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Cocoa propagation

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laisla starts with ...
I have discovered a fruiting cocoa tree not far from me, it has several yellow ripe pods which have been emptied by local wildlife. I have picked off a light green one and see if it will ripen here. Does anyone have any experience propagating these plants? And if I open the green pod (which is rather large) will the seeds be viable? Or should I take cuttings from the tree?
Cheers
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Cairns
15th June 2010 6:23pm
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trikus says...
The seeds may be mature enough , and the fruit may ripen a little after picking .
Easy to grow up here , I just picked a few pods from my 3 year old tree. Usually grown from seed only .
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trikus
Tully
15th June 2010 6:39pm
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John Mc says...
wow, growing wild, half your luck. I bought 12 seed from an Ebay seller and all germinated around 9-10 months ago. I'm starting to notice the tops going brown a little with the cooler weather setting in (below 7c). I have them in a poly house with a slow combustion stove, but getting to light it every night is something else.
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John Mc
 
15th June 2010 7:53pm
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Steven says...
Hey everyone

i grew cacao seeds, i got them delivered from a farm just north of cairns, they like alot of moisture but not wet soil and high humidity, they are really fragile when they first come up. their leaves are like tracing paper.

You have to plant them right after opening the pod. dont dry them out of they will die. they can even start growing inside the pod.

In cairns you shouldnt have a problem growing them, mine grew and shot up really well then just sat there slowly dying one after the other.

They also like filtered light not full sun.

Regards

Steven
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Steven
Eastern Melbourne
16th June 2010 5:05pm
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laisla says...
Yeh, Im not worrying about germinating them, Im worried cause I picked the pod green. It looks fully developed, but green. I had to as they are attacked by bats and rats when they start turning yellow, and as the tree is on a busy road and not on my property, I had no choice but try my luck with this one.
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Cairns
16th June 2010 8:23pm
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John Mc says...
Hey laisla, only one way to find out, what have you got to loose? I d be tempted to get them in asap. From memory they don t take long to germinate. Best of luck. I d love to swap something for any leftovers.
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JohnMc1
 
17th June 2010 11:12pm
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laisla says...
But on your page it says you already have cocoa! I could send you a pod (they are suprising heavy) for a Banana cavendish sucker:) Also have plenty of mamey sapote
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Cairns
17th June 2010 11:50pm
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Steven says...
Hey Iaisla

I agree, try them out and see how you go! keep an eye out on the original tree if you can get a ripe pod then get it.

Id love to be able to trade you for a few cacao seedlings or a pod. I think it would be best to wait until about october though as winter is fast approaching and they are very sensitive when young.

I recieved my cacao seedling i bought from ebay a couple of days ago. ive got it in my room, the humidity hangs around 60% and it doesnt really drop below 10C. the only problem may be that there isnt enough light for it but well see how it goes. With a bit of luck it will grow into a beautiful tree!!

Regards

Steven
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Steven
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18th June 2010 11:45am
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laisla says...
Hi Steve
Do you think the trees are beautiful? They seem pretty non-descript to me, and the leaves always seem to have a yellow tinge which makes them look a fragile...
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Cairns
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Steven says...
HEy Iaisla

I think they are a beautiful and interesting tree, the young leaves have a red coppery look to them then go from light yellow/green to green once they mature. i remember walking through a plantating in vanuatu last year and it was really nice. if the whole tree was a little yellow maybe it was sick or deficient.

Plus they have a really interesting history behind them which makes them all the more appealing to me.

Regards

Steven
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Steven
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trikus says...
Lots of chocolate on the trees .
Colour variation is great , one starts out purple , turns gray then goes red .
Some start out pale green gray then go purple and change to yellow .
Others start green and go yellow .
Bet there are more .
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trikus
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13th September 2010 1:48pm
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Steven says...
Hey everyone.

I just wanted to ask if anyone was willing to send a few cacao pods down to Melbourne I would be happy to pay for postage etc.


Thanks alot

Steven
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Steven
Eastern Melbourne
14th September 2010 1:17pm
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trikus says...
Seeds are valuable .
Aztecs used them as currency .
The Aztecs led an empire of almost 15 million people between the 14th and 16th centuries. Theirs was an aristocratic society, and chocolate was reserved for the rich and the nobles. In fact, the Aztecs prized the cacao bean so highly that it was their form of currency. The bean also was used as money in Central American markets long after the Aztecs were gone, as late as 1858.
Cacao Currency Fraud

Forgery has been a popular scam for centuries – early civilizations did it with fake cacao beans. A practice of passing bad cacao “coins” was in use in Pre-Columbian times. Forgers would take empty cacao shells, fill them with earth, reassemble them and palm them off as real.

