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Cocos nucifera

Pronunciation: Koe-koase noo-siff-er-uh
Family: Arecacea/palmae (palm family)
Common Name: Coconut palm
Plant Type:
  • trees, shrubs
Height to: 50-80'
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
  • 40 to 30ºF ZONE 10
  • 50 to 40ºF ZONE 11
Sun Exposure:
  • full sun
Bloom Description: All have graceful gray trunks topped by a crown of pinnately compound yellow-green leaves. Each leaf is 15-17 ft (4. 6-5. 2 m) long with in ( cm) leaflets.
Plant Perks:
  • Drought Tolerant
Pests and Diseases: Coconut palm fronds are very susceptible to attacks by the palm leaf skeletonizer (homaledra sabalella). This is a caterpillar that feeds on the the leaf tissue and causes tissue death. Coconut palm is susceptible to a disease called lethal yellowing (ly) where the foliage turns yellow and the entire tree eventually dies. Ly is caused by a phytoplasma, which is an organism larger than a virus, but smaller than a bacteria, born by a leaf-hopping insect, the myndus crudus. This phytoplasma can live in the crown of the coconut palm for over 18 months before any visible ly symptoms are apparent. To prevent the disease from progressing to a symptomatic declining stage, oxycycline antibiotic should be administered at least three times per year via a port drilled into the trunk. The antibiotic must be administered for the rest of the tree(s) life/lives. This does not cure the infestation, but will keep the tree alive.
Propagation: Plant fresh coconuts (with husks) on their side, half buried in moist soil (half of the coconut is exposed). If kept moist the coconut will sprout in 2-3 months. Growth is slow at first but picks up as the palm matures
Native to: Coconut is a pan-tropical species usually found in humid coastal areas between latitudes 26 degrees north and south. The origin of this plant is uncertain, but many experts believe it's from the west pacific and indian ocean islands. As it is not a palm for dry climates, it is typically encountered in the continental u. S. Only in south florida, and the extreme southern tip of texas. Coconut palms are also occassionally seen in nominally frost-free micro-climates in zone 9. I've seen them on st. Petersburg beach and vero beach, often looking somewhat shabby after a rough winter.
Notes for Identification: Source: floridata - this palm makes a beautiful accent on the lawn and provides nice filtered shade for the patio. Use in groves and street plantings. The coconut palm is very salt tolerant and is at its most sensational when planted beachside where the seabreeze can rustle its huge feather leaves. Nothing sets a tropical tone like the coconut palm! Care: coconut palm is very salt tolerant.
USDA Heat Zones (days above 86ºF):
  • 150 to 180 days ZONE 10
  • 180 to 210 days ZONE 11
  • Greater then 210 ZONE 12
Seed photo: 0
Located in: Trees, Shrubs
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