With delicious and juicy cherries on offer, growing Acerola is rewarding and fun! Learn everything on How to Grow Barbados Cherry!
Not only the Barbados Cherry is tasty, but it is also rich in vitamins! When the plant starts to get full of these bright red berries, it looks really beautiful in the garden! Let’s have a look at all the information you need on How to Grow Barbados Cherry!
Botanical Name: Malpighia emarginata
USDA Zones: 9 – 11
Other Names: Acerola, West Indian cherry, Acerola cherry, Cerise des Antilles, Cerise de la barbade, Puerto Rican cherry
Check out our article on growing blueberries in containers here!
How to Grow Barbados Cherry?
Barbados cherry can be propagated from cuttings and air layering. However, growing from air layering is not feasible. If you can get a plant from a nursery, nothing like it!
- Take 4-6 inches of a cutting from a healthy plant with atleast one leaf node.
- Dip its end in a rooting hormone and plant it in a potting mix.
- Make sure that it gets plenty of bright, indirect sunlight.
Here’s everything you need to know about growing mulberry in pots!
Requirements for Growing Barbados Cherry
The plant does really well in plenty of bright and indirect light. If you are growing them in pots, keep them at a wet lit location. For gardens, choose a spot that gets dappled sunlight. Avoid keeping the plant in the harsh sun.
Rich and well-draining soil is best for growing Barbados Cherry. Barbados cherry tree prefers slightly acidic to neutral soil. Add lots of organic matter in the soil during the time of planting.
Water the plant thoroughly and wait till the top 1-2 inches of soil goes dry before the next watering schedule. Depending upon the climate, you may have to water the plant frequently or less. Do not keep the soil soggy as it will cause root rot.
Want to grow strawberry easily and effectively? Click here!
Caring for Barbados Cherry
Apply citrus fertilizer, once you start to see growth. Alternatively, you can also use 8-3-9 during the growing season. Follow the manufacturer’s directions with regard to the amount and timing of applying the fertilizer.
Spread a layer of 2 inches of mulch in a diameter of 3 feet around the tree. Straw, grass clippings or bark can be used to help retain moisture and keep the roots cooler in the summer heat. Keep the mulch at least 3 inches away from the trunk of the tree so that it does not hold up against the softwood and inflict rot.
Prune the tree in fall, after the harvest, to give it the desired shape. You can cut dead, damaged or diseased branches off at any time.
Pests and diseases
The most serious disease of Barbados cherry is a root-knot nematode. It can also be attacked by leaf spot, brown rot, and powdery mildew. Pests that might attack it are aphids, scales, borers, and whiteflies.
- Pick the cherries when they turn to a bright shade of red from yellow.
- During the fruiting season, the growth will be plenty. Harvest timely to save them falling off the tree.
- The cherries can be kept for 3-4 days.
This is a guest post by the owner of tropicalfruittrees.com.