Growing Guarana may look challenging, but our informative guide will make it easy for you. Read on to learn How to Grow Guarana.
Here’s all you need to know about How to Grow Guarana easily in pots and garden. Apart from the various health benefits, it also makes for a great foliage plant!
Botanical Name: Paullinia cupana
USDA Zones: 10-11
Common Names: Brazilian Cocoa, Cacao Bresilien, Guarana Seed Extract, Guaranine, and Paullinia sorbilis.
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Guarana Plant Information
Guarana belongs to the family of Sapindaceae, and it is native to the tropical rainforests of the Amazon in South America. This vine bears red berries that are very useful.
Guarana seeds are now popular in energy drinks and supplements as they are rich in caffeine. In the wild, it attaches to the trees and reaches the top of them up to 35-39 feet for sunlight. The plant features light green leaves and white blooms that grow in clusters. Male and female flowers appear on the same plant.
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.
Flowering and fruiting occur in the second year, during spring. You need to wait for several years until when the plant becomes large for a good harvest.
Note: It is toxic to cats and other animals.
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Obtaining seeds is not easy as this is a rare plant. What is more challenging is that most Guarana seeds are viable only for about 72 hours (after which they decay). These seeds may require up to 80-100 days to form the first leaflets. The seeds have to be fresh, or they won’t germinate.
- Soak the seeds for 24-25 hours before planting.
- Make 2-3 holes around 0.5 inches deep using a pencil in the growing medium. Then, sow seeds in each hole and tap the soil gently.
- In case of growing from cuttings (4-6 inches long), plant them 2 inches deep in a pot. First, fill it with moist soil and vermiculite in equal parts.
- Water well and make sure it gets plenty of dappled light.
- The seeds will germinate in 2-4 weeks and the cuttings will form new growth in 3-5 weeks.
Tip: It is always a good idea to get a well grown plant from a garden centre.
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Requirements for Growing Guarana
Guarana is a tall climbing shrub that appreciates a sunny location. Keep your pots in a warm and sunny area for best growth and fruits. Avoid growing it in a shaded spot.
For growing Guarana, use soil with a pH between 3.5-4.5. If the growing medium is alkaline, then add organic sulfur to lower the pH.
The soil has to be well-draining, deep, medium, or heavy in texture.
Water the plant when the top soil feels a little dry to the touch. Avoid moistening the growing medium daily and also ensure the soil never goes dry completely.
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 or 20°C.
Suppose you want to grow it in a temperate climate. You’ll need to imitate the rainforest environment by acquiring a greenhouse and electric humidifiers.
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Guarana Plant Care
It is best to feed your beloved Guarana bush sparingly using a slow-time release fertilizer at a 50 percent diluted strength, once in 6-8 weeks in the growing period.
Tip: Use a good-quality fertilizer only for this plant. Avoid using a cheap brand, as heavy salt can kill this rare plant.
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.
Pests and Diseases
Avoid overwatering and soggy soil as it can cause root rot. Also, be careful about any fungal infections.
Harvesting Guarana Berries
Harvest guarana by hand during the dry season when the fruits take a deep orange hue. Cut off with pruning shears or break manually. If a few berries are ripe, pick them individually.
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The beverage industry uses 70 percent of Guarana berries to produce energy and soft drinks, and the remaining 30 percent is used in powder form. Here are some advantages of consuming Guarana, supported by science.
One in three American adults is obese, and Guarana contains caffeine that can help by giving a powerful boost to the metabolism. However, more human-based research and studies are yet to be done.
Studies show that Guarana can help with your potential to remember and learn. A lower intake of Guarana on a regular basis can show an improvement in learning and memory and lift your mood.