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lou9a

Coconut in St. Augustine

lou9a
15 years ago

I don't know if we have the farthest north coconut in Florida or not. There is a coconut tree about 10 ft tall on San Marco Avenue here in St. Augustine. It has been growing there for three years. Our mild winters won't last forever, but it is nice to see it growing for now. If I can figure out how to post a photo I'll do it.

Comments (150)

  • orchiddude
    14 years ago

    sgtksw05...thanks, I like it. I cant wait till I can take it out of the greenhouse. I have a queen palm that is huge also.

  • lou9a
    Original Author
    14 years ago

    Here is a photo of the coconut since the cold weather earlier in January.

    Here is a link that might be useful:

  • topher2006
    14 years ago

    Orchiddude
    Please post a pic of your queen Palm.

  • joey_powell
    14 years ago

    OchidDude,

    Are you in North Alabama? What in the world are you doing to get such a great looking Spindle palm in the ground there? Can you offer up any info on what you do to protect it in Winter? Also, what kind of fertilizer are you giving it? How old is it?

    JP

  • orchiddude
    14 years ago

    Tropher...soon as I find the picture, I will post it. I got another picture but I need to resize it.

    joepowell...Yes I am in North Alabama, on the west side over by Muscle Shoals. The Spindle palm in not in the ground. I have it in a 29 gallon pot. The plant is huge, it takes 3 people to pick it up, weighs alot. That picture was last sunners picture. The plant is in the greenhouse right now. I am not sure it will fit in there next year. I have several other spindls that I am working on getting this big and some other palms. I think the plant is about 10 years old. I got it when it was real little. I keep it wet and let it dry out sometimes, I keep it drier in the winter, wetter in the summer. I feed it 4 times a year. Its my pride and joy. I also have a big triangle and Queen. I will post some pics soon.

  • coco-mut
    14 years ago

    Lou, thanks for the photo of the coconut tree. It is doing well isn't it? He puts heaters around it tho, right? What if he did not have those outdoor heaters in the cold winter? It's big so it's more tolerant than a new coconut.

  • lou9a
    Original Author
    14 years ago

    No he doesn't put heaters around it. It has survived on its own with no protection. It was purchased as a larger palm maybe 4 years ago. This is at least the third winter it has made it through. As a matter of fact the place is empty and has been for sale since at least last spring.

  • coco-mut
    14 years ago

    lou, to get that coconut tree alone is enough reason to buy that house! J/K, but it is a nice benefit to having that house! I have three coco palms. I live in Los Angeles zone 9. One is doing very well. One is doing okay, and one is not doing so hot. The one doing well is doing well because I bought it as a larger coco than you normally get, so it's stronger and I have it situated on the side of a house, at the bottom of a hill and between two fruit trees so I think it's shielded from the cold. It still gets sun during the day. The other one that is doing okay was out side all winter in a pot surrounded on three sides by two walls and some plants. It got a bit cold. I was going to bring it in at night but I thought I'll just leave it out and see how it does. It's browning on some leaves but it's actually doing well enough to be surviving. Now it's warming up around here so maybe it can make it to spring then summer. The one that is not doing so well is because during summer it got beaten by the sun and I didn't shield it from the blaring sun. I think if it was shielded from the sun by having some trees around it and have filtered light it would be better. It browned but did not die. Browned because of the hot sun. I should have misted it more. So then it gets cold and the brown leaves got more brown but I think it's still alive. If it can make it thru the winter to spring I think it will continue fine into summer then I'll mist it more and shield it by planting some sugar can near it which grows like 10 feet tall. Some red purplish sugar can, probably it's Hilo Red or Hilo Purple.

    My zone is the same as St Augustine. It gets really hot here during summer and contrary to popular belief it has been getting very humid during summer during late July and mid August. My cocos might survive. Oh the one that was bigger when I planted it is developing a trunk. Very small but I see it's getting thicker.

  • ccroulet
    14 years ago

    coco-mut: "High humidity" in California is nothing like Florida. It's the difference between amateur baseball and the major leagues.

