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Jun 14, 2012 09:39 AM

Where To Buy Unhusked Coconuts In the Los Angeles Area???

Every time I see a coconut at a grocery store, whether an American, Asian or Mexican grocery they are already husked. This makes sense because in the US people like convenience and don't want to have to cut open a coconut with a husk on them. In other countries they don't always have such conveniences so you will find un-husked coconuts. I know at the Chinese store you can buy a case of coconuts that have the husk shaved or cut off to an extent and you see the white meat of it for lack of better terms but I'm looking for a full non-husked coconut locally.

If this is possible where in Los Angeles can I buy one? If I can't find one I wonder if in Tijuana I can. Coconuts don't grow in TJ but I imagine from the tropical parts of Mexico to the south maybe they truck them up to TJ. I don't go to TJ often but maybe next time I go to San Diego I could go across the border. But if I find one there can I bring one in or does the Department of Agriculture have struck rules preventing this? Or I could throw one over the wall, go back into SD and pick it up later! Nah risky they'll think I'm the Falcon and the Snowman or something messing with the Russians in Mexico.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thank You,


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  1. Do you mean that out of this entire thread which you participated in covering this subject previously you couldn't find one?

    What about at

    9 Replies
    1. re: Servorg

      Yes, you are right, I did participate. You remember that thread. I re-read it to see if I could find the answer I want but there were no valid answers. Some say the Chinese store but that's a wash, can't find it there. Someone said the Farmer's markets but I never seen them there anyway Farmer's Markets are for more of local farmers (maybe 100 mile range) and no, there are no coconuts grown in CA. Since there are no valid answers in the old thread I thought I'd start a new one since that one was old and no good answers.

      I did not try, thanks for the link. I'll check it out. Also Melissa which imports cool exotic fruits might but I've seen their website yet don't see unhusked coconuts there. I'd say if I can't find one here then for sure Tijuana is it next time I am in San Diego. Almost sure to find them in TJ. Wish these could wash up on the shores of Santa Monica but the currents are all wrong, no currents from Tropical South Pacific or Mexico that go from there to here.


      1. re: HoundDogz

        Okay I found the answer to my question. There is no way I am going to find a coconut that is un-husked in US stores. Okay maybe in Florida and Hawaii but not sure and definitely not in California. Reason is this. I called the link you gave me Servorg but the lady who answered didn't answer very professionally, did not indicate the company I was calling and I had to ask if it was LAX-C and then she said yes. I asked her if they sell these coconuts and she sounded confused, said wait a minute then I was waiting and she hung up. Well I said forget it and called Melissa Produce. The lady at Mellisa said that the law requires that all coconuts sold in the US to be husked because it has something to do with fruit flies. I'm pretty sure in Hawaii where they grow as well as Florida in the stores you can find them husked, well maybe not big grocery stores but at Farmer's Markets and such but then again you can walk down the street and pick one up off the ground.

        So no such luck. I can get them on Ebay but they cost way too much. I might try TJ but I'm sure the border check will take it away from me.


        1. re: HoundDogz

          Interesting. I used to buy un-husked coconuts all the time but it's been a few years. Just recently I noticed that the ones I've seen are sortof semi-husked (looks like with a table saw), and wondered why. Mystery solved.

          Is there something about pre-husked coconuts that makes then more prone to spoilage, or is this an aesthetic thing for you?

          1. re: Midlife

            Hey Midlife, crazy as it sounds, the reason I want ones that have not been husked is I want to try to grow some coconut trees. The ones that are husked have a harder time germinating but the ones not husked have a higher chance of germinating. Granted living in a non-tropical place like Southern California coco palms do not last. You could buy some coco palm trees at Home Depot during summer most the time because they are imported from Hawaii or Mexico. I have done that in the past and they all die eventually. I thought it would be fun to just try to grow from a coconut during summer. At least get it to sprout for fun. During summer one can keep at coco palm alive but during the winter months it's hard to even if you have in a pot and bring it indoors.

