Maintaining A Coconut Tree In Your Backyard
A coconut tree can survive anywhere where the weather does not dip down below 18 degrees. If you want your tree to produce fruit, you will need to take it to Southern Florida or Hawaii. These are the only two US states in which the coconut palm can produce fruit on a regular basis. If you live in the right climate for a fruit producing coconut tree here is how you can take care of it to ensure a year long growing season.
Coconut trees do well in well draining soils. It is native to sand and will thrive in a sand rich soil. If you are planting one in a pot mix sand and potting soil 50/50 so that you can retain some water in your pot.
This tree will maintain itself when it comes to trimming the fronds. The deep green leaves will turn yellow and fall off on their own leaving a smooth trunk behind. If you want to trim the fronds before they fall that is okay but not necessary.
Harvesting the Coconut
Yet again this is something that the coconut tree does by itself. The coconuts will drop to the ground when ripe and you pick them up and crack them open. You can of course climb to the top of the tree using a native tree climbing expert or use a ladder. Cut the larger fruits from the tree and climb back down. These fruits will not look like the coconuts you see in the grocery store. They will have a green skin around them that can be peeled off. You also could wait for nature to do its thing again and dry out the skin leaving it to fall off quite easily.
Do You Want More Trees?
There are two methods to planting a coconut tree. Easy and easier. If you leave a coconut sitting it will develop a shoot that is aimed at the sky. Then, if you leave it sitting even longer, it will make another shoot aiming more or less to the ground. You have two choices at this point, you can bury it or not. As long as you have the right soil and water the nut it will grow. The difference is in the way the base of the plant will look. If you leave the nut above ground and water it you will see a mange of roots above ground reaching into the soil. If you plant your nut then the root system will be completely below ground. It is all a question of the aesthetics in your yard.
If you are part of the population that finds itself in the southern area of Florida or in Hawaii then you are some of the lucky few who get to grow this seemingly maintenance free tree. If you like me, are not able to produce a fruit bearing tree then just remember that you can still have a coconut palm in your yard. It will survive and be happy with a sandy soil, lots of sun and a minimal amount of water. Who knows, even though not likely maybe you will get lucky and it will bear fruit anyway.