  • topher2006
    14 years ago

    ccroulet
    Have you not been watching baseball lately ? Lots of
    amateur players play a lot harder than professionals.

  • coco-mut
    14 years ago

    I have not been to Osh since about September until today. I went to the garden deptartment and what do I see two coconut trees. Fairly large. I say large because normally when you go to Home Depot you get cocos that are about 2 feet tall but these were about 4 foot tall. A lot fuller and more of a stalk. They sold these mid summer last year and I bought one. That one is the one that I planted that is surviving the summer really well. Very little browning of the leaves. I asked the guy if they sell those year round and he said yes. That they are acclimated so you can grown them indoors and out. What he fails to realize is cocos die easily in So Cal but I think he means is they are bigger than the normal ones and they might bring them in and out a few times before selling them to get them used to weather changes. I only went to the Osh and the garden dept because the warm weather we have been getting lately, it put me in the mood to see if they really sell these trees now and they do. I won't let the warm weather fool me, I think after a week or two we'll go back to 60 to 65 F days rather than the mid to upper 80 days we have been getting. But in late March if we have been getting constantly 75 or so weather during the day and maybe no less than 58 at night I will probably buy a couple more of those cocos. The larger ones do better of course they have a head start. They are from Hawaii unlike many of the smaller ones that they bring in from Mexico.

  • coco-mut
    14 years ago

    Man look at this weird coconut tree. What int he world?

    Here is a link that might be useful: {{gwi:1165496}}

  • guapogardener
    14 years ago

    THAT Coconut Palm is so COOL! Where is that specimen planted?????

    I once saw a multi-trunked Pygmy Date Palm at Fairchild Tropical Gardens (near Miami) and thought THAT was fascinating--and the trunks were twisted.

  • coco-mut
    14 years ago

    It's in Kerala which is off of the Indian coast, something like that. I wish I could have posted the photo instead of just the link but I don't know how to post photos here. Here is a link to info on Kerala.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Kerala

  • coco-mut
    14 years ago

    How big was the cocos in St. Augustine when it was planted? Just curious the size of it. I was checking out the temps in St. Augustine and the temps in suburban Los Angeles where I live and their temps and the temps here are about the same. I think if you plant one of the small trees that are about 2 feet tall from Home Depot they might just die but if you have one that is maybe 4 foot tall it's a lot stronger and might acclimate better even tho it still needs to be babied by making sure you don't water it when it's cold, shelter it from too much wind and so forth. I'm wondering if that cocos was a four or five footer when it was planted. I have three. Two about two footers, one just about died and the other one is hanging on by a thread. The other one started off as a four footer and is in a more sheltered location and altho it's warn in some areas it's alive and well and if it can make it thru the upcoming month of March then April until Summer should be no problem and June thru October should be fine and it should be bigger and might make it thru the next winter. We got an unsual amount of rain which hurt one of the smaller ones and the four footer is in a semi sheltered area yet I still think it got too much rain for the cold weather. Fortunately we are pushing 80 today altho tonight I think it might be about 55 or 53.

  • coco-mut
    14 years ago

    I have been checking the weather in St. Augustine and it's been very cold lately, anyone know how the cocos has been holding up?

  • topher2006
    14 years ago

    Interested to know the answer myself.

  • coco-mut
    14 years ago

    No one seems to be talking about it. Wonder why? I think a couple of people here are local to the area and have been giving reports on it but have not latey. Here in CA, Los Angeles exactly I think the weather is warming up for good now. I mean not exactly hot but we are getting into more consistent warm days and not so cold nights. The same should hold true for St. Augustine. They seem to have similar weather to what we have here in Los Angeles, well inland Los Angeles.

  • coco-mut
    14 years ago

    What's with this place it's dead now. No one care about the ST. A cocos or the Newport Beach cocos or any other cocos? I guess not. Maybe in a year someone will post something.

