Macadamia in SoCal

yukkuri_kame(Sunset 19 / USDA 9)April 10, 2013

I know there are people growing macadamias in SoCal, I'm wondering if there are specific varieties that do better?

I'm flying through honolulu in a few days, can I just pick up some seeds there? They have seeds & seedlings approved for export right in the terminal.

I get the occasional frost where I am, so cold hardiness is my biggest concern.

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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

We are in zone 9 also, but Sunset Breaks it down as zone 19. We have a Beaumont variety.

I would think the ones sold at the airport in Hawaii would be a really tropical variety.

Enjoy your trip!


    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 10:25AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

You're much better off purchasing a tree here, yukkuri. One that is grafted to a more hardy rootstock. What grows well in Hawaii may not grow as well here in California with our more extreme temperature variations. What is your Sunset zone and where are you in S. Calif (USDA zones for us are pretty worthless, add your Sunset zone to your Zone field, see mine above). Macadamia trees do best in our "avocado belt" area, but can grow well further inland as long as temps don't drop below 26 degrees. If you are more inland, M. tetraphylla varieites (Rough Shelled Macadamia) will do better for you than M. integrifolia varieties (which are better suited for coastal regions). If you go to the link I've provided, the second article down is a presentation on Macadamia trees that was conducted by one of our CRFG chapter members just recently. He also happens to be the president of the California Macadamia Nut Society, very knowledgeable fellow. I would suggest contacting your CRFG chapter to see where you can purchase a Macadamia Nut tree and get the best variety for your area. They get VERY large, so just a warning, 30' or more, but they're very long lived. If you're in San Diego county, you're in luck, as several nurseries do sell them. I know Clausen's Nursery in Vista sells them, and I believe they sell the M. tetraphylla (you can ID this variety as it is the Macadamia that has the spiny leaves). Planted as a tree, it will take 5 to 7 years to produce. Here is another link providing specific information about Macadamia trees:

Lastly, I would also post over on the Tropical Fruits Forum, which is probably a better forum to talk about Macadamias. Lots of Macadamia growers and enthusiasts over on that forum living in Hawaii, Florida and California :-)

Patty S.

Here is a link that might be useful: North San Diego County Chapter CRFG Archives

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 10:30AM
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Suzi AKA DesertDance Zone 9b

Thanks for that link Patty! I stumbled across my tree on Ebay. It was an air layer in a 5 gallon pot from a Beaumont variety, and we picked it up in Orange County.

It's got it's first bloom now and is in ground in a place where it can grow 80 feet with no problems!

While looking for properties, many homes in the Hemet area had Macadamias, so I think they do fine in this zone.

I sure like the link you posted, and I saved the info on my computer.


    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 10:51AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Beaumont is an excellent variety for us in S. Calif., especially if you're further inland. Enjoy your Macadamia Suzi, it should do very well for you!

Patty S.

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 11:14AM
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yukkuri_kame(Sunset 19 / USDA 9)

Thanks for the informative reposes! Thought I added the sunset zone, but apparently not. I am zone 19, I believe, so no problem.

Flying from Tokyo, back to L.A. tomorrow. Can't wait to get back to my little socal forest garden! So much must have happened while I was gone.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2013 at 1:13AM
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