ABOUT THIS FRUITING TROPICAL.
Real Chocolate Tree (theobroma cacao) – Grow your own Chocolate at home! A small, tropical evergreen, up to 25 feet, with thick, oblong-oval, leaves. In a 24” container, kept trimmed to 6′ this tree often produces 5 to 10 pods annually. The cacao “beans” are produced in large, angular orange-ish capsules, up to a foot long and 4 inches diameter. The capsule rind is thick, hard and leathery. The capsules grow along the trunk and main branches. The beans, or seeds, about an inch across, range from 20 to 40 per capsule, and are embedded in an acid, fleshy pulp. After removal from the capsule, the beans are washed or fermented to remove the mucilaginous pulp. Chocolate is the sweetened or unsweetened product of the roasted and ground beans, with most of the fat retained.
The growth rate of Real Chocolate will vary greatly depending on soil type, sunlight, temperature and other factors. A few leaves are often trimmed prior to shipping to reduce transpiration and travel stress.
|SOIL TYPERich Moist||% SUN80-100%|
|POT SIZE2x2x7″ Deep||INCLUDESOne Tree|
TROPICAL TREE CARE.
Tropical trees grow happily while flowering and fruiting in a pot or in-ground. They will add an edible accent to your outdoor space, garden or patio. In cooler zones a containerized tree can be relocated indoors for the winter months.
When you receive your new tree, there is no need to worry about planting right away. Your new plant can be stored for a while by simply placing it in a bucket with about a half inch of water and moving it to a shady location, simply keep moist. This will give you plenty of time to select the ideal location for your new tropical tree.
All tropical fruiting varieties grow very well in containers, indoors or on the patio. Smaller varieties grow best in 12″ to 16″ diameter pots while larger varieties need enough room for growth, generally a 16″ to 30″ diameter, 14+” deep container will suffice. Remember the looser the roots, the taller and healthier your tree will be. When the tree becomes root bound its growth will slow, at that point it is time for a larger pot.
Real Chocolate Trees enjoy a well drained, general potting mix easily found at your local box store. Remember try to stay away from arid or wet, mucky soils.
To help establish your new Real Chocolate Tree, fertilize sparingly ten inches away from the base, tri-annually with a slow time released product. Unfertilized they will tend to grow at a slower pace. Note: The heavy salts in cheaper fertilizers will damage the roots and possibly kill the plant. Its best to use a brand you know and trust.
GROW ZONE & LIGHT.
Best outdoors if grown in zone 10a-11, find your zone here. This tree requires 80-100% sunlight. Depending on your location full sun is often best. In the northern end of their grow zone Real Chocolate Trees should be brought indoors or protected during the winter months. The patio zone is 4b-11 which means the potted tree will flourish over the summer months in colder zones but must be brought inside before winter.
BEFORE YOU PLANT OUTDOORS.
At the nursery these trees are grown under 20-40% shade cloth. If you plant this tree in a brightly lit area you may experience leaf burn. It is best to acclimate this plant to its environment by keeping it outside and slowly moving it into a sunny area over a week or two to avoid stress before planting.
WHAT IS THE SHIPPING SIZE.
All Real Chocolate Trees for sale will vary in size. In the spring, trees are often smaller than trees shipped in the fall. Plants designated with a sku ending in -4, -6 or -8 will arrive in a standard 4 inch, 6 inch or 8 inch round growers pot respectively. Our new, reusable, recyclable deep plugs are 7 or 9 inches deep and 2 or 2.5 inches in width. Products growing in these pots are easy to transplant and allow for deeper roots and faster growth, they are designated with a sku ending in -7 or -9. (Note: The item sku number can be found just below the buy button.) The color and style of these pots may vary. If we are out of a particular size item, we may ship a larger size at no additional charge. For more information, click the “best packaging” link at the bottom of this page.
Note: Before leaving, plants are inspected, watered, and pruned. Larger plants, generally those that ship in 8″ pots, will be topped to 36″ or 48″ overall, depending on the variety, if necessary, to facilitate shipping. Your new plants’ pot is then bagged to ensure that the soil stays in the pot and not loose in the box. Plants are tissue or kraft paper wrapped and generally secured in place with natural biodegradable peanuts. You may want to order your Real Chocolate Tree (theobroma cacao) online now while they are in stock, supplies are limited.