The beans were the natives' "coins." A list of Aztec trading prices looked something like this:

1 small rabbit = 30 cacao beans
1 turkey egg = 3 cacao beans
1 large tomato = 1 cacao bean

The royal storehouses had “vaults” full of this currency. One estimate listed the yearly expenditure of dried beans at 11,680,000. Some of these beans went to pay the king’s attendants. Others went into the king’s chocolate drinks—and he drank a lot of chocolate. Montezuma was rumored to enjoy 50 cups a day.

Pods are very heavy , shell on most are very thick and woody .
They would be impossible to grow well out of the wet tropics.
Small amounts of seeds are often available on 'that popular auction site'
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trikus
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15th September 2010 7:15am
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Steven says...
Yeah its interesting how valuable they used to be.

They can be growing as an indoor tree in cooler regions or in a greenhouse ive read on other forums etc about peoples success in growing them even in areas that get snow.

I was able to get a few pods sent to me a few years ago via the post but unfortunately this was during winter. They germinated well but then slowly died.

The problem with growing cacao seeds is that they need to be planted fresh, ive had a look at the seeds on ebay etc. the problem with those is that they are dried which means the seeds are now dead.
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Steven
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15th September 2010 8:56am
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Steven says...
Hey everyone

Does anyone know where i can get a few fresh cacao pod from. I want to try growing them again seeing as the weather is warming up.

I bought a seedling off ebay a few months ago. I have kept it inside all winter however so fa it has only gone down hill. Its lost all of its leaves at the moment but the trunk is still green so hopefully it will pick up. Im not quite sure what to do with it at the moment though.

Regards

Steven
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Steven
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18th September 2010 6:10pm
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Phil@Tyalgum says...
Steven have you seen the huge cacao tree in the glasshouse at the Melbourne Botanical Gardens? Last time I visited it even had pods on it.
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phil@tyalgum
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18th September 2010 6:17pm
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Steven says...
Hi Phil how are you.

No i havent!!!! every time i go the stupid thing is always closed for some random reason.

I think they know i want to get cuttings from their trees and anticipate when im coming!


ill definitely keep trying though i didnt know it had pods.

Thanks alot

Steven
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Steven
Eastern Melbourne
19th September 2010 10:25am
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Phil@Tyalgum says...
Yes although only few in number, I've seen them low down directly growing out of the trunk. It's amazing how large the tree is, and in a giant pot. I think from memory they have a vanilla orchid hanging from the roof near the door too which was very tempting....
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phil@tyalgum
Murwillumbah
19th September 2010 11:06am
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Steven says...
Yeah apparently they have vanilla there too. I wanted to go there to get cuttings from it :). I figure as long as i dont damage it then its harmless. I bought a vanilla and cola tree last week. just waiting for them to come in the mail now.
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Steven
Eastern Melbourne
20th September 2010 10:59am
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trikus says...
I know one of the staff who look after the tropical dome at Melb. Bot. Gdn. Have even donated several plants for the collection .
Am sure if you contact the right person something could be organised .

One of my first fruits on the cocoa tree was almost sitting on the ground .
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trikus
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20th September 2010 4:42pm
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Steven says...
Hey Trikus how are you.

Do you have any ideas who i can contact and where i can get their detail from?


Thanks alot

Steven
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Steven
Eastern Melbourne
20th September 2010 6:37pm
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Steven says...
Hey Trikus how are you.

Do you have any ideas who i can contact and where i can get their detail from?


Thanks alot

Steven
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Steven
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20th September 2010 6:37pm
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trikus says...
send me an email pinanga at gmail dot com
my mate has left the gardens but has sent me contact details for his colleague .
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trikus
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24th September 2010 2:21pm
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Steven says...
Thanks alot. I appreciate your help :)
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Steven
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Michael says...
laisla, would you mind sharing the location of this tree? I would love to get a ripe pod in an attempt to have a go at growing my own tree (or would it grow from a cutting?)
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Mick8
Cairns
18th October 2010 3:44pm
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Steven says...
Operation, Make Tree Go Better!!

