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Fruiting coconut palm grown in container?

Posted by us_marine NorCal-z9b (My Page) on
Sun, Oct 24, 10 at 16:41

Has anyone every gotten a coconut palm to fruit in a container? Especially those outside of the areas where coconut palms can be grown outside?
I think it can be done but the container would be too large. I have seen fairly large coco palms in containers in the tropics, but never seen fruit on them. It might be best to plant.Any thoughts?

Thanks-
US_Marine


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Fruiting coconut palm grown in container?

I think it might be possible to get the beginnings of a coconut fruit from a container plant, but when they go inside, the sudden change in humidity and light might cause the fruit to drop. I think it is possible especially if you live in an area with very warm and humid summers (like the east, but especially the southeastern and gulf states). I think it takes days consistently in the 80s for fruit to form (and a few weeks of that) and then nearly a year of temperatures near 80 to get the fruit to ripen. If you have warm summers and a warm and humid greenhouse during the winter, I think fruit is definitely possible.


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RE: Fruiting coconut palm grown in container?

Thanks tropicalzone7.
Someday soon I would love to see my coconut palm get mature here. However, I have a feeling it will like being in the ground better than a large container. Hopefully whatever I choose it will be happy. Maybe it will decide to fruit. I'll be happy even if it doesnt fruit, as you won't see many here in CA.


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RE: Fruiting coconut palm grown in container?

you certainly are optimistic. Even in Hawaii the coconuts will not fruit above a certain elevation, even though they will grow happily and quickly (and that elevation is not that far above sea level). I had land in a neighborhood where above a certain road no one's coconut fruited, it was about that precise (Hawaii temps are very consistent). So there is no way on earth one will ever fruit in California, and probably never even get to flower here, as getting a coconut to maturity in California is a one in a million prospect as it is. It would be interesting to find at at what latitude this was also the case in Florida, as I know they fruit in Miami now and then... but I seriously doubt the mature palms in Orlando fruit. What about Palm Beach? Tampa?


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RE: Fruiting coconut palm grown in container?

I remember seeing a coconut palm in Orlando and it did have what looked like was the beginnings of fruit on it, but that was already late summer and the plant might not even be there anymore after this past cold blast they received last winter. The palm must have been 20 feet tall or more. Im just hoping that it was actually a coconut palm because I did see it quite a few years ago and I didnt know as much about palms back then (but I still knew that coconut palms were rare in Orlando!). The coconut palm (if it was one) I am talking about was at the Royal Pacific Hotel In Orlando. I know of a few other coconut palms in Orlando, but Orlando is a zone 10 (or at least has many zone 10 microclimates) and Orlando does definitely have the heat and humidity necessary for coconut palms to fruit. Even the winters are in the 70s and the summers are in the 90s for months and about as humid as it can possibly get!!
I always wondered if the coconut palms in Bermuda fruited. Summers are very hot and humid there like in the southeast, but the winter days are usually only in the upper 60s although it never gets below 50F there (I think the record low is in the mid 50s). Winters are also usually very cloudy and even though the temperature never gets very cold, the wind sure makes it feel like it is! Bermuda is pretty much the same latitude as south carolina and coastal georgia which is pretty much the same latitude as So Cal. That doesnt mean that whatever grows in Bermuda can grow in Southern California, but it does prove that Coconut palms can be seen around that latitude. Anyone know if Coconut palms fruit in Bermuda??

Even if you cant get a coconut palm to fruit in California, I still think in the right microclimate with the right protection, it can at least grow and that alone is a pretty great thing to see and a great accomplishment!

Good luck!
-Alex


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RE: Fruiting coconut palm grown in container?

I recall seeing fruit on the Coco at SeaWorld in Orlando last year. I may even have pics, I'll have to look.


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RE: Fruiting coconut palm grown in container?

I found out after seeing some pics online that coconut palms definitely do fruit in Bermuda, but the fruit doesnt always reach full maturity depending on the time they fruit and the weather. I doubt that there are any in fruit during the winter there since days are cool and cloudy most of the time at that point in the year.
-Alex


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RE: Fruiting coconut palm grown in container?

  • Posted by kinzyjr Lakeland, FL 9a (My Page) on
    Mon, Oct 25, 10 at 18:24

The furthest north I have seen a mature nut is Vero Beach. I looked around Melbourne when I was over that way for a job, but didn't see anything that really caught my eye as mature.


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RE: Fruiting coconut palm grown in container?

