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This doesn't look good :( hmmmm.....

Posted by us_marine CA-z9b (My Page) on
Sat, Apr 9, 11 at 18:41

When it finally warmed up I moved my coconut palm outside. Didn't think a few extra hours of sunlight would do any harm, it did. I thought she have been getting that through the window. What I forgot is the change in sun angle and my tree in front of the window is full of leaves now that winter is gone... Had to remove about 5 of the oldest fronds do to the sun burn. Now she has only 4 fronds, 3 of which are still green and okay for now. The fourth will need to be removed soon. Wow, she had about 11 fronds and a spear, now reduced to 4 fronds and a spear.
The weather here doesn't help either. Its been below average, cloudy then sunny and above then back to cold, with alot of wind. I am very worried because now my palm is loose. I am not sure if this is do to the wind or not. The coconut shell doesnt seem to move but the trunk does. She could have broken loose from the shell partly but I can't tell. I think the palm is too loose either way. Thinking about re-potting her in a smaller container with more sand to way her down.
Is anyone else having problems with coconut palms being loose like that? Makes me wonder if I did something wrong.. It could be normal, I guess I will have to wait and see.

- US_Marine


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: This doesn't look good :( hmmmm.....

I just shook one of my coconut palms to see if it was loose, but it seems very firm. Their might be a problem with your coconut palm. Maybe you should keep it inside for now. I had mine outside this time last year and it got burned very badly from the dry, 90F heat and sun. It made a perfect recovery (no sight of a spear until 2 months later though). I wouldnt repot it because the stress will do a lot more harm than a new pot would do good.
If you could post a pic, that might help!
Hope it gets better!
-Alex


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RE: This doesn't look good :( hmmmm.....

Close up of trunk-

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A view from further back-
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quick pic of fronds-
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RE: This doesn't look good :( hmmmm.....

Thanks for the pic! The trunk looks fantastic, but the fronds are definitely a little washed out (could be the glare from the sun that makes it look a bit lighter in color than it is). I think that your going to have to keep it as warm and humid as possible, and definitely make sure not to water unless its warm outside. I really hope it makes it! Keep us updated!
-Alex


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RE: This doesn't look good :( hmmmm.....

I try to get them extra sun gradually. Unfortunately that is all you can do in Michigan this time of year. It was sunny and 82 yesterday and I put my two coconuts and two bottles out in the sun all day. Back in this morning as it is supposed to drop to 37 tonight and only hit the 50s the rest of the week. Next year you may want to give it filtered sun for a couple of weeks. I move mine in and out as much as weather allows and if I am home even if it is sunny and 60 I move them out provided I am not at work.


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RE: This doesn't look good :( hmmmm.....

Same here. I think the wind did alot of damage. If I remember correctly; I think she was outside in winds between, 15-25mph, with gust as high as 33mph. Or, the worst case, she is dying :( I am going to keep her in a few days until it hits back up in the high 70f's and low 80f's as the forecast shows. Going to try to get a small green house as well.

Not bad for my first coconut, made it a few years. Still alive too. One thing I can say is she is a fighter, wouldn't shock me if she survives this. Other than the usual spear pull, what are some other signs that would help me determine if she will make it or not?

What I can say is that the spear is snug and very green, only parts of the top is dead, just more than usual. The newst frond is still the same, the other seem to have gotten worse. The tree seemed to have gotten somewhat tighter, hope it not me imagining things though.

Thanks for the replies! :)
- US_Marine


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RE: This doesn't look good :( hmmmm.....

Usually other than decline in healthy, completely fried fronds, or spear pull, their isnt much of a way to tell that a coconut palm is dead or dying. But its pretty obvious when it isnt doing well, but as long as its alive, their is a chance it can be saved..
-Alex


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RE: This doesn't look good :( hmmmm.....

Why am I thinking root rot? I didnt water her all that much but maybe the colder than average temps caused it even though temps were in the 60f's... To be on the safe side, I think I need copper fungicide. How would you apply it so the roots get it without making it worse? I could see adding it with water, but "water" seems to me a bad idea.
If the worse happens I can always get another one. I do like this one alot but I am not sure about her recovery yet. When I get another one, she will be planted in a sand mix. I didnt plant this one in any except for what came in the palm mix. All the other were planted in sand mix and did very well here, stronger roots,and stayed much greener as well. Not to mention our long hot and dry summers should have dried them out fast.
Thanks :)
- US_Marine


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RE: This doesn't look good :( hmmmm.....

Quick update- The fronds are alot worse now. The spear looks nice and seems to be pushing up still, and may be opening :) Thats a good sign at least. The roots seem to have gotten stronger as well... I guess more time is need to know for sure.
- US_Marine


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RE: This doesn't look good :( hmmmm.....

Your really going against the grain. Only one coconut-and I know you know that-has reached a large trunking size in California,a very few others have maybe a foot or two,while all seem to only be survivng where nights are warmest in the state by average. And those areas also never deviate-never below 40's in winter and mostly around 50 even in the dead of winter. They ALL also seem to be planted against walls for more warm,less wind.
Also-NO botanical garden in the state has a thriving coconut..all are of the "hey,it made through another winter" hopes stage.
If you were in Anaheim where Mango's do grow into tree's and Plumeria also,you have a shot for ..something. But,maybe keeping it a long time as a potted palm is best case to look forward too.
You know,even a King palm for you is a bit iffy-but it is still realistic to see to a trunking size. Try one-or three! They look very coconut like.


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RE: This doesn't look good :( hmmmm.....

Yeah, she wasn't outside the whole day just during the warmest parts. Has to be root rot or fungus... Bought some spray I hope helps, sprayed down in the crack of the coconut and where the stems are.. All fronds have died,the stems gave out... The only hope is the spear which seems ok.
- US_Marine


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RE: This doesn't look good :( hmmmm.....

tug the spear (not super hard or anything). Sounds exactly the way my early attempts at growing coconut palms went... down to a single green spear, which, when I finally tugged at it, pulled out easily in my hand and that was that. Yours has progressed as 99.9999% of all California coconuts have. So don't feel too bad. Try something a bit less hopeless next time (there are literally thousands of palm species out there, and many are surprisingly hardy). And some beauties do well in your area and no where else in the world except in their native countries... want something unique and staggeringly beautiful, try those.


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RE: This doesn't look good :( hmmmm.....

I am not so sure on this. I have been tugging on it everyday and it is still good. I just barely started to spray some fungicide and mixed with something else. Might actually save her, who knows. The spear could be getting longer and very slowly just starting to open, but not sure yet. Its interesting. As for trying something else yeah i will, but i will keep trying with a coconut as well.. I like the challenge :) lol So if it is the worse, how much longer do you think it will be?

Thanks for the replies :)
- US_Marine


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