Jaboticaba Bonsai Care [Plinia cauliflora]

The Jaboticaba Bonsai is a lovely and astonishing beauty hailing from Southern Brazil that will surely captivate people’s attention and interest. The Jaboticaba Bonsai is a graceful and upright tree with dark-green and glossy foliage brushed with pink when spring comes.

Its bark has a cinnamon colour with a habit of peeling off in curls little by little that further add to its already captivating visual impact. Mature Jaboticaba flowers and produces fruits all over the branches and trunk.

Scientific namePlinia cauliflora
Average height10 to 25 feet
Average spread8 to 20 feet
Origin countrySoutheastern Brazil
SunlightFull sun

Jaboticaba bonsai history

Jaboticaba (Brazilian Tree Grape ) // How To Grow It // Why To Love It

Jaboticaba is a native of Southern Brazil and is a relative of Guava and a part of the Myrtle family. it has a botanical name of Cauliflora, which means that this can flower and bear fruit on the mature branches and trunk.

During the flowering period, clusters of tiny white flowers cover the tree all over its branches and trunk. These will soon form into dark berries that are usually being sold in many delicatessens.

The fruits’ kernels are the ones that can be grown as bonsai that make gorgeous indoor trees. As mentioned earlier, the bark of this tree peels off in curls once the branches and trunk expand.

What zone does Jaboticaba grow in

Jaboticaba will survive USDA plant hardiness 9b-11.  

Jaboticaba bonsai care

Jaboticaba Info and Care

Caring for your Jaboticaba Bonsai is a must to ensure that it will grow healthy for as long as you hope it to. 

Jaboticaba bonsai climate

Your Jaboticaba Bonsai will thrive indoors with high light and prefers to be kept outdoors throughout the months of spring and summer. It is recommended to put the tree on a table in front of a window or on the windowsill if the nighttime temperatures go lower than 45 degrees.

Once the low temperatures every night approach the 40-degree mark, this is now the time for your Jaboticaba Bonsai to be brought inside. The best location indoors is on a windowsill that faces towards the south. The second best spot is a west or east exposure.

Although a northern exposure can also work, it will require using grow lights to offer enough light for maintaining the health of your Jaboticaba Bonsai. Sunlight for 4 to 6 hours daily is enough but it is also better if you can provide more.

Jaboticaba bonsai fertilizer

It is necessary to fertilize your Jaboticaba Bonsai for it to remain beautiful and healthy. Since your bonsai will grow in a small soil quantity, you need to replenish the nutrient supply of the soil every so often. Any general-purpose liquid fertilizer can do just fine and you can find this at many garden centers.

It is recommended to use the fertilizers at half the recommended strength. You need to apply the fertilizer at least once per month except in winter. The Jaboticaba Bonsai also responds well to the foliar feeding in which the water-soluble fertilizer is applied as a spray every other month

Jaboticaba bonsai pruning

Pruning Jaboticaba

Pinching and trimming can keep the Jaboticaba Bonsai miniature. Try pinching and trimming back new growth to the farthest safe area. You should never remove all new growth.

You need to leave a little to maintain the tree’s health. Subtropical and tropical trees need periodic trimming and pinching all year-round. You need to evaluate the growth rate of the tree and adjust the pinching and trimming accordingly.

Jaboticaba bonsai repotting

You need to periodically repot your Jaboticaba Bonsai once the pot is filled with the root system. The reason for doing so is to supply fresh soil to the tree and encourage a more compact root system. Being a deciduous tree, it is best to repot your Jaboticaba Bonsai every 2 or 3 years. However, since every tree is different, this schedule may not hold all the time so you need to check the root system of your tree every year to know if it is pot-bound already.

Most of the time, the process of repotting is safe and easy if done at the right time of the year properly. Repotting is best done during mid-summer. You need to remove the tree from the pot together with all the soil.

You also need to remove the bottom and outermost fourth off the root mass of the tree. You can do it by raking away the soil and pruning the roots back.

Most of the time, it is not a wise idea to prune back over one-fourth of the root mass of the tree. Once done, you can place back the tree to another pot or its original one.

