The Jaboticaba Tree is one of the most striking tropical fruit trees in the world. Fragrant white blooms emerge from myrtle-like bark, emit the strong scent of jasmine, and are followed by deep purple round fruits that grow directly on the branches. The fruit is considered a delicacy, with many families in South America planning vacations around the times when Jaboticabas are ripe and in the markets. Add this rare conversation piece to your garden, and enjoy one of the most delicious and treasured fruits in the plant kingdom.
Jaboticaba Trees are part of the Myrtle family, and are self-fertile. The trees can reach mature sizes of up to 40 feet tall and 20 feet wide, but they are slow-growing and can remain at heights below 20 feet for 10 years or more. Jaboticaba Trees are suited for growing outdoors in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 9 to 11. They can also be kept in large pots for long periods, but will always produce more fruit when growing in the ground.
Like its Myrtle Tree relatives, older darker bark peels away to reveal younger, lighter colored bark in patches. This dappled bark, combined with the tree’s small green leaves, creates a focal point in the landscape. Choose a spot where the tree can be viewed in an open space, or against a backdrop of other foliage. The Jaboticaba likes well-drained soil and a sunny spot, but can grow in areas of periodic shade as well.
Once planted, Jaboticaba Trees prefer to have their roots left undisturbed. A light organic mulch can help retain moisture, and protect surface roots from damage. Good options for mulching a Jaboticaba Tree include wood chips, straw, and composted leaves. Since Jaboticaba Trees produce an abundance of juicy grape-like fruit, it is best to not plant one adjacent to a paved pathway, or patio. Select a spot where the tree can be reached from all sides and enjoy the delicious crops of sweet fruit.
Fruit & Harvesting
The fruit of the Jaboticaba Tree is dark maroon to purple when ripe, and contains several small seeds. The best way to eat them is out of hand outside. Biting down on a clean Jaboticaba fruit will cause the skin to split, revealing the juicy sweet interior pulp. The juice and some pulp can then be eaten, and the skin and seeds discarded. Jaboticabas can also be made into jelly, juice, and wine or other beverages.
After blooming, the fruit appears as small, pea-sized, green, berry-like pods clinging to the trunks and branches. The fruit grows in size over a few weeks and the ripe fruits are about the size of a large grape or cherry. Ripe fruits will be glossy dark purple, maroon, or even black, and sweet when tasted. A single tree can have fruit in various stages of ripeness. It is common for the fruit, after reaching ripeness and remaining on the tree for several days, to all fall at once so do not be alarmed.
Jaboticaba Trees like well-drained rich soil and thrive in much the same conditions as a citrus tree. The best location is one that receives at least 5 or more hours of direct sunlight, and is protected from strong north winds. Make sure the ground drains well, water young trees twice a week, and reduce watering to once a week for older trees.
Jaboticaba Trees are slow but steady growers. As such, be careful to not over-fertilize new trees. Apply a balanced fruit tree fertilizer once in the spring and 3 months later in the summer and always water in thoroughly. Follow fertilizer instructions for tree size and do not add more than the recommended amounts. You can also feed your Jaboticaba Tree composted leaves, grass clippings, or other organic material at any time.
How big will a Jaboticaba Tree get?
Jaboticaba Trees reach mature sizes 30 to 40 feet tall and 20 feet wide, but they are slow-growing and can remain smaller through pruning and their slow growth habit.
What do Jaboticaba fruit taste like?
Jaboticaba fruits have a low acidity and rich sweetness. They are said to taste similar to a concord grape. They are slightly fragrant and are considered one of the best tasting fruits in the world.
Can you grow a Jaboticaba Tree in a pot?
Yes and since they grow slowly, you can keep a Jaboticaba Tree in a container for a long time. Jaboticaba Trees grown in the ground will yield more fruit.
Where do Jaboticaba Trees come from?
Jaboticaba Trees are native to the rain forests and coastal woodlands of South America, mainly Brazil.
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Darcie D. (verified owner) –
Very, very impressed. It’s beautiful and full!
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