  • raymikematt
    14 years ago

    I heard a few years ago on another Palm related forum that there was a man somewhere in SE Georgia that grew a trunked coconut Palm for several years in the ground. There are lots of 9b or 10a microclimates down in North Florida/SE Georgia so I dont see why the St. Augustine Coconut, (if its in a good microclimate) shouldnt do very well.

  • royalpaulm
    14 years ago

    9b/10a in SE Georgia??? Must be some micro-climate. Nonetheless, a coconut palm will be killed outright in 9b (avg lows each year of 25-29F) and only marginal in 10a (30-34F). A few years at best is what you'll get for 10a with no special winter protection.

  • coco-mut
    14 years ago

    On the internet there is a photo of a guy growing a healthy cocos in Brownsville Texas. I am not sure the zone there. I am zone 9 I think because I'm in inland Los Angeles. It's hard to grow one here. Most likely it will not make it. I have one that survived the winter and has some brown leaves but overall it's alive and I think we are thru the worst of the weather so I have to see if it survives one more month and if it does it's free all the way until October probably and then I'll have to see how it does after that.

    Here in Southern Cal there is a conservatory, aka greenhouse at the Huntington Gardens in Pasadena, CA. They have a cocos growing. When I went in June I think it was last the thing was not doing well even tho it's plenty hot and humid in there. I went again last weekend and it was almost 3 times as big and doing a lot better. I don't know what the problem was before but now it's great. Plenty of sun goes thru the greenhouse panels so it gets sun too.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Brownsville Texas Cocos

  • raymikematt
    14 years ago

    Most of coastal SE Georgia, (the Sea Islands) are 9b just about every winter anyway so I dont see it being too much of a stretch for some nice sheltered spots to be 10a. Ive seen some fairly large Norfolk Island Pines and other tropicals down there and many winters banana and tropical foliage plants dont burn so I wouldnt say its too far off. That said I wasnt saying a Coconut would survive for too long down there, maybe a few years tops like the one I mentioned but since St. Augustine is a little warmer (about 60 miles south of Georgia?) it would be survive a little longer and probably do fine in a good microclimate.

  • johnny_sunshine
    14 years ago

    i too have noticed that coconut and was down for a day last week before heading to miami, it looked healthy and fine even after this winter. i was driving around a bit and noticed a royal palm off 4th street in jx beach probably only 6 ft. high obviously completely neglected and a little browned but doing fine, i have noticed some tall 12-14 ft. christmas palms that were a few bocks away behind george moore chevrolet on beach that i know are a few years old and on the cold side of the building...no brown at all, but there were a mix of browned and healthy looking christmas palms all around that area, just younger and smaller obviously.

    i have noticed that people are finally experimenting with more palms and plants and it's about time. i have also noticed that people are planting a lot more norfolk islands, and while there are a few large ones in st. aug, and many large ones in flagler beach heading south, maybe in a few years the ones in jax metro will be larger as well. Even inland in ortega there are a few that are approaching 20-25 feet.

    more people inland and towards the beach are starting to plant foxtails as well, which is a good thing considering their beauty and hardiness. we just planted ones ourselves inland in ortega and some people down the road planted a young one before winter and never even protected it...it escaped unscathed. there are some rather large 15-20 ft. ones in st. aug at the old folks home on the bay south of downtown, i think the street is called marina something.

    And, best of all, one of the hotels along the waterfront south of downtown also planted some taller coconuts before winter around their pool (east facing) and only one died from the looks of it, and these are new transplants planted during winter, and one of our colder winters i think. in our yard, we planted two fishtail palms by the pool before winter, they were young from target or lowe's, and they were separated (traumatizing to plants), and while they look miserable now, they survived this winter and should put on some growth and do better next winter. i bet we are the only people in n. florida to have fishtails, even in s. florida they are rare.

  • tagfcps
    14 years ago

    Johnny,

    There are a lot of fishtails in Jax. I have a 20 ft (from ground to tip of the tallest frond), Caryota Ochlandra undamaged this past winter. It will probably be 30 ft tall by this next winter. It started slow, but it's blazing fast now. There are a few C. gigas and many C. Mitis too. I also have C. Maxima (Himilayana and Kochang) seedlings.