Jaboticaba bonsai pests and diseases

Since your Jaboticaba Bonsai is a miniature tree, you can treat it for diseases and pests just like how you do with other trees. Once you discover any diseases or insects, use the right products to get rid of the problem. 

Jaboticaba bonsai soil

For your Jaboticaba Bonsai, you can use the usual bonsai soil or you can also go for a mixture of loam, sand, and peat moss with a ratio of 1:2:2.

Jaboticaba bonsai watering

You should never neglect to water your Jaboticaba Bonsai. You need to apply a water well before you notice that the soil has dried out. It is never wise to let the soil become totally dry.

You might also want to use a moisture meter before you know your Bonsai tree’s specific requirements. Water must be applied until it starts to run out of the holes found in the pot’s bottom.

How you water the Jaboticaba Bonsai is not what matters here and instead, it is all about how well watered the tree is once you are done.

Jaboticaba bonsai sunlight requirements

Put your Jaboticaba Bonsai in a partially shaded and light place like a bright window. You can keep this tree indoors throughout the year but you will have to take it outdoors from mid-spring up to summer then grow it in an area with partial shade.

When winter comes, you need to put this in a room that has a temperature ranging from 61o to 75o Fahrenheit and give it 50% humidity to get the best results.

How tall do Jaboticaba grow

Although Jaboticaba is a slow-growing plant, it can grow up to 25 feet under proper care.

How long does it take for Jaboticaba to fruit

Jaboticaba produces fruit all year round but the largest yield often occurs around late March or April. During this period, a matured Jaboticaba tree can produce about 100 fruits at a go. However, you must be patient before you can experience or enjoy this bountiful harvest as it can a Jaboticaba tree up to 8 to 15 years to produce fruits.

Can you grow Jaboticaba indoors

Yes, you can grow Jaboticaba indoors. If you do not want to play your Jaboticaba directly in the ground, you can also plant them successfully indoors. However, you should place them in a position where they will be exposed to full sunlight.

Your Jaboticaba plant will also benefit from taking them outside to bask in daytime sunlight during summer and spring. Just make sure to take them indoors once the temperature drops below 45°.

Why jaboticaba bonsai losing leaves

There are just a few reasons for your Jaboticaba Bonsai to drop or lose its leaves. Underwatering, overwatering, lack of light and the possibility that your tree is suffering from a disease are among the most common reasons for this problem to happen.

Jaboticaba bonsai fruit

Probably the most exciting thing about the Jaboticaba Bonsai is the creamy-white and fluffy looking flowers as well as its dark fruits that resemble grapes that grow directly on the trunk. There is a chance that you have already heard of the myth that the trees don’t fruit when grown in a Bonsai pot.

Well, the truth is that they do. The fact that it is grown in a pot doesn’t have anything to do with its ability to bear fruits. If your Jaboticaba Bonsai tree doesn’t fruit, there is a chance that it is not yet old enough, it is grown indoors, or it is not fed properly.

It takes about 21 to 25 days before the flowers turn into fruits. The grape-like fruits of the Jaboticaba Bonsai are tasty and edible and they are even known to produce fine wine.

The fruit of Jaboticaba Bonsai matures in a bit less than 30 days. You need to pick the fruits after they turn black or dark purple to ensure that they have the highest amount of sugar. They have a unique taste but the texture is also the same as that of grapes.

If you are a fan of bonsai fruit trees, you may also add sorbus bonsai, avocado tree bonsai, bonsai pomegranate, grape bonsai, cotoneaster horizontalis bonsai, berberis thunbergii bonsai or washington hawthorn bonsai into your bonsai collection.

How to grow Jaboticaba from seed

Jaboticaba can be propagated through seed, root cuttings, grafting, and air layering, but the most widely used method is propagation by seed. Follow the simple steps below to guide you through the processes involved in starting a Jaboticaba plant from seed.

