Acerola Cherry is also known as Barbados cherry tree. This plant is a member of the Malpighiaceae family. Acerola Cherry is one of the most beautiful and attractive plants. The plant is distinguished by its shiny evergreen leaves. The plant leaves are round and they usually vary in size between one to three inches. Acerola Cherry produces extremely charming flowers that come in different colors. Barbados cherry tree is highly decorative, highly delicious and highly healthy. To learn how to grow and care for the Acerola Cherry, just follow all the instructions provided in this article.
Learning how to grow Acerola Cherry is an excellent fruitful idea. Acerola Cherry is greatly rich in vitamin A and vitamin C. This fruit is also very acidic and sweet. The fruit is widely used in making juices, jams, and toppings for desserts. Growing Acerola Cherry is easy as it is an adaptive plant. All the required information on how to grow and care for Acerola Cherry successfully is provided below.
Propagation: Propagating Acerola Cherry is an easy task. Acerola Cherry can grow perfectly from seeds, cuttings, air layering and grafting. Propagating Acerola Cherry from seeds is slow because the plant germinates slowly. To plant Acerola Cherry from seeds, you need to clean the seed and dry them out completely before using them. It is advisable to use the Acerola Cherry seeds from completely ripe fruits.
Planting Acerola Cherry: If you are planting Acerola Cherry from seeds, you have to drill at least 2 inches hole for each seed. Don’t plant the Acerola Cherry seeds close to each other; leave at least fifteen feet between each seed. Then cover them with soil and water them thoroughly.
Choose a proper location for planting: Choosing the right spot to plant the Acerola Cherry is a decisive factor in the growth of the plant. In order for the plant to grow fast, it really requires a sunny spot where it can receive a lot of sunlight on a daily basis. The plant also needs a shelter from winds. So, it is better to plant the Acerola Cherry in the sunniest near your house. Actually sunlight exposure really improves the productivity of the Acerola Cherry plant. The more sun the plant gets the heavier yield it produces.
Soil requirement: Acerola Cherry plant needs a good quality well-draining soil that is heavily rich in organic matter. Thus some amendment may be required before planting the Acerola Cherry. You can easily add compost and manure to improve the quality of your soil. Make sure you also clean the soil from any weeds, debris, and rocks. And again mulching is a great idea to retain moisture and cooler root and also protect the plant from the summer heat. One of the best ways to mulch is by using Straw, grass clippings or bark. You can spread two inches layer of one of these mulching materials in a diameter of about 3 feet around each of the tree. Make sure you don’t mulch near the tree trunk. Keep the trunk 3 inches away from the mulch in other to avoid root rot.
Watering: Actually the during the growing season the plant needs regular watering. Make sure you always keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. When the Barbados cherry tree matures you can reduce the watering. On the other hand, when the temperature degrees rise and when the Acerola Cherry plant starts fruiting, you should start to water the Acerola Cherry plant regularly again.
Fertilizing: A lot of expert gardeners recommends that you can apply citrus fertilizers to feed the Acerola Cherry plant. It is advisable that you start fertilizing only when the Acerola Cherry plant starts growing. Concerning the amount and the time to apply the fertilizers, you can easily follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer.
Pruning: Pruning is very important in other to maintain the nice attractive shape of the Acerola Cherry plant. It is not actually necessary for the growth, but it is necessary in other to have a decorative beautiful plant. You should prune the Acerola Cherry plants only in the fall after harvesting. But for diseased and damaged branches you can cut them off whenever you notice them.
Pests and diseases control: Acerola Cherry plant is not pests and diseases free. There are a lot of pests that threaten the growth and the yield of the Acerola Cherry plant. Some of the most dangerous pests are scales, aphids, whiteflies and borers. In the area of diseases, you should be very careful of leaf spot, root-knot nematode, powdery mildew and brown rot.
Harvesting: Actually knowing when to harvest the Acerola Cherry is very easy. If the fruits have turn into red color it simply means that they have completely ripened and you can pick them. The fruits are better picked fresh. The fruits are healthy and sweet when they are picked fresh.