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?
On 19 Oct 2003 10:20:44 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org (James Lynx)
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 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
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.
Here is a link to a photo of the one in NEwport BEach:
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.
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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