Macadamia Tree Care: How To Grow Macadamia Trees
The following are some tips to grow your own macadamias in the home garden or backyard. These tips will provide you with the best results. There are many other things you can do with these plants besides just using them as houseplants. They make wonderful gifts!
How To Grow Your Own Macadamia Tree – Tips For Beginners
If you have never grown any kind of plant before, then it is recommended that you start small and work up to larger plants. You may want to try growing your first macadamia tree in a pot if you haven’t done so already.
You can grow your macadamia tree indoors, but it is not recommended unless you live in a very warm area. If you don’t mind spending time outside, then you could try growing your macadamia tree outdoors.
It is possible to grow your macadamia tree without soil at all. However, there are several drawbacks to this method:
There will be no protection against pests such as aphids and scale insects (see pest control) .
and scale insects . You can not water the plant as much without harming your plant’s roots.
The nutrition that your plant gets will be slightly less due to leeching of nutrients.
It is easier to make a mistake with this method and kill your plant.
If you are comfortable watering your plant and do a good job of keeping track of when and how much you water your macadamia tree, then it should survive.
Watering your plant can be as simple as putting the pot in a tray and filling the tray with water so the pot sits in the water, but don’t let the pot touch the water. The amount of water in the tray should never be enough to pour out of the tray. Another way to water would be to use a drip system. This is a bit more complicated, but it allows you to water the plant a lot more without causing waterlogged soil.
The temperature your macadamia tree prefers is slightly cooler than what most people like, so don’t overdo it. If you have central air then it shouldn’t be a problem. The room your macadamia tree will be in doesn’t need to be especially well ventilated either. However, if you live in a very cold or hot area, then it might be best to move your plant from a patio or balcony to a room where the temperature is more moderate.
When your tree is young, it is not necessary to fertilize it. Once your macadamia tree is older (more than 2 years) you can start fertilizing it once per month with a well balanced fertilizer such as 12-6-6. You can also feed your macadamia once per month with an acid fertilizer such as azalea fertilizer.
If you have a small macadamia tree that grows slowly or not at all, then it is because it is in a place that is too hot or too cold. If you have a large macadamia tree that grows too quickly, then it is because it is in a place that is too hot or too humid.
Be sure to research the different types of macadamia trees available before you buy one. Also, be sure to re-pot your tree into a new pot only when necessary. In most cases this will be every 2-3 years. Be sure to re-pot it into a pot that is at least 1 size bigger. If you are pruning your plant, then disinfect your shears before you prune.
When you are done pruning, wipe off any sap that may be on the shears with alcohol or bleach water.
Most websites that sell the plants will have more information about your plant’s specific care and needs. It would be a good idea to read up on this before you buy your plant.
It has been said that some people have gotten sick due to their macadamia nut trees (e.g. vomiting), but this is extremely rare. However, if you are concerned about this then you might consider not eating the macadamia nuts yourself and instead giving them away as gifts or selling them.
It can be very useful to keep your plant outside during the summer and bring it inside during the winter. This allows your plant to stay relatively healthy and pest free. However, this is not always possible, so keep an eye on it if you find you don’t have the time to give it the attention it needs, or you are unable to provide the conditions it requires.
Also, you may wish to keep your plant in a room that is easy to monitor and/or isolated from the rest of the house (e.g. basement, patio, garage, greenhouse, etc). This is useful if you are unable to provide proper attention or care to your plant.
As with any other plants, a well-balanced and diverse environment encourages healthy growth. One of the most important things is light. Be sure to provide as much direct sunlight as possible.
At the same time, it is very important to keep your plant out of strong winds. If you live in a windy area then you will need to use extra caution when placing your tree outside during the summer months. A simple and effective way of protecting your plant from strong winds is placing a wind screen around the base of your tree.
You can create a wind screen by using things such as bricks, concrete blocks, large rocks, large flower pots, and even slabs of wood. The only thing you need to ensure is that it is big and heavy enough so that a strong wind will not blow it over or move it.
It is recommended to have some way of removing rainwater from around the base of the tree so that your plant does not become waterlogged.
As for soil, you should use a light soil that is porous, such as a cactus mix or add extra perlite. It is very important to ensure that the pot has excellent drainage and never becomes waterlogged. The pot itself should also have a drain hole in the bottom to allow excess water to run out.
If you live in a humid area (e.g. rainforest, tropics) you will need to pay extra attention to these aspects.
As with any other living things, injuries and diseases can occur. Some of the most common are insect bites and fungal infections.
Insects such as ants are attracted to sweet substances (e.g. sugars) and can invade your plant by boring through the base of the trunk or climbing up the stem. To avoid this you can coat the base of the trunk with a sticky substance (e.g.
virgin coconut oil, vaseline). This will prevent insects from climbing up.
