Sunday, January 25, 2015

Cacao Tree Progress (Indoors)

Of course the cacao trees are indoors, I'm in Texas and there really is no other way to grow them successfully.  The first time I saw one of these trees was at the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens. I was assisting as a docent for the Butterflies in the Garden exhibit they had one winter and one of the trees there was a cacao tree. It had no fruit on it so really it was less impressive than the second time I saw one of these trees in it's natural habitat with fruit hanging from its trunk in the Dominican Republic.

After tasting the fruit straight from the tree I decided I had to grow them for myself. I have already been told that this is a hugely improbable undertaking and that the chances of success aren't very good but I'm stubborn and went ahead anyway.

Currently the biggest, and until recently newest, leaf is about the size of my hand and more are coming out. One of the little stubs that had been trying to grow is making another go at it with a little fuzz (the beginnings of a leaf). Soon I hope to have a larger pot, I know I've been saying this for a while, and the tree will have a lot more room for it's roots. I'm looking for a tall (2' minimum) pot but not necessarily very wide.  It has deep roots and the Dixie cup I have it in is probably going to kill it soon if I don't do something.

I still have four of the five cacao trees at work and they're doing pretty well. They seem to like a little competition but not a lot. I have various plants in with them and the more crowded the pot the less the cacao trees like it. They still grow though so I don't think they are being choked out. I did thin the most crowded one last week hoping for a little growth spurt. We'll see what happens.

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