The Growth Stages of a Coconut Palm Tree

Palm trees are an evergreen that comes in many varieties. The coconut palm most often is identified by its towering height and production of coconut fruits. Coconut palm trees are native to tropical regions such as Hawaii, Malaysia and Taiwan. A coconut palm tree can take a long time to reach full maturity. If you have an interest in growing a coconut palm tree, you can start by germinating a coconut seed.

...
Coconuts are used in cooking and baking all over the world.

Germination

The growth of a coconut palm tree starts with germination of the seed. Plant a coconut seed in a large pot to simulate how germination happens in nature. A coconut seed can take as long as nine months to sprout, according to the Cooky Coconuts website. On the beaches and in the jungles where coconut palm trees grow naturally, the process starts when a coconut falls from the tree and becomes partially buried into the soil below. After several weeks or months, the outer husk of the coconut begins to split. Roots shoot out the bottom of the coconut, and a palm tree sprout begins to break out of the top of the seed.

Young Plant Growth

Once a coconut seed puts down roots and begins to sprout, it grows rapidly. Within a few months of sprouting, the palm fronds reach 2 to 3 feet in length. The trunk grows taller and starts to increase in diameter.

Tree Maturity

According to the Garden Guides website, most coconut palm trees take five to six years of growth before they begin to flower. In that time period, the main stalk of the palm tree reachers 20 to 30 feet tall. Fully mature coconut palm trees can reach heights of 60 feet or more. The coconut palm tree features a slender stalk that remains the same diameter along its entire length. The tree produces approximately 30 fronds, which form an umbrella pattern at the very top of the tree. Lower palm fronds die off and make room for another layer at the top as the tree continues to grow upward.

Flowering

After five to seven years, the tree begins to flower. Flower clusters form in the axil of the tree where the leaves come together near the center of the trunk. The flowers produce fruits, which become fully formed coconuts after approximately nine months. The coconuts drop to the ground once they are fully ripened. Mature trees can produce 50 to 60 coconuts per year, and some trees continue to bear fruit for 60 years or longer.