Caring for an Impossible Plant: The Coconut Palm (Cocos nucifera)

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what's up youtubers and play lovers it's

Justin coming to you from the Big Blue

Nation it's again and today I was going

to talk to you about the coconut palm

now I know you've probably seen these

plants or trees all of them down any

kind of tropical area I mean it's in the

dead of winter here in Kentucky

and we've actually got them in our

stores so I came across this one I've

seen it before and I thought oh isn't

that cute it comes out of a little

coconut shell I mean it's a nut but

other than that it is a tree the

Covenant tree it's known as Coco's

nucifera and actually it's a member of

the poem family ear acacia and it's the

only living species of the genus Coco's

now there is a bunch of different

varieties of them I believe that the

really tall ones that you see in the

Caribbean they are alike tall Jamaican

coconut palms they also have short

little small ones some dwarf varieties

and they all come in different kind of

shapes and sizes but there is only one

member of the family and it's the Coco's

family actually ear acacia the palm tree

quite interesting why we actually call

it a coconut is because it's actually

from the Spanish and Portuguese word

Coco and that means head or skull and

they actually get that because of the

three indentations that are on the

coconut nut they actually resemble

facial features so a little FYI but

today I'm going to talk to you about how

to actually care for that in your home

it has been said that caring for these

plants actually borders on the insane

for a great many of reasons three of

them I'll go ahead and sum up for you

first one is that these plants can get

huge I mean they grow well over a

hundred feet depending on what variety

you have so I mean these plants will get

ginormous another reason

and probably the most important reason

is because people with our homes we're

not able to provide the actual

requirements that coconut needs in order

to thrive the first one being light

these guys need to receive well will

over eight hours of sunlight a day and a

lot of houses don't get that so the only

time you can sit this in a windowsill is

in the winter time and it needs to be in

a southern facing window for that light

we're also not equipped in our homes to

deal with the high humidity levels I

mean these plants receive annually about

forty to sixty inches of rainfall so

they get a lot of water and they need a

lot of water and we're going to thrive

and the third reason is because they

don't propagate really well at all so

you can't really expect to get nuts and

to actually grow them from indoors now

these have been grown on a farm and

shipped over here but if you're growing

them indoors you're not gonna be able to

get them to actually flower or produce

any kind of seed or anything like that

now with the plants they do prefer a

well-drained soil so once again I've got

my Miracle Grow potting mix where the

cactus palm and citrus now I know this

isn't either one of those but it's got a

lot of same in it and it will help the

plants to actually get rid of any excess

water that it has because just like many

other plans they don't like to be

sitting a lot of water I mean if you do

it for some

they don't look at constantly soaking

wet beef they're not a bob plant so you

don't want them to be saving the water

on all times you do with them to be able

to actually get rid of any kind of

excess waters they have and this stuff

does have a lot of savings so it will

allow the plant to actually get rid of

all water now if you're gonna make your

own kind of potting mix a general kind

of one for any kind of indoor plant I

guess might work but you're gonna have

to add a lot of singing to it I would

use builder sand because that Saints

have been washed quite extensively and

they'll actually remove a lot of the

smaller silt that can do a little bit of

harm to the plant so if you are making

your own try to use builders saying now

maybe transplant this and you get it

from the store you want to try to go for

about a 12 inch pot I got a 10 inch pot

a 12 inch we might equal about three

gallons of soil and substrate and that

will actually provide a lot of room for

the plant because coconuts they don't go

that deep with roots and they don't need

a whole lot of area so they will be fine

in about a 12 inch pot but like I said

I've got a 10 inch pot so we'll see how

that works out and as you can see this

guy is really pot bound now I didn't

wash out my pot I got that from the

store came home and sanitized it use

warm soap and water to make sure I kill

anything else that was in it because you

don't want to spread anything from plant

to plant and also be sure to sanitize

your pruning shears as well go get some

scissors to cut open this pot now you'll

also want to make sure that you do

sanitize these scissors too if you're

gonna be cutting anywhere down around

the roots because you might accidentally

slip and actually hurt the plants now as

you can tell it's extremely pot bound

it's really tight the roots are really

thick so that's the only way I'm going

to be able to get the pot out is if I

cut it now don't worry about hurting any

roots you're gonna you're going to you

can actually hurt up to about

three quarters of the roots and last leg

Kurt I mean cut without actually harming

the plant but if you don't have to hurt

that many roots don't but that does

allow you some area towards mistake now

what I did is just cut straight down the

side of the pot and now I'm trying to

cut underneath and make sure that I'm

not really cutting either roots but like

I said if you do don't get that upset

over and make sure you do have a trash

can under you because you're gonna make

a mess with all this excess dirt and

sand and just be patient while you're

trying to wrestle this pot free from its


now you might actually have to trim up

some of the roots at the bottom in order

to remove the pot entirely can't we do

go ahead like I said use your sanitized

pruning shears to any kind of spread of

disease and just be patient it will come

free don't pull too hard there we go

and this time I'm just gonna try to

remove all this excess soil because you

don't need a whole bunch of other caked

in soil a little bit might help it to

make sure that any kind of bacteria or

any other micro nutrients can actually

go into your new pot and kind of help

the plant out what I'll do with my one

hand as I hope with my left my right

hand I'm gonna kind of dig it a little

indentation to set the coconut back down

