As the popularity of cupuacu increases so does the interest to cultivate this superfruit. While cupuacu is primarily grown in the tropical regions of the Amazon, cultivating it elsewhere is possible if the conditions are right.
Climate and Soil for Growing Cupuacu
Cultivation is recommended in areas with average annual temperatures above 72 degrees Fahrenheit, rainfall above 59″ per year and the relative humidity above 75%. Cupuacu adapts well to many soil types but many horticulturist recommended deep sandy-clay with good drainage.
Three Cupuacu Varietals
There are three commercially available varieties of cupuacu – two which are similar and the third being a seedless variety.
Cupuacu Round is rounded at both ends ends, and is the smallest of the three varieties weighing in at 3 – 3.5 lbs. The round variety is the most cultivated within the Amazon region.
Cupuacu Mamorana is similar to the round varity but has elongated ends and is slightly larger weighing 4 – 4.5 lbs.
Cupuacu Mamau is the seedless variety and is similar in shape to the round cupuacu. The average fruit weighs approximately 4 lbs, but can get up to a whopping 8 lbs.
Commercial cupuacu is propagated either by grafting or by seedlings. The process is very similar to that of the cocoa tree. If seeding, the seeds should come from healthy and high yielding tree.
You can use seeds to propagate cupuacu after making sure all pulp is removed and the seeds are thoroughly washed. After washing the cupuacu seeds you will need to dry them in a shaded area for at least two days. Afterwards the seeds can begin germinating by placing them in a plastic bag or putting them in a sand and sawdust mixture. In most cases the seeds will begin to germinate after the fifteenth day. Once the cupuacu seeds have successfully germinated, wait until they are 10 to 15 cm in length before transplanting into soil. After transplanting, keep the cupuacu seeds covered in a nursery until they reach 30 cm tall which typically takes four to five months.
Grafting is another technique and most widely used method to propagate cupuacu and using this technique does not differ much from grafting other fruiting trees. Grafting is an art unto itself. If you would like to learn more about grafting there are numerous sites to explain in detail how to graft fruit trees.
Cupuacu is a very hearty tree and grows well in nearly all types of soil. The three biggest prerequisites for successfully growing cupuacu are
- warm year around temperatures,
- high humidity
- and plenty of water.
Our next blog will cover planting, spacing, cultivating and harvesting cupuacu.Tags: superfood, cupuacu tree, Cupuacu