The Cocos nucifera, better known as the coconut palm, is reminiscent of distant countries, summer weather and tropical beaches like hardly any other plant. But why wander into the distance? With a coconut palm as a potted plant, everyone has the opportunity to bring summer into their own four walls. If you want, you can turn the Cocos nucifera into a houseplant and enjoy the exoticism of the tropics at home.


The coconut palm is originally native to the warm, humid tropics. There it grows mainly on the coasts of the sea. It stands on an elephant’s foot and can reach a gigantic height of up to 30 meters. The coconut palm is often also cultivated as a useful plant. For example in the Philippines, in Sri Lanka, in South India, in Africa and in South America. It is available from us as a houseplant in nurseries, wholesale markets and flower shops. The first real coconut palms appeared in German trade in the 1980s. You can also pull the Cocos nucifera from a coconut yourself.

Room decoration

A coconut palm is a very demanding plant when it does not live in the wild. In our part of the world, it needs very careful care in the flower pot at home. Cocos nucifera can only thrive in the room with a green thumb. Then it can become the visual highlight of the room decoration. Unfortunately, coconut palms in this country do not find the climatic conditions that they are used to. In our living rooms it is not as sunny, humid and warm as on a tropical beach. As a houseplant, a coconut palm doesn’t grow as fast as it does in the tropics. It also does not reach the same height as in nature, but is much smaller. Only after seven years, with very good care, can it possibly bloom and, in very rare cases, bear fruit.

The fruit of the Cocos nucifera is called coconut. It is actually not a nut, but a stone fruit. The nut consists of three broad carpels that have grown together to form a hard shell. This creates its slightly triangular, oval shape. The shell has three germ pores and is also protected by a dense fiber cover.

Cultivation and care of Cocos nucifera

Each coconut palm is made from a coconut. In nature, ripe coconuts that have fallen from the palm trees on the beach swim far over the sea and then settle where they wash ashore. Inside the nut there are seeds that first germinate for some time. On one side of the coconut shell you can see three points, which are three germ holes. After the seeds in the coconut have sprouted and grown large enough, they push out into the light. They choose the path through the softest of the three germ holes. The other two remain inactive and harden. So only one germ grows out of a coconut shell at a time.

Germable nuts are available in delicatessen stores. After removing the fiber covering, the nut is placed in a moist substrate, the temperature of which is at least 25 ° C. You can also pour hot water over the nutshell and then leave the nut half covered with water in a warm place. The germ should show up after about two months. When the seedling has appeared, it should be protected from drying out. After the nut has been lying in the moist substrate or in the peat bed for a few more months, roots grow through the shell. With these you can plant the germ that is still on the bowl in a pot. Half of the nut should be sticking out of the soil or substrate at the end. If you don’t want to wait for the seedling to penetrate the nutshell,

The steps before potting and the associated waiting time can be shortened or saved if you buy a pre-germinated nut.

The ideal location

The young coconut palms are a beautiful sight with their narrow, longitudinally ribbed leaves. However, they often do not last long as indoor plants. In order to prevent the Cocos nucifera from perishing after a short time, as unfortunately often happens in practice, it is important to find the ideal location. It should be noted that the summers in our regions are shorter than in the tropics. In spring, winter and autumn, the periods of daylight are over relatively quickly. The coconut palm is not used to this in its natural habitat. She needs 12 hours of light a day. In order to compensate for the difference between the existing brightness and the required light, the Cocos nucifera should therefore be illuminated artificially.

The ideal location for a coconut palm is of course a sunny place, because it is a tree of light. Only very young plants can be kept in partial shade. When rearing young plants, you should give the young shoots a partially shaded spot and water them well. As soon as the plants get older, however, they need very bright lighting or sunlight. Since the ideal location conditions for a palm tree are not just about sunlight, but also about sufficient heat and moisture, the room temperature at the location of the palm tree should never be below 18 degrees Celsius. A sufficiently high temperature must also be ensured in winter and when you are absent. When it is dry, you can spray the palm with water or use a humidifier.

Proper watering and fertilizing the coconut palm

The Cocos nucifera needs a lot of water and should be watered abundantly between May and September. Water that has a very low lime content is optimal for a coconut palm. Even in the winter months, the soil of the palm should always be kept moist. Nevertheless, the nut, which is half sticking out of the earth, should not stand in the water for a long time. From October the plant can be watered a little less. The irrigation water is ideally at a pleasant temperature and not too cold. Since the Cocos nucifera is a very demanding plant, you should add some liquid fertilizer to the irrigation water in spring and summer about every 14 days.

  • Water a lot from May to September
  • Do not leave bales in the water
  • Reduce the water supply somewhat in the winter months
  • Temper the watering water at a lukewarm temperature
  • Fertilize regularly in the summer months

Umtopfen der Kokospalme

The coconut palm is one of those plants that should rarely be repotted. But if a coconut palm lives in the room for more than two years and, despite good care and an optimal location, presents a rather sad picture, then it may be because the pot in which it was placed as a young plant has now become too small. Then it is advisable to repot them.

The upper half of the nut at the base of the Cocos nucifera should always look out of the ground. When repotting, it is important to be careful not to damage the roots. A bucket can also be used for older coconut palms that are a bit larger. If the plant was previously in a pot that was too small and its roots can now spread again, the work pays off, because the palm can be saved from dying and is again a healthy sight. If you manage to get the coconut palm to be around three years old, it will begin to develop pinnate fronds. For repotting, you can buy palm soil at a hardware store or garden center, or simply mix good garden soil with some sand, which is also ideal.

  • Repot the coconut palm no more than every two to three years
  • Always let the upper half of the burr walnut peek out of the soil
  • Be careful not to damage roots when repotting
  • Use palm soil or garden soil mixed with sand


Since coconut palms need a lot of light and warmth for the winter, it is best to stand in a well-lit room, such as the office. An office is usually well heated, because coconut palms need a room temperature of at least 18 to 20 degrees Celsius in winter. Of course, any other room that offers these framework conditions is also suitable for wintering. Sometimes the coconut palm can even grow a little in winter. For example, if it is in a well-air-conditioned room in which the humidity and temperature are regulated. Usually, however, the plant is in a dormant phase in winter, which is why it only needs to be watered once a week and does not require fertilizer. A luxometer can be used to measure whether the light intensity is sufficient for the palm. As the days are shorter in winter Lack of light is a common problem during this time of year. The light requirement of the coconut palm is 1000 to 2000 lux.

Pests and diseases

While coconut palms are by and large tough, they can quickly become an unpleasant sight. If, for example, they keep getting brown leaf tips, this is a sign that the air in the room is too dry. On the other hand, it does not matter if the lower leaves wither. This is normal and not a sign of illness. If a bought plant that has already sprouted does not continue to grow at home, it is because it is not warm and bright enough for it. If the ambient air is too dry, the Cocos nucifera can also be attacked by spider mites. It is therefore advisable to regularly check the coconut palm for pests.

So that the coconut palm can thrive optimally in the room after cultivation, a warm and bright location, high humidity and a sufficiently large plant pot are important. Lots of warmth and additional lighting in the cold season will help keep the plant healthy. If you follow all the care tips, you can enjoy the sight of Cocos nucifera for a long time.

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