cacao (theobromia) A small evergreen tree grown in tropical climates, it has the ability to produce pretty pink and yellow flowers on it's trunk and large branches, followed by orange-brown fruit, the seed from it's fruit is used to produce commercial cocoa and chocolate. Plant size: 36"inch
cacao (theobromia) A small evergreen tree grown in tropical climates, it has the ability to produce pretty pink and yellow flowers on it's trunk and large branches, followed by orange-brown fruit, the seed from it's fruit is used to produce commercial cocoa and chocolate. Plant size: 24"-30"
Cacao trees are quite finicky. They need protection from sun and wind, which is why they thrive in the under story of warm rain forests and tropics. Growing cacao trees requires mimicking these conditions. In the United States, that means the tree can only be grown in USDA zones 11-13 – Hawaii, parts of southern Florida and southern California as well as tropical Puerto Rico. If you don’t live in these tropical climates, it may be grown under warm and humid conditions in a greenhouse but may require more vigilant cocoa tree care.
Transplant into successively larger pots, keep the plant damp and at temps between 65-85 degrees F. (18-29 C.) – warmer is better. Fertilize every two weeks from spring through fall with fish emulsion like 2-4-1; mix 1 tablespoon per gallon of water. If you live in a tropical region, transplant your tree when it is two feet tall. Choose a humus rich, well-draining area with a pH near 6.5. Situate the cacao 10 feet or so from a taller evergreen that can provide partial shade and wind protection. Dig a hole three times the depth and width of the tree’s root ball. Return two thirds of the loose soil back into the hole and set the tree atop the mound at the same level it grew in its pot. Fill in the soil around the tree and water it well. Cover the surrounding ground with a 2- to 6-inch layer of mulch, but keep it at least eight inches away from the trunk. Depending upon rainfall, the cacao will need between 1-2 inches of water per week. Don’t let it get soggy, Feed it with 1/8 pound of 6-6-6 every two weeks and then increase to 1 pound of fertilizer every two months until the tree is a year old.
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