How much cold can my Coconut palm withstand?

mcgyvr2009i(Schenectady, NY 5b)October 7, 2012

I know that my coconut will be able to tolerate cold down to 20F when mature, but currently, it's a young seedling probably about 1 or 2 years old. The label says "Not cold hardy." I know palm seedlings are never as cold hardy as mature specimens. Mine isn't growing at all, and they can grow pretty fast according to:

http://www.florida-palm-trees.com

I think it needs more sunlight than what I can offer indoors. So, how much cold could a seedling tolerate at about 1 or 2 years of age? Thanks in advanced.

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jimhardy

Sun,heat,moisture make these grow.

I think you could save yourself the trouble of finding out
mature Coconut plants can't handle 20F by leaving the small one out now(-:

I know,I am terrible :p

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 11:29AM
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subtropix

If it's not growing, it could be a few things:

1. Not enough heat (day and/or night), .

2. Not enough sun (full, day long sun is good)

3. Pot not big enough

4. Not being fertilized enough.

Also, many palms tend to grow more slowly in youth and pick up speed later as they mature. I would keep it inside at this point. Can you supplement light w. artificial. Mine is in a 'basement' that gets some natural light, rest is all florescent lighting. Palms will all slow down this time of year due to reduced day length, light intensity, and cooler temps, especially in the North. Also, go light on fertilizing if all other conditons are less than ideal. Let it rest until Spring, keeping it alive at this point should be the main goal, not necessarily vigorous growth. Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 1:16PM
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us_marine

Actually a coconut palm of any size does not like any frost. They dont even like cool temps for a long time even if its above freezing. However, they can recover from a frost down to 28f, if temps rebound and don't freeze again. And thats if temps near or above 70f and lows dont drop below the 50f's. The lowest I think I can remember hearing someone's mature coco recover from was like 26f or 25f. And I think your coco isnt growing because its not warm enough. Even if you have it inside by a bright window they will grow very slowly.

Good luck :)

- US_Marine

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 2:32PM
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catkim(San Diego 10/24)

20F? Maybe for five minutes. A coconut won't really thrive if temperatures are routinely below 80F. So it will grow during your summer, after that, every single day is a challenge to the palm's survival. Cocos are a true tropical. They like it best in the hot sand at sea level in the humid tropics.

That said, many palms native to tropical and subtropical areas can survive quite well in more temperate climates. Nothing wrong with giving new species a try. Cocos is probably the one palm most experimented with, and with only the rarest degree of success, and that in zones much less challenging than 5b. Give it a shot, but next time, try something different. With more than 825 species of palms in cultivation, there must be something you can grow and enjoy.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 11:11PM
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LagoMar(USDA 8/AHS 7)

Frost will kill the leaves, so it should not go below 40 degrees. The plant itself may recover from a brief freeze, but the entire head would die back. Destroy the source that told you 20 degrees. It's WAAAAAYYYYY off!

Here is a link that might be useful: Virginia Beach Weather

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 12:37AM
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tropicbreezent

A tall coconut is in a slightly different climate to a small one at the same location. The air at ground level is colder than higher up. Plus with small plants being thinner, cold is able to more easily penetrate right through the plant tissue. Those factors put the small palms at a much greater disadvantage than tall palms. Length of time plants experience cold temperatures is also important. Tall plants will also get stronger sun for longer during the day. There's a lot of factors involved.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 1:44AM
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wetsuiter(7b/8a)

I'll be bringing mine in soon. We saw 46 overnight, but rest of week will be milder. I got this coconut at Lowes this summer, so I'm not as attached to it as the ones I raised from a freshly sprouted coconut I collected on some tropical beach in the Pacific or Indian Ocean when I flew for the USAF. It's amazing what finds its way into a helmet bag!

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 10:02AM
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wetsuiter(7b/8a)

I'll be bringing mine in soon. We saw 46 overnight, but rest of week will be milder. I got this coconut at Lowes this summer, so I'm not as attached to it as the ones I raised from a freshly sprouted coconut I collected on some tropical beach in the Pacific or Indian Ocean when I flew for the USAF. It's amazing what finds its way into a helmet bag!

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 10:03AM
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subtropix

I understand the urge to leave out the plants as long as possible. Just started taking some of the more tender palms (Hyophorbes, Adonidia, etc.). My semi dwarf coconut came in a few days ago. It will actually push more growth under florescent in the basement under relatively warm night temps than it would outside at this time of year when temps start to fall into the 50's and 40's. While other palms will continue to push growth outside this time of year.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 10:39AM
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bradleyo_gw

If I recall, you are in upstate NY, bring it in now. Way to cold for a potted coco. You can put it out if temps are in the 70's, but my bet is that it will do far better inside.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 7:08PM
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tropicalzone7(7b)

I live in NYC and I took mine in on Sunday. It could stay outside longer, but why bother when it would be happier indoors this time of the year. Mine usually grows one full frond indoors (from mid October to mid April) and 2-3 fronds while outside during the summer.
They shouldn't see below 40F but they can tolerate temperatures in the mid 30s. If they see a frost they might die, especially at a young age. Sometimes they do see frosts in Florida and survive because the temperatures during a cold afternoon warm up to at least the 60s!
-Alex

    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 8:18PM
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tropicbreezent

* Posted by wetsuiter 7b/8a (My Page) on
Mon, Oct 8, 12 at 10:03

.......... I collected on some tropical beach in the Pacific or Indian Ocean when I flew for the USAF. It's amazing what finds its way into a helmet bag!

Obviously not on one of the trips you returned from via Sydney, LOL.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 1:19AM
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andyandy(6bMI)

I don't even let mine see temps in the 40s. UIt wouldn't kill it but just because it can take something does not mean it should. There is no way it could take 20 It would be toast. Even if you let it see 40s there are diffent kind of 40s. If it's raining and in the 40s that's much worse then a couple of nights in the 40s when it gets sunny and 60s or 70s during the day.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 10:46AM
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wetsuiter(7b/8a)

No! Definitely not going home thru Sydney. But I doubt they would've looked in my helmet bag anyway.

If memory serves, over the years I picked up sprouted coconuts in Guam and Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. There was a great collecting spot there along one of the beaches. Piles and piles of coconuts under the trees with babies growing everywhere. I was always amazed by the ones that barely had a leaf sprout but were already firmly rooted to the ground. So the best candidates for adoption were the ones that rested on the pile of coconuts and had not sprouted any roots. I always searched for the smallest coconut with the smallest sprout and with no roots (or just the emergence of a root sprout). It was a fun way for a palm enthusiast to spend a few hours on a day off.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 12:15PM
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tropicbreezent

I often find coconuts firmly anchored to the ground without any sign of a shoot. But also sometimes the otherway around, with a good shoot but no roots. Although in those cases I think the roots have been caught up inside the husk. It's interesting seeing piles of nuts at all stages of sprouting. But I have a few piles like that at home and it can also be a bit of a nuisance. Enough to drive you nuts, LOL.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2012 at 3:25AM
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