COCONUT


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Cocos nucifera L
and

Attalea

Common Names: Coconut

 

 

Origin: The coconut is native to southern Brazil and Paraguay where wild relatives occur.

Climatic conditions: The coconut is a tropical plant, and grows in temperatures between 20oC and 25oC, but the best temperature is 27oC. It is usually found growing along the coastline. 

Origin: The coconut is native to southern Brazil and Paraguay where wild relatives occur. 

Climatic conditions: The coconut is a tropical plant, and grows in temperatures between 20oC and 25oC, but the best temperature is 27oC. It is usually found growing along the coastline. 

Growth Habit: The coconut plant is a beautiful palm which can reach a height of more than 30m. It has a smooth, light grey stem rising from a swollen base tipped by a beautiful green crown of long pinnate leaves with heavy bunches of nuts growing from the leaf axils. 

Fruit: The fruit of coconut palm is not a real nut but drupe. The development takes 1 year. The volume of a fruit of tall palm vary between 1 – 4 litres, the average weight of a fruit of a tall palm is about 1.5 kilograms. The fruit has a smooth surface, its colour being either green, yellow or reddish brown, or a shade in between. The shape of the fruit varies from round to void with three sides separated by three ridges almost recognizable.

CULTURAL PRACTISES

Location: Coconuts are planted where the temperature remains warmest, such as the south side of a home, or in a sunny portion of the garden.

Soil: Coconuts are grown on a large variety of lands from coarse sands to clay. Stony soils are not condusive for proper growth.

Soil PH: The pH should be within a range of 4.5 to 6.5. Soils that are not sufficiently acid can be treated with sulfur to achieve the desired level. The plant cannot stand water logging and if there is impervious subsoil, drainage needs to be improved.

Irrigation: The plant is surprisingly drought tolerant, but adequate soil moisture is necessary for good fruit production.

Fertilization: Nitrogen is essential to increase fruit size and total yield, which should be added every four months. Spraying with a urea solution is another way to supply nitrogen. Fruit weight has also been increased by the addition of magnesium. Of the minor elements, iron is the most important, particularly in high pH soils. Foliar sprays of ferrous sulfate may supply iron. 

Frost Protection: Coconut plants require a frost-free environment. Frost is lethal to coconuts so . 

Pests and diseases: Rats and squirrels are common pests. 
Fruit Harvest: Harvesters climb the stems and cut the fruits. The coconuts are then stored in cool temperatures and are ready to be consumed in any form that befits the users.
Health benefits and Economic Importance

  • Coconut oil is used for cooking.

  • Desiccated coconut is used in confectionery and bakery industries.

  • Coconut produces coconut milk 

  • Coconut husks is used as household utensils.
    Coconut husks and shell are made into charcoal to be used as fuel.