Growing Cacao from a Cutting

pestocat(9)July 9, 2006

I have heard that most cacao trees are started from a cutting. I started mine from a seed in March 2004. After a little over 2 years it is now 12 feet high. I have to cut the top to keep it from growing too tall. Can I use this top shoot as a cutting to grow another tree. I have one of these cuttings in water now but I don't see any roots yet. Any information will be much appreciated.


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Are you sure you have a Theobroma Cacao tree? I honestly think is impossible to get that tall in 2 years. Can you post pictures of it? Where do you grow it, in a pot?

    Bookmark   July 9, 2006 at 8:46PM
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Oh, it is a cacao. I was at a cacao plantation in Hawaii and got the seed right from a pod. I posted a picture last year look down toward the bottom of the thread. Look for pestocat. There are pictures. I now have it in a pot about 2 feet in diameter.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2006 at 9:08PM
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most trees grown from cuttings generally do grow faster... I looked at yours..., one reason it's grown so tall is that it hasn't branched... mine branched at 6"... so putting more energy into growing branches than growing tall.
I'd think that most PLANTATIONS use cuttings, as do most tree farmers everywhere, because they grow faster... but in the wild, cacao grows from seed. :o)

    Bookmark   July 10, 2006 at 10:26AM
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Pestocat, this is fantastic! Wonderful plant! Well, I broke the top of one of my plants by mistake and it did branch, indeed. I wouldn't do the same with yours, it's just such a beautiful tree. Congratulations!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2006 at 8:11PM
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A followup from last year. Last year at about this time it was growing straight up and I was hoping to get some side branches. I cut top one more time and it kept growing another 2 feet. Next it topped out and grew 5 beautiful side branches. So essentially it has reach its top height and is growing mostly sideways at the top. I have this in our entry with a 20 foot ceiling. It looks like a jungle now when looking up. It's about 9 feet is diameter and now is the fast growing season. I was amazed at gcmastiffs story of having a pod growing and with only one tree. I think I will get my magnifier out and try some pollenating with a Q-Tip or something. This is just fascinating.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2007 at 11:36PM
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There is some really good info on cacao propagation from Dr. Guiltinan's lab at Penn State on the website below. In particular the link on "Production of Orthotropic Rooted Cuttings with Images" has some good info on rooting cuttings. It is also worth looking around on the site at some of the other links.

I have had a single cacao tree set fruit without hand pollination in south GA. (It spends the winter in the greenhouse in our climate but lives outside from April until November.) The thread is located at


Here is a link that might be useful: Penn State Cacao Projects

    Bookmark   June 12, 2007 at 9:42PM
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Where does one get a cutting for a cacao? Or seeds? I'd love to grow one.


    Bookmark   September 16, 2007 at 12:24PM
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I think Montoso sells both trees and seeds. I've never bought from them but have heard good things and they have a good rating on GWD. I got fresh seeds from someone that lives in PR. They do grow quite fast.

Here is a link that might be useful: Montoso Gardens

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 12:35AM
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I have a large four year old cocao tree growing in my greenhouse and want to know about getting it to fruit. Any ideas?

    Bookmark   October 10, 2007 at 4:54PM
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orchidguyftl(z11 FTL FL)

Cocoa trees if grown right will produce when 2 years old, they need to be kept warm and humid otherwise flower buds will not form properly
a particular midge species pollinates the flowers
the tree produces all year round

    Bookmark   October 19, 2007 at 12:26PM
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I recently took a cutting of theobroma cacao from a botanical garden near me! They were quite low plants, and as I am quite tall, I accidentally broke a small shoot off a branch. I took it home and planted it in some soil, with bottom heat, high humidity, and rooting hormone. It is around 4 inches long and I have trimmed the leaves back a bit. Is there any chance of it rooting?

    Bookmark   June 23, 2008 at 4:05PM
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