Coconut Palm 

Cocos nucifera

“Maypan”

 

Coconut Palms grow best in the warmer and coastal areas of South Florida. Coconuts from this palm are used for many purposes. The economies of many tropical countries depend on Coconut Palms for coconut oil, which is used world-wide in cosmetics, soaps, cooking oils and margarine.  The coconuts on Coconut Palms offer coconut meat, milk and oil; fiber comes from the fruit husks; coconut leaves can be woven into mats, baskets, clothing, or used for thatch.  Stranded on a desert island?  You can even use the trunks to build yourself a house or a raft.

 

Specifications

 

A Coconut Palm is a single-trunk palm that can grow to 50 feet or more.  They have a moderate growth rate and will begin to produce nuts when they are about 6 to 8 years old, fruiting at random times throughout the year. The nuts take about a year to ripen.

 

Coconut Palms are very salt-tolerant and make perfect beachside plantings.  Sensitive to cold, Coconut Palms do best in Zone 10B and coastal areas of 10A.

 

Care

 

These palms don't like to be too wet but they do need a regular watering.   They work well in the hot sun and the heavy rainfall of a tropical climate.

 

Fertilize three times a year - once each in spring, summer and autumn.  Trim off the browned fronds while the palm is young and you can still reach them.

 

Spacing 

 

Plant well away from the house - at least 10 feet - to allow the long fronds room to flush out.

 

When planting in a row make sure to space them 8 feet or more apart.

 

Coconut Palms are not a good candidate for container planting.  They will be much happier outdoors planted in sandy soil.

 

Landscaping with Coconut Palms

 

• as a single yard specimen

• to anchor a bed of low-growing plants

• for lining the edge of a property

• flanking an entrance to a drive

• to accent an entry

• in the center of a wide circular drive