HomeTropical FruitsGrowing Guarana | How to Grow Guarana

Growing Guarana | How to Grow Guarana

Growing Guarana isn’t easy, but not impossible if you follow the right instructions. Read the article and have this beautiful vine.how to grow guarana

USDA Zones— 10 – 11

Difficulty— Moderate to Hard

Botanical Name: Paullinia cupana

Other Names: Brazilian Cocoa, Cacao Bresilien, Guarana Seed Extract, Guaranine, and Paullinia sorbilis.

About Guarana

Guarana (Paullinia cupana) belongs to the family of Sapindaceae; it is native to the tropical rainforests of the Amazon in South America. It is a vine that bears red berries that are very useful; seeds of guarana berries are now used popularly in energy drinks and supplements as they are caffeine rich. In the wild, it attaches to the trees and reaches the top of them up to 39 feet (12 m) for sunlight.

The light green leaves of guarana are alternate, composed of five leaflets; the white blooms grow in clusters. Male and female flowers appear on the same plant; after pollination, red to orange capsule-shaped fruits are formed. When these fruits mature, they partially open up to reveal the seeds.

The seeds are valued as they contain active substances like; xanthine, tannin, theophylline, and a large amount of caffeine (almost five times more than coffee) that aims to defend the plant from pathogens.

Note: It is toxic to cats and other animals.

Flowering and Fruiting

Flowering and fruiting occur in the second year, during spring. To have a strong plant and good harvest, you need to wait for several years until when the plant becomes large.

How to Grow Guarana

Propagation and Planting Guarana

Obtaining seeds is not easy as this is a rare plant. What is more challenging is that mostly guarana seeds are viable only for about 72 hours (after which they decay) and may require up to 100 days to form the first leaflets. The seeds have to be fresh, or they won’t germinate. You can grow guarana from cuttings as well,  get them from local garden centers. Follow the directions below;

  • Plant seeds or cuttings in small 4-inch diameter plastic containers with drainage holes, add organic potting mix.
  • Soak the seeds for 24 hours before planting, and make 2-3 holes around 1/2 inch deep using a finger or pencil. Sow seeds in each hole and tamp the soil.
  • The seeds have a low germination rate hence plant more pots than you require.
  • In case of growing from cuttings, plant the stem ends 2-inches deep in equal parts of moist soil and vermiculite.
  • Place the pots in a sunny window or other warm areas. Keep the seeds warm by using grow lights or germinating mats.
  • Cover the pots with plastic, and make some holes to maintain air circulation.
  • Make sure that the temperature does not fall below 65 F.
  • When seedlings are up to 3-inches tall, transplant them.
  • While growing outdoors, choose a sunny spot.
  • For indoor plants, transplant seedlings to an 8-10 inches pot and keep it in a sunny spot.
  • When the plant attains good growth, move it to a 14-inch or large pot.

Requirements for Growing Guarana

Location and Light

This tall climbing shrub appreciates a sunny location. Keep your pots in a warm and sunny area.

Soil for Guarana

For growing guarana, use soil with a pH between 3.5-4.5. If the soil you are using is alkaline, then add organic sulfur to lower the pH. The soil has to be well-draining, deep, medium, or heavy in texture.

Watering Schedule

There is no restriction in watering; keep the soil deeply and evenly moist. Water the guarana plant every morning before the sun rises.

Humidity and Temperature

Growing guarana is very difficult if you’re not living in a humid tropical or subtropical climate. This shrub requires a very high humidity level and temperature, mostly above 68 F (20 C).

If you want to grow it in a temperate climate. You’ll need to imitate the rainforest environment by acquiring a greenhouse and electric humidifiers.

Guarana Plant Careguarana fruit

Pruning Guarana

Prevent the plant from sagging by trimming old branches. Start pruning in the second year. When the shrub attains height, prune the old diseased branches, it will save the plant from collapsing from its own weight. Remove branches that flowered in the past year.

Harvesting the Berries

Harvest guarana by hand during the dry season. When the whole fruit bunch is ripened, cut off with pruning shears or break manually. If a few berries are ripe, pick them individually.


  1. Hi
    Thanks for your information about Guarana.
    Am doing Organic commercial farming in Uganda(East Africa) and I think this good plant can do well here.
    Please how can I have the seeds?
    Ready to buy and pay for shipping charges.
    (Wattsapp number


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