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  • Category: Gardening

    Is it possible to grow the Cocoa tree in a home garden?


    Eager to have your own Cocoa tree in your home garden? Know from experts whether it is possible to do so in the Indian climate and whether its fruits can yield a good amount of chocolate.

    I am living in Tamil Nadu, India and I want to know whether is it possible to grow the Cocoa (or Cacao) tree in my home garden? If yes, how much kilograms of chocolate would I be able to produce from the tree? Will the Cocoa tree give fruit for all months in the year? Is it possible to prepare chocolate myself from the fruit?
  • #150221
    Cocoa is a tricky plant to grow. If you have a greenhouse which is a replicate the hot humid rainforest environment you have a higher chance of not only growing a plant but actually seeing some fruit.
    The first task is to find good seeds. The seeds which are newly or recently picked from the fruit are suitable for growing, so it's better to obtain a fresh fruit. Old or dried seeds just won't do. A better option might be to purchase a seedling, which has already been adapted to local conditions and toughened for growing in a pot. Ask your local nursery if they could source one for you, or check online dealers.
    The growing conditions are the temperature of 65 to 90 degrees F and humidity of at least 60 percent. If you don't have a greenhouse, you can use a humidifier and heater to get the desired conditions. You could also use an adjustable growing lamp with a filter to provide warmth, or put a plastic bag or tent over your seedling. Set a bowl of water next to it to release humidity. Cocoa likes rich, moist, but not overly wet soil, so spray sparingly but often. Mulching would help keep the earth moist longer, too.
    Cocoa is an understory plant, and it is better to grow it under indirect, filtered sunlight. A spot under the canopy of tall, overhanging trees where it can receive about 25 percent shade.
    The plant will flower within 4-5 years. Naturally, though, flowers are pollinated by midges — tiny flies that thrive in the thick, damp vegetation — so without these you'd have to pollinate the flowers yourself by hand. If fertilization is successful, you should be able to see fruit within 5-6 months.

    drrao
    always confident

  • #150223
    Cocoa plant needs good sunshine and good rains . It is best grown as a plantation crop.It is a good crop (inter crop) in non-branch tree plantations like Coconut and Areca. That helps unhampered sunshine with optimum shade and rains to the crop. The soil need to be hard and stable. But just for a sample you can grow a plant(tree) in your home garden if the climatic conditions in your place favour it.

    Some years ago Cocoa cultivation was a craze in Kerala. People destroyed even yielding coconut and rubber trees and planted cocoa. Expecting windfalls and steady income , as promised and spread during those time, it was like an epidemic. We could see cocoa seeds almost all over the state then.
    But sad it was,after a few years we saw that the same people destroyed the cocoa cultivation as it did not give a steady income and prices were not at all encouraging. In India cocoa is almost a monopoly of just a few companies and they control demand.
    So before going for cocoa cultivation, please do the home work well . You may contact the agriculture department in your area also.

  • #150238
    According to your query, you can grow the cocoa plant at home. Follow these steps to grow :
    1) Buy cocoa fruit which is available online or from plant nursery which is near to your location.
    2) Cut the fruit into two halves you find seeds covered with thin white substance.
    3) Remove the seeds and soak them for few minutes so that its easy to peel from white substance.
    4) After peeling you will get a black seed inside thin white covering. You have to soak the seeds again for sprouting.
    5) Sprouting method is same that how we do for cereal sprouting.
    6) Now take small pots with good manure and soil in it. Then dip the black seed with tip downward position. You can identify the tip by small white dot on the either of the seed.
    7) In a medium size pot you can plant four to five seeds.
    8) Within few days you find seed sprouting to a plant.
    9) Once the plant is grown at a medium height you can replant it in a big size pot or in the gardening land for further growth.
    This is all about growing the cocoa plant. This is an all-season tree where you require to maintain good soil and manure throughout the growth for huge production. Preparing chocolate from this fruit is a tedious job. It's better to give it to a chocolate making center. Why I am saying this because the seed has to be fried at a medium flame where first attempt might not give you good result. So my sugesstion is that first grow cocoa plant and then think of making chocolate at home.
    All The best of your Cocoa garden.

  • #150256
    Yes, it is possible to grow cocoa(Chocolate) from seed. Firstly you need to buy a fruit of cocoa and cut it. After cutting it get out to wrapped seeds. In a fruit, seeds is almost 20 to 25. You need to put these seeds on a water bowl for cleaning purpose. After sometime remove the wrapped white area or shell from the seeds and put it on water bowl. What you need to do is you need to take a nail or something you need to just peel back and get the brown seeds out. You need some pots and put soil(Black old seedling mix dirt) on those pots. Now simply put all those brown seeds in the pots. After few days seeds start sprouting.

  • #150261
    To learn how to grow Cocoa plant lets see from it originated. Mesoamerican tropical climate is where the cocoa beans originated.
    It's definitely not an easy task to maintain the conditions required for cocoa plants. They're very sensitive to heat and water changes. Optimum temperature of 25C should be maintained. To achieve such temperature in Tamil nadu there are curtains of sorts that you can use. Cocoa plants like shade.
    Plant it below other trees as it likes shade. You can use grafting method to plant cocoa abutnd the plant develops in 3 months or so but it bears fruits only after 5 years. So yes you can make your own hot chocolate at home but not anytime sooner. Up to twenty pods can be obtained in a year. Each pod has twenty beans ideally.
    Hope you find this answer fruitful.

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