Growing Starfruit tree in tropics is easy. But if you live in a colder climate learn how to grow Star Fruit in containers. This’ll allow you to have your own exotic and juicy starfruits.
USDA Zones — 9 – 11
Difficulty — Easy
Soil pH — 5.5 – 6.5
Other Names — Foreign peach, carambola, five corners, star fruit, kamrakh and kamranga
Where does Starfruit Grow?
Carambola (Averrhoa carambola) also called as star fruit. It comes from Southeast Asia mainly from SriLanka and Malaysia and is cultivated today mostly in many subtropical and tropical areas. It belongs to the family of Oxalidaceae.
Carambola tree can be between 6 to 10 meters tall. It’s a slow growing evergreen tree. Its leaves are about 20 to 50 cm long. The tree bears tufty pink flowers that are directed towards the leaf axils or at the trunk or branch.
Growing Starfruit from Seed
Only large and thick seeds are suitable for propagation. Even seeds that were already removed a few days from the fruit are inviable. Fruits that you’ve bought from the supermarket usually have no viable seeds.
How to Grow Star Fruit
In tropics you can plant starfruit tree in any season, except summer. But if grown in the colder climate, summer is the best planting season.
Choose a location that is sunny. Starfruit plant can either be planted directly on the ground, if you have space and you’re living in subtropical and tropical region (particularly in USDA Zone 9, 10 or 11) or in a pot below these zones.
Main advantage of growing starfruit in pot is that you can bring it inside in a greenhouse during winters.
Starfruit grows in variety of soil types but soil that is well drained, loamy and rich in organic matter is suitable.
Plant should be regularly watered when it’s young. Once established water only when the soil is dry.
Fertilize young starfruit with 10-10-10 fertilizer every month, except in winter. Mature trees should be fertilized in beginning of growing season. Additionally you can apply compost or manure to improve soil texture.
Pests and Diseases
Starfruit is somewhat a pest free plant. However, fruit flies and scales may attack it.
After 3 years of planting carambola blooms for the first time, flowers take around 2 months to become a fruit. Its green-yellow fruit is about 12 cm long and usually have 5 longitudinal ribs. A ripe starfruit can be recognized by its yellow-orange flesh. It’s juicy and sweet and sour in taste. It has high content of oxalic acid and is rich in vitamin A and C.