About a month ago. After several months of watching my cacao tree die throughout winter. I decided to make a quick and cheap heated propagation box to create an artificial tropical environment which i could control no matter that the temperature was outside.

I bought a 300W aquarium heater and two plastic containers. No matter what it is outside, inside the container it always remains 24-26C and finally my cacao tree is starting to recover.

I can use it to grow almost anything now and am using it to get a kick start on all sorts of things. When my coffee seeds are ripe im going to try to grow them in this box then move them outside. Im also going to Port Douglas in a couple of weeks, i want to send some cacao pods back home and grow them too!
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Steven
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20th October 2010 12:40pm
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Mick says...
Well, I found some cacao pods on a tree that were pretty old, when I opened them the beans had already began germinating in the pod. I threw the germinated beans directly into the ground (all bound together) and then end result is as pictured.

There appears to be about 8 seedlings that have germinated, I want to try and separate them, how long should I let them go before digging them up and separating for potting?
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Mick8
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Steven says...
Hi Mick how are you.

From what i know about them they dont really like their roots to be disturbed and they are quite a sensitive tree.

Because the seeds have just sprouted you might be able to remove them now without disturbing their roots. If you can then it might be a good idea to separate them now.

If not i would probably wait a little while until they are a bit stronger.
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Steven
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20th December 2010 10:38pm
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Mick says...
Thanks Steven, the drama I had was that the seeds had germinated inside the pod so there was a lot of fibrous material joining all the beans and their shoots. I can't tell if that material has since disintegrated allowing them to be separated or not and I am a little worried that if I dig them up now and that material isn't gone I may damage the seedlings.

I guess it isn't the end of the world if they don't all survive, as long as a half dozen continue then all is well. I might go grab some pots and mix and see what I can do. *fingers crossed*
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Mick8
Cairns
21st December 2010 10:03am
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Mick says...
Well they were much easier to transplant than I thought, I just hope the shock won't be too much for them.

The goal (14)
&
The casualties

I think there was to 40 or so that had germinated altogether, some died soon afterwards, but I would have had about 25-30 viable for repotting if I had the pots.
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Mick8
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Mick says...
I think that the repotting has been successful, there are maybe 3 seedlings I am a little concerned about, but since the rest are very happy I can live with the loss.

Now, the tree I got the pods from suffered from Black Pod, is there anything I can do to prevent this on my seedlings?
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Mick8
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22nd December 2010 8:59am
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Mick says...
Its actually quite surprising how quickly they grow. This is just one weeks growth.
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Mick8
Cairns
27th December 2010 3:22pm
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Lynne says...
Does anyone have a cacao pod that they would like to sell? I would like to have one in my chocolate shop, so that customers can see where the chocolate comes from.
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Lynne8
Geelong
13th March 2011 10:17pm
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Steven says...
If your ever up at cairns or that area they sell pods in the market sometimes.

But if you grow them, germinate them in a heated propagation box like the one i made in the pictures in a previous post. and grown them at the start of spring so that they can have plenty of time to adjust to winter. They are a very temperamental tree and dont like the cold very much at all
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Steven
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14th March 2011 12:46pm
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Eddie says...
I have become interested in growing a Cocoa tree if anyone can tell me where to buy the seeds to start i tried ebay but no luck even if anyone is selling or can let me know a website to get them or a small plant or if someone wants to sell i live in Melbourne any help will be good my email address is eddiemonster1@hotmail.com thx heaps Eddie
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Eddie
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14th March 2011 8:36pm
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BJ says...
there's one on eBay now. The cupuassu and mocambo seem to be far more suited to further south, but if you're in Melbourne, you'll need a heated house anyways...
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The poster formerly known as...
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14th March 2011 8:44pm
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micarle says...
Bj do you grow Mocambo????
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67
Kurrajong Heights, NSW
15th March 2011 10:11am
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BJ says...
I have all three growing in pots at the moment. The (2) mocambo and (3) cupuassu both seem to be much faster and stronger growers than the cacao here. They are both fairly good looking little things too, particularly the new growth on the Cupuassu.
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The poster formerly known as...
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micarle says...
Yeah nice i have got a Cupuassu about 40cm! The new leaves are like pink felt!!!
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67
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15th March 2011 12:57pm
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Steven says...
If you search cacao in ebay you will find people who are selling cacao trees and sometimes seeds. I bought one last autumn. at first it died back so i put it into a heated box and it started to shoot back up again. now its indoors and is growing nicely.

