Coconut trees in California?

haycarumba99September 28, 2003

IS anyone growing these or know of any growing there?

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Sunset Western Garden Book lists it for Hawaii only, below 2,000' (which it calls the Coconut Palm Belt). So, if anyone in zonal denial has one on in California it's probably down near Mexico.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2003 at 1:07PM
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mbarnes4104(10b CA)

I met someone who lived in Malibu (actually had a house right on the beach) who had a coconut tree in a pot on his patio. He told me a friend gave it to him and he'd had it for a few years and it was okay. I live in the San Fernando Valley and tried several times with coconut palms I bought from a higher end grocery store (Gelson's) but they kept dying, even indoors. I asked someone knowledgable at a nursery who said you can't grow them here. Even the grocery store that sold them said that they never survived more than a month or two. I don't know how long the malibu coconut palm survived, I assume it may have just liked the temperate malibu beach climate (or hey maybe just the neighborhood!)

    Bookmark   October 7, 2003 at 1:21AM
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I saw one gallon coco palms yesterday at Lowe's in Oceanside CA. They are labeled as indoor plants, but kept outside in partial shade. I might try a few in pots outside, against a south facing wall for winter warmth (Sunset zone 24).

I saw coconut palms on my first trip to South Florida this summer, and I want them. I can grow bananas like weeds, but now I feel like an Iowan trying to beat the climate for a tropical look.
A couple of 30 foot cocos along my back fence would look great silhouetted against the sunset.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2003 at 6:51PM
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wilmington_islander(9A/Sunset 28)

Bueno suerte, Californians! Coconuts will only grow in Hawaii, and parts of Florida successfully ( Cape Canaveral on down on the east coast, and St. Pete BEACH on the west. You all don't get too cold; you just don't get warm enough! Cocos hates temps below 60. There are, I am sure, a VERY few specimens in California, but if you try it, I would highly reccomend heating cables for the roots.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2003 at 11:44AM
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i JUMPED OVER FROM tROPICAL AND Calif forum. He's right, they don't like it this cool even though we are 11 here, but it's not the air temp as it is much more COLD AND WET ROOTS! The rain kills them! We get all our rain in December, january, February. That could be upto 35 inches sometimes, and combine with 50 degrees, you have rot city! The coco's HATE that, and they croak (the Wimps!). On the coast, where we don't get below 40, Zone 22-24 or USDA 11,Dry-summer sub tropical (Mediteranean), We do grow very healthy (outdoors) caryotas (fishtail), Royals, travelers, mangos, Macadamias, papaya, Giant bird of paradise, King Palms, Kentia/Howea, pineapple, screw pines, ficus (and banyans), all bananas, timber bamboo, Tapioca, coffee (my first beans are now appearing!) Gingers, Junipers (just seeing if your paying attention), Petrea. pandorea, thunbergia, all Phoenix's (date palm), calatheas, Plumeria, trop hibiscus, and the official city of Los Angeles flower and tree-Bird of paradise and coral tree, also chermoya, Many bromeliads, tillandsias, Tree fernsPalms as-dypsis,Hyophorbe, ptychosperma, Livistonia, many helaconia, Taro/elephant ear, schefflera, anthurium, Ixora, etc, etc, etc, .... all except those stupid coconuts! I hate them (jelousy) :) NOT FAIR.
tHE FARTHEST NORTH COCONUT IS IN nEWPORT BEACH ON THE CORNER OF pch AND hARBOR bLVD. (OH...PCH=Pacific Coast hiway, and my cap lock was on), about 45 miles south of L.A.
We are told that wet root coconuts are on the horizon, being bred that will withstand wet roots in winterand soon we shall have coconuts too.
My longest living one was 6 years until El Nino stopped-by last time. Oh well.

Take care, my friends!

