Learn how to grow guarana. Growing guarana is not easy and requires hot and humid climate for optimal growth.
USDA Zones— 10 – 11
Difficulty— Moderate to Hard
Other Names— Paullinia cupana (Scientific Name), Brazilian Cocoa, Cacao Bresilien, Guarana Seed Extract, Guaranine and Paullinia sorbilis.
Guarana (Paullinia cupana) is a plant belonging to the family of Sapindaceae. It is native to tropical rainforests of 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 (more than coffee) and they release it slowly. In the wild it attaches to the trees, reaches the top of them (up to 12 m) for sunlight.
Because of its great height, its leaves are bigger too that are alternate, persistent and are composed of five leaflets, light green in color. Guarana flowers bloom in clusters and are smaller and white in appearance. Male and female flowers form on the same plant and after pollination fruits are formed, in shape like capsule whose color ranges from red to orange. When these fruits reaches the maturity, they partially open up to reveal the seeds, that are round, dark brown shiny, wrapped in a thin white film.
The seed is what considered most precious and valued. It contains, in addition to other active substances (xanthine, tannin, theophylline) a large amount of caffeine (almost five times more than coffee) that has the aim to defend the plant from pathogens.
* It is toxic to cats and other animals
How to Grow Guarana
Propagation and Planting Guarana
Obtaining seeds is not easy as this rather a rare plant. What is more challenging is that mostly guarana seeds are viable only for about 72 hours (after which it decays drastically) and may require up to 100 days to issue the first leaflets.
Sow seeds 1/2 inches deep. Always keep the soil moist. It is important at the same time to keep the substrate warm and humid with minimum temperature around 20 ° C. Alternatively, to soften the seed coat, you can also keep the seeds in warm water for 24 hours before proceeding.
Requirements for Growing Guarana
Growing guarana is very difficult, if you’re not living humid tropical or subtropical climate. It requires very high humidity level, temperature mostly above 20 ° C, less windy and full sun exposure.
If you want to grow it in temperate climate. First of all you’ll need to imitate an environment of a rain-forest, by acquiring a greenhouse and electric humidifiers.
No restriction in watering, keep the soil deeply and evenly moist. Water the guarana plant every morning before the sun hits the leaves.
For growing guarana, soil should be acidic, pH level around 4.5. Light, loamy soil is recommended.
Keep the plant free from old, damaged, diseased and dead branches. Flowers appear on new growth so it is good to eliminate the branches that previously bloomed.
Flowering and fruiting
Flowering and fruiting can occur in the second year, in the spring. To have a strong plant and good harvest you must however wait for several years, in a manner that the plant may become large.
To learn about harvesting guarana, read this.