If you are one of those who prefer sweet flavors, then the Cacao Tree is for you. This beautiful plant is perfect to have in tropical gardens around the world, and can also be grown in greenhouses or in very bright interiors.
Its fruits, which are edible, appear throughout the year. Do you want to know how to taste them? Find out what care it requires to have optimal development.
The cocoa tree, also called cocoa tree, is a tree about 8m high with evergreen leaves, which are lanceolate, with a very defined central nerve. The newest shoots are a very nice brown color as you can see in the image above; surely to prevent herbivorous animals, which love tender shoots, from feeling the desire to eat them.
Its scientific name is Theobroma cacao , and it is native to the largest forest in the world: the Amazon. It grows quickly, always under the shade provided by the tallest plants, such as the Musas sp (banana trees), or palm trees. It likes humid, warm environments, without extreme temperatures (its ideal range is between 20 and 30ºC).
A peculiarity that this amazing and sweet species has is that both the flowers and the fruits sprout from the stems and branches. It is thus a cauliflower tree . Its small whitish-yellow flowers are composed of 5 petals, and are pollinated by flies.
The cocoa tree will bear fruit for the first time when it is 4 years old , but it may be necessary to wait until the following year to be able to harvest an interesting quantity of fruits, whose seeds will be sown in spring.
how to take care
The care you need are:
- Climate : warm. If the temperature drops below 15ºC in your area, protect it inside your home or in a greenhouse.
- Irrigation : frequent, between 2 and 3 times a week in summer, and 1 or 2 the rest of the year.
- Substrate : it will have to be porous, fertile, with a high content of organic matter. It is highly recommended to mix 60% compost or mulch with 30% vermiculite and 10% perlite.
- Exposure : partial shade. Avoid putting it directly in the sun, otherwise its leaves could burn.
- Spraying – If you live in a dry climate, you will need to spray often.
Do you have a cocoa tree?