  1. Get your Jaboticaba seeds from a garden store or directly from the tree around late spring.
  2. If you are getting it directly from the tree, cut the berries into two parts (half), you will see a gelatinous milky white flesh, remove it and spread it out on a clean plate. Then pick out the seed and soak it in the water for about 24 hours. Remember to stir occasionally. If you got your seed from the garden store, just soak as recommended.
  3. Get a 6-inch nursery container that has a sterile medium that consists of seed starting a compost, medium-grit sand, and perlite in equal parts. Pour enough water to get the top 2 inches moderately moist.
  4. Go back to the soaked seed, discard all floating seeds and proceed to the next step with the ones that sink.
  5. Three seeds should be planted in each pot and make sure that there is about half an inch space between the seeds on the medium’s surface.
  6. Cover the seeds using sand that is about 1/8 inch thick and mist liberally with water.
  7. The pots should be firmly placed on a germination mat and positioned under indirect but bright light. Then use plastic propagation to cover the pots.
  8. The standard temperature for the seed at this stage is 75°, therefore, make necessary temperature adjustments on the germination mat and always remember to turn it off at night.
  9. Water the seed up to half an inch deep anytime you notice the soil is drying up. It is best to use a spray bottle or a plant mister to prevent the seeds from being dislodged.
  10. The seeds should start to germinate after one month, reduce the seeds per pot from 3 to 1. If more than one seed germinates in a pot, keep the strongest and discard the weaker ones.
  11. After the seedlings emerge, transplant into a gallon container containing, mealed peat, sand, and perlite in the ratio of 2:2:1 respectively.
  12. Take the new plant outdoors and place it in a bright, shaded area and water every week until autumn. In about 5 to 10 days, get the plant accustomed to full sunlight and repot in early autumn after the first rain.

How long does it take to grow jaboticaba bonsai

Jaboticaba Bonsai is most typically propagated from seeds. It will take around two years for a small seedling to develop. The seedlings are quite slow to mature and it is also rare for them to endure the trimming and transplanting of bonsai aficionados.

But, older plants can tolerate well pruning of branches and roots alike. You can also grow Jaboticaba Bonsai from air layers and cuttings but their development may be rather slow. 

Since it is slow-growing and it can take 8 to 15 years for fruits to bear from seed, Bonsai hobbyists usually start this Bonsai with pre-bonsai or an established nursery stock.

How long do jaboticaba bonsai live

Your Jaboticaba Bonsai can last for many years as long as you take care of it properly and make sure that you meet all of its growing requirements.

You also need to repot the tree every couple of years and continue to water it.

The Jaboticaba can make a pretty Bonsai because of its natural growth stratification and the appearance of its barks.

What are the health benefits of Jaboticaba

The juice from fruits is packed with anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and anti-aging properties that could contribute positively to your health. Check below for the various health benefits offered by the Jaboticaba tree.

  • It helps to improve the skin.
  • It stimulates digestion.
  • It prevents cancer.
  • It increases lung power.
  • It helps to combat asthma.
  • It has low calories and can hasten weight loss.
  • It can serve as a natural body detox.
  • It can serve as a solution to diarrhea.
  • It can serve as an immunity booster which could speed up the healing process.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Jaboticaba is the best?

Of all the Jaboticaba species, the most expensive and the most widely planted is the Sabará. The tree is known for its thin skin, small and sweet fruit. Although highly susceptible to flowers and fruit rust, it can produce up to 4 crops per year mostly at the beginning of the season.

Can you freeze Jaboticaba fruit?

Yes, you can freeze Jaboticaba fruit. One of the best ways to store Jaboticaba fruit is by storing them in a freezer. To do this in the right way, wrap the fully riped (or you can cut them into parts) fruit with a plastic film, put in a plastic tray, and place in the freezer at about 12°C.

What to do with Jaboticaba fruit?

Well, Jaboticaba is an edible fruit, therefore, the best thing for you is to do the obvious, eat them! I mean the fruit is delicious anyways, plus it offers some health benefits, so why don’t you take advantage of the fruit and just eat them? Jaboticaba can be put to other users to like making wine, marmalades, jams, and liqueur.

Will Jaboticaba grow in Florida?

Yes, Jaboticaba will grow in Florida. However, even though in general Jaboticaba exhibit a slow growth rate, when grown in Florida the growth rate will become slower and can only grow up to about 16 feet which falls short of the normal 25 to 30 feet height of a typical Jaboticaba tree grown in Brazil.

Is Jaboticaba self-pollinating?

Yes, Jaboticaba is self-pollinating. However, a Jaboticaba that is cross-pollinated tends to produce more fruits than one which is self-pollinated.

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