    Bookmark   October 18, 2003 at 10:36AM
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The coconut is pictured in the image program conected to Gardenweb, just enter coconut. It's in Newport. I understand that several people have them in San Diego and the're doing well. Also a few in the L.A. Area. I had one for 5 years, until El Nino kept it's roots wet for a month. The one I have now has been in the front yard for 3 years, doing well. Thank you for King Palms! they are just as good looking (almost) as far as I'm concerned.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2003 at 2:16AM
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wilmington_islander(9A/Sunset 28)

I should have also mentioned that they do quite well in the lower 1/5 of the Texas coast...was in Brownsville in 2000 and saw many, several of which were over 30 feet and absolutely loaded with coconuts....I'm jealous too, LAPALMS, nothing like a fresh coco, picked right off the tree, ice it down, and drink/eat it later.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2003 at 12:19PM
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LApalms(Z-11&-24 CALIF!)

You got that right, Wilmington!

    Bookmark   November 5, 2003 at 4:57AM
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LApalms, do you have anymore info on the wet root coconuts? How big is your 3 year old coco? thanks.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2003 at 8:55PM
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LApalms(Z-11&-24 CALIF!)

See "growing Coconuts in CA" on the Tropical forum. It is more of a "Tropical" forum subject, not "tropicalesque" . Also see "Northern most Coconut" in Palms & Cycads forum, about the one in Newport beach. I don't really understand the tropicalesque thing. It seems people are talking about tropical plants here. And also, there are many people in coastal California who aren't even aware that they live in a sub-tropical climate,zone 10 & 11 (Dry-Summer Subtropical, or "Mediteranean"). The "tropical" forum tells about all the great plants that do VERY well here and how to plant, care, etc.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2003 at 8:40PM
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LApalms(Z-11&-24 CALIF!)

They don't grow in California.....
See"Newport Beach Coconut" posts on the "Palms & Cycads" forum.
Bueno Suerte, Baby

    Bookmark   December 5, 2003 at 7:33AM
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You have one for 5 years.... right?
One in Newport Beach for 18 years.... right?
See growing coconuts in california in tropicals forum.... Where?
See Newport... I did
They don't grow in California..... huh? 5 years, 18 years, don't grow? Which one?

iBueno Suerte con tu coco tambien, y espero que su coco prospere!

    Bookmark   December 9, 2003 at 8:11PM
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Wait a minute. I've grown several Coconut palm in z6. Their grown in a five gallon bucket. Just had to watch the rain water tho they don't like sitting in sour water.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2004 at 6:19PM
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BrianB(9 N CA)

I've seen the coconut in Newport Beach. I spoke with the owner. He got it as a gift from his girlfriend when she went to Maui. Neither knew that coconuts "don't grow" in LA.
There was one in San Diego too but a Palm Society member bought and moved it and it died. There is a grove in a little town on the Salton Sea. The guy is a teacher and bought them "on sale" from Home Depot, again not knowing that "coconuts won't grow here". There was an article in Principes about it. I will attempt to see them. They are below sea level, warm almost all year but do get a frost once in a while, at least away from the edge of the water but he may have the perfect microclimate.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2004 at 3:53PM
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waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay a minute,
george 11, THey are talking about outsides cocos

    Bookmark   June 25, 2004 at 7:51PM
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scaldude(Sunset Z23 SouthOC)

Sorry all,

Coco-palms can grow outdoors in Southern Cal...although none have been known to bear coconuts. I live in Orange County and grew one, I brought back from Hawaii, in a terracotta pot for 2 years. It survived rare night temps below 40. Ironically, it died when I brought it inside because of re-stucco and painting around my balcony. Go figure. I went to Home Depot and replaced it. I'll keep you all informed of it's progress.


