growing coconut from seed

Discussion in 'Plant Propagation' started by kevind76, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. kevind76

    kevind76 Active Member

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    How easy/hard is it to grow a coconut from seed indoors? Also, where can I get coconuts? I have seen coconuts in grocery stores (Superstore) here, but they are quite small, and so I am not sure if they are 'mature'. Would it be worth it to try? How would I go about it?
     
  2. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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  3. kevind76

    kevind76 Active Member

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    I did see coconut plants in Rona here, but I would rather grow one myself from seed. They were also over $30, and if I can get a coconut for around $1 and grow it, that's much better.

    Thanks for that link. I haven't read the whole thing yet, but these coconuts do come with the husk. So if that is the only issue, then I should be able to germinate it, right?
     
  4. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    It's certainly worth a try if you can get an intact coconut, especially if it costs only $1. It would be interesting to watch it grow.
     
  5. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Coconuts from the store can be used to grow a tree, these may, or may not, germinate if kept in a pot indoors. The main problem with store purchased coconuts is that the husks are almost always removed, causing the nuts dry out after having been stripped of their husk which this inhibits germination. I noticed in the link provided by Junglekeeper, that a poster wrote, that coconuts are very slow growing. This is not true, coconuts are a fast growing tree. Note: without excellent light and humidity, as in a greenhouse or conservatory, the average life span of a home grown coconut palm is just two years, and frequently much less. - Millet (1,089-)
     
  6. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    This (.pdf) document on growing this palm from seed appears to be useful. It confirms Millet's observation of this tree being a fast grower.
     
  7. kevind76

    kevind76 Active Member

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    Does anyone have pictures of a mature coconut seed? I can't seem to find one. I'm beginning to think that what I have does not have the husk. It is only 6" across, is hard, and has a bit of fibrous 'husk' around it, but not much. Has most of it been removed? If so, why, and will it still germinate. Also, if tropical fruit are imported in winter, do the get cold, and if so, would they still be viable to germinate?
     
  8. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    This cross-section might help.
     
  9. kevind76

    kevind76 Active Member

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    Thanks. I think mine does not have the husk. It looks like most, but not all, was taken off. There is husk at the end where the germination pores are - would this be enough for it to germinate? Why is the husk necessary for germination? There might be a specialty store here that might carry them ones with husk. I'll have to look around.
     
  10. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    The reason for the low germination rate of store bought coconuts could be due to refrigeration in storage rather than the fact the husk has been removed. This was observed by coconut_palm in a discussion in this thread in an external forum.
     
  11. lorax

    lorax Rising Contributor 10 Years

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    Kevin, the husk is important because it prevents the endocarp from drying out. Bear in mind that in normal jungle conditions, a coconut that has fallen from its tree would just sort of lie out on the ground until it sprouted, and the husk is very important to ensure that it makes it that long - they're slow germinators but rapid growers in the proper conditions.

    This said, if you've got a fresh enough coconut even without its husk, you've got a reasonable chance of sprouting it so long as it hasn't been chilled in transport.
     
  12. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    I had no idea how expensive these palms are. There were some 3-4' specimens at a store selling for $75 (albeit with a 20% or 30% discount).


    While looking at the coconuts available at the stores I noticed some of them have a fist-sized clump of coir still attached to the nut where the eyes/pores are located. I think those ones would have a better chance of germinating than the ones without the clump.
     
  13. kevind76

    kevind76 Active Member

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    I think if I really want one, I'll have to pay the $30 or so for a plant. The ones at Rona were about 3'-4' high. I realize that plants like this will either not survive, or will grow too big for my growing area in time, but, really, if they don't sell at the store, won't they die anyway? Maybe I can find one at a discount price. I just think it's cool to grow plants like this.
     
  14. Millet

    Millet Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    The average life span of a coconut palm when grown in a residence, is less than 2 years, many times even less than the first year. However, if you want to grow one, by all means do it. Life is to short not to fulfill your dreams. I purchased a Coconut palm from a local garden center some years back, and grew it in my greenhouse. After about a year and a half I had to get rid of it, as it had already reached the top of the greenhouse (11-feet). Beside the height, the fronds get huge. Coconut palms are true tropicals, therefore,do not let the temperatures go below 50F (10C). Good luck and happy growing- Millet (1,082-)
     
  15. kevind76

    kevind76 Active Member

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    I agree. I've been tempted to try Gramatophyllum speciosum and Neomoorea wallisii, but they just get way too big. (I don't have pics, but Google them if you're wondering). Amazing to see in a conservatory, but not practical for at home. I would be able to grow them for a few years, but I'd have to get rid of them because they would take over the whole growing area! I might give in a try the coconut.
     

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