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Growth Rate of a Coconut Palm in Central Florida

Posted by ptmcclanahan Chicagoland 6/soon t (My Page) on
Thu, Aug 16, 07 at 10:26

I just returned home from a trip down to Central Florida where I haven't visited for well over a month. I planted a dwarf coconut palm about 3 feet in height there on June 20 at my girlfriend's apartment in Kissimmee. When I arrived there Thursday evening I noticed the palm is now around 6 feet high - man it grew fast! This was my first time growing a coconut palm, or any palm in Florida for that matter. I guess the constant 70-78F dew points really shoot these suckers into high gear.

I believe the palm is a green malayan dwarf, so does anyone know how long it takes for these to begin fruiting? I purchased this palm for $34 at Lowes in June just to have a palm down in Florida before I move there next month. I never really expected to do much with it after we move into a new house, but after seeing the rapid growth it really sparked my interest into moving this palm along with me.

I was planning to purchase a specimen size coconut palm later on, but if they seriously grow this fast, there may be little sense in spending so much on a larger one. Any suggestions? (besides why the hell are you growing a coconut palm in central florida, etc, etc, etc -- we've been down that block many times)

Thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Growth Rate of a Coconut Palm in Central Florida

I hate to be a wet blanket but if you planted it well inland it is unlikely to make it through the winter. A few nights in the 30s will cause sever damage at minumum. There certianly is enough heat in the summer but unless you're down in the everglades or along the water it is just too cool in the winter.


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RE: Growth Rate of a Coconut Palm in Central Florida

Andy, I mentioned that fact last year on this forum and people jumped all over me.I mentioned when you go north pastStuart on the east coast that you see VERY lttle coconuts.Everybody started mentioning coconuts as far up as Daytona and INLAND.They say they are now growing at Disney World,but when I was there 3 years ago I never saw one.I was goofing around looking at property at Port ST.Lucie and never saw a single one.You know "we" people look for that stuff.I hope his makes it.It's just fun to try.


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RE: Growth Rate of a Coconut Palm in Central Florida

I will probably get some people to disagree with me but they are few and far between in Orlando and Kissimmee. I have said many times I believe the day time temps are to low for them to survive long term. When I say that I will say that someone might get one or two to survive there but the odds are against it.Tampa is maybe slightly better but their not in great abundance there either.There are some on the west coast south of Tampa that do even better.We have lots around here under lake Okeechobee and are temps at night are close to Orlando lows but our daytime temps are sometimes 5 to 10 degrees warmer.


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RE: Growth Rate of a Coconut Palm in Central Florida

My question was simply on the growth rate of a coco palm - was hoping to avoid the debate over zone laws (even left a notation in the last sentence to steer clear of this), but I see that's not going to be possible.


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RE: Growth Rate of a Coconut Palm in Central Florida1

I completely agree there are VERY few coconut palms between Orlando and Kissimmee (I counted 5 on my visit there over the weekend). The town I'm looking into however, Windermere, has a slightly higher daytime temp in January and is even 2-3 degrees warmer at night due to all the surrounding lakes (Butler Chain). If the tree dies, so be it. But if planted correctly, south facing & near the home or pool, maybe I'll get a few good years out of it. That's well worth it to me.

Again, there's no need to draw that line of where coco palms survive long term in Florida, where they're only marginal, and where they will not live for more than a year or two. I could safely say that everyone on this forum is likely well aware of this topic, so no need for further debate please.


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RE: Growth Rate of a Coconut Palm in Central Florida

Paul, it is sure fun to watch the little guys grow fast. However, I'd strongly recommend getting a mature tree with some trunk for the long term. They will take the cool nights, and recover from those nights, much better.

My large coco is fruiting now, which is pretty cool. I'm hoping that I actually get some mature fruit in a year. I'd hate to see them fall off prematurely.


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RE: Growth Rate of a Coconut Palm in Central Florida

Thank you, Shaun.

Do you know approximately how old your palm is? I've seen the photos you have of it in prior posts and it looks fantastic - great size trunk as you advised.

It's purely amazing to see the growth rate comparisons of Illinois palms vs. Florida palms. Last summer I worked very hard on a 3ft washie I planted in my front yard - it faired very well and grew a lot, but the temperature swings up here really put the brakes on that during the summer. Later this week they're calling for daytime highs here of only 60s - just a few days ago we hit 95 with dewpoints steadily in the low 70s all week. Fall is definitely nearing...


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RE: Growth Rate of a Coconut Palm in Central Florida

ptmcclanahan,Enjoy your palm,this is what we "zonepushers" do. It's a lot of fun.Didn't mean to step on your toes.


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RE: Growth Rate of a Coconut Palm in Central Florida

Nucci--No problem man. Like you said, it's more fun this way. If I were moving to Miami instead, the fun would be lost.