    Bookmark   February 25, 2006 at 7:17PM
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scaldude(Sunset Z23 SouthOC)

South Orange County, CA USDA Zone 9b - 10a

~ SCalDude

    Bookmark   March 1, 2006 at 7:57PM
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butterfly15_ca(Sunset15 USDA9b)

Although true coconut palms are difficult, if not impossible, to grow outside in the ground in California, there is one palm that resembles the coconut that can be grown. It is the Quito coconut palm (Parajubaea cocoides). It is not related, (at least closely), to the coconut palm, but it looks like a coconut. It has glossy fronds that are almost the same as coconut fronds, but the trunk of the palm is covered in hairy fiber. There are some very nice ones up here in the Bay Area, such as in San Francisco and at the UC Berkeley Garden. I think the Lake Merritt Palmatum also has some nice ones. Some Quito coconuts have supposedley survived to the low 20's during severe winters. Oh, its called the Quito coconut because it is from the Quito region of Ecuador and it grows walnut-sized coconuts. The Quito coconut might be a candidate palm for those of you seeking to recreate the tropics.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2006 at 1:33AM
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scaldude(Sunset Z23 SouthOC)

Thanks for the info! I'm sure you're very knowledgeable...aren't books great? But judging from your comments, it would appear that you're on the bench & we're in the GAME!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2006 at 4:53PM
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the guy I buy palms from has a 6 footer in his yard in oceanside.He said he covered it with plastic for 3 winters but since then its been making it!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 8:17PM
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Coconut palms in coastal So.Cal seem to have a chance if between the months of Oct and May, the palms are kept in a rain AND sun protected shelter in southern patios, yards. During the cooler months I avoid watering much and since sun will further dry out the fronds, I make sure only the pot (black or dark color) gets direct sunlight to help keep the roots warm. In the winter I water early in the day preferably if its going to be a sunny warm day (especially when the Santa Ana Winds kick up). Coconut palms can survive Southern California winters as long as their roots aren't wet and cold. I've used a combination of 1/4 sand and 3/4 "super soil" from homedepot and its turned out to be the most successful combination of soils. The winter air temperature will stun the plant but not enough to kill it. It's usually the combination of the cool air and wet roots that's the kiss of death for any coconut.

I've done my own test of these palms for the last few years with about 7-8 different types of coconut palms in coastal Orange County. The Walmart palms lasted a few years but the best luck I've had has been with a couple Jamaican Talls I got through ebay. They're about 5 - 6 ft tall now and the roots are coming out the bottom of their pots. I'm planting in the ground soon with a water heated PVC pipe system to help the roots stay warm. Its a south facing planting location under an orange tree along a brick fence. Hopefully all goes well and good luck to all the coconut growers! I hope this information helps!

    Bookmark   July 5, 2008 at 7:57PM
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Maybe you could make a really deep hole, fill the bottom with gravel, then put the coconut palm in, with sandy soil and heating cables? I really want to try this, but I can't get hold of any coconut palms in the first place. I've heard of a spray called 'Freeze Pruf' and it makes plants hardier by 2 to over 9 degrees F. I dont think it is available yet but I bet it would help your coconut palms survive!
Good luck

    Bookmark   August 1, 2008 at 12:43PM
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This comment is related to Coconuts generally, outside of their comfort zones in Florida and Texas.
For MANY years I tried to grow coconut palms indoors in the Seattle area, and previously the best I could do was about two years.
Finally, five years ago, I figured out that they were dying because of cold or damp roots--not because of the house temperature. So I planted two in a mixture of about 80% sand and 20% potting soil, and kept the pots on indoor heat mats made for starting seeds. These keep the soil above 70 degrees. Even though the house average temperature is in the upper sixties, the palms have both thrived and are each about seven feet tall.
Two other tips: Keep the soil fairly dry in the winter, and be extremely vigilant about spider mites.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 12:38PM
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i have a coconut tree 3 years old in lynwood soon to post pics 3years old

    Bookmark   May 19, 2011 at 12:40AM
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What type of lighting do you use?
How tall are your ceilings?

    Bookmark   May 30, 2011 at 9:51AM
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I grew up in the Philippines and it is hot and humid over there. We have rain from the months of June to December. How come it doesn't bother the Coconuts over there (since forum stated it hated wet roots)

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 6:50PM
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Hola Forum members! I am new here however I want to let you know that I am growing a coconut palm on my patio in Oceanside, CA.

Right now it stands about 4 feet tall and has produced 3 new fronds and 2 newer ones on their way.

It is very healthy!!

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 5:33PM
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