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My Coconut Palms

Posted by bananafan 9b FL (My Page) on
Wed, Feb 27, 13 at 19:26

I've posted a while back on one of my coconut palms. It was doing well in the pot and survived a few Winters. Then I planted it into the ground last year. One year has passed, it's hasn't been doing good. The fronds look very sickly. I think it might have gotten some kind of disease.

Then I bought another one. It looks very healthy now. I'm planning to plant it where the old sickly one is now--just close to the front of my house. I know it will not stand the cold if I chose another location elsewhere.

I only have one concern ... if the old tree was diseased, I'm afraid if I plant it in the same hole, the new one might be sick too. Any one has any advice here?

Picture of my new coconut palm. It's about 6-7 ft tall.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: My Coconut Palms

Hi
IME Cocos are very easy to grow except for cold . They react to temps even under 50 but will survive even light freeze for short periods . Naturally the younger the more susceptible . You might check out the Fairchild site for diagnosis and treatments for "lethal yellowing" if you intend to grow them might as well learn the ropes.
They would have expert advice on all your ?? gary


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RE: My Coconut Palms

I'd say chances are that the symptoms were from the response to cold, probably not disease per se. I know of someone in a colder climate who built a plastic shelter around his coconut and got quite a few years and height out of his tree. But he knew that one day it would outgrow his capacity to enlarge the shelter. He did have a trunking coconut palm for a while though.


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RE: My Coconut Palms

Thanks, gary and tropicalbreeze, for both your feedback. I certainly think that the cold contributes to a huge part of its problem. I have kept it out in the pot most of the time for the past few Winters. Although I've also protected it with Christmas lights and when the cold snap arrived, I covered it with a flannelback tablecloth. It did work, but after each cold spell, its growth seemed to have been stunted even when the warm weather finally arrived.

I will do more reading on what is "lethal yellowing." Do you both grow coconut tree? If anybody has grown it successfully, it would be nice to hear how your trees are doing and if you have pictures to share, it would be great.


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RE: My Coconut Palms

I did a thread on my coconuts, here:

Here is a link that might be useful: Coconut Palms in Noonamah


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RE: My Coconut Palms

Are you in a position to move it indoors when it is cold? I have to move mine in each September and can't move it outside doe the summer sometimes not until June. it does it goes dormant but does fine for the winter. it is just now starting to activbely grow again with the longer days.


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RE: My Coconut Palms

tropicalbreeze,

Thanks for sharing your post. Wow ... I stand in awe of your beautiful tropical paradise and your collection of coconut trees. Where you are is their natural home where they belong and will thrive well. Many great pictures and good job on the photography and documentation.

It will be a miracle if it will grow here for me in zone 9b .. not to even think about fruit production.


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RE: My Coconut Palms

Hi andyandy,

Yes, I can move it indoors when the weather gets cold. It's still in the pot, but I'm also planning to plant it in the ground when the weather here gets warmer.

I do remember you the last I was here. That was a few years back. Do you still have the same coconut tree that you had then? The picture I posted of my coconut tree back then was finally planted in the ground last year, but it looks really bad now. Then I got this new plant shown here in the picture. It's really looking good and healthy and I want to give it a chance to grow in the ground and see what happens.

Do you have a picture to share of your coconut tree?


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RE: My Coconut Palms

Thanks Bananafan, it is a 'labour of love'. This was sunset tonight, was labouring and nearly missed it, LOL.


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RE: My Coconut Palms

Bananfan-
The coconut I have I've had since May of 2009. It's doing quite well. I posted some pics yesterday of most of my potted palms. I'm getting antsy to get them outside but that's still 2-3 months away.


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RE: My Coconut Palms

tropicalbreeze,

Thanks for sharing the beautiful sunset scene. So, which country or island is this located at?


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RE: My Coconut Palms

I've found some interesting pictures of the dwarf and miniature coconut trees. They don't seem to grow very tall. Have you all heard of the miniature coconut tree and dwarf maypan? I'll like to grow them if possible. The one I bought I don't even have any idea what variety it is and also how tall it's going to grow. It would be hard to imagine it growing to 25-30 ft. It would be too tall for my landscape.

Anyway, here are the pix:

The first one is the miniature coconut.


