WHAT IS A COCONUT TREE?
The coconut tree is a plant that belongs to the family Arecaceae. We can find over 150 coconut types in 80 different countries worldwide. The coconut tree only grows in tropical areas. This plant lives on sandy soil, needs a lot of sunshine and constant rainfall. The coconut does not withstand low temperatures or low humidity levels. Cultivated plants are vulnerable to insect attacks that can decrease fruit quality that is worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Since it contains valuable vitamins and minerals, coconut is an essential item in the human diet. In addition, many industries use coconuts in the manufacturing of various wooden products, in building, in the production of beauty products, and as a fuel.
THE HISTORY OF COCONUT TREE
Originally from the tropics, the palm seems to have made its way across the continents. With the help of sea currents, the fruit, being light and floatable, has probably found its way across the globe. It can be found in the North as far as Norway, where people have ensured for centuries that the seed sprouted under the right ‘created’ conditions. Many claims that the fruit and its palm made their way into Hawaii thanks to the efforts made by Polynesian voyagers. People assume that Spanish and Portuguese explorers gave the name “coconut” to this tree. The name was taken from the Iberian “El Coco”, which referred to a legendary hairy monster. In English, the suffix “nut” was applied to refer to the seed-bearing palm. The name has stuck, and the entire world knows the tree today as the coconut palm.
It is known that the coconut fruit and palm have their roots in South Asian soil. Research suggests that the palm is indigenous to Ganges Delta in Asia. There are a variety of studies that also suggest that the fruit originated in South America’s northwestern region. A number of fossil records are being analyzed. Some of the fossils discovered in New Zealand suggest that the palm thrived as far back as 15 million years ago along the coast of New Zealand. Research in Asia suggests that the fossils found in Kerala, the “Land of Coconut”, are much older. The fossils discovered in Khulna, Bangladesh, however, are regarded as the oldest.
OPTIMAL CLIMATE CONDITIONS
A few climatic conditions are needed for the coconut palm tree to attain optimum growth and fruit-bearing ability. In temperatures ranging from 29 to 35 ºC, coconut palms thrive at their best. As coconut palms require massive quantities of water and do well in sandy soils, a sunny tropical environment is best for their growth and longevity. The tropical climate offers the ideal combination of sunshine, rainfall, and humidity for the coconut palms. In places with sufficient sunlight, coconut palms thrive and tend to grow best in soils with proper drainage. If the temperature drops to 0 ºC, it can kill the tree, so they do not withstand cold temperatures very well. Floods and windy conditions would not affect the tree, but if it sits for a long time in fully soaked soil, it might die.
COCONUT TREE USES AND BENEFITS
People can use each part of a coconut tree for a specific purpose, including building and art.
You can consume the water inside the fruit once you crack open the hard shell. The coconut’s internal flesh also makes for a tasty treat. Not only is the coconut fruit delicious, but it is also rich in nutrients and antioxidants. Additionally, by grinding the fruit with some water, one can also obtain milk from a coconut. In many Asian countries, coconut milk is widely popular and is mostly used as a cooking ingredient and an alternative to dairy milk. Many use coconut milk as a natural hair conditioner.
Coconut trees are often rich in oil that is mostly used in cooking for its special and intense flavor. Coconut oil is highly common in southern India and is often used in that region as the main cooking oil. Some also use it as an alternative to butter. However, research has shown that coconut oil is highly saturated with fat. Therefore it is not regarded as the healthiest cooking out there. We may also use Coconut oil as a hair conditioner. Many countries often sell it as hair oil, including India.
You may use the shells as natural functional bowls. Some cultures still use them to make incredible art and also to make toys for children. The coconut tree’s husks and fibers are extremely durable and we can use them to craft many useful items. Coconut husks make perfect scrubbers for cleaning, and artists use them as a craft material. The making of ropes is one of the main uses of coconut husks. Ropes made from coconut husks are solid and extremely durable.
The leaves and sticks
A coconut tree’s leaves are massive and are often fairly durable. people use them for making thatched roofs and walls. In fact, in order to build their homes, many South Indian tribes still use coconut leaves. People also create brooms with the sticks and branches of the tree.
The wood and flowers
The wood of a coconut tree is great for a campfire. It is possible to use all the parts of a coconut tree as wood for a fire. Many use the tree flowers for medicinal purposes, particularly in ayurvedic medicine.
HOW TO GROW A COCONUT TREE?
A potted nursery plant is the easiest way to grow coconut palms, but you can grow them from seed. Start with coconut – the kind you find in the grocery store. In a bucket filled with lukewarm water, put the coconut. To keep the coconut submerged in water, use a rock or something heavy and leave it for 3 to 4 days. Remove the coconut from the water. fill a big plastic bag with 1 cup of water. Place the coconut in the plastic bag and seal it. Store it in a warm, dark room, like near a water heater. Check it every week. Within a few weeks or up to three months, the seed will germinate and produce roots and sprout. Once the roots begin to grow, gently wrap them in a moist paper towel and put the coconut back in the bag.
When the sprout grows about the size of your finger and the roots are about 15 to 20 cm deep, it’s time to transplant the cocoon. Choose a pot that contains at least 37 liters of soil to plant your coconut palm. Cover it with cactus potting soil or make your own mix by mixing one portion of normal potting soil with one portion of sand. Add a few handfuls of fine gravel. Plant the coconut until part of the sprout is beneath the soil.
To plant a coconut seed in the ground, find a place that has sandy, loose, well-draining soil. In low-lying areas, plant coconuts in raised beds to improve drainage. Water them weekly, at least, so that the soil remains reliably moist.
To build fencing around the plant, push multiple bamboo stakes into the ground 15 cm from the plant. Wrap around the bamboo sticks and across the top to create an enclosure. Remove this greenhouse once the tree stands 30 cm tall.