I was just looking for info on growth rates though rather than rediscussing the preferred zone for cocos - an issue way overplayed on this forum if you ask me.


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RE: Growth Rate of a Coconut Palm in Central Florida

ptmcclanahan
You already know my thoughts if you want it grow it !!
if it dies plant another one.. That's the only way to
enjoy yourself :)


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RE: Growth Rate of a Coconut Palm in Central Florida

Good Luck.


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RE: Growth Rate of a Coconut Palm in Central Florida

Hey Ptmclanahan,

As far as growth rates, that sounds phenomenal even for a tall variety, and you said that you planted a dwarf. That is the fastest growing coconut palm I have ever heard of. They are fast growers, but man yours is growing faster than a weed! The fastest one I have ever had is a Hawaiian Tall, which grows about 4.5-5ft. per year. Dwarfs, usually only grow about 3.5-4ft. per year. The Malayan Dwarfs start producing their first coconuts at about 3-4 years after sprouting, therefore, you can literally have one with a trucnkof only about 4ft. that will have coconuts on it. The talls, however take 7-8 years to produce their first coconuts and their trunks are usually about 15-20ft. tall at that point. I am sorry, but I feel compelled to jump in on the Zone argument. I live in Coconut territory here in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, and it sounds like we have more of them here than what you are describing in the Orlanda/Kissimmee area, yet our winters are slightly cooler here than yours are. There is a pretty good looking Golden Malayan Dwarf about 15ft. tall in San Benito (just south of Harlingen). And I have seen some good looking 30ft. tall Mexican Talls in Brownsville, so I wouldn't be worried about yours making it through the winter, especially if you have a lot of lakes (that have water in them; how bad has the drought been there?). Remember to fertilize your dwarfs with a good palm fertilizer with a 12-4-8 ratio and micronutrients. Fertilize around the base of the palm (a few inches away from the base out to the outer range of the leaves, work the fertilizer into the top couple of inches of soil, then water them good). Do this in the Spring, Summer, and Fall. Then mulch with Cypress Mulch (a good native mulch) to a depth of about 2 inches in about a 3ft. radius pattern around your palm, but not right up againt the trunk- allow about 2-3 inches of space from the trunk to the mulch). If you do these things, your Malayans should be fine, even in Kissimmee, and you should have coconuts in about 3 years! They will probably grow to be about 25-30ft. tall to the top of the crown in your area! Enjoy!

John


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RE: Growth Rate of a Coconut Palm in Central Florida

Thank you, Shaun.

Do you know approximately how old your palm is? I've seen the photos you have of it in prior posts and it looks fantastic - great size trunk as you advised.

It's purely amazing to see the growth rate comparisons of Illinois palms vs. Florida palms. Last summer I worked very hard on a 3ft washie I planted in my front yard - it faired very well and grew a lot, but the temperature swings up here really put the brakes on that during the summer. Later this week they're calling for daytime highs here of only 60s - just a few days ago we hit 95 with dewpoints steadily in the low 70s all week. Fall is definitely nearing...

If I had to guess, I'd say my coconut is 6-7 years old. I've had it almost 2 years. It has really shot up this summer.

This is when I first got it.

Its probably put on another foot and a half of trunk since then.

As for the growth rate of smaller coconuts.

Spring 05

3 weeks ago

The spear coming up in this picture is totally fanned out already and another spear has grown to that same point, if not a little higher. Basically with the rain and heat, I'm fanning out 6-7 foot fronds every 3 weeks. Crazy.


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Coconut Exporters in Florida

Hello all,

I'm new to this forum.

I've seen a few coco palms in the Orlando area, much to my surprise, and a few in St. Pete's beach. One place I can remember was outside of the Polynesian Resort in Disney World, it could have looked healthier, though, but all of these palms were about 12-14' high so I'm sure they can survive, at best.

I'm new to this so I'm not sure If I can ask this now, but does anyone know someone in Florida who can ship me fresh coconuts (off the tree) to Southern California? I heard of a guy in Miami who shipped a few to Sacramento without a problem.

I just need someone who can ship them to me, like 50 at a time, even with the husks intact. Does anyone know? I will pay reasonably.

Ben


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RE: Growth Rate of a Coconut Palm in Central Florida

http://cgi.ebay.com/Jamaican-Tall-Palm-Coconut-Seed_W0QQitemZ270017199573QQihZ017QQcategoryZ42354QQcmdZViewItem

Sue70 on ebay. I got some coconuts from this ebayer and they sprouted within a couple months. I got a good deal and she discounts larger purchases if you look at the Q and A. The ebay item # is. 270017199573 . I had them out on the patio this summer which was pretty hot, that was the key to sprouting them i think.


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