cocoa tree

pomme8916September 3, 2006

would anyone know where i can buy cocoa seeds to plant or live cocoa trees? how could i grow this in zone 7? what about winter any way? (inside?)

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Ebay sells them.

You'll have to take it inside b/c these trees like hot weather.

They have a high humidity need so you have to make sure to provide that inside.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2006 at 2:40PM
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Home_In_Houston(9 NW Houston)

I attended the "Chocolate" exhibit in Houston, TX. two summers ago and actually learned quite a lot about the cocoa tree. The chances of you being able to grow your own tree are probably slim. It exists only in the rain forests and grows beneath the canopy. It requires these conditions to produce the pods that contain the seeds. But, like you, I came away from it wanting to grow my own tree too! Good Luck!

    Bookmark   September 7, 2006 at 11:40PM
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ohiojay(z6 OH)

Pine Island nursery will have them I'm sure. I kept one inside last winter and did fine with it. However, I also kept it in one of those clear plastic, 4-tier greenhouses you see advertised everywhere. I just took out the "tiers"! I also added a small humidifier to boost humidity. Setting in a south facing window should give it plenty of light since they don't need a lot in their juvenile stages anyway. Long term? It's going to be difficult. All depends on how bad you want it and how creative you can get! That's how I started out. Everything in a spare bedroom for over 3 years under a huge grow light! Out in the summer, back in for the winter. The plants grew, the room did not. Now I'm just about finished with my new greenhouse. So start planning!!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2006 at 7:07AM
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I'm not sure if you're aware of this, but you can buy raw cacao (nibs or beans) at most Whole Foods Markets now. You can also buy them online at places like

    Bookmark   September 13, 2006 at 5:20PM
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This appears to ba an old thread, but I am going to try it anyway.

I just got some sculpture (fountains) shipped in. They were crated and pallated, and packed in burlap. The burlap bags have Coasta Rica stamped on them. When I was unpacking everything, numerous beans fell to the floor. I thought that I would plant them, as I assumed they were cocoa beans... but then I thought that I might better identify them rather than find out when the swat team broke through the door. Is there a site where cocoa beans... or any other Coasta Rican bean could be viewed for ID purposes?


    Bookmark   September 19, 2008 at 5:07PM
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linjoh(z4 WI)

Haha, funny about the swat team. I found this website with many pictures, including mature and dried cocao seeds. Hopes this helps.


    Bookmark   September 19, 2008 at 5:26PM
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You can email me, I have a friend who might have some extra plnats. Im growing 3 now & they are doing great.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2008 at 11:27AM
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orchidguyftl(z11 FTL FL)

Pine Island Nurseries out of Homestead is a good source, as said earlier. One of Mine is from there.
You could grow it for a while and as long as you keep it trimmed so it doesnt get out of hand, you'll be ok.
Yes they do love humidity, mine are both growing near one of my ponds close to the house. They start producing at about 3 years old if conditions are right, but they need a midge, miniature fly-like insect, to pollinate the flowers. Trees will produce all year round once mature
good luck

    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 12:47PM
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I am looking for cocoa seeds. I can't seem to find a place that sells them that aren't roasted. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 10:26PM
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Like many zone 11 plants,it isnt that they need hot, hot,daytime temps,it's that they do need warm days AND nights. Might be more important to have 70+ F nights than 90+ days. 80f for days or a bit less and the 68-70+ nights are best.
I wouldn't have thought they would do well as house plants since they seem pest prone in a warm tropical greenhouse,but I did see a post on the net of some plants in very good condition growing indoors.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2008 at 9:49PM
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So you are saying the beans found at whole foods are grow able?

    Bookmark   January 29, 2009 at 12:14PM
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murahilin(10 fl)

I doubt the ones from whole foods would grow. The viability on those seeds arent very long. The best way to get the seeds would be to buy a whole fruit and plant the seeds from there. Does whole foods sell the entire fruit or already cleaned seeds? Check out Montoso Gardens for the fruit.

Here is a link that might be useful: Montoso Gardens - Fruit

    Bookmark   January 29, 2009 at 1:29PM
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Jay, Is your tree that you mentioned in this thread still doing well?

