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Cocoa in Brisbane?

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Adrian smith starts with ...
Hi everyone is it possible to grow and get fruiting cocoa trees in the Brisbane area?
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Adrian smith
13th January 2018 7:20pm
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Fruitylicious1 says...
Hi Adrian

Yes it is possible to grow cocoa tree around Brisbane to fruition if you can simulate the approximate natural habitat of the cacao plant.

Theobroma is a tropical plant generally within 15 degrees of the equator with a reliable year round rainfall between 1250-3000 mm per year almost evenly distributed with an average rain of 100mm per month. Brisbane has an average rainfall of 1200mm a year though not evenly distributed. It can easily be amended with supplemental irrigation during drought and lesser rain periods.

When it comes to temperature the ideal average for cocoa trees is minimums of 18-21C and maximums of 30-32C. For good fruit yield the minimum temperature shouldn't go down to below 13C for several consecutive nights or bean production will be compromised. Below 4C the tree will start to defoliate and die. In Brisbane your average minimums during winter is 11-21C and maximums of 31-33C during summer with the odd 40C. So you are not far off the min and max temp target.

It requires a free draining soil with a PH between 4.5 - 7.0. Wind wise it prepares calm conditions. It hates persistent moderate wind especially when establishing.

Because cocoa is an understory creature it prefers to live in a dappled shade not expose to the full glory of the elements. You can plant temporary shade tree like wattle for the plant while growing. Carica papaya and banana are good companion plant for the cocoa tree and you can harvest their gems while waiting for the cocoa tree to get established while providing shade and wind break at the same time.

So far those are the basic requirements to get you going in your quest to brew your own home grown chocolate beans.

Daleys and Elarish nurseries sometimes sell cocoa seedlings. Just be vigilant so can snap a few for yourself.
Good luck !!!

Happy Gardening :-)
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14th January 2018 4:05pm
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Original Post was last edited: 14th January 2018 5:38pm

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