mother seed selection for coconuts

Tips to choose mother seeds and seedlings for coconut cultivation

It is important to select good quality mother plants of the desired variety. The significant
features of a mother plant include the following:

  • The mother tree should be disease-free.
  • The tree should be a regular bearer that produces at least one leaf and inflorescence every month.
  • It should be a high yielding variety producing a minimum of 100 nuts a year.
  • The age of the plant should be 25 to 40 years for tall varieties. For short varieties, seeds from younger trees are also used.
  • Leaf scars should be closely spaced and the trunk of the tree should be stout.
  • The crown of the tree should be spherical or semi-spherical.

Selection of Good Quality Seedling

Major considerations in selecting good quality seedling include the following:

  • 9-12 month old seedling
  • At least four leaves for 9 month old seedling
  • Six to eight leaves for 10-12 month old seedling
  • Early germination, rapid growth & seedling vigour
  • Collar girth : 10-12 cm
  • Early splitting of leaves
Generally, healthy seedlings which are one year old, which have 6-8 leaves and 10-12 cm collar girth (when they are 9-12 months old) are selected for planting. Early splitting of leaves in the seedlings shall be a criterion for selecting good seedlings. However, in waterlogged areas 18 – 24 months old seedlings are preferred for planting.


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