Who doesn’t love cool refreshing coconut water to drink on a hot day? Coconut water contains much-needed electrolytes of our body. The inner white pulp of the coconut is also nutritious to provide you enough calories to survive. It is true that this husked fruit can be a lifesaver if you ever lost on an isolated island. One fun fact about coconut is that though it is called a nut, it is actually not a nut.
Growing a coconut plant from a store bought coconut requires little knowledge about the fruit. You need to choose the right coconut from the store and it takes time to sprout. The matured brown one are actually good for planting.
There are many ways to grow a coconut tree from seed. You can choose either a coconut with a husk or a husked one. Both have different methods of preparing the coconut.
Growing a coconut tree from a store bought coconut with husk
Some people want to keep it easy by putting the coconut on the ground in a dark warm place. Coconut loves warm places to grow and the outer fibrous husk can be softened keeping in a moist place. But this technique takes time and no guarantee that your coconut is sprouting inside.
Coconut is a monocot tree that means it has only one cotyledon and the white “coconut apple” you have seen inside a sprouting coconut is the cotyledon. The shoot and root come out from one of the eyes present at the top of the husked coconut. Underneath the shoot embryo is present. This process of germinating the shoot and root and coming out through the eye takes time. And then the outer thick fibrous husk makes it longer for the coconut to shoot come out.
It usually takes three to four-month for a coconut with husk to germinate and sometimes it can take way longer up to six months. Maintaining a warm and moist environment is important for the germination process to become quicker.
Growing a coconut tree from a store bought husked coconut
If you have bought a husked coconut from a store it becomes easy to monitor your sprouting coconut. Make sure you have bought a matured brown coconut and three eyes at the top are not damaged. The shoot and root will come out from one of the eyes, most probably from the smaller circular one.
As shown in the video keep the coconut in water for about three to five days. And then take a plastic bag, put the coconut in it which will maintain the required moisture inside the bag. You can also use a wet cloth to wrap around the coconut not blocking the sprouting eye.
Then, keep the coconut in a warm, dark place until the green shoot comes out. It takes about one month to shoot appear from a husked coconut. You can transfer to a place where sunlight falls when they both root and shoots kinda grow about four to five inches long.
Plating a sprouting coconut
Your coconut seed has germinated and now time to plant it in soil. Some people prefer to plant in a pot and some in open ground.
Whiling planting the germinated coconut in a pot you need to know the variety of the coconut you are growing. Some dwarf varieties do grow in small space and do not require much space. While some grow to a big tall tree with huge roots that can grow only in an open space.
Growing coconuts in Pots/Containers
While growing coconut in a pot you should note that your container is 12 inches deep and can hold about 10 gallons of soil and well-drained.
Coconut varieties which can be grown in pots are Chowghat Orange Dwarf Coconut, Malayan Dwarf Coconut, Macapuno Coconut, Fiji Dwarf, King Coconut and bonsai of few varieties.
Fill your pot with well-drained soil maintaining a pH of 5 to 8. Sandy, loamy soil is good for coconut three. You can use green compost or NPK(nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) combination fertilizer for better growth.
Initially, you may need to water your potted coconut three times a week and then once a week when the roots grew long. One inch of watering needed initially planted coconut trees.
Growing coconuts in open field
Preferably select a place not too close to a big tree, big trees have big roots that take up most of the nutrients and water from the soil. Big trees do cover a large area making it difficult for the sunlight to fall directly. You can grow coconut in the US in an open space where the weather does not go freezing cold, mostly Hawaii, southern and central Florida have higher chances of growing coconut plant well.
After you have decided where to plant it, make a pit not less than 1.5 meters deep, make sure you fill the pit with red loamy, sandy and well drained soil. Natural compost is good for this plant that does not mean you can not use chemical fertilizers in right amount.
Water your plant twice a week. Depending upon the plant size the quantity of water may differ. Water two to three liters of water to a new coconut sapling or five to seven liters of water if it has grown big. If it’s the rainy season may not need it twice a week. In the early stage when the coconut sprout is growing it needs generally more water.
After the successful planting of a coconut tree, the tree can survive more than fifty years, the dwarf variety has a little less lifespan. Coconut tree grows very slow and starts giving fruits from six to ten years. The time for harvesting coconut can differ according to the variety and location of the plant. It also depends whether you just want the cool refreshing coconut water or you want the matured white coconut pulp.
Do coconut trees like salt?
Salt is not a necessary item to add to the soil growing coconut. Coconut can grow in any well-drained soil with warm weather. Keeping the soil moist is a must!