Cacao (Chocolate) Tree

Growing Zones in Ground: 8 - 11 / in Pots: 4 - 11

(2 customer reviews)

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Chocolate has been one of the most loved and treasured foods throughout history. The Chocolate Cacao Tree is the source of cocoa beans from which chocolate is made. In addition, the Chocolate Cacao Tree is a stunning tropical specimen that blooms fragrant flowers year-round, has deep green leaves that pivot toward the sun, and produces colorful seed pods that grow directly on the trunk.

The Chocolate Cacao Tree also provides benefits beyond chocolate. You can ferment the cocoa beans to make cocoa powder, which has multiple reported health benefits, such as lowering blood pressure and delivering powerful antioxidants. The beans can also be used to make cocoa butter, one of the richest natural skin moisturizers. All of this, plus chocolate, can be derived from this stunning specimen tree which is suited to growing outside in USDA Zones 9 to 11.

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5 out of 5 stars

2 reviews

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  1. Elizabeth (verified owner)

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    Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

    • Citrus Customer Care (store manager)

      Thank you for your 5-star review!

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      Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...

  2. Garvin Carter (verified owner)

    Thank you for the replacement, all plants are coming out of shock and actually starting to put out new leaves I am very happy with my cocoa plants, can I give them Epsom salt?

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    • Citrus Customer Care (store manager)

      Thank you for your positive review. We suggest waiting a couple of weeks so that the tree has time to acclimate to their new home. Thank you for your business.

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      Something wrong with this post? Thanks for letting us know. If you can point us in the right direction...




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Cacao Chocolate Tree Care

If you are located within USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 9 to 11, you can grow the amazing Chocolate Cacao Tree in the ground. These are tropical trees that have evolved in dense jungles, so try to select a location that has well drained soil and protection from wind. Also, the more sunlight your Chocolate Cacao Tree gets, the better. Once you have the perfect spot, dig a hole that is twice as wide as the potted tree’s root ball, but just as deep. Back fill with soil and extra organic matter such as compost.

Chocolate Cacao Trees reach a size of 12 to 25 feet high, and 15 feet wide. Potted Cacao Trees can grow to about 8 feet tall. They can produce blooms and seedpods as a single tree, but a second pollinator tree is highly recommended. Once planted, they will need to be watered at least once per week. Chocolate Cacao Trees also benefit from consistent feeding, and can be fed fruit tree fertilizer every 8 weeks in spring and summer for the first year.

Fruit & Harvesting

Chocolate Cacao Trees grow colorful pods that contain many Cacao seeds. The pods mature to a range of bright colors including yellow, bronze, orange, red, green, and maroon. The pods follow fragrant blooms and appear directly on the tree’s trunk, as well as on some of the more sturdy branches. The Chocolate Tree blooms continually, and the fragrant flowers can appear at any time, even when the tree is covered in ripe seed pods.

The pods are picked by hand and split apart to reveal the interior Cocoa Beans. The beans are treated through a process of fermentation to create cocoa powder, which is the base for making chocolate. They can also be used to make cocoa butter. The fresh beans can even be eaten raw, and provide a powerful dose of antioxidants.


Growing Zones


While Chocolate Cacao Trees have evolved to live in partial shade of the jungle canopy, keep in mind that this is in subtropical rainforests where summer is essentially year-round. If you are growing a Chocolate Cacao Tree in USDA Zones 9 to 11, the trees will benefit from as much bright light as you can give them. A spot that receives a few hours of direct sunlight, as well as morning and afternoon shade is fine.

Chocolate Cacao Trees are capable of blooming and setting fruit as a single tree, but trees grown in groups will benefit from cross-pollination, and produce more seedpods. These trees need a combination of well-drained soil, and consistent water. Slow, deep watering at least once per week is best, but between watering the ground must drain fully. Chocolate Cacao Trees can also be mulched with shredded tree bark, leaves, or grass clippings.


Can a Chocolate Cacao Trees grow in my area?

Chocolate Cacao Trees can be grown outdoors in USDA Zones 9-11. They can also be grown in pots in colder zones, and require a combination of sunlight, periodic watering, and well-drained soil.

Can you eat the raw fruit of a Chocolate Cacao Tree?

Yes, you can eat raw cocoa beans straight from the seed pods of a Chocolate Cacao Tree. Some find the taste bitter, while others find it refreshing and unique. The cocoa beans do not taste like chocolate, but they have a remarkable amount of antioxidants.

Where do Chocolate Cacao Trees come from?

Chocolate Cacao Trees originate from South American rain forests where they grow in small colonies under the jungle canopy.

If I have a Chocolate Cacao Trees, can I really make chocolate?

Yes. While Chocolate Cacao Trees don’t exactly grow chocolate candy on their branches, you can process the cocoa beans to make cocoa. From there you can find numerous recipes for transforming the cocoa powder into delicious chocolate treats.