Are Coconut Trees Easy To Grow?

When you think of coconut trees, tropical coastal areas come to mind. Indonesia, India, and the Philippines account for 73% of coconuts produced globally, and they all have one thing in common: a vast coastline. Do you sometimes wonder if you can grow coconut trees or if they even could grow easily in different environments?  

Coconut trees are easy to grow as long as the conditions are ideal. Soak a store-bought coconut in warm water for 3-4 days. Ensure the surrounding temperature is favorable (above 70°F/21°C). Remove the coconut, and place it in a ziplock bag with a little water. Ensure the eyes are above the water.

In this article, I’ll discuss how you can grow coconut trees, how long they take to germinate, and how to care for the trees.

How To Grow Coconut Trees

Coconut trees produce coconuts all year round. The palm trees also enhance the landscape’s aesthetic appeal, so you have much to gain when growing coconut trees. Here is a guide on how you can grow your coconut trees. 

1. Select the Ideal Coconut

In their natural habitats, coconuts fall off the tree when they are ripe. They’ll germinate after some time if they receive sufficient rainfall and direct sunshine. This explains why you’ll find many coconut trees growing in the same area. 

Fortunately, you can also propagate your coconuts at home.

The first step is to select the best coconut to propagate. The older the coconut, the better. Green coconuts have a lot of tasty coconut water. However, they rot quickly because the skin is still soft. 

Pick a coconut that still has the husk. You should also shake it to confirm it has some coconut water. The more it sloshes, the better. 

2. Soak the Coconut in a Bucket of Warm Water

Once you have selected the coconut to propagate, soak it in warm water for 3-4 days. This ensures the coconut is well-saturated. It also softens the husk and speeds up the germination process. When you put the coconut in water, it will automatically float.

Place a rock over the coconut to submerge it fully in water. If you don’t want to place a rock in the same bucket as the coconut, you can put it in a smaller bucket and then place this bucket over the coconut. It will have the same effect, causing the coconut to sink. 

3. Put the Coconut in a Ziplock Bag

After 3-4 days, remove the coconut from the bucket of water and place it in a ziplock bag. Add a little water (8.12 oz or 240 ml) in the back but ensure the eye of the coconut is above the water. The coconut palm will break through the eye once it pops out from the coconut. 

Place the ziplock bag in a dark, warm room. For example, you can place it close to the water heater. Since the husk was heavily saturated before being put in the ziplock bag, the water in the ziplock will sustain it for weeks.

As the fat in the coconut decomposes, it releases heat. The sealed ziplock bag will retain moisture and keep the coconut hydrated until it sprouts. 

Some people skip the sprouting in the water step and instead put the coconut in the soil. This option is also acceptable, but it takes longer for the coconuts to germinate. If you opt to do this, you should:

  • Plant the coconut in a sunny spot.
  • Ensure the soil drains well.
  • Lay the coconut halfway into the soil, with the eye above the soil.
  • Water the coconut regularly, especially if you don’t get sufficient rainfall. 

This video shows the process you should follow to sprout coconuts.

4. Check the Coconut Every Week Until It Sprouts

Keep checking the progress weekly to see if the coconut has started sprouting and the roots are growing. When it starts rooting, remove the coconut from the bag and wrap the roots with a damp paper towel. 

Put the coconut back in the bag. Ensure the roots and eyes are not submerged in water. 

Monitor the coconut until the roots grow to at least 8 inches (20 cm) and the fingers 6 inches (15 cm). The coconut may take several weeks or months to reach this point.

If you want to get right to planting the coconut without the above steps, you can buy a PlantShop Sprouted Coconut Palm Tree (available on This coconut has already sprouted and is ready for planting. It saves you time, and all you need to do is prepare the planting soil.

As you can see, coconut trees are a very affordable plant, especially if you compare them with some of the most expensive plants out there, such as ZZ plants.

6. Prepare the Planting Soil

Coconut trees thrive in coastal regions because the soil is well-draining. It will help if you make your soil as close as possible to that in the coconut trees’ natural habitat. 

If you have sandy soil, go ahead and plant the sprouted coconut. However, if the soil drains water slowly, you can improve it by adding sand or fine gravel. 

You can also add Miracle-Gro Palm Tree Food (available on to the soil. It is a slow-release fertilizer that contains magnesium, nitrogen, manganese, and iron. Each bag contains 15 feedings. 

Each feed lasts six weeks and helps the coconut palm grow strong and retain green foliage. It also heals palms with yellowing or curling leaves. It is ideal for young palms and those up to 10ft (3 meters) tall. 

Getting the Right Growing Conditions for Coconut Trees

Besides using well-drained soil, other conditions for growing coconut trees include:

  • A pH of 5.0-8.0
  • An average temperature of 70°F (21°C) and above. 
  • 30-50 inches (76.2127 cm) of annual rainfall. You can substitute the rainfall by watering the soil regularly.

In the United States, coconut trees grow exceptionally well in zones 10-12. Some regions where coconut trees thrive are Florida, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and southwest California. As long as it’s warm, coconuts have a favorable chance of survival. 

U.S. Hardiness Zones (stylized map)

The dwarf coconut tree varieties are commonly used for landscaping. They also start flowering and bearing fruits faster, taking as little as 3-4 years. The downside is that they have a shorter lifespan of 30-50 years. These coconut palms can grow in pots carefully placed on patios in zones 4-8. They also thrive outdoors in zones 9-11. 

In colder regions, where temperatures fall to freezing points, coconut trees may not survive. They may grow when it is warm, but the roots are bound to rot during winter. The short daylight hours do not help much, as coconut trees won’t get enough sun to sustain their survival. 

Coconut Tree SpeciesUSDA Zone
Malayan Yellow Dwarf Coconut Palm 
30-60 feet (10 – 20 meters)
10(b) – 11
Fiji Coconut Palm (popular in Florida)
25 feet (8 meters) 
Maypan Coconut Palm 
100 feet (33 meters)

8(b) – 11
King Coconut Palm
66 – 98 feet (20 – 30 meters) 

10 – 11

The best option for people living in areas like Montana where coconut palms won’t grow well is to either grow them indoors or in a greenhouse where light, temperature, and humidity are controlled. 

How Long Does It Take To Grow Coconut Trees?

The process of propagating coconut trees is simple. As long as you have the right coconut, it will eventually sprout, whether you leave it in the dirt or a ziplock bag. But how much time will pass before you start seeing fruits?

Coconut trees take several weeks or months to sprout. Once transplanted, the trees take 6-10 years to mature and produce coconuts. However, coconut trees peak fruit production in their 15th to 20th years. In containers, growth peaks after 5-6 years.

How fast coconut trees grow will depend on the growing conditions and the species. Coconuts growing in containers are ideal indoors and in regions with unfavorable climates for growing coconut trees. However, the growth will still be slower than coconut trees growing outside.


Coconut palm trees are a great choice for many homes—they are low maintenance and look beautiful. As a bonus, you also get fruits. 

They are also drought resistant. However, they are very specific when it comes to growing conditions. 

They traditionally grow in the tropics but can now grow in different environments. However, if your region experiences harsh winters, coconut trees won’t survive unless you choose to grow them indoors.

Alexander Picot

Alexander Picot is the principal creator of, a website dedicated to gardening tips. Inspired by his mother’s love of gardening, Alex has a passion for taking care of plants and turning backyards into feel-good places and loves to share his experience with the rest of the world.

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