    I am a member of the local palm society (First Coast Palm Society). There are several of us that meet at least 4 times a year to visit other members garden, buy, sell, trade, and talk palms. Let me know if you'd like more information about the society.

  • theseventhlegend
    14 years ago

    tagfcps isn't there a big meeting next Saturday (April 5th) in the Gainesville area? I got to work but it would of been cool to see what they're growing in the Gainesville area.

  • tagfcps
    14 years ago

    Seventh,

    There is a meeting at Merril Wilcox place in Gainesville April 5th.

    Here is a link that might be useful: FCPS meeting

  • coconut_palm
    14 years ago

    Coco_mut,

    In Brownsville, coconuts do quite well, that is when we don't have freezes like the ones in 1983 and 1989. They get trunks up to about 15ft. tall and overall heighth of about 30 ft. tall. They can even produce coconuts after mild winters in the Valley, like this winter for instance. I believe the lowest it got in Brownsville this year was 38F, with 32F being the normal lowest temp each winter. On the island (South Padre), I think the lowest was 42 (Zone 11!), but in normal winters they usually have one night down to about 36F. For anyone going to South Padre, there is a nice Mexican Tall on Red Snapper (the street that runs alongside the grocery store) that is about 25ft. tall overall heighth that has some nice looking coconuts on it.

  • johnny_sunshine
    14 years ago

    tagfcps:

    i am in atlanta for school and will not be able to do anything until the summer, but thanks for the heads up!

  • vdels1
    14 years ago

    Hey all, I'm a brand new member and I have and updated pic on this palm in St. Augustine. Try this link and let me know if you can see it. If not in is under Webshots vdels1. I'm new at this so give me some direction on how I can do this better. Enjoy! http://community.webshots.com/album/563139940XmCfLj

    Here is a link that might be useful: Coconut Palm in St, Augustine, FL

  • andyandy
    14 years ago

    I wonder if my parents have ssen it. They've been down in St. Augustine all week. They are bringing me back a Mule palm.

  • tallafl
    14 years ago

    andyandy:
    Good luck with the mule palm. I still have yet to see one in person, but I think it would do great here in landlocked Tallahassee. I wish I could get lucky and find one that slipped into "assorted tropicals" at the Home Depot for $9.95! They are crazy expensive, but I think I'm going to have to cave in.

    I wish I could remember where I saw a coconut palm in Lake County, FL (suburb of Orlando) It wasn't looking too hot though in late January, but the homeowner gets a salute from me for trying it out! I heard they are getting ready to take out a coconut research field near Nova Southeastern in Davie to put in another building-very sad!

  • coco-mut
    14 years ago

    vdels1, thanks for the current photo of it. I was wondering how it's doing so thanks for posting the photo. I was wondering how it was doing because I check the weather in St. A and it seems to be very similar to that of where I live in suburban Los Angeles so there has been so pretty cold days and I was curious how it was surviving. It has some brown leaves it looks like but it's such a big tree now that it apparently can take some cold nights and still live to see tomorrow. The weather is getting warmer there in St A as it is here so I think it's thru the worse and should be fully recovering soon. It looks great. Thanks.

  • royalpaulm
    14 years ago

    Glad to see the coconut up in St. Aug did okay with this rough winter we had. I thought North Florida saw lows in the low to mid 20s one night back in January, so how the hell does it look like it does?

    Someone else mentioned a coconut palm in Lake County, FL? That's a rare site too, as Lake Co. is typically 5-15F cooler than immediate Metro Orlando during major cold fronts. If we bottom out at 35F in a winter, they will likely see the 20s there.

  • williamr
    14 years ago

    It probably stays considerably warmer in St Augustine on the immediate coast. It most likely didn't see below 30, since here in Maitland(near Orlando) we only got to 31. It's biggest challenge most years will be likely be the lack of heat during the winter. I have a few in the ground, and am keeping my fingers crossed that the mild winters continue.

