Coconut Palm Tree (Cocos nucifera)

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Nothing says “beach, please” like the Coconut Palm (Cocos nucifera, Tree of life, Tree of heaven, Tree of abundance, and Kalpavriksha). No one knows exactly where the coconut tree originated. There are coconut palm fossils in nearly every subtropical climate, dating back millions of years ago. Coconuts traveled the world at a leisurely pace, bobbing from continent to continent — occasionally with the helping hand of people from ancient civilizations. Now, you can find coconut fruit in some form in every grocery store. That’s no small feat for most living things. 

Growing a coconut is effortless in any subtropical-tropical climate where it’s humid, hot, and sunny. Coconut palms are an unexpected source of nourishment — You can use every part of the plant. Coconut water is high in electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals. Cocos nucifera needs little in the way of care. Just like the laziest of beach bums, a coconut palm simply wants for long days in the sun. 

Pro-tip: To conquer the coconut shell, you can pierce the stem ends where the “eyes” are. To get to the juicy, delectable core, use a mallet or hammer to crack and pry it open. 

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How to Grow Coconuts

Plant Type: Tropical Fruit Tree

Harvest Season: Flowers bloom year-round in tropical climates. Fruit may take up to 12 months to fully mature.

Mature Size: 50-100ft

Soil & Moisture: Adaptable; Prefers well-drained, balanced soil rich in organic matter.

Light Requirements: Full Sun

Self-Fertile: Yes

Zone Hardiness: Outdoors 9-12; Patio/Greenhouse 4+