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Just got two pods and want to grow some trees. It will be a challenge as I am in Northern MN.
However, I have a bright warm room with the only expectation of the beauty and joy of growing the trees. nothing else.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thank you,
Heidi

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I'm interested in this too. I just got a cacao baby, about 6 inches high. I live in coastal California where it's probably marginally warm enough for it but definitely too dry.

Since it came home yesterday, it drank all the water I put in its saucer twice. I've been spraying it too, and I gave it a little slow-release fertilizer.

Any advice is welcome.
I've had a cacao plant growing in my house in Connecticut for about 3 years. I started it from seed. I had 2 plants originally, but one succumbed to low humidity in the house during the first winter. The surviving one is about 2 feet tall now. It does well in the summer outside (we have lots of humidity), but the rest of the year I really struggle to keep the humidity high enough for it. I also wait to put it outside until any danger of temperatures going below 50F at night has past. The best solution that I have found to keep the humidity up is to keep it in a clear plastic bag when it's in the house! The humidity is just way too low for it inside. When inside, the plant is in a south facing window. The plant barely grows over the winter (temperatures in the house are in the upper 60s F), but every summer it grows at least a couple of inches. I don't expect to ever get any pods, but it's a novelty.
Wow, it's a slow grower! But everything seems to grow faster in California; we'll see if this is an exception.

Here's my little tree now. I figure it will enjoy the same filtered sunlight as the African violet and the orchid.

My little plant has two new leaves!


I've discovered that it is happiest in the window above the kitchen sink where it can enjoy the steam from the sink and dishwasher. I have to move it out of the direct sun that comes through that window in the afternoon though, so it spends some time every day and sometimes all day with the orchids and African violets.

I gave it a clay saucer full of pebbles to sit in. When I water it, the extra water drains out into the pebbles and slowly evaporates, adding more moisture to the air under the tree.
Whoohoo! Keep it warm and moist and it will keep you company for a long time...
Here are some pictures of my happy little tree at home:


For those that are interested growing cacao from a seed, I will be posting a segment in the homebrew section in the next few days. I have not completed it yet, but I will post it soon.

Cacao plants like water, but they don't like to stand in it. They also, do not like it too breezy and must be shielded from wind. The main thing is indicated by Chris, keep up the moisture and temperature level around the plant. Orchid growers will place their plants on a gravel bed with water in the rocks to keep the moisture around the plants at a higher level. This is nothing more then a shallow pan with pea gravel filled to the top and then adding some water to it. They will also place their plants in a bathroom to take advantage of the higher humidity.

To learn how I germinate cacao and make it grow, please see the post in the Home Brew section. It is a reflection of my journey into growing cacao and what works for me. My plans are to have a step-by-step with photos to keep the process simple. Here are a couple of photos from the segment.

Heidi, please PM for specific instructions. If you have pods, you cannot wait too long before you start the germination process, or you will have a very poor germination rate. If it is a fresh pod, the germination rate will be almost 100%.
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Sadly, my trees are no more. I started with 60. It was a tough winter. Don't over feed the trees. I killed them when I switched to a very high nitrogen. Stay with liquid seaweed.
Hi,
Here is a guide I put together to take some of the mystery out of growing cacao. It might help you with your trees.
Jim
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Thanks so much for this article, Jim. I was glad to see the slow-release fertilizer I gave my new tree was the right stuff - and I'll try not to be too disappointed if it doesn't grow. A colleague of Tom's at Cal Poly germinated a lot more, and I've asked for half a dozen or so.

Hi Jim, thanks for this - great info. M

My little tree now has three new leaves. They are all very delicate, a fresh brown, almost red color and translucent (!) though the older two are almost as big as their older siblings. So lovely:

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