How To Plant Coconut?
If you stay in the tropical belt then growing coconut palms in your backyard is the best way to ensure a constant supply of fresh coconuts; however, if you have no previous experience in planting coconut then reading this blog is a good option. Here I have explained how to plant coconut in easy to follow steps along with crucial do’s and don’ts. So, read on….
To begin with you need to decide whether you want to plant the coconut in the ground or in a pot. Though coconuts grows equally well in both places, the variety of coconut used, planting techniques, care instructions…everything depends upon where you choose to grown you coconut palm. Here I have given separate instructions for planting coconut in ground and in pots…
Planting in ground:
Soil quality: If you are planning to grow the coconut in open ground, you need to ensure that the soil quality in your area is a mix of sandy-loamy and has an alkaline pH. If the soil conditions are not ideal then it is always better to plant the coconut in a pot, where you have more control over the soil quality.
Seed quality: To plant a coconut in ground, select a good quality planting nut, these are different from the cleaned coconuts that you get in the grocery stores. These are fertile whole coconuts i.e., with husk intact and usually tan brown in color (when purchasing seed nuts ensure that you hear water sloshing inside the nut, dried coconut will not produce any shoots.)
Planting: In a partially shaded spot dig a shallow pit in the ground. Now, lay your coconut seed on the ground and see what way it wants to rest. Place the coconut seed into the pit in the same position. Loosely cover the seed with soil in such a way that the top 1/3 part of the seed is exposed above the soil. Keep watering the seed once a week till the seed germinates (be patient, the coconut can take anything between 3 months to 1 year to germinate). You will need to protect the young plant with a loosely woven shade for 3 to 4 months. Water the plant regularly and fertilize the soil once a month till the coconut palm is at least 3 to 4 feet tall – after that the coconut is quite stable and will take care of itself; however, regular watering, fertilization, and pruning will be necessary.
Planting in pot:
Coconut variety: Not all varieties of coconuts grow well in pots. Success rates of growing coconuts in pots are more with dwarf coconut varieties and hybrids like MAYPAN. Consult your local gardener before purchasing a sapling or planting seed.
Preparing the pot: You can plant coconut seed or sapling in a 3 gallon pot, however, you will need to repot the plant as it starts to outgrow the pot (this might take anything between 4 months to 6 months after planting the coconut). To prepare the pot, mix loamy soil and natural beach sand in a 1:1 proportion and fill the pot with this mixture, leaving 6” from the top edge of the pot.
Planting: If using a coconut seed, soak it in water for 2 to 3 days and burry the seed, with the stem side pointing down, 2/3 into the soil-sand mixture. Place the pot in a partially shaded area and water once a week till the seed sprouts. For coconut saplings, burry the sapling in such a way that 1/3 of the coconut and the entire shoot is exposed above the soil. Protect the coconut with loosely woven shades till the tree is 3 foot tall. Also, repot the plant into a bigger pot as and when the coconut outgrows the pot.
So, that’s how you plant a coconut palm. However, always remember that more than soil quality and root space, coconuts need a hot and humid climate. Hence, if you stay in the temperate zone or have regular frost in your area, you might not be very successful in growing a coconut tree.