truly tropical palms I have I make a point of studying the weather of places that my palms would excell in.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 12:07AM
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Thats kinda what I was thinking.
An average summer day here would look like this: 96F/63f. This year has been cool, its been like this alittle too much: 97f/58f, but at least most days have been in the low 60fs. A place in Florida would look like this: 96f/75f or higher on average. Hopefully in a few years I'll know for sure.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 12:54AM
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Good luck in any event. 2005 is the warmest summer since I've been growing palms but it was a hot dry summer like you are describing. We had plenty of 95-64 days. This July has been more like 88-71 and with rain every few days (like last night). The coconuts I have now seem to be growing faster then the ones I had in 2005. I do remember one specific 48 hour period in August 2006 where it went something like 96-79 (with lots of rain that night)-95. The morning after that night that only fell to about 79 the spear on my tall at the time pushed up about 4 inches that night. That's when I got a true apperciation for how fast coconuts can grow in optimum conditions.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 8:46AM
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I know that coconuts need to be cross-pollinated to produce coconuts. The male part usually dies back before the female part matures. Or thats what I been told.If I were to save the pollen, would it still pollinate? If it does flower, I will buy a few more :)

Thanks andyandy for posting. Good luck to you too!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 3:42PM
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To fruit really well, coconut palms probably cant have night temperature fall below the 70s, but Im sure a few 60s wouldnt do any harm. I know that they have HUGE coconut palms as annuals planted along some of the beaches of the jersey shore, but I dont think many, if any fruit adn thats with a water temperature of 77F and only 2 nights below 70F this entire month (with 2 or 3 nights at 80F or above). Coconut palms are not very easy going when it comes to fruiting. They need some pretty warm night temps to get fruit. I wonder if any coconut palms in Southern florida fruit at least a little in the winter? Nights during the winter in southern florida can get in the 50s with days in the 70s and few 80s. If they can fruit in that they can probably fruit in a california summer if in a warm microclimate. Maybe some added heat at night will help it along, but you dont have to worry about that until it reaches fruiting age.

Good luck! Hope it fruits for you and definitely tell us if it does. I really think it can be done!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 6:57PM
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I can vouch that at Vero Beach (coastal central FL), there were trees with maturing nuts on them even after our January from #e!!.

They experienced a pretty solid stretch with highs in the 50's and lows in the 30's. Not normal coco weather, but a few managed to sneak through in protected spots with no damage (others had 50-60% burn) and also did not drop their nuts. They were all east of I-95 in places with a lot of coastal influence, sheltered from wind by buildings/other plants.

Even though the nuts were on the tree, I doubt if any of them were viable after that event.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 12:55AM
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Even in Hawaii, as one increases elevation, the coconuts struggle to make fruit... just several hundred feet above sealevel. Some neighborhoods have roads that one can predict palms below them will fruit and ones above will not, despite the palms growing at these higher elevations growing happily and normally otherwise. It is a matter of constant heat though it appears the lows are not nearly as important as the highs. I seriously doubt a palm growing in a Mediterranean climate will ever produce fruit unless there is some way to increase the environmental heat significantly. Coconut palms struggle even to survive in such a climate with the vast majority failing to do so. Fruiting I think is an unlikely occurence and an unrealistic expectation... but who knows. Doesn't hurt to try.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 11:29AM
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Its better to have tried and failed than to never have tried at all. The odd for fruit are defintely against you, but if you manage to get it to fruit, you might be the only one in california to do so outdoors! Now to get ripe fruit is something else, but at least you have hope if you get flowers from it.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 11:54AM
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I like the challenge,it makes things more interesting.
Thanks everyone for posting, and good luck to you all:)

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 12:30PM
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