Friday

Chocolate Cocoa Plant Theobroma cacao

Obtained fresh pulpy seeds to grow some Chocolate Trees. 

These are not like typical seeds. Once they dry out, they are no longer viable. 

Once known only as the drink of Kings and the rich. The Cacao Tree is a shade tolerant, moisture loving, understory rainforest tree. It naturally favors riparian zones so often in the wild is found along rivers. The trees live for up to 100 years, but cultivated trees are considered economically productive for only about 60 years. 

Unlike most fruit that grows on the branches, cacao pods grow directly on the trunk of the tree. The cacao tree yields its first crop at 3-4 years old. They give fruit three to four times a year. The hard, coarse shell changes from green to yellow, and then to a reddish brown. 

The cacao tree can flourish only in the hottest regions of the world, but the young plants in particular need lots of shade. Delicate seedlings are easily sunburned, and so they must have direct cover from larger trees in the rainforest canopy. The cocoa trees develops under the shade of other large tropical forest trees. In farms they may be under or banana or coconut trees. They need 80+ inches of rain, and high humidity. Zone 10 or Greenhouse/Indoors.

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