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Agriculture > Plantation Crops > Coconut (Cocosnucifera)

Crop Management

Nutrient Management

Nutrient recommendations

The fertilizer nutrients recommended for adult palms are given in table.

Quantity kg/palm/annum
N P2O5 K2O
1 General recommendation
(a)Average management
0.34 0.17 0.68
(b) Good management 0.50 0.32 1.20
2 For reclaimed clayey soils (as in Kuttanad) 0.25 0.35 0.90
3 Red loam so ils (southern Kerala) 0.68 0.23 0.90
4 Hybrids & high yielding palms
(a) For irrigated areas
(b) For rain fed conditions 0.50 0.32 1.20
  • Under irrigated conditions, fertilizers can be applied in 3-4 equal split doses.
  • In the case of low-lying areas, apply fertilizers in one single dose after water table recedes or in two split doses as conditions permit.
  • The application of organic materials such as forest leaves, cattle manure, coir dust or coconut shredding at 10 kg per pit in the first three years and 15-25 kg thereafter will be useful to obtain better establishment of coconut palms in sandy soils and in coastal situations.
  • In situations where the available P2O status of the soil is more than 10 ppm, application of phosphatic fertilizers can be skipped for a few years until the status of P2O reaches 10 ppm.
  • For sandy and sandy loams of Onattukara and similar situations and also for hybrid palms grown in root (wilt) affected areas, apply 500 g N + 300 g P2O + 1000 g K2O along with 500 g MgSO/ palm / year.
  • Application of MgSO4 to coconut palms earlier confined to root wilt affected areas is recommended for the whole state (ad hoc recommendation).
  • The N:P2O:K2O recommendation given for high yielding palms is, in general, sufficient for palms yielding up to 100 nuts per year. For palms yielding more than 100 nuts per year, an additional dose of 10 g N, 5 g P2O and 15 g K2O may be supplied for every nut exceeding 100 nuts (ad hoc recommendation).
  • In laterite soils, 50% of the K2O requirement of coconut can be substituted by Na2O supplied in the form of sodium chloride.

Time, frequency and method of fertilizer application

Under rainfed conditions, apply fertilizers in two split doses, 1/3 at the time of early southwest monsoon showers in April-June and 2/3 in September-October.

Under irrigated conditions, apply fertilizers in three or four equal doses in April-May, August-September, December and February-March.

Apply lime or dolomite during April-May, magnesium sulphate during August-September and organic matter during June-July. For an adult palm 1 kg dolomite or 1 kg lime + 0.5 kg MgSO4 is required per annum.

Apply fertilizers and manures in circular basins at a radius of 2.0 m from the base of the palm and 10 cm deep, opened after the onset of southwest monsoon. Split doses can be applied with irrigation water in summer months.

Nutrient calculation : Download and use Kau Fertulator

Recycling of palm waste

Recycling of palm waste is very much beneficial especially for maintaining the availability status of micronutrients and trace elements. Palm wastes like coconut leaves, crown waste, dried spathes, husk etc. may be deposited in a small trench of convenient length, 0.5 m to 0.75 m wide and 0.3 to 0.5 m deep at a distance of 2-2.5 m away from the base of the trunk. Fill up this trench with the palm wastes along one side of the palm (say north) in one year, opposite side (south) in the next year, east in the third year and so on. This practice of organic recycling of waste has been found to improve the growth and productivity of the palms.


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