Im growing some cacao seedlings i got from a couple of cacao pods however they are still small
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Steven
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Mick says...
One of my cacao is showing signs of overwatering (I think) I have just transplanted it with a good dousing and then I plan to leave it alone for a month to see if I can dry the soil out a little.

The one on the left is the one that I think is drowning, while the one on the right from the same batch is growing very well.

Also, I plan on moving soon, does anyone have any ideas on how well Cacao can be trained/pruned to a large shrub instead of a full tree? I don't want it more than 2M tall with a canopy about 1.5m wide, is this possible?
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Cairns
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Rohan says...
When they get a little larger just take the very top tip off the plant, this tends to work for almost all trees and bushes making them grow more outward than upward.
I'd wait till they are at around 125cm high then top tip them.
The idea is simply to take the highest tips off and that's all that is needed.
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Rohan
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26th June 2011 11:21am
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Steven says...
Hi Everyone


Ive been fighting this problem with my cacao seedlings for a little while now. they were really healthy then all of a sudden their leaves started getting spots on them where they would die back. I think its a fungal infection however ive tried cutting them back, spraying with copper fungicide, sodium bicarbonate but nothing seems to be getting rid of it.

Does anyone know the best way to kill this problem?


Thanks


Steven
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Steven
Eastern Melbourne
30th June 2011 12:33pm
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John Mc says...
Mate, I'd say your problem is growing them outside the tropics. You are lucky they are still alive. You must not let the temp drop below 10deg C, together with high humidity. Just keeping them inside is not enough, normal household humidity is too dry. Anyway, you're doing better than me, here's some pics of how well mine are doing.
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30th June 2011 2:09pm
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Mike says...
I suspect John is correct and there is also something else going on.The leaves just look like there is a K defiency or salt/chloride toxicity but a combination of cold ,excess water or acidic soil could be to blame.It is a long way out of their preferred climate and they are sooky, so it will be a challenge to have your plants go well.
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Cairns
30th June 2011 6:25pm
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Steven says...
Hi

Thanks for your advice. However its definitely not due to the cold. To be honest i think i infected them when i watered them with some funny smelling liquid fertilizer. this problem occurred before the weather cooled and they were perfectly healthy/vigorous then, also you could see the infection started on the lager tree from where the two trees were touching. plus ive read in other forums of people growing therobroma cacao in temperate climates of america, where it snows. obviously this was indoors however there was no additional heating and the temperature falls below 10C inside (which is much lower than it does here).

I think its the same fungi that attacked my tomatos last spring as the problem seems to be everywhere due to all the rain weve been having. What i think ill try is, ill give them a dose of a copper fungicide for a few weeks while i put the smaller seedlings in a heated propagation box to nurse them back to health while the larger one ill leave out and give it a good cycle also. im not too bothered if there in no new growth until next spring for the lager one as long as it doesnt start dropping leaves.

What does everyone think?

Thanks


Steven
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Steven
Eastern Melbourne
1st July 2011 11:57am
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Original Post was last edited: 1st July 2011 11:57am
Nick says...
I agree with you Steven, because they are losing leaves quicker than theyre growing them (actually TBH, no growth at all), hopefully a spray of copper oxychloride and maybe some Droughtshield will tie them over till Spring.
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Nick T
Altona, VIC
1st July 2011 6:06pm
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Mike says...
Burnt tips and edges are pretty classic symptoms but not really of fungal attack.If the concoction damaged roots allowed fungal attack that effected nutrient uptake it could be right.Copper oxy is pretty full on and might have to be diluted for a sick plant.If it has one of the phytptheras and it doesn't look like it no standard fungicide can help.Phosphonate is the only treatment for that that really works and it is a tonic that allows the plant to grow 'through' the illness.
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Cairns
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Mr Urban Orchard says...
Mike ...I suppose I should have said I would like a cacao pod ;)
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ANDY1
COPACABANA nsw
12th July 2011 10:37am
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Nick says...
Good news, the disease/defiency or whatever it is has stopped spreading!
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Nick T
Altona, VIC
12th July 2011 6:41pm
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Mick says...
Well the one that was dying died completely, I now have one plant left (the rest were sold to nurseries).
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Mick8
Cairns
22nd July 2011 9:31am
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