Scientific Name: Cocos nucifera
Climate: Warm and hot temperate
Plant Description: The coconut is a palm-shaped tropical fruit tree. It can grow up to 30 meters tall. It is an evergreen and the leaves can grow from four to six meters. It has no lateral branches. The flowers are small, yellow in color. The fruit is large, round, three-layered, and can be yellow-brown or green.1
Cultivation: The coconut needs quite a lot of sun and high temperatures throughout the year. It requires an evenly distributed rainfall. It can be grown in a wide variety of soils. Soil with a minimum depth of 1.2 to 1.5 meters and a good water-holding capacity is best suited to cultivation.
The selection of quality seedlings is very important for best production. Farmers must select vigorous seedlings of one-year-old coconuts that have a minimum of ten centimeters at the collar level for planting on the farm. The best planting time for coconut farming is from May to June. Pruning activities, such as removing dry or dead leaves or diseased leaves, should be done regularly.
It begins to produce fruit after four years and the first harvest is ready approximately one year after the pod opens and is harvested at different intervals as needed.
Uses: It helps prevent obesity, is a good source of dietary fiber, helps and improves coronary health. It reduces cravings for sweets. It facilitates digestion. The juice from the coconut is a quick energy booster and improves the immune system. It can also be converted into oil for food or for the body. Coconut oil also works as a natural antiseptic. Coconut trees form an ideal canopy for cultivating coffee and cacao in food forests.2
Pests and Diseases: Common pests found are the mealy, termites, white larva, drill, and the white and red spider. The most common diseases are bud rot, leaf rot, black rot, and gray leaf spot.3
En español: Coco