Looks like I forgot to mention that it will have winter heat provided by some type of green house. If you have ever been in California's valley, you would know it gets hot here and stays hot along time. The only problems I see is the night time lows and low humidity. I am already happy its doing very well and looks healthy. However, the fruit would make me happier :)

Thanks for replying everyone, and good luck :)


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RE: Fruiting coconut palm grown in container?

Looks like they do fruit in Bermuda. Heres a pic my friend sent me from google maps:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic


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RE: Fruiting coconut palm grown in container?

Wow they definitely fruit in Bermuda!!! Bermuda is roughly just a bit south in latitude from San diego on the west coast and about equal in latitude to Savannah Ga on the east coast. Pretty cool to see coconut palms thriving that far north!!
Good luck!
-Alex


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RE: Fruiting coconut palm grown in container?

I have seen coconuts fruit in south FL in 200g containers. The plants themselves are 20-24' tall. The fruits never reach maturity, just to about half size, though before falling off.


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RE: Fruiting coconut palm grown in container?

Its a good idea to try it and i bet with the right conditions its doable. Your zone is fairly warm and just protect it and bring it in during the cold months. They love sun.

Coconuts take a long time to mature and may yield fruit any time of the year even when weather conditions turn poor. The family FL house coco palms always have cocos in variuos stages. It was producing even in last years cold - although that one crop of cocos that breifly experienced below 32* were not that good.


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RE: Fruiting coconut palm grown in container?

Great info everyone! Thanks :)


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RE: Fruiting coconut palm grown in container?

It would be interesting to find at at what latitude this was also the case in Florida, as I know they fruit in Miami now and then... but I seriously doubt the mature palms in Orlando fruit. What about Palm Beach? Tampa?

lzrddr, In Miami almost every coconut palm mature enough gets loaded. Don't go by those in public places (South Beach) where it looks like the nuts are removed so they don't fall on people.

I myself have a seedling off a tall palm whose fully mature fruit fell and was sprouting. Sometimes they do fall still orange, w/out turning brown. The question I have is: do those germinate??

In West Palm beach they fruit reliably, at least those I've seen on the inland side, not far from the bay. As far as Tampa, in areas where coconuts survive, they should fruit given consecutive mild winters.

As far as I understand, fruit production isn't reliable in Bermuda because they typically don't reach full maturity, and likely are also less productive there.

Orlando's average yearly highs are approx. 83 vs 75 for Bermuda. Orlando also has a warmer spring and summer. As far as humidity I suspect Orlando is also easily more humid year round. Humidity even in cold days usually stays high. It would be effectively tropical if wasn't for the occasional "global warming" freezes, 4 winters in a row killing most coconuts around town, some of those fruiting.


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RE: Fruiting coconut palm grown in container?

I have seen a lot of tropical plants in florida that are rated for a zone 10. Not sure how they are doing now, but some were pretty old. Now orlando has been getting so cold. The first freeze down their was only about 3 days after ours in NYC! I remember when Orlando didnt go below freezing every winter!
Good luck!
-Alex


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RE: Fruiting coconut palm grown in container?

The heat island effect after all the construction in the 90s and 2000s has made metro Orlando a reliable area to grow most tropicals, with low temps about the same (and sometimes warmer) than coastal locations such as Melbourne.

However, the extent of these last two winters cold snaps have been ridiculously long. Jan 2010 for the # of consecutive days with lows in the 30s and this December for number of freezes. Low temperature this December was even colder than last January!

If this cooling continues Zone 10 plants in this city will never look good again in the open, and some will effectively become impossible (Coconuts).

It doesn't seem to me the summers are as unbearably hot and sticky as they used to be either. Last 4 winters have been very cold, that's a small trend.

If this guy is right, it doesn't look good and Orlando will be back to the 1990 hardiness map at zone 9.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkzNmWlCig8


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RE: Fruiting coconut palm grown in container?

