katie7bMay 17, 2003

Has anyone grown a Marula tree (Schlerocarya birrea)? I have the seeds of some as well as some Jacaranda seeds and would like to try to grow them. I'm in Zone 7b, newly classified as Zone 8, though I take that with a grain of salt, and I'd love to know what sort of conditions they need. I plan to grow them on my roof deck in containers and bring them into the basement in the winter. I'm also growing Elegia capensis in containers on the roof, and I'd love to hear anyone else's experience with this beautiful plant, which I first saw in SA's Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.


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Hi Kate,

I never managed to germinate Marula seeds - pehaps they were too fresh. When still nothing happened after about 6 month in the pots I threw them out into the garden in disgust - where they promptly germinated! I now have 3 little Marula trees growing in a place where I don't really want them and hope that they will transplant easily.

Water well in summer, give a cool dry rest in winter (they are deciduous), keep it frost free.

Hope this helps a little, I have no experience with the others.


    Bookmark   May 26, 2003 at 6:29PM
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wonkette(z10 CA)

Here are the instructions I got with my Marula seeds from Silverhill:
"Soak the seeds overnight in warm water, then place on damp fluffy peat moss at room temperature for about a week or 2. This softens the plugs found at the broad end - usually 2 per seed, sometimes 1. The broad end should carefully be pared down with secateurs until the outline of the plug is visible. Then, using a small pocket knife gently inserted into the plug outline, gently lever out the plug - may need vise grips to do this. Once this is done, the seed should be placed on the peat moss and kept moist at 25-30C. The root grows quickly and as long as the weather is warm, the sprouted seed may be planted. Insert the root into the soil and just barely cover the seed. Don't allow it to get too wet or too cold, use a fungicide, and if the weather is cold, bring it inside."
I haven't tried it yet, myself! Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2003 at 5:38PM
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I have 25 ft trees at my nursery in Largo , Fl. as well as several ficus from Vic Falls region. Alan

    Bookmark   September 8, 2003 at 12:56PM
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wonkette(z10 CA)

I found a .pdf file that describes Marula trees, including sowing/propagation.
My first marula seedling just came up! It's only a few inches tall and has only 2 sets of leaves.

Here is a link that might be useful: Marula Information

    Bookmark   October 16, 2003 at 8:13PM
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jungle_cottage(sub tropics)

Marula trees in pots thats very bless.I hope they thrive.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2003 at 1:26AM
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modjadje(Willamette Valley Zone 8)

Slightly off-topic, but have to ask this question ... has anyone tasted that wonderful South African-made liqueur made of Marula fruits? It is named Amarula and is available in the US. If you saw the old movie by Jamie Uys "Beautiful People" you'll recall how drunk the baboons and elephants got from eating the overripe Marula fruits ... so funny. Delina

    Bookmark   October 31, 2003 at 2:01PM
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andrea_san_diego(z10 So Cal)

I would love to get some marula seeds to grow. Does anyone know where I can buy some?



    Bookmark   September 3, 2006 at 7:07PM
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Gardener972(7b-8a DFW)

Man, that is GOOD stuff!!! Yum!

    Bookmark   October 17, 2006 at 7:16PM
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Where can i find marula seeds online? i tryed Silverhill but i can not find. Tanks...
Please Help.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2007 at 11:09AM
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I am also trying to lacate plants or seeds of THE Marula plant. If there is anybody out there who could help me I would greatly appreciate it. I live in Orlando Fl and I hope the weather is favourable here and our land is very sandy so it should be O.K.. I thank you all for reading and hope someone can help me out. Thanks once again

    Bookmark   January 7, 2009 at 5:29PM
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pamelagee(Cadiz, Spain)

We got our seeds from a friend in Zimbabwe, who then sent them to Spain. Here is Silverhill's address etc.

Silverhill Seeds and Books, P.O. Box 53108, Kenilworth, 7745, South Africa. Tel. +27 21 762 4245, attention of Rachel Saunders.

Here is a link that might be useful: Costa de la Luz Gardening.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2009 at 7:02AM
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I want some Marula seeds. Here in Brasil it's impossible to get one!
I can send Ip, Sapoti,flor leopardo, tamarindo, baobá and others.

Thanks for your attention.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2010 at 1:47PM
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Hi all,
I am living in South Africa and we have soooo many Marula tree's here. Yes it is sure one of the most beautiful trees. The fruit is sweet and we use to eat them daily as children. I was so glad to see the people around the world was trying and succeeding to grow this beautiful tree. I am not sure what the rules is on sending seeds to over counties. I am going to investigate the matter and could send you guys some seeds if we are aloud. The cost to send them can be refunded to me but selling them to you won't be a option.... This is for such a good cause!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 1:43AM
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Was wondering if you looked into sending seeds abroad. I live in California, and would be interested in Marula seeds.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2011 at 3:35AM
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Did you manage to get some Marula seeds


    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 12:23AM
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know where I can buy seeds amarula?
I'm in Brazil

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 6:30PM
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Kaulad(H1 (9))