Insects can also be attracted to honey and nectar secreted by the flowers. If you see a lot of ants around your tree then there is a good chance that they have made nests inside your tree (in the soil). One way of dealing with this is to take out all the soil and then spray the inside of the trunk with a mixture of water and dishwashing liquid. The ants will eventually wander through the soapy water and eventually lead you to their nest. You can then kill these with fire, poison, or whatever you choose.
After doing this, make sure you leave the tree out in the open (preferably under the sun) until all the soapy water has dried up.
Finally, it is important to take a look at your plant on a regular basis (e.g. once every couple of days). This is so that you can catch any problems early on before they become too serious. Things to look out for are discolouration or rotting of the stem or skin, damaged or dead leaves, holes or insect eggs in the soil, and general wilting of the plant.
In terms of the general day-to-day caretaking of your tree, these will primarily be watering, fertilizing, and pruning.
In terms of watering, you want to make sure that your soil is always kept moist (but not waterlogged) for the first few years. You can either water it with a garden hose or sink, or if you’re short on time you can simply place the tree next to a window that’s partially open (this works best if there’s a large difference in temperature between the inside and outside).
In terms of fertilizing, it is important to avoid chemical fertilizers and only use natural compost or animal manure.
Finally, pruning branches that are either dead, dying, diseased, or damaged in any other way is important. This is to ensure that your tree remains healthy and grows as best as possible. The best time for this is in the early springtime.
Within a few years you should see your macadamia tree start budding flowers. Once these start budding it means that the summer is now here, and this is a sign that it is time to prepare your tree for the hot season.
The first thing you should do is prune all the flowers off your tree. This prevents your tree from expending all its energy on reproduction and thus weakening itself. It is okay to let a few flowers bloom if you intend on propagating your tree but for the most part you should prune them off.
Next, you want to make sure that you water your tree less often. This is because the lack of rain in the summer combined with the heat will naturally cause your soil to dry out faster. It is also important that you ensure that your tree does not get waterlogged because this will cause root rot and ultimately kill your tree. One way of dealing with this is place a block against the stem of your tree to prevent water from reaching higher up (e.g.
Finally, just like in the winter you want to make sure that your tree is always protected from the wind. If possible you should bring it indoors or at least somewhere where it will be protected (e.g. an enclosed area like a garage).
Year after year you should see flowers bloom and then a few months later you should see the fruit of your labour, with macadamia nuts starting to grow. You can now harvest as many nuts as you’d like. The tree should produce more than enough nuts that you don’t have to worry about eating them all yourself, so feel free to give some away or sell them.
As for any remaining nuts that you didn’t collect, remember that your tree is still a young one and thus it will often discard the shells as it continues to grow. These discarded shells make for great mulch, which you can collect and use on your other plants.
The macadamia trees themselves tend to have a long life-span of between 60 and even up to 100 years!
So there you have it, as simple as growing a tree from a nut can be. Nature can be very kind and generous if you know how to go about it.
On a side note, your tree will produce nuts for decades to come so you needn’t worry about your first one dying on you anytime soon. Just make sure to treat it with care and it will continue to give back year after year.
As you’re bringing the bag of nuts inside your home, you remember that your dad’s birthday is coming up in a few weeks. This year you’ve decided to get him something truly special…
You’re going to make him some macadamia nut ice-cream!
Now that you have your own nuts, this should be a breeze.
As you head towards your pantry, you take a look at all of your plants. Your collection is really starting to take off now. It won’t be long before you have so many different types of berries and nuts that you won’t know what to do with them all. Clearly it’s time to expand again…
Sources & references used in this article:
Growing macadamia nuts in Hawaii by RA Hamilton, ET Fukunaga – 1959 – scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu
Uniconazole retards growth and increases flowering of young macadamia trees by MA Nagao, EB Ho-a, JM Yoshimoto – HortScience, 1999 – journals.ashs.org
Effects of growth manipulation on carbohydrate reserves of macadamia trees by RA Stephenson, EC Gallagher, TS Rasmussen – Scientia Horticulturae, 1989 – Elsevier
Macadamia: cultivation and physiology by MA Nagao, HH Hirae… – Critical Reviews in Plant …, 1992 – Taylor & Francis
Arbuscular mycorrhiza improved growth performance in Macadamia tetraphylla L. grown under water deficit stress involves soluble sugar and proline accumulation by S Yooyongwech, N Phaukinsang, S Cha-um… – Plant growth …, 2013 – Springer
Post-pruning shoot growth increases fruit abscission and reduces stem carbohydrates and yield in macadamia by LM McFadyen, D Robertson, M Sedgley… – Annals of …, 2011 – academic.oup.com