The Pistacia vera , also called alfóncigo or pistachero , is a small tree native to the Mediterranean region of Greece, Syria, Turkey and surroundings, we all know for their rich seeds, pistachios. These are widely consumed in many countries of the world, and are eaten both roasted, as an aperitif, and used as a condiment in cooked dishes. So much so, that it is commonly called “green gold”, and in the past its seeds were an exclusive delicacy worth very few.
If you want to learn how to plant pistachios and their basic care for growing them at home, join us in this article.
Where do pistachios come from – characteristics of the pistachio tree
The pistachio tree is a deciduous plant that can withstand low water conditions and warm temperatures without problems. It has a height that does not exceed 10 meters , although its roots are capable of reaching very deep in search of sources of moisture. Its trunk is made of hard and rough bark, and one of its curiosities is that you can know the age of the tree by the color of its branches, which are orange or reddish at first, and darken over time.
Its seeds, that is, the pistachios that we and other animals later consume, are covered by a hard shell, which opens in half once they are sufficiently ripe. At that moment the seed is released and falls to the ground, thus producing a new pistachio or alfóncigo tree .
How to plant pistachios – guide with steps
To plant pistachio seeds , it is best to germinate them first. For all this, follow this simple step by step:
- It is necessary that you make yourself with unroasted pistachios and that you leave them soaked in water, at room temperature and for two full days.
- Store the rolled seeds inside a small towel or cloth and store them in the refrigerator for 6 weeks. Make sure to keep the towel damp throughout this time, taking it out from time to time to moisten it and check that the seeds are in good condition.
- After 6 weeks in the refrigerator, let the seeds rest for a few days in a dark place with a warm temperature.
- Sow the seeds in a pot with a bottom of at least 6 inches. Prepare a substrate with good drainage, with a pH between 6.0 and 8.0. Bury them no more than 2 inches deep and put the pot in a place where it gets plenty of light.
The ideal is to plant the pistachios between the end of spring and the beginning of summer. In this way, you can transplant the young shoot in winter.
Grafting is also a possibility with this plant. The grafted pistachio tree requires a gusset graft, which should be done in mid-June to maximize the chances of success.
How to grow pistachios at home – basic care
Now that you know how to sow and plant pistachios, we offer you a practical guide so that you can take care of the tree in your field and you can obtain the precious seeds for consumption, apart from enjoying the decoration that this tree will bring to the field or garden. This plant does not require excessive care and, in fact, it is a fairly resistant species. However, it is worth mentioning what their basic care is to avoid displeasure. Take note of how to grow pistachio at home :
Climate for the pistachio tree
Regarding temperature, the climate for the pistachio tree must be warm, supporting even semi-arid climates without problems. In extreme cases, some say that this tree can withstand droughts of up to 5 years.
For the aforementioned, it is important that the pistachio soil has a very good drainage, to avoid puddles and excess humidity that could harm the health of the tree. The best soils for pistachio are sandy loam, which have a good depth so that its roots develop without problems.
In addition, even if it is a plant made on arid soils, it does not mean that it does not support those rich in nutrients. In fact, a fertile soil can make the pistachio produce up to twice as many fruits.
Pistachio tree irrigation
Regarding irrigation, the pistachio prefers abundant and spaced waterings in time, than to small waterings that maintain constant levels of moisture in the soil. Of course, this should not be confused with flooding the earth, something that, as we have already said, should always be avoided.
Sunlight and wind
Regarding the contribution of sunlight, the pistachio needs a large amount of it. If it does not receive enough sun, not only will its production be affected, but it could become weak and susceptible to attack by pests and diseases. Finally, this tree not only withstands strong winds well, but is also grateful to be in an area with light breezes, since these help the favorable evolution of its fruits.