Introduction: From Coconut to Palmtree

Really, it can’t be much simpler… chuck it in a bucket half-filled with water and wait!

Coconuts are the seeds of the palmtree. Nourish them with water and a lot of patience and you’ll be rewarded with your very own palm (and coconuts in about 7 to 10 years!).

This instructable will be more of an instructa-diary since it took well over 4 months! Its super easy to do though!

I cut them separate from the main bush, chuck it into a bucket and start filling until I am sure the coconut is drifting or floating. Cover it (don’t completely seal it again) with the lid against the mosquitos. And check up on it every couple of weeks. I give it a little bit of fresh water every time I check up on them. I never changed out all the water.

Important is that they find their own orientation in the water; all nuts have a heavier side and if you spin the coconut like an American football, it should always orientate its way back to the same position. When it has found this orientation, DON’T move it anymore! Don’t roll it round everyday to wet it completely or anything! The juice inside needs to stay still and solidify in order to germinate and sprout, so move it the least amount necessary.

FunFact; The term is derived from the 16th-century Portuguese and Spanish word ‘coco’ meaning "head" or "skull" after the three indentations on the coconut shell that resemble facial features.

Step 1:


  • 1x 5GL bucket per coconut
  • Electric drill with big wood- or metal-drill
  • blunt kitchen knife


  • A fresh coconut (or 7!)
  • About 15L of gardensoil per coconut
  • Water
  • Dying (not dead and dried) leaves (optional)
  • Decorative small stoned (optional)
  • At least 3 months of your precious patience

Step 2: Nov 13 2018

  • New coconuts are in!
  • Cut them separate.
  • Now I needed a proper bin or bucket. I only had one 5GL bucket at the moment so used an old divegear-tub.
  • Filled up with water.
  • Noted the date on the covering of the tub.

Step 3: Dec 15 2018

  • First check, noting yet, as expected.
  • Coconuts lost all yellow color.
  • Water isn’t very discolored or anything, didn’t refill, just wetted the topsides.

Step 4: Jan 12 2019

  • Another check, another nothing-yet.
  • The coconuts feel heavy on the bottom which means water has penetrated all the way through!
  • They are looking pale, color is all but gone.
  • Added a bit of fresh water.
  • Luckily still no sign of mosquito larvae.

Step 5: Feb 05 2019

  • Water looks old and brown, no smell though.
  • Some small sort of mushroom is growing on one of the coconuts, no further fungi of algae problems.
  • Added a little bit of fresh water.

Whoohoo! One of the roots has broken through!

  • Drill some holes in a bucket.
  • Fill bucket for ¾ with gardensoil.
  • Water profusely.
  • Make an indent for the nut to sit in.
  • Slightly press in coconut, careful for the root!
  • Fill around coconut with soil, no more than halfway up the coconut.
  • Get and spread some dying leaf material.
  • Cover with decorative gravel.
  • Take blunt kitchen knife and poke through leafmaterial at plenty places!
  • Cover up and make nice again if you have to.
  • Water again.
  • Put in a shady but light place.

Step 6: Feb 26 2019

  • Another 2 coconuts have their roots poking though!
  • But I have no soil and no buckets. I leave them in the water.
  • The one in soil is not showing any leaves yet.

Step 7: Mar 05 2019

  • Potted the 2 sprouted coconuts, same way as the first one.
  • One of them had already poked its first leaves out!
  • Looking closely at the first coconut, I see cracking! Leaves should be just a (couple) day(s) away!

Step 8: Mar 07 2019

  • The first coconut finally broke out of its shell!

Step 9: Mar 08 2019

Step 10: Mar 09 2019

  • The third coconut is also piercing through!

Step 11: Mar 10 2019

Step 12: Six Months From Now

The ones in this picture are about 6 months old!

Step 13: Twelve Years From Now

My first ever grown palmtrees still stand proud in my parents garden!

Step 14: Natural Habitat and Conditions

(wikipedia says)

The coconut palm thrives on sandy soils and is highly tolerant of salinity. It prefers areas with abundant sunlight and regular rainfall (1,500–2,500 mm annually), which makes colonizing shorelines of the tropics relatively straightforward. Coconuts also need high humidity (at least 70–80%) for optimum growth, which is why they are rarely seen in areas with low humidity. However, they can be found in humid areas with low annual precipitation such as in Karachi, Pakistan, which receives only about 250 mm of rainfall per year, but is consistently warm and humid.

Coconut palms require warm conditions for successful growth, and are intolerant of cold weather. Some seasonal variation is tolerated, with good growth where mean summer temperatures are between 28 and 37 °C , and survival as long as winter temperatures are above 4–12 °C; they will survive brief drops to 0 °C. Severe frost is usually fatal, although they have been known to recover from temperatures of −4 °C. They may grow but not fruit properly in areas with insufficient warmth, such as Bermuda.

The conditions required for coconut trees to grow without any care are:

  • Mean daily temperature above 12–13 °C every day of the year
  • Mean annual rainfall above 1,000 mm
  • No or very little overhead canopy, since even small trees require direct sun

The main limiting factor for most locations which satisfy the rainfall and temperature requirements is canopy growth, except those locations near coastlines, where the sandy soil and salt spray limit the growth of most other trees.