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How to Plant a Coconut Tree

If you are interested in planting a coconut tree you can do this fairly easily, even from a store bought de-husked coconut.  When selecting your coconut, pick one that is quite heavy and shake it.  You should hear or feel the coconut water sloshing about inside the coconut.  If you do not, select another one, as you want to make sure that the one you are selecting is well nourished.  Once you’ve found one that feels heavy and full of coconut water, inspect the three eyes on its end.  You want to make sure it isn’t damaged and doesn’t have punctures through the eyes.

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Image: flickr.com/photos/rejik

Next, get a buck filled with lukewarm water.  Put the coconut in the water and weigh it down with a large rock, a brick or something else that will keep it submerged.  Place it in a warm location and allow it to soak for approximately 4 days.  Next, get a large zip lock bag.  Put a quarter to half a cup of the water the coconut had been soaking in into the bag.  Carefully place the coconut inside the bag with the eyes pointing upwards.  Zip the bag shut.  The water is in there to help mimic a tropical environment.  Place the bag with the coconut inside, eyes pointing upward, inside a bowl.  This will help keep the coconut in position.  Next you want to put the coconut in a warm, dark location.  If all goes well, you should get a sprout within a couple of weeks.

After about a month, move your coconut bag and bowl to a sunny location.  Keep checking on its progress.  If you see a root in addition to the sprout, you might want to consider wrapping the root in a warm paper towel.  This will help prevent it from drying out.  After about another month take the coconut out of the bag and unwrap the root.  If you have been monitoring the growth progress you will probably notice the sprout hasn’t grown a whole lot in the last couple weeks. The root has likely doubled, and began grown smaller roots off the main root.  Place the coconut back in the bag for another 2 to 4 weeks.  Seal the bag and place it back in the sun.

Now it is time to transplant your coconut into its pot.  Get a large pot and line the bottom with medium sized river rocks.  This will help with creative proper drainage for your young coconut.  Next, get some regular potting soil and mix together with sand.  It is important for the coconut to have the nutrients from the potting soil, but also light sand for easier drainage.  If you can also get a larger or coarser sand to blend into the overall mixture, this will help create the ultimate soil.  Now that you have filled your pot, create a hole to put your coconut in.  Plant it so the coconut is fully submerged in the soil with the shoot sticking up as naturally out of the soil as possible.  Since your coconut is now resting in its new home, you should give it a really good watering.

Since your coconut tree is still very young you will want to keep the conditions it has been used to still in place.  Therefore, get 4 stakes to put around the pot.  Next, wrap either clear wrap or a plastic tarp over and around the stakes to simulate a greenhouse.  Keep watering and checking on your coconut tree.  Once it is well established and thriving in its new pot, feel free to take off the plastic wrap.  Just make sure to keep it warm at this young age.

Stewart Scott is a certified arborist and is the owner of Cevet Tree Care, where he offers the best tree service Columbia MO has to offer. Cevet has provided tree trimming and other tree care services to mid-Missouri for almost 20 years.

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