  • vdels1
    14 years ago

    The lowest temperate at St. Augustine Airport this winter was 28 degrees. It is about 3 miles north on US1. However, this palm is located in a dense built up area just north of the downtown area. Also, it is on the south west side of this house which by the way is for sale. I would imagine that this area my have escaped a freeze only because there are banana plants nearby that are fully green and not showing freeze damage. I had a coconut palm that in 2 1/2 years grew to 7 feet to top of frond and a three foot trunk in my yard in Fruit Cove which is about 17 miles northwest of St. Augustine. Yes I did cover it when the temp dropped below 40 and kept it warm with a 60 watt light. We saw 23 on two nights this winter. After a couple weeks there was some notable damage on the tallest frond. It would have survived had I wasn't forced to move it when we had our house for sale. Unfortunatly, it suscumbed when I tried to re-pot it. I have a new one I picked up at the Mandarin Walmart in Jacksonville. (Yes they have them there for 10 bucks) Which I have planted in the ground next to my vegetable garden just a few day ago. I will have pics soon. Stay tuned.

  • lou9a
    Original Author
    14 years ago

    I live just south of the SR 312 bridge in St. Augustine South a few blocks in from the Intracoastal Waterway and it never got colder than 31 degrees at my house. Also never had any frost at all. My hibiscus & papaya stayed green all winter and now have new fruit growing. My two coconuts are going in the ground now. This is the third winter in a row it has been mild here. It has been much colder just 3/4 of a mile inland with frost. The Intracoastal kept us warmer, it was only 31 for about 2 hours. My twenty foot "Winter Mexican" avocado has a great deal of fruit too. I sure like these warmer winters much better than the 1980s.

  • coco-mut
    14 years ago

    vdels, how much warmer can a 60 watt light make for the tree? Curious because I might try this when the weather starts getting cold again in mid November. I was going to get one of those outdoor heaters and see if that would be good but if a simple 60 watt light can warm things up I'd do that. I'm in Los Angeles and I had three cocos I bought last summer. 1 survived, two died. The one that survived was twice as big as the two that died when I bought them and it was sheltered behind some trees but enough light got thru to keep them healthy. There was some damage but it survived and it's late spring and the weather is a lot warmer day and night so it will make it thru the summer fine. Hoping it gets bigger so it will be stronger and last during winter again. I'd like to put a 60 watt light on it if it makes that much of a difference. I think the weather in Los Angeles is like St. Augustine so if it works there having a light it would work here I guess. Please tell me if you think it would work for me or I should have a outdoor heater. I figure once it survives a few winters and grows bigger if it does, it should be okay because of the protected area from the cold wind and it being bigger would help. Please advice.

    Thanks

  • vdels1
    14 years ago

    coco-mut I had my coconut tree located on the southside of my house that was practically surrounded by the wall of the house with an opening to the south. This protected the palm from the cold north wind. There is direct sunlight for most of the day during the winter so the soil temp would stay warm 60-80 degrees. I also have a live oak tree that covers the palm some 15 to 20 feet directly above so that it partally shades the palm in the summer. On the colder nights

  • coco-mut
    14 years ago

    vdels, thanks for the info. Can you post a photo of your tree? Curious how it looks. Thanks.

  • vdels1
    14 years ago

    I've added it to my link. I'd like to post it on here but have'nt figured out how to do it yet.

  • coco-mut
    14 years ago

    vdels, I saw the photo of your cocos. Nice tree. Thanks for the picture. So how many coconut trees do you think are in St. Augustine? Not many but it can be done apparently. I think that the weather there is similar to where I live in Los Angeles. Just I think St. Augustine is slightly warmer.

