Cocoa plant, cocoa tree - cultivation, planting and care

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The cocoa tree is a plant from the rainforests of Latin America. Your claims can be easily derived from this. The cocoa plant (Theobroma cacao) needs it all year round warm and loves a high humidity. This makes the culture of this exotic here a special challenge. The right care is rewarded with large, well-shaped leaves and yellow, five-flowered flowers that bloom directly from the stems. Even in his homeland only a fraction of the flowers are pollinated successfully. Wide for the horticultural challenge?
A cocoa plant is available in selected specialist shops and from the corresponding Internet providers. Offers from hardware stores, discounters or on internet auction platforms always carry a certain risk. Because even during transport and storage, the high standards of the cocoa tree must be guaranteed throughout.
But if you finally own a well-grown cocoa tree, it's about finding the right location. In any case, he can be cultivated as a houseplant. A tempered greenhouse or a conservatory are also suitable. The tree is rather not suitable for garden and terrace, because it requires average temperatures of 25° C and never longer time less than 18° C. Added to this is the high standard of air humidity. It does not produce the German climate, even, or even, in the summer. The usual feel-good humidity of the cocoa tree is around 80%. So do not place the pot directly near a heater. A vessel with water should always be in the immediate vicinity. The location must be as bright as possible, but not exposed to the blazing sun. But often the brightness is not enough in the back of the room. An additional light source in the form of a plant lamp would then be required. Contrary to the recommendation for other tropical plants, the location of the cocoa tree is:

  • do not put in cool and dark in winter
  • do not put on the terrace in summer
Tip: To ensure sufficient humidity is worth buying a humidifier, which is set up near the plant. Even spraying the plant several times a day may be enough. However, one must be careful that the leaves are not too wet too long, that would favor a mold.
A humus-peat mixture or a high-quality potting soil are good bases. It is recommended to mix sand, expanded clay or gravel to ensure sufficient drainage of the water. A rather low pH is optimal. Cocoa trees do not tolerate waterlogging. The cocoa tree is less demanding in terms of nutritional requirements.
The cocoa plant prefers water to less than to much. It's best to pour in larger, regular intervals. Her favorite is lime-free, lukewarm water, just like a warm tropical rain. For fertilization, a complete fertilizer or organic fertilizer, given once a month, is sufficient. Fertilization takes place in the growth phase from spring to autumn. With the pruning of the tree one should be more restrained. The cocoa tree grows in the room anyway very slowly. Branches arise over time by themselves.
In winter, this exotic does not like it cool and still as bright as possible. If you have found a suitable location in the room, it can winter there under constant conditions. However, it is often not bright enough in winter. Here comes the purchase of a plant lamp again into play. In the conservatory, the amount of light is usually ideal, even in winter. But you should make sure that the cocoa plant does not get too cool there. A temperature below 18° C does not tolerate them. Here one could consider the use of a heating mat to remedy the situation.
If you do not like repotting, at least here, in this slow-growing plant, can save some nursing time. The cocoa plant forms long taproots. Accordingly, the vessel should be sufficiently high. Once the roots get out of the bottom of the pot, it's time to repot. This will be the case every 3 years. The new vessel must not be much larger than the previous pot.
Pests, diseases
While the cocoa tree has to arrive in its homeland against some special enemies, threaten him here only a few pests and diseases. In this country, it is rather the usual scale insects, aphids or mourning gnats. These appear as soon as the plant has been too dry, too dark or too moist at the roots for too long. In all cases, there are quite good, chemical-free control measures. The best measure remains that of prevention by optimal growth conditions.
Basically, cocoa trees can be multiplied by cuttings, mosses or seeds. But all three types are not without, in terms of effort, care and success:
  • Stecklingsvermehrung: For the propagation by cuttings, a side shoot is placed in special cultivation soil for cuttings. After that he has to be wet and warm. It is best to put a transparent plastic bag or foil over the pot. Humidity and heat are the most pressing needs in this phase.
  • Abmoosen: To remove the moss, remove the bark from the lower part of a shoot. This exposed area is now wrapped with special moss (sphagnum moss) or peat and a fleece. This place should always be kept moist. In a few weeks roots should be visible. Now the shoot is removed and potted in.
  • seed cultivation: This type of propagation is certainly the most demanding. This starts with the procurement of fresh and replicable seeds. The bean comes for a day in a warm water bath. The seed has a small, bright elevation, this should point down when you put it easily in a germ-free, nutrient-poor Aussaaterde. At high humidity and a temperature around 25° C you can (hopefully) discover the first seedlings in about 3-4 weeks.
Conclusion of the editorship
If you enjoy gardening challenges, it will be fun to raise a cocoa tree. Alone, to see him blossom and to look at the strange-looking beans on the trunk up close. Most work is done to create the conditions for the entry of a cacao tree. The further care is then no longer so expensive.
Worth knowing about the cocoa plant soon
The cocoa plant forms a charming eye-catcher throughout the year within spacious, light-flooded rooms as well as in heated conservatories. The time from May to September, the cocoa plant can spend depending on the weather at protected sites in the outdoor area, however, to bring to winter in the house. Here it should:
  • be bright and the ambient temperature at 20° C (+/- 5)
  • Hypothermia or lack of light, it can lead to extreme leaf damage and the failure of the leaves
  • the renewal will take place depending on the type of wintering from April / May
  • however, if a cut is to be made, the time to end hibernation is optimal.
The cocoa plant thrives relatively slowly in the local climatic zones. For this reason, a new planter is required for this plant and only every two / three years, which may also be only slightly larger. In order to provide the cocoa plant with optimal planting conditions, very high quality potting soil is recommended. This is characterized by coarse-grained ingredients such as expanded clay, lavagrus and gravel, which ensure excellent permeability. The balanced humus content is used for optimum storage of water and the necessary nutrients. The need for nutrients is rather moderate and can be covered with a 14-day fertilization in April / September, for example, by water-soluble powders, liquid fertilizers or rods.
  • belongs to the family of 'Sterculiaceae'
  • and shows up as a small tree with a height of about 1.50 to 2.00 meters
  • The flowering time is in the summer here and enchants with delicate white flowers, which Stammblütig (cauliflory) are
  • The fruits of the cocoa plant consist of red-skinned pods, which the cocoa beans carry in themselves
  • the cocoa plant has its origin in South and Central America within the climate zone 10 to 12.
  • In order to keep the cocoa plant healthy, it requires high humidity as well as shade and ideal temperatures around 25° C
  • Even during the winter weeks, at least 20° C are also needed, so that the cocoa tree is not damaged
  • For these reasons, it is often necessary to grow this tropical plant within a greenhouse
  • the substrate should also have an extremely low pH and have a humus peat-quartz mixture
  • Rare but regular watering is much healthier for the cocoa plant
  • In addition, the administration of lime-containing irrigation water should not be carried out, but lukewarm (heated by solar radiation) rainwater should be used for irrigation
  • Location should be slightly warm and partially shaded during the summer
  • The simplest types of cultivation are cuttings and moss
  • for the propagation of cuttings, any side shoot of the cocoa plant must be inserted inside special cutting soil (ideally quartz sand)
  • so that after a few weeks first roots show up, the covering by means of plastic bag (greenhouse effect) as well as a protected and warm location is recommendable
  • If there is already a cocoa plant in personal possession, the method 'Abmoosen' can be used for cultivation
  • In this case, a strip of bark is removed from a shoot of the cocoa plant and the underneath bare stem wrapped by wet peat or moss
  • From this, after a few weeks small root will form, which are easy to remove and can be potted as shoots.

Video Board: Growing Cocoa in Containers.

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