Hi
Why don't you check out the Kew gardens site?? They have palms that were brought back by Captain Cook in the 1780's .Of course they have 80 foot GH'S and an incredible budget. But if they can grow them in England you can grow them anywhere?? Temp obviously is all that matters.lol
Finding specific info is tough on the site because of all the pix and publicity of course. I was watching the rebuilding of the conservatory first opened in 1835. They changed the structure from wrought iron to SS while still a funtioning GH.
As to the fertility of Coconuts I know for a fact they will sprout in Palm Beach county. have found some along the intercoastal and must have originated from feral seeds.
I have sprouted a few from local fruit
the very name of Palm Beach comes from a boatload of the fruit that sunk off the coast in 1905.
They are omitted from "native " plants on any list I've seen but were reported in Cuba by Columbus for sure .
During a discussion of the native aspect a botanist told that even if they were here how could you eliminate them being planted by native americans.??
Tough point because those in Hawaii were obviously carried there by the polynesians. They are mentioned in Cooks logs in Hawaii during the first sighting.
Ponce DE Leon did not mention but he landed in what is now Tampa Bay and he was NOT too interested in palm trees for sure lol
gary


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RE: Fruiting coconut palm grown in container?

Not sure the Kew coconuts produce fruit. Fruit production in coconuts is dependent on overall heat, humidity, light and nutrition (the latter hardly an issue since coconuts seem to need very little). You can almost draw a latitude line on the map of Florida and any coconuts north of it will never fruit and those south will usually fruit. Same with a line in Hawaii, only that line is altitude (which, like the latitudinal line in Florida, translates into overall heat). But Florida and Hawaii are light years from a greenhouse situation and a conatainer plant. I seriously doubt any container plants indoors ever fruit, in any climate, but I could be wrong. There is a huge hotel/indoor structure in Orlando... Gaylord Palms perhaps? It basically is a huge hotel inside a greenhouse over 100' tall. Maybe the coconuts in there fruit. I would guess not (overall heat and humidity not great since no hotel guests want to live in that sort of conditions), but would be interesting to see.


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RE: Fruiting coconut palm grown in container?

The furthest coconut palm to flower and fruit outside with no help in North America is located in Puerto Penasco, Mexico. It realy isnt too far from San Diego, or Arizona for that matter! Fruit only achieved soft ball sized, but thats not bad at all.
I don't think humidity has much to do with fruit production because somewhere in the middle east ( I forget where ), grow them in the desert. That goes for growth as well. Its so dry here and my coconut palm doesnt seem to have a problem with it.

Thanks for the replies everyone! Soon we shall see :)

-US_Marine


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RE: Fruiting coconut palm grown in container?

The difference between Bermuda and soucal is-Bemuda is an Island surrounded by the all year warm Gulf Stream. Soucal has the Pacific that is cool in winter and in late summers just mild.
Other than the Newport Beach coconut,from what I've read others have gotten to last 4-5 years..then they rot out. And one in San Diego that's 6 years old is the second oldest behind the NBC,but the owner hasnt posted a new pic in years as he says it doesnt look good with new fronds barely able to replace old dying fronds. Still,that has to be nice conversation piece..a real coconut palm.
They look so nice in summer I know its always tempting..and in summer you forget how long and cold our winters are.


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RE: Fruiting coconut palm grown in container?

I hear you stanofh! My original coconut looks nice, and I can't wait to see her trunking:) However my inground coco isn't looking to great but she still has life and a little bit of fight still in her. The spear is still green and snug. The valley should start warming up soon, hope it does early.


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RE: Fruiting coconut palm grown in container?

Although Bermuda is the same latitude as Savannah GA, you can't forget that the Gulf Stream play's a major role in Bermuda weather, which averages that of Central to South Florida. Winters Jan- Mar Highs reach like 68-70 lows 58-60F. Bermuda does receive cold snaps like Dec 2010 Low of 48F (albeit only for 3 Minutes) The Palms in Bermuda have been damaged from the 2010-2011 winter, but the have begun to recover.


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RE: Fruiting coconut palm grown in container?

If the container was big enough, and if she was over wintered in a house or green house has me guessing if I may see fruit or not someday.
With months being in the 90f's and 100f's common I can't see why one would not. Of course the lows here would be very different from a humid place, our lows would on average be around 62-68f. It does warm up fast here so its only that low a few hours if that. The other thing that might be a huge problem, especially for a container plant is the low humidity.
Very low humidity here, and with the hot temps water is very important! Everyday watering is required, even now. Yet the palm does not seem affected by any of this as I can see. Only things that seem to slow my palm is putting her in during winter, and sun burn if I didn't acclimate her just right. Growth still happens all year.
I heard that dates need alot of heat to ripen and mature, if that is true, dates fruit and ripen here. If they do maybe a coconut palm could too. Now I am not saying one will, but I am going to try anyway. Since she isn't in a tropical place, 4 years to fruit is not very likely, however, 6-9 years is a good guess. Only time will tell.
Good luck everyone!
- US_Marine


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RE: Fruiting coconut palm grown in container?

