Can Coconut Palm Trees Grow in Arizona?

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Coconut palms are attractive plants that thrive in tropical climates.

Coconut palms are tropical plants that thrive best in USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 10 or 11. While portions of Arizona are within zone 10, these areas do not receive enough annual rainfall and the temperature fluctuations are too extreme for long-term coconut palm growth. Avoid planting coconut palms in Arizona.

Soil and Sunlight Requirements

Coconut palms will tolerate a wide variety of soil types and pH, if the soil where they are planted is well drained. While this type of palm is associated with beaches, it is adaptable to inland soil conditions. Coconut palms require full sun.

Temperature Requirements

Coconut palms are not cold tolerant. Ideally, they prefer a year-round temperature no colder than 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures under 32 F will injure the palms, particularly if the weather change is sudden. Unfortunately, weather in Arizona is prone to sudden weather changes. Night and day temperatures can vary as much as 50 degrees.

Rainfall Requirements

The dry state of Arizona receives less than 15 inches of rain annually. Rainfall occurs nearly exclusively during winter and summer rainy seasons. Coconut palms require at least 40 inches of evenly distributed rainfall year-round for successful growth. The amount and distribution of rainfall in Arizona is clearly at odds with the watering needs of the coconut palm.


Christine McLachlan

Christine McLachlan has been writing professionally since 2010. Before starting an e-commerce business, she worked as an urban planner/landscape designer for five years. Mrs. McLachlan has a Bachelor of Science in English and political science, as well as a Master of Science in urban planning, from Florida State University. In addition, she holds a Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Florida.