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Cacao showing 3 different coloured pods they are all ripe it is just some varieties ripen with different coloursBotanical Name: Theobroma cacao

The cacao is a tropical tree native to the Amazon region of South America. It grows well in tropical Australia. Cacao is the source of chocolate, cocoa and cocoa butter, the fermented seeds are roasted, cracked and ground into a powder. Benefits from hand pollination.

Other Names: Cocao, Cocoa bean, Chocolate Bean
ImagePriceAvail.PropagationSizeBuy Options
$34.00 0 Seedling Pot: 2.5L
Height: 60-70cm
Email Me When Available In Production
$19.75 0 Seedling Pot: 0.75L
Height: 30-40cm
Email Me When Available Seeking Propagation Material
$19.75 0 Seedling Pot: 0.5L
Height: 20-30cm
Email Me When Available Seeking Propagation Material
Extra Images & Youtube Videos - Click to view full size
Trellised Cacao fruit Mission Beach Nth Qld Cacao Bernie openeing up a cocoa bean by Greg Daley Cacao tree Cacao For Sale (Size: Large)  (Grown from Seed) Cocoa Bean being opened in North Queensland By Greg Daley Growing Cacao Trees in Australia

Plant Information or Specifications

Preferred Climate

Learn About Climate Zones

Max Height (when in the ground with good conditions)


Plants required to Pollinate

1 (Self Pollinating)
Learn about Pollination

Can it Handle Frosts?

Likes Temps above 5deg

Amount of leaves in Winter?

All Leaves (Evergreen)

Quarantine Restrictions to these Areas


Water Requirements

Frequent Watering

Sun or Shade

Full (Sun:80%-100%)

Preferred Soil Type

Good Drainage

Soil pH

Neutral (6.6-7.3pH)

Fruiting/Harvest Months

February, March, April, May, June


Customer Comments on Cacao

Tree Information on growing, planting, pruning, maintenance, ripening, taste, pick or bonsai tips. But mainly how to grow a Cacao Share Your Advice or ask questions on our Forum


Request to purchace 2 Theobroma cacao's for the Geelong Botanic Gardens, they will be kept in glasshouses | Philp Mulroyan - Geelong, VIC 27-Mar-2014


They DO need pollination, some trees but not all are self fertile which this doesn't specify if this one is, but the tiny midges that pollinate these in its natural habitat don't exist here so hand pollination is required to produce any cacao pods. | Jess - Gosford, NSW 02-Feb-2016


mine loose their leaves in automn | corinne aveline - diamond valley, qld 08-Jan-2019
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Cacao (Seedling) 10/10

Rwan1's Edible Fruits
Update: 474 days 17hrs

Comments: -

Such a beautiful tree. A Perfect addition to a tropical garden. Very hard to grow in VIC; but that's the point! A good challenge with wonderful rewards. This is mainly advice for any Victorian growers; not really for you lucky people in QLD!

Of course the Cacao has a strict climate zone in which it can grow freely. However, I have seen them growing quite well on Magnetic Island. Further north, there is a plantation at Mission Beach; which is still just outside of the required climate zone. Given the right care, they can be grown just outside this climate zone (I think it's 15 degrees North & South of the Equator). That's in the ground though; in VIC, they must be kept in pots!

LOVES RAIN!!! Whenever it rains, make sure it gets as much as possible. Hates wind: the leaves will break at the the stem.

Water them pretty regularly, especially in summer. A big drink each time might be getting carried away, but definitely small drinks. I do this to try and replicate a short sudden down pour that it would normally receive in the amazon/tropics. Plus, this also keeps the soil moist.

Remember: Cacao plantations utilise Banana trees as a canopy, so you should try and replicate this in some way. Therefore, Cacao does not like hot direct sunlight: this will kill them. Do not put out in the full sun. You can slowly adjust them to the sun as they mature in NQ - but even still, a 'sunscreen' coating is usually sprayed onto the leaves to protect the plant from the sun. But really not not a good idea in VIC as the UVs are too intense - particularly in the central and north west. Well-filtered sunlight through a thick canopy such as Bananas (very unlikely in VIC, I know! - Yes! We have no Bananas!) or the canvas from a green house will do the trick. Thick shade cloth will also do the trick. They do well in a greenhouse that is nice and humid, but beware of letting the 'sauna' turn into an oven! Make sure you spray plenty of water in the greenhouse to let the heat creat humidity. Use a hot house that does not have a clear plastic cover: get one with a green/shaded cover to stop the brightness and extreme heat. Another technique that I use is to actually drape a shade cloth over the greenhouse. This will definitely stop any un-wanted excess heat or direct sunlight. Although they love heat, you still have to be carefull, because I have seen them suffer from heat exhaustion before. A lack of water and humidty will cause this to happen.

As for Cold weather, don't even bother keeping them outside in a greenhouse. Bring them indoors where it will be warm from your heater. Especially ay night. But do not place them anywhere near hot wind from the heater. Just somewhere where it's not going to be below 10 degrees. If the day is warm enough and there is some nice sun - sure; put them outside in the greenhouse for the day. But a very cold drizzly day with no sunlight won't do any justice. Just make sure that they will at least get some natural light whenever possible. :)

FOR WINTER: Keep them in a warm room. Try to avoid heaters blowing hot air. I use one of those oil filter things. Here's the thing: The room will eventually become too dry and the Cacao plants will not like it. So make sure you mist the leaves with a gentle spray. This will keep up some huimidity around the plant and it seems to do the job pretty well! Mist around the rim of the container too so that the water evapoates through the leaves.

TIP: Some people avoid using black plastic pots. But I prefer them because they attract more heat and warm up the soil for the tropicals in VIC.

Cacao grows well indoors; providing that they get some sort of natural, outside light whenever possible. That's why having a thick shade cloth is good. Remember, do not allow any wind to attack the Cacaos!

Keep soil moist but not soaking; particularly if the soil is not super well draining. occasional Thrive does well for improving growth - along with other highly diluted fertilizers, and eco-oil will keep the pests off. Do not let the soil completely dry out as this will kill them also. Don't over-fertilise. The leaves will blacken and die as they grow. Thrive is safter most of the time.

I've found that even when the nights are warm in summer, the Cacao plants still like a nice, still (no wind) place to stay. I keep them in a room where the temperature is still warm to mild from the hot day, but slightly warmer than the outside temperature; and there is no wind.

hope this helps.

BTW people, its 'Cacao' not 'Cocoa!'

Will update the progress for Winter when it unfortunately arrives... 

Planted: 2016

Growing: In a Pot

Qty: 5

Sun/Shade: Full Shade

Water Given in: Spring


Pest Control: Eco oil

Organic Status:Organic

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Cacao (Seedling)

Rosalie1's Edible Fruits
Update: 2476 days 21hrs

Comments: -

Bought seed pod on Ebay. Oct 2011.
18 of 20 seed sprouted and planted out.
Only one seems to have made it through winter 2012  :(

Pollination: Self Pollination

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11 of 15 people found this review useful

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