Has anyone succeeded in finding a source for Marula seed?
I would be more than happy to purchase some (25 or so) for experimentation here in Hawaii.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 5:44PM
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I want some Marula seeds. Here in Brasil it's impossible to get one!
I can send tamarindo, baobabs,mandragora,Welwitschia mirabilis
and more. Thanks for your attention.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 8:10AM
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katie7b, this is a guaranteed method of sprouting marula seeds. Just ensure that the seeds are not more than 5 years old. Forget everything you have read or heard, dig a hole about 10cm wide by 10cm deep. Fill the hole with cow dung, the fresher, the better. Press a single seed about 2,5cm deep into the dung. Ensure that it remains quite moist and do not be surprised if every single kernel germinates within ten days. If the seed has three caps on it, expect three trees.
As I have only done this with cattle dung, I know for certain that it works so well with such predictably excellent results that it becomes boringly commonplace after a while. There is no reason that it should not work with the dung of other herbivores. Just ensure that there is enough to completely envelop the seeds.
I know that this works, as I have sprouted hundreds of the seeds at a time and almost every one has ALL its chambers open and sprout every time.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 6:20AM
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To those wanting to buy Marula seeds...
Seeds for Africa is offering Marula seeds on

    Bookmark   October 4, 2012 at 5:56PM
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SilverHillSeeds is alive and well and they usually have marula available for sale. If they don't just wait 3 months and check back then. You should be able to search for it by "marula" or any other number of key words but it's always best to use the botanical name, Sclerocarya birrea. If SilverHill doesn't have it you can check over at LifeStyleSeeds too. They are another South African seed vendor of good repute (I've ordered many times from both of them).

As for germinating marula seeds; they love heat! Plant them 2-5 inches under the soil in a black plastic pot and then place the pots in a location where they will get the most amount of sun for as long as possible (unless you live in Phoenix, AZ or somewhere similar - in that case just leave them any old place with some sun) and water occasionally. They will sprout, usually during the early summer and they may have more than one seedling from each seed.

Once they germinate they grow quickly as long as there is lots of sunlight, lots of heat, and at least some water. Their roots will find the drainage holes in whatever you put them in and they will rapidly expand both deeper into the ground and in width (every seedling of mine by the height of 1 foot has roots at least 2 feet long, into the soil, and as big around as a grown man's thumb). Marulas eat heat for breakfast, trust me! With a long growing season and lots of heat and water they can grow more than 3 feet the first year and more than 6 additional feet the next, and that's just vertical growth.

All of mine have been damaged (leaf drop and limb dieback to at least 1/2 inch caliper branches) by temps of 21-24 degrees Fahrenheit. They have all regrown from what was left. Occasionally I have seen what appears to be an ungerminated seedling from the year before sprout in the same pot as a year or two old marula tree. The leaves are noticeably serrated and uniquely attractive with a light bluish green color to them. My oldest tree is 3 years old with a trunk about 5 inches in diameter and has survived being broken in half by a pine tree falling on it. The trunk of my marulas are spongy more than corky so far and a chalky white color. They have had no pests or diseases that have affected them. None of mine have flowered yet.

My marulas were germinated and grown in Bakersfield, California. Every summer we have about 30 days of triple digit temperatures plus many more above 95 degree Fahrenheit and it is hot from about early May to late September. It is about as low humidity as you can get. Freezing temps are usually late December to mid-February.

I'd very much like to hear more about peoples experience growing marula, particularly about cold tolerance limits with reports of temperatures and extent of damage. Just add your posts after this one.

Thanks! (And for that Brasilian person who keeps saying they'll trade seeds for marula seeds I'm game as long as you can get me some Spondias tuberosa seeds, should be able to save some during umbu/ombu season, especially if you're in the northeast or caatinga portion of Brasil)

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 5:25PM
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Did you Guys manage to find marula seeds? Bought a few from seeds for africa and the first one sprouted after spending 2 weeks in my terrarium. It develops a long root extremely quickly.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 11:40AM
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Hi did any of you manage to get marula seeds, I can send it to you straight from africa, the method with the cow dung will work, cause if you look at the natural way........... animals eat the whole fruit....... then make a big pooh........and whalala the seed was planted!

    Bookmark   April 9, 2014 at 2:07PM
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Is anyone growing marula (Sclerocarya birrea) in California or Arizona? I'd like to hear from you!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 11:47PM
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I have marula seeds if anyone is still looking. Seeds are from the latest season can take up to two years to germinate if plug is not removed I also have seeds for monkey orange as well as many south African native fruits. Indigenous edibles are a interest of mine:)

Marula is my favorite fruit! Its mixture of slightly tart juicy flavour with caramel notes. Im trying to experiment with getting them to fruit in pots and they seem to dwarf into large bonsais nicely. You need a male and female for fruit but I have been successful in approach grafting with marula so I'm sure a male branch could just be grafted on:)

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 8:52AM
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I am looking for marula grains
I had tree of them ( Coming back to France from South Afrika ), and had one germination , but unfortunatly my small dog broke it and I caÅt find anyone to buy on the web.
Is there some body who could send me several marula grains .
I will be very happy to try to make again this expérience in my house in France
Of course, I will pay the transport .
Thank you very much

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 12:13PM
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I'm from Indonesia and want to try to plant in my garden Marula
I want to give a lesson in monkeys who likes ruin my garden
if anyone have a stock I am ready to buy
email contact me if there are pleased to send it to me
and all shipping costs will be my responsibility.


    Bookmark   March 19, 2015 at 11:35AM
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