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A forum for growing fruits and rare tropical and temperate fruits, and tending our orchards

keeping coconut seedlings alive

Postby Ben » Sun Apr 01, 2012 2:32 am

Ben
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Posts: 137
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2010 1:00 am
Location: 39.5S, 177E
Climate Zone: NZ Z10
I've had this coconut seedling for several years now. It was actually originally one I found washed up on the beach, which is unusual at this latitude and usually only occurs after tropical storms in the Pacific. It has grown very slowly, but is still alive, even surviving the snow storm last year. It is looking a bit sad, worse than it appears in the picture. Any ideas how I might keep it alive longterm?

Image

Re: keeping coconut seedlings alive

Postby Axel » Sun Apr 01, 2012 7:34 am

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Axel
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Location: Santa Cruz Mountains
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Amazing that coconuts will even wash up on your beach!

Try some palm fertilizer, other than that, moving it to the tropics might be the only way to get it to grow.

Re: keeping coconut seedlings alive

Postby BayAreaTropical25 » Sun Apr 01, 2012 10:14 am

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BayAreaTropical25
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Beautiful palm.. Amazing to think it traveled the ocean.. Maybe removing some of the bermuda grass from around it would help? Thanks for sharing

Re: keeping coconut seedlings alive

Postby Ben » Mon Apr 02, 2012 3:20 pm

Ben
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Posts: 137
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2010 1:00 am
Location: 39.5S, 177E
Climate Zone: NZ Z10
Hi Guys,


Well, it seems an apology is in order. Possibly NZ seems to 'exotic' to Americans? I have been reading this board for 13 years now, and post some deranged story about every second April 1, and amazingly no one has yet noticed. Possibly I make my stories seem too plausible? Or maybe most people just don't bother calling me on it? Or perhaps the April 1st celebration is not so common in other countries?

Sad truth is coconuts are totally impossible to grow this far south, and even in NZs northernmost point they rarely survive past the first summer. Some coconuts do wash up on northern beachs and somtimes even germinate, but never this far south. One beach-washed coconut survived to flowering stage (10 foot trunk) on Raoul Island, but at lat 27S this is true subtropical. Even that has has now apparently died.

Hope no one took offence! (a coconut seedling surviving a snowstorm at the same latitude S as Fort Bragg CA is N?? How could anyone believe that!).




A better version of worlds most cold tolerant coconut here:

http://www.palmtalk.org/forum/index.php ... ntry507553

Re: keeping coconut seedlings alive

Postby Jason (palo alto) » Mon Apr 02, 2012 4:22 pm

Jason (palo alto)
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Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2010 9:04 pm
Location: East Palo Alto, CA
Climate Zone: Z17, 9b
Someone in my town hung some coconuts way up in one of their Queen palms. I was driving around town and slammed on my brakes when I saw them to do a double take. Most people would never notice they aren't real. I knew it wasn't a real coconut palm though so I could tell they were fake even though they look real from the ground.

Re: keeping coconut seedlings alive

Postby BayAreaTropical25 » Mon Apr 02, 2012 4:43 pm

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BayAreaTropical25
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Ben...

Lmao... I guess we took the fun out of your April fools day prank by being so gullible huh?

As for the coconuts in a queen palm.. I love the idea.. I have cheapy dollar store iguana toy in my yard.. i leave it by the pond, somewhat covered by foliage.. you'd be amazed how many people see it and jump.. LOL!

Re: keeping coconut seedlings alive

Postby Ben » Mon Apr 02, 2012 5:08 pm

Ben
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Location: 39.5S, 177E
Climate Zone: NZ Z10
BayAreaTropical25 wrote:Ben...

Lmao... I guess we took the fun out of your April fools day prank by being so gullible huh?





Maybe not gullible so much as coming from a sufficiently diferent culture/environment as to not appreciate how unlikely it really is. I've been trying to convince Axel for 13 years our list of 'growable' plants is about the same, but he persists in thinking I live in some warm wonderland!

Speaking of cultural differences, I have no idea what 'Lmao' means...

Re: keeping coconut seedlings alive

Postby BayAreaTropical25 » Mon Apr 02, 2012 11:54 pm

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BayAreaTropical25
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Haha, I saw 10 nz and figured new zeland.. Thought zone 10 was zone 10.. I am learning that micro climates make all the difference.. Still I push the limit of what can be grown in 9b.. Hawaiian papayas are the only thing (that I've grown) that fail miserably in our winter.. Oh and lmao means laugh my ass off. Hope that doesn't offend anyone.. Btw I also enjoy april fools day, just didn't have the opportunity to prank anyone this year lol

Re: keeping coconut seedlings alive

Postby Ben » Tue Apr 03, 2012 12:55 am

Ben
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Posts: 137
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Location: 39.5S, 177E
Climate Zone: NZ Z10
yeah, well I am in USDA zone 10, my extreme low air temp here for the last 20 years was about 33F at my house, around 36F at my nursery. Trouble is zone 10 in a cool climate like New Zealand has a rather different meaning to zone 10 in Florida or Hawaii! Basically anything that grows naturally in a frost-free high altitude tropical or subtropical climate will grow here, anything needing tropical heat will not make it. Basically like most of frost-free central/northern California coast. ..!

I often think it would be nice to live somewhere a bit warmer, but then again, it's not too bad here. And it can be nice to have a cold season, and come home and sit around the fire with a glass of brandy.

Picture below is typical vegetation for this part of my country pre-human settlement (nikau palms at waipatiki Beach). Not tropical, but you could almost believe it was.

Image

Re: keeping coconut seedlings alive

Postby BayAreaTropical25 » Tue Apr 03, 2012 11:24 am

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BayAreaTropical25
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Location: Vallejo, ca
Climate Zone: USDA zone 9b/10a Sunset 17
That's a beautiful picture, Love the palms and jungle setting, it's so relaxing. To me, according to a map of sub tropics it looks more like New Zeland is in the sub tropics.. Min of 33 is still pretty good, BUT no summer heat is a bummer.. we had an unseasonably cool summer last year maybe 4 or 5 days above 90 degrees for the whole year.. now I think axel said he's from santa cruz, It never gets too hot out that way.. especially if you're close to the ocean it's darn right cold in pacifica, halfmoon bay, santa cruz.. It's really hard to find that perfect climate here. I often think I'd like to live somewhere warmer.. but it is nice to get a small winter.. makes me appreciate summer so much more.. One day I think I will live in Hawaii.. my soul yearns for the tropics! I have a lot that keeps me here though.. This is the reason I seek to create a jungle like experience in my backyard. haha

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