Cinnamon Tree

Growing Zones in Ground: 9 - 11 / in Pots: 4 - 11

Growing zone 7b | Zip:


Skip the spice aisle! With the right care, you can grow and harvest cinnamon right in your own backyard!

Unlike other plants you harvest from on a regular basis, the magic of the cinnamon tree comes from its bark. The wood is peeled and dried, at which point it turns into a spice fit for a wide array of uses. And with the right circumstances, you can grow and benefit from a cinnamon tree of your very own!

Cinnamomum Zeylanicum, as it’s sometimes known, is an aromatic tree that thrives in tropical and subtropical regions. It can grow up to 60 feet tall. This tree bears small berries and flowers in the summer and glossy green foliage. The cinnamon tree grows best in USDA Hardiness Zones 9-11, which in the United States could be found in California and other southern parts of the country.

The cinnamon tree is evergreen, but it has a slower growth period and is best planted in the spring or early fall. When cared for and allowed to reach full maturity, you can harvest your bounty either from cutting the tree or pruning off individual branches. And beyond the traditional stick, you’ll find use in your tree’s berries and leaves, as well!

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Cinnamon Tree Care

The cinnamon tree requires a location with full sun, meaning at least six hours of direct sunlight on most days. The one exception is in areas with very hot and dry weather, in which case they’ll benefit from partial shade in the afternoon.

For soil content, it’s important to provide something rich and well-draining. Your cinnamon tree won’t grow fully while waterlogged, as it may end up in clay-heavy or hardpan soil. So if you’re able to find a location with sandy loam and an acidic to neutral pH, that’s the best spot to ground your tree. And if you make sure to cover the area every spring with balanced and slow-release fertilizer, you’ll be well on your way to having a thriving and beautiful cinnamon tree.

These trees are relatively low-maintenance and easy to incorporate into your landscaping. They don’t require much in terms of pruning, aside from cutting off any dead, damaged or diseased branches as you see them. Beyond that, most of the pests that feed off cinnamon plants aren’t found outside of tropical climates.

Cinnamon Tree Fruit and Harvesting

When it comes to harvesting cinnamon, you’ll find that you can get equal use from mature wood as well as younger stems, depending on what you need it for. Many gardeners make a habit out of cutting back stems, as it can stimulate new growth for further harvests. These same stem cuttings can be planted and kept warm for a few months, after which they’ll form roots and be ready to propagate.

Some consider the stems to be more aromatic than the actual wood of the tree. Nevertheless, it’s easy to slice ribbons off the bark and carefully scrape out the core and inner lining. Take what you have left and allow it to try completely, and you’ll have a cinnamon stick at the ready.

The cinnamon tree has more to offer than just its wood. Its berries and leaves have both been used as flavorings in all kinds of recipes. Even those tiny flowers that bloom in the summer can be dried and used for traditional Chinese dishes or as an aromatic in jams and compotes.

Cinnamon Tree Advice

As cinnamon trees are most commonly seen in tropical areas, it makes sense that these plants prefer a warm and humid climate. You don’t need to live in a rainforest to grow one yourself, but it’ll work best in a place that doesn’t get too cold or too dry.

Consistent watering, especially outside the rainy season, is also essential for your cinnamon tree. Irrigation is a convenient way to provide something that mimics the regular rainfall of the tropics, but if that’s not possible, you can just make sure to water whenever the top two inches of soil dry out. It may even help to use mulch, as it’ll keep the surrounding soil moist and your roots cool and comfortable.

While watering is important, you shouldn’t overdo it. If you notice your cinnamon tree experiencing stunted growth or wilted and discolored leaves, these are the telltale signs of root rot. It’s possible to save your tree if you catch these signs early enough and quickly replant it in fresh soil. But that can be a difficult task if the tree is fully matured, so it’s best to avoid overwatering.


How Long Does a Cinnamon Tree Take to Grow?

A cinnamon tree can be harvested two to three years after planting, then every two years after that.

How Much Cinnamon Does a Tree Produce?

Each cinnamon tree contains about 77 pounds of bark if cut at the trunk.

What’s the Lifespan of a Cinnamon Tree?

Cinnamon trees have a lifespan of approximately one decade.

Can You Eat Cinnamon Berries?

The berries from a cinnamon tree can be ground fresh and used as a substitute when the bark is unavailable.