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Macadamias, growing

  • macadamia nut
    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.

    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.