We're based in Auckland, NZ so it's needless to say that we were TOTALLY stunned to receive the photo below from a fellow kiwi grower called Archie. He shared this photo of the coconut palm that he'd germinated (right here in NZ!) from a store-bought supermarket coconut:
Copyright: Archie Reisima 2021
Of course, we had to ask how it was done, and Archie kindly shared his method with us so that we could share it with you, too.
Here is Archie's story:
"When you think of a 15-year-old you probably think about how they are always addicted to their phones, not being addicted to plants. A few years ago I had an idea: Can I grow tropical plants from seeds in New Zealand? I began to do some research and only found out that it can be done with certain plants in certain regions. These plants included: Bananas, mountain pawpaw, guavas, and mangos. I felt this selection was quite boring and it didn't feel unique enough. I decided to have a look at the supermarket. I walk in and straight away I see what I will grow. A coconut. Then and there I went onto Youtube and tried to find videos on growing coconuts in NZ and only a few videos popped up. Because the videos were not good quality and a very limited selection I was able to workout a plan on how I was going to grow this thing. I added it to the trolley and headed home. I came home and decided to leave the coconut in a pot and placed it in the hot water cupboard for a few months to see what would happen. A month passed and I took the coconut out of the hot water cupboard and removed it from the pot and surprisingly there was a root. I then took the husk off the bottom of the coconut and there was a small shoot. I was delighted. I potted it back up and placed it into an old fish tank and left it to grow. It was doing great for a few months so I put it outside to get some natural light and accidentally left it out overnight in my shade house. Unfortunately, it ended up dying a week later once I brought it back inside due to a fungal infection. Learning from my mistake last time I was determined to make it work so got straight back into growing another one. That brings me to the present day on my second attempt four years after I started. This whole learning experience has been fun and now my coconut is thriving and I am planning on planting a few more. Now the only question I have is whether it is cannibalism if I give my coconut, Groconut?”
…and here’s Archie’s method:
“Growing a Coconut
1. Choosing the right coconut
Find a coconut from the supermarket with the 3 holes protected with husk or get one without any damage to them. Make sure there is a lot of water inside of the coconut.
2. Germination process
Fill a bucket or container with warm water and place the coconut inside. Place in your hot water cupboard and leave it there for a few days. Take the coconut out of the water and plant into airy sandy soil. Place back into hot water cupboard and wait a 2-3 months or until roots start to form. Then take the husk off and you are ready to see it hopefully thrive.
Place in a very humid place (heat doesn't matter as much but make sure it is above 10°c but the perfect temperature is 20°c+ for better growth) preferably a grow tank or greenhouse."
We used Archie’s method (the only difference was that we used coco coir instead of sand). After about four months, we noticed cracking on one of the germination pores, with a shoot pushing out from underneath!
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If you'd like to learn about how the coconut helps gardeners with germination, propagation and overall faster growth without the need of artificial hormones, click here!