    Bookmark   January 29, 2009 at 11:05PM
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ohiojay(z6 OH)

No...sadly it made the list of "killed out of stupidity". If I ever make it back to our local conservatory, I may be able to obtain another...but won't be terribly upset if I don't.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2009 at 1:21PM
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I have two of them, and they just never look all that healthy. They seem to be growing ok but the leaves are always pretty rough looking. Usually a bit tattered, and a lot of brown crusty edges. I am hoping they take off in the summer when the humidity comes back. Do you know what killed yours?

    Bookmark   January 30, 2009 at 2:19PM
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ohiojay(z6 OH)

Not sure if it was soil or getting it out of the shade too soon. Started a slow decline and never recovered.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2009 at 7:25PM
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boson(Delray Beach,Florida)

I have a 2 ft tall cocoa plant (about 2 years old) and it's very healthy with large green leaves. I had many more but they all died. It all came from my own trial and error. This last one almost withered too until I found out that it needed to be under COMPLETE shadow, even the morning sun was too much.


    Bookmark   February 1, 2009 at 9:53PM
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I have a cocoa tree that has been growing for several years here in Northern Pa. Bought off e-bay, I keep it inside until we have humid days in summer. During winter i will be making my own shelter for it, incasing the sides with clear flexable plastic to help keep in humidity. The growth has been stunted because I did not have a way to have constant humidity except when it was very small, i placed a clear plastic soda bottle with bottom cut out and placed top of bottle over it without lid on, then when it grew more, use a plastic large pretzel container with bottom cut out and do not place in direct likes it filtered and some shade. Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2009 at 9:36AM
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Epcot theme park at Disney World has an amusement called "The Land at Epcot" where several acres are devoted to growing plants. They have cacao trees growing there every time I have visited. Several feet high. Huge pods. I asked if they sell any but the answer was "No". The exhibit is sponsored by Nestle (not my favorite corp.) so the cacao is apparently proprietary. However, in the exhibit I was able to see the growing (light) conditions and ask questions about the plants. Supposedly the guide knew something about what is happening there because I am sure I am not the only one asking questions.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Land Pavilion at Epcot

    Bookmark   July 1, 2009 at 8:36AM
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I saw some seeds on ebay by a seller called "sleepingdragonscompany ". This is a Wicca based product, but who will care if a Christian, Jew, or Muslim buys one of their cocoa seeds.

If it weren't for Wicca a lot of the herbal stuff wouldn't be available.

Just search for Cocoa beans and they will show up somewhere.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2009 at 6:59PM
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The post I made above this one is for fermented seeds, but this address has seeds to grow. I don't know if they sell in small quantities, but I sent an inquiry for seeds.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2009 at 1:10PM
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hi! i know this is an old thread but i DO have a potential solution for the problem of a plant starting out apparently fine then dwindling - the edges of the leaves turning brown and sickly, leaves drop off, new leaves form, only to repeat the cycle. i had this exact problem with my lemon, orange, and mango trees (they were in the livingroom - all told, i had 15 trees: orange, lemon, lime, mango, avocado - as well as a pineapple plant which was a total pita bec it was HUGE and spikey). i lived about half an hour west and a half hour north of North Bay, Ontario. not exactly tropics.

it's your water.

if you are watering with municipal water or treated water, the chlorine is a killer. some municipalities also add salt to the water to soften it and improve palatability. where i live now, my dog won't even drink the water. if he won't drink it, i sure as heck am not going to give it to my plants!

i collect rainwater for the purpose and i also pull buckets from local rivers and a local spring (the municipality put a tap in it for campers and those who prefer natural unbleached water.

try changing the soil - put your tree, container and all, into the bathtub. remove the tree and set it aside gently. get someone to take the container outside and dump it, wash it, and dry it while you gently rinse the tree's roots.

fill the container with brand-new clean soil and replant your tree.

it'll be shocky for a few days but should perk up very quickly and stop making with the drop-leaf thing. i should mention that i've done this with a five-foot lemon tree.

This post was edited by threenorns on Sun, Jun 16, 13 at 22:04

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 10:03PM
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oh - and the raw cacao beans that you can buy in the store cannot be planted bec they're usually fermented.

you need raw, UNfermented beans.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 10:05PM
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