What are the climate requirements for growing coconut?

Coconut is a tropical plant and can grow in hot climates. However, it has been found to grow
under varying agro-climatic conditions. It grows well within 23 degrees of the equator
(Between 20N and 20S latitudes). The coconut palm flourishes well up to an altitude of 600
m above Mean Sea Level (MSL). However, it is being grown up to 900 m above mean sea
level (MSL) in some places.

Ideal Temperature for Coconut

The temperature has a significant influence on the growth and productivity of coconut.
Coconut does not tolerate extremes of temperature and prefers less variation between day
and night temperatures. The mean annual temperature for optimum growth and maximum
yield is ideally 27 degrees Celsius. The temperature should be in the range of 20 ° to 32°C.
Mean temperature below 21 degree C reduces the yield. High temperature may lead to the
developing inflorescences getting dried up, limiting nut production during summer months.

Rainfall for Coconut Growth

The coconut palm grows wells under an evenly distributed annual rainfall, ranging from
1000 mm to 3000 mm. Total annual rainfall of 1000 mm is sufficient, if rain is evenly
distributed throughout the year. Staggered rainfall during different periods of the year is
more important than the total rainfall during any particular period. A well-distributed
rainfall of about 2000 mm is ideal for proper growth and higher yield. Higher rainfall is good
for the coconut palm. In Kerala, for example, a well-distributed rainfall of 1300 – 2300 mm
per annum is ideal.

It is possible to grow coconut even in a dry interior area with a low annual rainfall of 500 to
800 mm, where soil moisture is satisfactory at the depression of rolling lands and near
valleys or adjacent to tanks.
Any prolonged dry season needs irrigation. Irrigation during the summer months has a
positive correlation with the nut yield.

Humidity and Wind for Coconut

Relative humidity should be more than 60 %. The optimum relative humidity is 80 – 85 per
cent. High humidity increases the incidence of pests and disease and reduces nutrient
uptake. Wind plays an important part in the dispersal of pollen and the fertilization of
flowers. A windy atmosphere increases transpiration rates and helps in the uptake of
nutrients from the soil.
Conditions near the sea are ideal but coconut grows well even hundreds of kilometres away
from the sea, in the inland. Near the sea, fluctuation in the temperature is low and humidity
is relatively high. Moisture availability is a positive feature but it is not restricted to the
coastal area.

Sunshine for Coconut

Coconut needs plenty of sunlight and it does not grow well under shade. Shade reduces the
rate of transpiration


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