October 24, 2007

La Gringa is nuts for coconuts

Coconut palm, La Ceiba, HondurasBaby coconuts

Coconut palm, La Ceiba, HondurasWe are excited! In another 6-9 months, we may have some cocos (coconuts). We planted two coconut palms about 3 years ago. Before that they lived in a couple of 5 gallon buckets for more than a year.

The one palm is doing very well and has two fruiting branches. Both plants are supposed to be dwarf coconut palms. That is a good thing as I wouldn't relish the idea of climbing to the top of a palm tree to knock the coconuts out.

Coconut palm, La Ceiba, HondurasThe other palm has had a problem forever with a black sooty mold. It's also infested with fire ants which makes it very painful to trim or try to spray it. As you can see from this photo, the fruiting branch shriveled up and died. :(

I need to learn more about coconuts. Supposedly we have one each of green and yellow coconuts. I thought all coconuts were brown − that is the way they looked in the grocery store. What do I know about cocos?!

I love the way it looks like the bottom of the palm is wrapped in burlap. It looks so much like fabric and it is really tough, too. One thing I remember about coconuts is that they can live 80 to 100 years! Amazing, huh?

Coconut palm, La Ceiba, HondurasThis photo will give you an idea of the size of the palm. The other one is to the left of the birdhouse and is about the same size.

The coconut is the seed from which new plants are started. Usually the coconuts are just placed on the soil or just partially buried and left until the coconut splits open and the palm sprouts. I've heard that they are actually pretty easy to start, at least in this climate.

Coconut palm, La Ceiba, HondurasThis photo is from May 2005 so you can see that they have grown quite a bit in only a little over two years.
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