in and you can see this little line

right here where the plants rested in

the soil you do not need to bury the

coconut you want to aim for about that

same area alright now it's easy if you

use a lazy susan when you actually go to

put the soil in get the coconuts about

where you want it just as centered as

you can and start applying shake the bag


and rotate and as I said you don't want

to bury the coconut you just want to set

it down in there fill him up with a

little bit of dirt and give him a little

bit of room to spread out now you do

want to compact it just like you would

any other plants and should get it down

in there kind of press down to eliminate

any kind of air bubbles you don't want

to crush it but you do want to apply

some force that will help hold the plant

in place now generally I would say once

you get it planted in there I would give

it a good watering but I don't know if

you could tell when I was transplanting

that one was soaked the roots were all

wet the soil was all soggy I actually

think a little bit actually ran out from

the bottom of the pot so I probably

won't add any kind of water to the

substrate actually I will give it a good

misting these guys do like a lot of

humidity if you don't take it away

anything else just remember palm trees

they give like a lot of humidity

actually if you take away two things I

just want you to remember the light

because this is just like a cactus in

terms of white you cannot get away with

setting this on any kind of windowsill

except a southern facing windowsill and

that's only in the wintertime

now when the summertime and spring hits

you need to take this guy outside

sitting in direct sunlight for at least

eight hours a day I know as far as pest

the actual spider mites will run rampant

on these guys and they can actually get

in the creases of the palm when use in

here so you'll have to keep a lookout

for that spider mites are going to be a

pain if you ever have a problem with any

kind of plant let alone a palm tree and

as you can see the new leaf new stem is

actually kind of developing right here

so that would be a perfect little

crevice for these little creatures to

get into and actually run rampant and

you'll notice the spider mine it's just

because you'll see a lot of little

spider webs all over the leaves and you

won't really kind of see the spider

mites but you can

if you look hard enough so if you do see

a lot of kind of cobwebby and it kind of

cobwebs on there you'll know that you do

have spider mites and the best way to

deal with spider mites would be to

actually take your plant and set it in

the bathtub if you have a sprayer or

like a little garden hose out back the

shower sitting on it and just spray it

off now in nature these plants actually

depend on Mother Nature to come along

whenever it rains and kind of wash the

pests off so indoors these plants don't

have that luxury they need to depend on

us and they actually do so to actually

get rid of any kind of pests an organic

way I should say I would take the pot

and I would sit it in the bathroom and I

would hose it off that would work with

spider mites mealy bug but like I said

if you're wanting to try to defeat any

kind of pests in organic way wash it off

with water and then you can use like an

insecticidal soap use that kind of

conservatively you don't want to plow a

whole lot other than that these plants

are really hard to take care of so I

wouldn't suggest you actually taking

care of one unless you kind of are more

of an experienced grower other than that

this is my first time growing one of

these and I will document this and kind

of let you guys know how it's doing it's

early January actually it's kind of

about the mid January so I've got it in

its new home

they've got fresh substrate in there I'm

gonna missed it every several days to

make sure that it's okay because it is

the winter time and I'll water it kind

of sporadically too but not too

sporadically kind of a little bit more

than my other plants cuz like I said

these plants do like a lot of water

other than that fertilizer if you wanted

to fertilize the plants I would say any

kind of 20-20-20 fertilizer would be

pretty good on the plants and like I

said they do have sand you see them on

the beach they'll get washed in and

washed out so some actually do pretty

well with feedings others they aren't so

lucky so I'm not gonna lie I don't know

too much about fertilizing with these

guys so I would actually kind of look

that one

if I were you other than that good luck

like I said I've done bonsais before for

probably about 12 to 15 years and I've

done almost every kind I can imagine but

I have not done this one now this won't

really be a bonsai I guess a certain

extent it will be as that will be kind

of keeping it smaller

just like any other bonsai the best way

to keep it small is to keep it pot down

in to trim it now you can trim any kind

of dead leaves that you see on these

guys trim them back just like you would

any kind of other plants and if you're

trying to if you you get a really large

one and you don't want it to actually go

into the large pot size trim the roots

back because once you do this that will

actually help keep the plant really

small because if it's not growing too

well down below here it's not gonna grow

too well up above the soil either so by

keeping the roots trim back you actually

kind of keep your plant fairly small now

I know for about a year these guys can

actually absorb nutrients from here so

the nut or droop as they call it which

is similar to like a peach and will be

around for a year or so and then they'll

kind of just kind of suck it dry and

then you can actually kind of plant it

like you would a normal tree

this plant is gonna be a hard one but I

will update you all and let you know how

it's going where I've made any kind of

mistakes or if I've had any kind of

success with it

well guys that's really all I have to

say about Coco's nucifera

but the coconut palm like I said I don't

really know a whole lot about this plant

so I probably will be seeking some

advice so if you do have any kind of

wealth of knowledge or know anything

about it feel free to actually let me

know put some of this

because I don't know too much about it

as you can probably tell like I said let

me in a comment let me know if you've

had any kind of success or failures with

this plant and let me know what it takes

to actually keep this guy going but if

you don't mind while you're at it hit

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it easy

and don't forget always play it

prudently thank you