Learn How to Grow Indian Gooseberry with our helpful guide! Growing Amla Tree is superbly rewarding too! See for yourself!
Amla, or the Indian Gooseberry, is arguably the most important medicinal plant for traditional Ayurveda medicine. Almost all parts of the tree help treat many diseases. However, the fruit is very important as it contains Vitamin C. Here is a simple guide for you to learn everything about How to Grow Indian Gooseberry, as Growing Amla Tree is beneficial in many ways!
Botanical Name: Phyllanthus Emblica
USDA Zones: 9-11
Common Names: Amalaki, Amblabaum, Amla, Amla Berry, Aonla, Avola, Arbre de Malacca, Arbre Myrobolan, Dhatriphala, Emblic, Emblica, Emblica Officinalis, Emblic Myrobalan, Groseille à Maquereau Indienne, Groseille Indienne, Groseillier de Ceylan, Grosella de la India, Indian-Gooseberry, Mirobalano, Myrobalan Emblic, Mirobalanus embilica, Neli, Phyllanthus Emblica, Yu Gan Zi
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Indian Gooseberry Plant Information
Amla is used in traditional Indian subcontinent recipes, various cuisines, and Ayurveda for its medicinal value. Its leaves, roots, fruits, seeds, bark, and flowers are used to prepare multiple items like juice, chutney, jam, infusions, lotions, concentrates, herbal teas, and other natural concoctions.
It is a wild deciduous tree that can grow up to 10-16 feet tall. The Indian gooseberry tree has smooth, gray-brown bark. The leaves are like a tamarind tree or a fern-like, oblong but narrow, up to 2-4 cm, and the flowers are inconspicuous as they are green in color. The flowers are bisexual and appear in clusters.
Fruits are smaller, with a diameter of up to 3-5 cm, in a greenish-yellow color that changes into orange-brown after maturity. The flesh is tart, juicy, and crisp and contains 1 or 2 tiny seeds.
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Varieties of Indian Gooseberry
You can grow any commercial variety you want in the tropics and subtropics. Still, a combination of wild Himalayan Amla is better for a little more temperate climates where the temperature dips mildly below the freezing point of 32°F or 0°C. Here are some famous types of Indian Amla:
- NA-4 (Krishna)
- NA-5 (Kanchan)
- NA-7 (Promising variety)
- BSR-1 (Bhavanisagar)
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Growing Indian Gooseberry from Seeds
It is best to collect Amla seeds in the fall after the smooth, round fruit ripens and turns yellow-green. You should wait until the skin loses its translucent nature and becomes opaque and dull.
- Cut open the fruit in half and remove the pit. Use a hammer or nutcracker to open the pit and bring out the red-brown seeds.
- Soak the seeds overnight in a water bowl to know if the seeds are viable. Only the seeds that sink to the bottom of the bowl are worth sowing. Get rid of the ones that keep floating in the water.
- In a bowl of lukewarm water, soak the seeds for 4-5 minutes to improve the chances of germination.
- Fill the small container with an equal mix of compost and potting soil. Pour water into the soil medium until it feels moist enough.
- Sow each seed in an individual pot about 0.4-0.5 inches deep.
- Water well and make sure they receive 4-6 hours of bright, indirect sunlight daily.
- In 3-4 weeks, you will start to notice the first seedlings.
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Requirements for Growing Amla Tree
Amla tree grows best where it can get full sunlight for the most part of the day. Do not keep the plant in the shade, as it will result in fewer small-sized berries.
Well-drained, loamy to light heavy soil that is deep and rich in organic matter is required for Growing Amla tree. A pH level can be between slightly acidic to slightly alkaline. Amend the soil with plenty of organic matter at the time of planting.
Regular and abundant watering is essential at a young age till it grows to a height of 5-6 feet. Do that when the topsoil feels a little dry to the touch. Once the tree gets established, it will take care of its own.
Temperature and Humidity
The best range for Growing Amla is 114-118°F or 46-48°C, and it enjoys a humidity level of 40-65 percent. The tropical fruit is sensitive to prolonged freezing temperatures and grows best when not exposed to frost.
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Amla Tree Care
Since you are growing it yourself, we recommend using only natural fertilizers. The application of aged manure is sufficient for this tree. Although, if the tree is producing poorly, you can feed it with a balanced liquid fertlizer once in 3-5 weeks.
Prune all the dead, damaged, diseased branches or those entangled and crossing each other. This will improve the air flow and will ensure the sunlight reaches all parts.
Pests and Diseases
In diseases, it can be infected by rust. Pests like caterpillars, mealybugs, or other general garden pests may infect it.
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Harvesting Indian Gooseberry
Growing Amla tree from seed takes around five years to produce fruits. Fruits are hard and glossy, of dull green color, and generally appear from January to March in the tropics.
It is ideal for harvesting fruits in February when they turn opaque and dull green-yellow from light green. The mature fruits are harder, and you can check by shaking them vigorously. Use long bamboo poles with hooks to pluck them.
A mature, healthy tree can start to provide you with 50-60 pounds of fruits rich in Vitamin C.
Is there a gooseberry cultivar suitable for growing in large container ? If there is one, let me learn all its details with planting / growing tips
If I plant only one amla tree, will it produce any amla?
The plant is not self-fertile.
Will amla tree grow in Kashmir?
Do the fruit drop to the ground producing unpleasant detritus. Do birds eat all the fruit?
Even ripe fruit is hard, unlike olives, so doesn’t make a mess if it falls down. Birds rarely eat them.
Confirm the flowers. Is it bisexual?
Yes, the flowers are bisexual. I am guessing self-fertile. You can research further.
how deep is the root and how much it spread
can I plant this tree in Philippines?
Do loranthus, the parasite plant grow on indian gooseberry tree?
Thanks for the great content sir. I will also share this article with my friends & once again thanks a lots
I live in New Jersey, USA. Will Amla plant be suitable to be grown in NJ? If yes, what type of amla plant is recommended? Can it withstand the cold?
How does the Amla gooseberry differ from the gooseberry in UK?