How to grow cashews at home – the main subtleties of caring for a tropical plant
Cashews are an exotic nut that is highly valued for its excellent taste, rich biochemical composition and numerous beneficial properties. Many gardeners are interested in how to grow cashews at home and what is needed in order to grow an exotic plant on their own.
What are cashews
Cashews, akazhu or Brazilian nuts are the fruits of the Anacardium tropical tree, a “representative” of the Sumakhov family. A tree up to 13-16 m high has a large, spreading crown, with oblong leaves without denticles.
Externally, leaf plates up to 15-20 cm long resemble walnut foliage. During the flowering period, it is covered with small greenish-red flowers with pointed petals, collected in panicle-shaped inflorescences. The tree can bloom up to 3 times a year..
Of particular interest to many gardeners is how cashews look in their shells, because the fruits of the acaju tree have a very unusual shape. Outwardly, they resemble a boxing glove and represent the end of an overgrown receptacle of a reddish or yellow hue. Cashews are considered the only nut that grows outside, not inside the fruit..
There are several important rules for how cashews are harvested.:
- This nut has a poisonous shell and should only be picked with protective gloves..
- After that, the nuts are subjected to heat treatment, which destroys toxic substances..
- The top shell is removed, leaving only juicy and edible pulp. That is why cashews are already on sale in a peeled form..
Fruits are about the size of a medium pear and grow on thick, fleshy stalks. They are edible, have a pleasant sweetish-tart taste..
Cashew nuts are unsuitable for transport – they contain an increased concentration of tannins, which cause spoilage of the fruit for 24 hours after harvest.
This must be considered before growing cashews at home..
Where does cashew nut grow
Lovers of exotic fruit crops are often interested in where cashews grow in Russia.
Under natural conditions, the akazhu tree grows in the territories:
- South East and West Africa;
- South-East Asia.
The only post-Soviet country where the akazhu tree is found in natural conditions is Azerbaijan. In Russia, cashews are grown exclusively in greenhouses and at home..
How to grow cashews at home – basic requirements
Before you grow cashews at home, you need to consider that this is a tree from tropical latitudes. That is why it will “feel” comfortable only with the maximum recreation of the tropical climate, which is very difficult both in an apartment and in a greenhouse..
Cashew is a light-loving and heat-loving plant, so it is best grown in the central and southern regions of Russia. An exotic tree needs to provide high air humidity – for this you can use special humidifiers or make them yourself. Place a pot of cashews in a bowl of water and direct air from a small fan to it, or use an aquarium compressor.
Lighting has an important effect on how the cashew nut grows. The plant is best placed on a windowsill on the south side of the apartment so that it is under diffused sunlight. Phytolamps or fluorescent lamps are used for additional lighting. During airing, the Brazil nut must be hidden from drafts and cold.
Cashew seeds can be purchased at specialty gardening stores or purchased online. It is believed that the strongest and healthiest seeds come from Brazil and India. The weakest are from China.
- soak the seeds in clean water and leave for 48 hours;
- change the water in which the seeds are soaked in the morning and evening;
- use rubber gloves when changing water, as cashew juice can burn the skin.
Those nuts that float to the surface of the liquid are not viable, they are discarded, since there are no embryos inside the fruit.
Brazil nuts are very picky about the quality and composition of the soil. For it, it is best to use loose soil with a neutral reaction – for example, a ready-made substrate for citrus fruits, palm trees or peat soil mixture for tropical plants.
You can use the cashew substrate yourself from the following ingredients:
- river quartz sand or perlite.
Do not add organic ingredients or regular garden soil to the Brazil nut potting mix..
Choice of capacity
The cashew nut has a large and branched root system, so large flower pots or containers should be chosen to grow it. Each seed is placed in a separate container with a volume of at least 2 liters. First, the seeds can be planted in small plastic cups, and after germination, young sprouts can be planted in separate containers..
Step-by-step landing scheme
Cashew seeds should be soaked in clean, heated water for 48 hours before planting..
After that, you can start landing:
- Fill a drainage layer on the bottom of the container – broken brick, pebbles or expanded clay with a layer of 2-3 cm.
- Place a nutrient medium (purchased or prepared) on top of the drainage layer, leaving about 3 cm to the edge of the container.
- Place the brazil nut vertically with its attachment point to the receptacle facing downward. Sprinkle over the seed with a thin layer of substrate.
- Place the container with Brazil nuts in the tray and pour abundantly with warm, settled water.
- Cover the container with plastic wrap and place it in a warm place. Do not forget to regularly moisten the soil in the pot with a spray bottle..
After about 18-23 days, the first shoots of cashews appear. As soon as the sprouts sprout, remove the plastic wrap, and move the container in direct sunlight..
Further care of the cashew nut
Cultivation of cashew nuts in open soil is impossible, since the plant dies even at an air temperature of + 4 ° C. Therefore, the sprouts are transplanted along with a lump of soil to the beds in the greenhouse or greenhouse. Brazil nuts can also be grown in a tub, in an apartment, but such conditions negatively affect the size of the tree and its yield..
Basic rules for caring for cashew nuts:
- Brazil nuts require regular, but not frequent watering – about 2 times a week. After each irrigation, the soil around the tree must be loosened.
- Every 10-14 days you need to fertilize cashew nuts using complex mineral fertilizers.
- An exotic tree needs regular pruning, as it has many lateral shoots, and the crown grows in a chaotic manner.
The cashew nut is a very beautiful, healthy, but extremely finicky plant. Knowing how to grow cashews at home can achieve a good result. This tropical tree requires increased attention and care from the gardener, and it is possible to obtain a high yield acaju only with strict adherence to agrotechnical nuances and subtleties of growing and caring for a tropical crop..