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RE: My Coconut Palms

Bananafan, thats not actually a coconut palm. I think it does make edible fruit, I'll have to check on that though, but it is not a coco or very closely related to one either. I think it's a nice species though and it definitely has some decent frost tolerance!
There are dwarf coconut palms though. I have a Tall and a dwarf variety and you can definitely tell the difference between the 2 at an early age. Tall coconut palms tend to be more cold tolerant than the dwarf ones and they ironically do better as potted plants, but both have done well for me.
-Alex


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RE: My Coconut Palms

This here says it's a Red Mayjam. I don't know if it should read Maypan, or is it another variety of a dwarf. Very interesting tree with a very short trunk that bear fruit at a low height. The harvesting must be a breeze. I sometimes cannot imagine coconuts hanging high up there and dropping from a height. It would be disastrous if not fatal if they happen to hit someone passing by.

I seriously will be interested in planting it if I can get hold of one. Any of you know anything about this particular variety?


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RE: My Coconut Palms

Andy,

I saw your post and pix. Great looking and healthy trees. The little bottle palms are cute. I killed my bottle palm when I left it out in the pot. I thought it was more cold hardy than the coconut. I was wrong. I left my baby triangle palms out and they were ok.


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RE: My Coconut Palms

Bananafan, I live in the north of Australia. About the dwarfs, some farmers not far from my place have rows of dwarf coconuts along their fencelines. It looks great with all these short trees loaded up with fruit. But I have heard the dwarfs will eventually grow as tall as the tall ones, just take a lot longer. They produce fruit so much earlier and continuously that it stunts and slows their growth.

A few years ago I found a website of someone who had bonsaied coconuts in pots. He lived in Indonesia, which gave him the ideal climate. Don't know if the site is still up but maybe you could try googling. The plants looked fantastic, thin trunks with fronds at the top, but usually the nut still attached. I have a short thin one, about a metre tall, with fronds at the top. But it's in poor, badly drained soil, so the dwarfing is more of a result of sickness. The leaves are very yellowish, but the tree still keeps going.


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RE: My Coconut Palms

tropicalbreeze,

North Australia ... what a beautiful place to be there! Although I haven't been to Australia, I've heard about its beautiful beaches and that some parts of the country having nice weather and so on. I didn't know that it would be a tropical paradise. That's amazing! So, how far are you from the equator? Wish I could relocate there ... and do all the planting I've ever wanted :)

Anyway, thanks for the info on the dwarf coconut. It's interesting that you've mentioned bonsai coconut. I did a search on it and came up with a supplier in the Philippines. I'm seriously thinking of ordering one. Any one here has a bonsai coconut? I've also sourced out a couple of vendors for the dwarf yellow Malayan which will produce fruit at 3 years of age. I wonder though if the bonsai coconut will produce fruit eventually.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bonsai Coconut Tree Philippines


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RE: My Coconut Palms

I found that Indonesian site, but you might have to learn Bahasa to read some of the comments and text, LOL. But the photos look great.

http://cocobonsai.multiply.com/photos

Below is a photo on my "sick" dwarf. It was probably a few years old when I bought the place, and that was nearly 10 years ago. The bare trunk is 450mm tall, the trunk diameter at the thickest point is 150mm.

I googled for the distance to the equator and came up with these figures:

North Pole: 11380 km
Equator: 1378 km
South Pole: 8624 km

The climate here is equatorial savanna, ie very distinct wet season/dry season. That's why we're often referred to as the wet/dry tropics, as opposed to the east coast where they are wet tropics, ie heaviest rain in the wet season but still some rain throughout the rest of the year. So I have the temperatures, but need to irrigate a lot during the dry season.


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RE: My Coconut Palms

The picture of your dwarf coconut tree looks nice there. It has healthy looking fronds. I wonder if it's just a dwarf, or is it really sick? So, were you able to get fruit out of it all the 10 years you've had it?

Thanks for the link to the Indonesian website. They do have a lot of healthy looking coconut bonsai. I'm still trying to find out if they actually will produce fruit eventually. I've looked at some bonsai fruit trees on the you tube and they seem to be able to flower and produce some fruit. It would make a lot of sense for people like us to consider having bonsai trees if we cannot be sure that we can keep these tropical plants alive in the ground.

You sure are a lot closer to the equator than where I am. You're over 800 miles and I'm around 2,500 miles off the equator. It's nice that you have the warm enough temperature to keep these beautiful trees there. So, do you have to manually irrigate your your landscape, or do you have an auto irrigation? It would be a lot of land to irrigate as you seem to have a huge place there. So, what do you do when your trees produce all the fruit there .. lol? Do you eat them? Do you know that coconut is known as the miracle fruit? There have been many articles and books written on it. A few years back, I started changing my cooking oil to coconut oil and include coconut milk and flour into my diet. It has brought tremendous improvement to my health situation. I've heard that coconut water is also a super nutrient drink, but I have to read more about it to find out if it contains a high sugar content which I'm trying to avoid. There's even someone on the internet selling fresh coconut water online.