There were lots of fruiting coconuts in the florida keys and south florida last year when we were down there. We bought a couple at a roadside stand in a family's front yard for 50 cents each!


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RE: Fruiting coconut palm grown in container?

Over the years I have grown many coconuts in containers. I can keep them alive for two or three years by bringing them inside in the winter.
I guess if you had a greenhouse tall enough you could get a coconut to fruit in a large pot or by putting it in the ground inside the greenhouse. I think it would be easier to move to So. Florida or Hawaii ;-)
Mike


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RE: Fruiting coconut palm grown in container?

Coconut palms do well in containers for me and even though fruting in containers is impossible, its not impossible for them to do well in containers!
I saw 2 large coconut palms indoors at MCO airport (Orlando International) and they had been there for about 20 years and look good, but never any fruit. I think thats more because they dont like growing indoors that much than the fact that they are in limited soil.
-Alex


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RE: Fruiting coconut palm grown in container?

Moving to hawaii or florida takes the fun out of it, lol. Part of the lure of coconuts in california is the fact that most people can't get them survive long even indoors.

- US_Marine


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RE: Fruiting coconut palm grown in container?

Build a greenhouse fully equiped with heating and cooling maintain the temps between 90-day and 75-night. Use high powered grow lights to compinsate for the hours of light lost during winter days and maybe it will fruit. But the price of such a system would be tremendous, similar to that of a high production pot grower. Maybe if you grow that in the same greenhouse you can pay for the cost lol


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RE: Fruiting coconut palm grown in container?

is there any kind of fertilizer to help get them to fruit?

some people say: salt helpsany experience with salt?

and hormones for this?

Jim


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RE: Fruiting coconut palm grown in container?

Don't think there's anything to trigger fruiting with coconuts like there is with pineapples. Experiments have been done with applying salt to soil around coconuts (in areas away from the sea). It definitely does help, but is best as actual sea water. That has a whole range of minerals including trace elements. But it shouldn't be overdone, they're not a mangrove even though it can appear at times they are.


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RE: Fruiting coconut palm grown in container?

Hi
That might be true about the quality of the fruit.But it's certainly no necessary to get them to fruit . Every shopping center ,house in my area has at least one I'd even go so far as to say they are the most common palm.
i gurantee that commercial plantings are NOT encouraging fruit. They whack them off as soon as they appear. This year all that I've noticed(in time) are fruiting . Only big difference that's obvious is the record warm winter. Almost none in 08 and o9 record cold winter !! Even some less than 10 feet tall are fruiting this year!! and well over 10 miles from the sea. Since they are in a medical center parking lot and they don't want them to fruit I feel certain they done nothing to encourage this But there they are!! Habve no idea what or how they are pollinated but it must be easy?? gary


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RE: Fruiting coconut palm grown in container?

That's because of the public liability risk. Some places the local authiorities regularly go around taking all flowering and fruiting stalks from coconuts. And lots of schools have removed whole trees from anywhere on school grounds. That includes non play ground areas as well. Public liability is a big issue these days.


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RE: Fruiting coconut palm grown in container?

Broke down and bought a potted coconut palm at Lowes. First time I'd seen them here, and for $16 it will be fun to have one again. Although putting it into a big box store shopping cart and paying was not as rewarding as searching for a small sprouted one on top of piles of coconuts on a palm fringed beach on Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean, then smuggling it back in my USAF flight helmet bag.


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RE: Fruiting coconut palm grown in container?

wetsuiter, how is your coco palm doing now? That is a great price $16.


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RE: Fruiting coconut palm grown in container?

Wetsuiter, at least you can fit a much larger plant into a shopping cart than you can in a flight helmet bag, LOL.


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RE: Fruiting coconut palm grown in container?

It added a few new fronds in the summer heat and humidity after I put it in a bigger pot. Brought it in last night as its been in the 40s at night lately. There is frost forecast inland and to our north but NWS revised our low to 45 with a breeze. It should rebound into the 70s, so it may go back out for another week.


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RE: Fruiting coconut palm grown in container?

The west is cool and cloudy. Mines still outside though. The forecast shows a warm up next week. :)

- US_Marine


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RE: Fruiting coconut palm grown in container?

Yes. I found this on line. People in India get them to fruit in containers so yes, they can be fruited in large containers.


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