Macadamia trees prefer mild, frost-free climates with abundant rain throughout the year. They can be grown in southern California with adequate irrigation. Macadamias can also be successfully grown in a large container with appropriate pruning.
Macadamias are large, spreading evergreen trees which can reach 30 to 40 feet high and almost as wide. There are 2 species of macadamias, "Smooth-shelled Macadamia" (Macadamia integrifolia), "Rough-shelled Macadamia" (Macadamia tetraphylla ). Hybrid forms exist between the two species.
Waimanalo is a smooth shelled macadamia suitable for growing near the coast as well as inland. Hybrid cultivars recommended for the home garden include Beaumont and Vista.
Location: Plant macadamias in full sun, or partial shade if very hot in summer. Windy locations should be avoided to prevent damage to branches.
Soil: Prefer deep, rich, well-drained, slightly acidic soil. They do not tolerate salty soil; regular leaching is recommended.
Irrigation: Macadamia trees require consistent irrigation, especially during dry weather. Young trees require more water than mature trees.
Fertilization: Macadamias grow slowly, and do not require large quantities of nitrogen fertilizer. Trees should be fertilized twice yearly, spring and fall, with light applications of a balanced fertilizer, such as fish emulsion or citrus mix.
Pruning: Prune macadamias to form a single-trunked tree with a framework of horizontal branches, and to manage the size of the tree.
Frost Protection: Young trees should be protected from frost; mature trees are more frost-hardy.
Read more information about growing macadamias.