The coconut palm tree has been around for at least 4,000 years, and coconuts are an important food source for the majority of the world. The coconuts from these palms are used for a variety of things including cooking oil, soap, medicine, and fuel. The big husks on the tree can be used to make clothes and household items. Coconuts are usually found along tropical islands and beaches and can withstand flooding and high temperatures. The coconut palm can grow in a residential area, as long as proper care is taken to ensure longevity.
Coconut Palm Care – Caring for Your Coconut Palm
STEP 1. Place a coconut palm in full sun in an area with well-drained soil. Coconut palms grow well in most soil types with a wide pH range, from 5 to 8. If you live in an area where the temperature falls below 70 degrees Fahrenheit, it may be best to have your coconut palm in a container so you can move it inside during the cooler months. Because coconuts can fall out of the tree, do not place the tree in an area where there is heavy foot traffic, such as a sidewalk or driveway.
STEP 2. Water the coconut palm once a week, unless there is sufficient rainfall. Your palm tree needs at least one inch of water per watering, especially if it was recently planted.
STEP 3. Fertilize the coconut palm with a palm tree fertilizer that contains potassium, nitrogen, and manganese. Coconut palms need regular fertilizing with a controlled-release fertilizer.
Fertilizer should have an analysis of approximately 8N-2P2O5-12K2O-4Mg. – Timothy K. Broschat, University of Florida
Check the label of the fertilizer to verify. Apply 1.5 pounds of fertilizer every 100 square feet with a rotary spreader under the canopy of the coconut palm. Apply every two to three months as needed, or hire a specialist for fertilization in Palm Beach to take care of it for you. Water thoroughly after each feeding to ensure the fertilizer seeps into the root system.
STEP 4. Provide the proper insect and tree disease management for your coconut palms. If there are any signs of disease, a certified arborist can apply an antibiotic injection into the trunk of the tree. The most common disease for coconut palms is lethal yellowing, which causes the tree’s leaves to turn yellow, and can kill the tree within six months. Injection of the antibiotic should be given every four months as soon as you notice the disease. The specific antibiotic can also be used to prevent lethal yellowing as well.
Following the steps above should ensure proper care for these beautiful trees. At Zimmerman, we specialize in more than tree trimming in Boca Raton and West Palm Beach. Our palm tree care in Florida is unmatched, as we can help you properly care for your beloved vegetation. For more information on how our certified arborists at Zimmerman Tree Service can care for your coconut palms and other trees, contact us today.
UF IFAS Extension – Fertilization of Field-Grown and Landscape Palms in Florida