            I have purchased a couple of husked coconuts that had a white root growing out of one of the "eyes" which means it was germinating. Was in the produce section of the 99 Ranch Chinese grocery store. I planted and water but it cracked and died out on me. I am going to try to sprout some from husked coconuts and see if it will work. It's really just for the fun of it. It's summer and hot enough for it to germinate, that is if it will. See this video of this New Zealander who got his to sprout and recall NZ is not tropical so he's doing it just to see if it will sprout and grow into a tree but he has no high hopes that it will. He's like me he likes to experiment with planting things. This vid is from a couple of months ago so I think it was Fall there where he is and now it's Winter I think so wonder how his coconut will fare -


            Oh one last thing, when I was a kid in the '70s and a teen in the '80s we used to bring home coconuts from Hawaii we would find along the beach or side of the road. Just pick them up and put them in the suitcase and bring home. With all the fruit fly concerns and things like that I don't think the department of agriculture would allow us to bring home coconuts any longer but I could be wrong maybe one can. Via Ebay you can buy coconuts from Hawaii and FL but I bet those have been approved by the Department of Ag first. I also would love to have some to put in the backyard to look tropical during summer even though it's not tropical here.

            1. re: HoundDogz

              Yes, there may be fruit flies in the unhusked coconut. I was born in SE Asia where coconut is plentiful and I can vouch for that. To be safe, go buy the coconut seed at the local nursery, but I doubt they will grow due to the weather/climate here in Cali. Same thing with banana trees.

                1. re: Servorg

                  Hmmh, did not know that. Interesting, that's all I can say. I guess you have to find the exact climate/weather for it.


        2. re: HoundDogz

          I would not order seeds via the Internet as you could bring in a pest that these rules are trying to keep us free of. I would check at; - down in Vista; and also the - California rare fruit growers. There are lots of people growing tropicals in SoCal. Plug in and eat the bounty!

          1. re: chewbacca

            That's a great suggestion. Down in San Diego and Fallbrook there are some really good nurseries and some are experts in palms. I will check with them next time I am there. Never been to but I'm gonna check it out. Thanks.

      2. What I'm seeing all over Southern Orange County (CA) are what I think are partially husked coconuts, although I haven't bought one to be sure. They look like the picture below. I can't imagine that the shape of these things is anything other than a white husk still around the shell inside, but I could be mistaken.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Midlife

          That's a good point because I seen those at the Chinese stores like 99 Ranch Store. I am gonna buy one of those because the only thing gone is the brown outside but that white part is a good portion of the actual coconut husk. Thanks for the suggestion.

        2. Hey James, I was wondering if you had any results with buying that packaged semi-husked coconut and growing it? I live in Cali. Not that I have any space or anything to try such an experiment but I do have a love for the coconut food =). In doing a search for where I could buy coconuts, I found your thread and am now curious to see how your experiment goes.

          3 Replies
          1. re: UrbanHealer

            No, I did not get the partially husked kind and try that but at the Chinese store they sell the husked ones like any other American store and I notice that sometimes they have some that are sprouting already. There three "eyes" on each coconut and when a coconut sprouts it sprouts from one of the eyes then the sprout travels thru the husk and grows the coconut tree. Without the husk you see the eyes and on occasion they have some that are sprouting. I have tried this years ago only to have the coconut break after awhile and then it's useless. I saw a guy on the YouTube who was growing from a husked one and he put it in a bag and added water and in a few months it would sprout and then he'd put it in a pot with sandy soil. Well he inspired me to try again from ones I found sprouted already and that seemed to work. It's growing slowly. So Cal is too cold for coconut trees outside so I do all this growing indoors. It's still too young for a real tree, it's still sprouting and will take years if it does work to develop into something that looks like a tree.

              1. re: Servorg

                Too low for a fully grown coco palm but remember they don't grow outside of the tropics normally so if I do get this to grow inside it's going to grow really slow and take forever to get to the ceiling. As long as the temperature does not drop below 60 and it stays watered it won't die but because the house isn't hot and humid like Hawaii just say it will probably grow super slow. Hope it grows but time will only tell.

          2. You can buy them from Hawaii already sprouting.

            1 Reply
            1. re: flylice2x

              Thanks for the link. I'll check it out.

            2. Coconut,I would like to find some that has the husk on.
              Where is it at?

              1 Reply