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RE: My Coconut Palms

Bananafan, if you saw it close up you'd see it does look sick, just doesn't look it so much in the photo (who said photos don't lie?).

You're right, bonsai does open up a lot more possibilities. If you can get hold of some coconuts it could be worth a try. Pity you're not closer, I've got a lot of sprouting nuts laying around that I need to clean up. If I had time I'd try it myself. I think it's easy to 'dwarf' the plant, but more difficult to get it to trunk and still remain dwarfed.

I have a water bore at my place. It's down to 45 metres and gives a flow of 2 litres per second. Then I have a controller which switches the pump on at set times to different parts of the garden. I work away from home for up to a fortnight at a time (need to keep the bank manager happy with regular mortgage payments) so an automated system is essential.

I tend to just throw the coconuts in piles in corners of the garden, so yes, there piles of sprouting nuts. Previous owner used to throw them in the swamp. There's still little 'monkey faces' staring up at you out of the swamp water this many years later, LOL. When I have visitors I'll get them to open a few nuts to eat, sometimes I have to open them myself. I don't know much about their nutritive value but don't think there'd be much sugar (sucrose) content.


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RE: My Coconut Palms

tropicalbreeze,

Maybe when you retire, you should start an online store selling your fresh coconuts and coconut seedlings ... lol. They really do worth something especially to coconut enthusiasts!

Anyways, regarding the health benefits of coconut products, a couple of years back, I ordered the book, "The Coconut Oil Miracle," by Bruce Fife (C.N., N.D.) and I followed the diet there, I lost a lot of weight by simply changing all my cooking oil to coconut oil and cutting down on carb and sugar intake. It's not just the losing of weight which is benificial for the health, but the general sense of gaining back my energy level that was most critical in restoring my health situation.

If you're interested in finding it out more, you can google it to find out more about the health benefits of coconuts--especially when you have a store house of all these goodies all stocked up in your backyard :)

Here's a you tube link by the same author. I know a lot of people are skeptical ...., but I have tried it for the past two years and I have lost 30 lbs (no kidding!) and my health has made tremendous improvements.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Coconut Oil Miracle Interview


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RE: My Coconut Palms

I've seen coconuts in the supermarkets here for a dollar or two, already with the husk removed. I wouldn't want to launch myself into a post retirement career of Coconut De-husker for that rate of return, LOL. No, one thing that makes it difficult is distance, and the cost of transporting product. The transport cost would probably be higher than the product cost.

When it comes to health and fitness, I've been quite lucky. I'm very active and involved in a lot of outdoor activities, such as trekking, canoeing, etc. My job also involves a lot of outdoor activities. Then there's all the physical work required at my place. I could always be a lot fitter, but I'm already a reasonable distance along that path. However, my diet could be better. Although, the problem is being mostly in remote and isolated places where good food isn't readily available. Maybe I should load up the back of the car with coconuts, LOL.


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RE: My Coconut Palms

I have a 4 year old green malayan coconut palm in the ground about 9 miles inland of New Smyrna Beach (Fl), during the winter the fronds were all mostly dead except for the center one and then when it started getting warm again it shot out a frond half the normal size of the ones last year, but now it's beginning to make healthy big fronds so this coming winter I will make an effort to protect and hopefully in a few years I might see some coconuts!


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RE: My Coconut Palms

Pretty impressive for a coconut palm to be surviving that far north in Florida, especially considering you are not too close to the water. I would definitely consider giving it some protection on cold nights. One day they definitely can fruit for you if you get lucky and have some nice mild winters!
-Alex


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RE: My Coconut Palms

Thank you Alex, I was considering wrapping the trunk with frost blankets and leaving them there pretty much all of winter because it rarely rains whenever it gets cold enough to harm coconuts where I live, if it does get really cold I might put some Christmas lights around the trunk as well as a fan blowing to keep frost from settling on the foliage, would anyone recommend a technique they have used to protect frost intolerant palms? Hopefully this winter will be a mild one though :)


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RE: My Coconut Palms

Here is my new Jamaican Tall variety Cocos nucifera. Supposed to be slightly more cold hardy than Malaysian dwarfs and more suited to the FL climate and soil in general. Lethal yellowing should not be a concern this far north (Orlando area).


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