  • vdels1
    14 years ago

    Just returned from a cruise to the Bahamas. Thought I stop by a home depot in Port St. Lucie, FL. I saw & picked up two wonderful palms for $12 each! One Christmas Palm nearly 6' tall to top frond and a Coconut palm nearly 7' to top frond. Can't find that in Jacksonville. Except what walmart sells. Cocomut, I've only seen the one downtown. Not sure how far you are from the ocean there in LA. My uncle used to live in Newport beach and said you have a few hot and humid days there but nothing like the sustained heat and humidity here in north Florida. If you are inland where it is warmer you might be more sucessful with your coconut if you can keep the whole plant moist by maybe fine spraying it several times a day. Give it a try....

  • NoVaPlantGuy_Z7b_8a
    14 years ago

    Vdels_1 I do not see a link to your pic on your member page. Can you please post the link to your photo in a post so we can view it? Use the "optional link URL" to post the URL of the photo, and call it something like "link to coconut photo" in the "name of link" field. That should work just fine.

    IF you want to post the actual photo in this thread so it shows up as a picture in your post use the HTML. Do NOT use the periods I placed withi the link. Take ALL of the periods out as I only placed them there so you could see the HTML tag. <.img. scr.='.".then' put the url of photo here between quotation marks.> and that should make your photo show up like the photo below. Just remember to take OUT all of the periods i placed in the code, and to place your photos URL (internet address/ link address) between the quotation marks, instead of what I have typed there. Where there is still an extra space between the periods after you remove them, leave that space in the HTML code that is left.

    Thats my baby windmill BTW... it has a new leaf now since that photo was taken on June 3rd. =o)

  • vdels1
    14 years ago

    Let me try it. Thanks Nova

    Here is a link that might be useful: Coconut & X-mas palms

  • vdels1
    14 years ago

    I can't seem to get the picture to work from my webshots account. What is meant by HTML? Please show exactly how this should be entered and where. Thanks so much!

  • scaldude
    14 years ago

    ??????? Nova couldn't explain "velcro"...LOL

    Webshots is cool for sharing pics with friends, but I recommend Photobucket....if you know how to copy & paste, you'll be a pro.

    If you have a high-rez cam like me, use Photobucket's resize feature to reduce your pics to "messageboard size".

  • NoVaPlantGuy_Z7b_8a
    14 years ago

    Vdels_1 I could see your pic in the link you posted! Thanks! nice palms!

    HTML is just one of many computer languages used on the internet. think of it as a programming language I guess. Its fairly simple once you learn to recognise the tags. the HTML part of the displaying the image is just the <.img. src.='."'> part, again, MINUS the periods. You put your URL of your photo in between the quotes in what I just typed, and your pic will show up here in the thread... like this

    {{gwi:1165530}}

    EDIT: I think its just webshots. I used to use them YEARS ago when I first started posting here in like 2002, but have since found that photobucket is far better, especially for this purpose. It seems to me that webshots makes it hard to find the right URL for uploaded photos. The only one I could find for your pic that would work here was the thumbnail. (thats why its so small) The URLs i found for the large size photo just did not work at all, even when I added the .jpg file extension to the file name, which is pretty standard in the URL of a photo/ image. Since Ive become pretty good at this stuff, im going with that it has something to do with webshots, and not any real error on my part or yours. Good luck! Its not hard to learn like the poster above me pointed out.

  • rhizophora
    14 years ago

    Hi,
    Here in SW UK, we have extremely mild winters, so we're classified as zone 10a. We're kept warm by currents from the caribbean, so when we should be having temperatures below 0F in winter, we never really go below 30F. Snow and frost are a rarity. Theoretically we could grow coconut palms here, but winters are wet,long and summers are short. We grow lots of subtropical plants here such as strelitzia. If I can get hold of a malay dwarf coconut, then I will try to grow it with (LOTS OF)protection in winter, like the Washingtonia in Iowa. I would use fleece, bubble wrap, heating cables, xmas lights. It would be so cool to have the most northerly outside coconut palm in the world! Maybe people in Central and Northern Florida who want to grow them would like to join in?
    Thanks
    James

  • david_
    14 years ago

    Here is one of mine that hopefully will have coconuts this year.