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Author Topic: Cacao seeds and seedlings  (Read 255 times)

Guayaba

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Cacao seeds and seedlings
« on: December 05, 2017, 01:02:08 AM »
A friend of mine brought back the typical cacao fruit often purchased while visiting ports in a cruise ship. I couldn't get to the fruit right away,but opened it last week and almost half of the fruit was molding.  I saved as many seeds as I could and removed the outer flesh from the seeds. The seeds were so soft....I thought they had already began to rot. I read in other posts  how easy the seeds were to germinate, so I used the paper towel method and heat mat.  I was surprised how quickly they germinated in four days and with 95% germination rate. They have now been planted in pots and are hanging out in a greenhouse.  I noted in other posts that I should be careful to not over water them and to watch out for damping off.  Any  other advice to keep the seedlings alive and happy?

Cacao fruit


Seeds with outer flesh removed


Germinating seeds after 4 days

« Last Edit: December 05, 2017, 01:03:58 AM by Guayaba »
Bob

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Re: Cacao seeds and seedlings
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2017, 05:56:24 AM »
They like filtered sunlight as small plants. 'With your dry climate you need to use a humidifier, they need over 60 percent humidity. They actually like a lot of water, grow great here in the rainforest. Just don't let the water puddle, so use a medium that is highly porous. Your low winter temperatures could be a problem. Keep them above 70F during winter.
Oscar

Guayaba

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Re: Cacao seeds and seedlings
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2017, 09:54:39 AM »
They like filtered sunlight as small plants. 'With your dry climate you need to use a humidifier, they need over 60 percent humidity. They actually like a lot of water, grow great here in the rainforest. Just don't let the water puddle, so use a medium that is highly porous. Your low winter temperatures could be a problem. Keep them above 70F during winter.
I'll keep them moist and in the greenhouse through winter.  Most that survive will stay in the greenhouse where the humidity levels are around 55-60 percent. I was thinking of taking some out for the spring and summer, but it sounds like they will hate late summer and even die during Santa Ana wind conditions. I always heard that Cacao was a Goldie Locks tropical...likes everything just right!  ;D
Bob

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Re: Cacao seeds and seedlings
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2017, 05:41:46 AM »
They like filtered sunlight as small plants. 'With your dry climate you need to use a humidifier, they need over 60 percent humidity. They actually like a lot of water, grow great here in the rainforest. Just don't let the water puddle, so use a medium that is highly porous. Your low winter temperatures could be a problem. Keep them above 70F during winter.
I'll keep them moist and in the greenhouse through winter.  Most that survive will stay in the greenhouse where the humidity levels are around 55-60 percent. I was thinking of taking some out for the spring and summer, but it sounds like they will hate late summer and even die during Santa Ana wind conditions. I always heard that Cacao was a Goldie Locks tropical...likes everything just right!  ;D
Inside the tropics cacao is pretty easy to grow....but you are very far from the tropics.
Oscar

marklee

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Re: Cacao seeds and seedlings
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2017, 02:48:25 AM »
Forget about fruiting a cacao outside down here in San Diego. I had a decent sized one in a 15 gallon that was starting to flower that I left out of the greenhouse 2 nights when it got into the 40's and it was toast in a week. We just don't warm up enough in the days to make up for cold nights. I've never had frost and my tender subtropicals struggle in the constant temps below 50. We are lucky to get a jackfruit to hold onto the tree through the winter and size up to maturity even though the trees do just fine. Growing the trees and fruiting are totally different.

Guayaba

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Re: Cacao seeds and seedlings
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2017, 09:47:47 AM »
Thanks for the input guys! This was just a fun exercise about germinating cocoa seeds.  I never thought I could grow the plants outdoors here in San Diego year around.  if they survive through seedling stage, they will remain in the greenhouse where they belong as tropical plants. I am  happy enough to grow coffee and miracle fruit for shade plants in this climate. :)
Bob

 

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