Where Do Cashews Grow | Cashew Growing Guide

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Ever wondered Where Do Cashews Grow? Let’s learn about their roots and the right conditions required for cultivating these nuts.

Where Do Cashews Grow

Cashew nuts are a popular snack that is enjoyed all around the world. However, not many people know about their whereabouts. In this article, we will have a look at Where Do Cashews Grow and also learn about their planting and harvesting!

Table of contents

What are Cashews?

The cashew nut is actually a seed that grows on cashew trees. The trees grow up to 20-35 feet tall and are widely grown all over the world. The nuts of the tree are a popular ingredient for many dishes.

But they’re not popular because of their flavor only. They’re a great source of protein, fiber, and essentials like copper, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and vitamin K. Cashews are also abundant in unsaturated fats (heart-healthy fats) and also have antioxidants, which are good for you.

What is a Cashew Apple?

Cashew apple is the name of the fruit which grows on cashew trees. It’s an accessory fruit and does not grow from the ovary but from the flowers of the tree.

Cashew apples develop only after the nuts have fully matured and emerge from the stem of the drupe. They look like misshapen apples, hence the name.

They’re a rich yellow-red in color when ripe and have a sweet, pulpy flesh. You can eat them, but they have a short shelf life and only last a couple of days after ripening. The locals also use these to make juices and liquor.

Where Do Cashews Grow?

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So, Where Do Cashews Grow? The origin of cashew trees can be traced back to Northwestern Brazil. However, explorers have introduced them to various regions across the globe.

Nowadays, India and the Ivory Coast are the top two producers of cashew nuts, with Burundi, Vietnam, and the Philippines following closely. After planting, it takes approximately three years for the cashew tree to bear its first fruit.

Growers typically wait for eight years before a full commercial harvest. Fully mature and healthy cashew trees produce fruit each year and are typically harvested between February and May.

Growing a Cashew Tree

Growing cashew trees isn’t hard at all. Start by purchasing cashew seeds and plant these in a pot full of well-draining potting soil. Keep it in a warm, sunny location and water it so the soil stays moist.

The seedling will sprout and grow in the pot as a small tree for the first 2 years and easily reach 2-3 feet in height. Once it does, you can transplant it into a larger pot or the garden.

Water the tree properly and keep the soil moist. Avoid overwatering and give it a soak again once the soil turns dry. Give it a good fertilizer diluted to half the strength in water in the growing season. Once a month is enough. And that’s it. This simple care routine will allow you to grow a beautiful cashew tree. You’ll have to be patient, though.

We also have a great article on how to grow a cashew tree 

Flowering and Pollination

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Cashew trees flower in early spring and have beautiful but small yellow or pink flowers. The flowers have both male and female parts, but they don’t self-pollinate. That job is done by bees, flies, and butterflies.

Harvesting Cashews

Harvest cashew nuts are easy if you know what you’re doing. You have to wait until the cashew apples turn pink or red. The cashew nut shells are gray at this point. This is your sign to harvest them.

Once you do, you can eat them raw, roast them, make juice, and even store the unshelled ones for nearly 2 years.

Note: DON’T break the shell before roasting cashews. The shell has caustic oil and can burn your skin. When processing these nuts at home, wear gloves and safety glasses so there’s no contact with the shell. 

Processing and Roasting

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Roasting brings out the flavor of the cashews and gives them a crunchy texture. It’s also great if you want to preserve these for a long time.

Wash the cashews and inspect them. Once you’ve done that, spread them on a baking sheet so they can dry.

You can easily roast them in an oven; 10-15 minutes at 350-400 degrees Fahrenheit is enough. Once roasted, you can let them cool and then store them in an airtight container. Just be careful not to over roast these because the nuts will turn bitter.

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