Growing Coconut Palm Trees in Southern California

I know that growing coconut palms in Southern California just don't work if you grow them outdoors or even indoors in a house but have any of you grown one successfully in a greenhouse in Southern California? If so how tall did it get and did it fruit? I grow pineapples and bananas with success but wondering about coconut trees?
Thanks,
James
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On 19 Oct 2003 10:20:44 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (James Lynx) wrote:

the problem is tht they so quickly outgrow the heights of even a tall greenhouse. i know somebody who then laid the palm on its side, and it began to grow up at right angles to the original trunk...but you can only do this so many times before you have a very heavy and unwieldly palm. Bananas and Pineapples are much easier in S CA. By the way, the search for a microclimate somewhere in S CA where a person could grow a coconut palm is a big deal to some palm enthusiasts.
hermine
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hermine thanks for the reply. I have a somewhat inexpensive greenhouse in the back yard. Not big at all. I've had a coco palm in there for about three months with success so far but it has yet to grow much because cocos are slow growers. I hope it can last the winter. So far I have been lucky because the weather has been hot here in LA the past few days and before that even on some what cold days it hasn't been too cold because the greenhouse keeps it some what warm and moist. If it makes it thru winter and spring then by the end of next summer I can see it outgrowing the greenhouse so I might loose it by the next winter but if I can keep one alive that long I'd be happy and proud of myself. I saw a photo of a coco palm in a greenhouse in Seattle at some nursery that was about 15 feet tall and fruited some coconuts. It was in a big wooden plant container. I was amazed that in Seattle of all places a coconut fruited. Not bad really. Really very good. I don't have the link anymore but wish I did.
By the way there is a coconut tree in Newport Beach without the aid of a greenhouse that has been growing for about five years. It's alive and healthy yet if it was in a real tropical climate it would be bigger and more healthy. But it's cool nevertheless.
Thanks,
James
(James Lynx)

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There are squat cocos (Samoan I think) Neil
(James Lynx)

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Neil, what are you referring to when you say there are squat cocos (Samoan)?
Thanks,
James
(James Lynx)

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Here is a link to a photo of the one in NEwport BEach:
http://www.spectresjungle.com/v-web/coppermine1.3.0//albums/userpics/10053/normal_IMGP4447.JPG
If you want them to survive outdoors unaided, make sure they are in a south facing area and do not water them in the winter no matter how tempting it is. Also have it in very well draining soil. They die of cold wet roots and not the cold air temperature (they die underground in CA before over ground) so once you prevented that it should be good.
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You failed to mention the role of humidity in the demise of coconut palms in so cal. There are NO mature coconut palms in Southern California unless they are in greenhouses. Our humidity gets into the teens at times throughout the year; this is a semi-desert. Coconut palms need high humidity to survive and that is just not possible unless you are in a greenhouse. Although I encourage experimentation most of the time, growing coconut palms outdoors in So. Cal. is an exercise in futility in my opinion.

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