In our personal experience,
out of 20 seeds that were brough from Mexico, 17 germinated perfectly.
But i would like to mention that in research that i did preparing this listing
the official holticultural sourses consider
the average germination rate for Barbados Cherry to be between 5 and 50%.
As with all wild varieties, germination rate expectation
should be conservative: on the lower side of the scale.
In gardening forums
I found reassuring reports
of Barbados Cherry seeds happily sprouting.
Of course, freshness of the seed plays the key role in the success rate.
Your seeds will be no more than a week old,
but still please bear the official figures in mind.
Other ways of Barbados Cherry propagation would be
grafting and marcotting (air-layering),
both extremely time and effor consuming and with no much higher success rate anyway.
So seed method of propagation is quite popular.
After all, this is the way nature meant it to be:)
Time of Germingation is another aspect to consider.
Out of the 17 successful seeds 10 germinated readily within a few weeks.
The rest all eventually sprouted, but for some it took more than 6 months!
A good rain and warm temperatures – we think – is what it takes.
So even if some of your seeds may not pop up immediately, do not discard of them.
Put them in the garden with an identity tag and leave the rest to the nature.
Just make sure not to pull them out as weeds later on;)


Propagation of BARBADOS CHERRIES can be done by
seed, grafting, marcotting and rooting cuttings.
The most popular way is by seed.
Seeds should be kept in
moderately moist soil at 21-29C.
Do not overwater.
Use well-drained soil.
Seeds usually germinate from 3 to 4 weeks,
but some can take up to 6, and even 12 months. 

After soaking in tea (see recommendations below),
we paced the seeds on
wet "pillows" of cotton, sealed in ziplock bags,
and put on the "Warm Spot" of the fridge.
Seedlings should be transferred
from flats to containers when 5-7.5 cm high.

Instead of ziplocks, You can use a 10 ltr , or better yet, 60 ltr (less chance of fungus) TRANSPARENT plastic box as a mini-greenhouse. 
Native range extends from
Southern Mexico, Central and South America, the West Indies through the Caribbean,
and now being also grown in Asia and India.
All the way through (sub)tropical and no-frost temperate climate zones
your Barbados Cherry will feel in it's element.
In cooler climates, with frosty winters,
they flourish in large tubs or
for apartments grown in pots as (semi)-bonsai.
Basically, it will grow as small as you want it to, and up to 2 mtrs tall.
This is one of the easiest cherries to grow,
as it can thrive in various types of soils and growing conditions.
A rare additional bonus, especially for indoor gardeners, is that
Barbados Cherries, even without adequate pollination, will still set seedless fruit.
In humid and warm areas your Barbados Cherry will be in constant fruit and bloom.
In drier/cooler areas, flowers usually appear in profusion any time of the year
after periods of rainfall or irrigation.
After flower set, fruit soon follows and will ripen in just 3-4 weeks.
The three-lobed fruits are formed at leaf axis in pairs or groups of three,
and each contains three triangular, rather unusally looking seeds.
The flesh is yellow-orange, with delicious, aromatic, very complex taste,
which is hard to compared with any other common fruit's flavor.

Barbados Cherries prefer to grow in
warm to hot, humid climates, with temperatures reaching 29-32C.
The plant revels in full sun.
These babies will grow like weeds in Darwin and places with alike climate!
Barbados Cherries grow well in slightly acidic soil, and often require little or no care.
Very High.
Plant your Barbados Cherry in the warmest place on your property.
In the Philippines, Barbados Cherry thrives from sea-level to 1,000 m;
in Guatemala, up to 1,800 m.
Young plants are damaged by temperatures below -2.º C,
but well-established plants have suffered only superficial injury at - 6º C.
The Barbados cherry grows in almost any type of soil–sand, sandy loam, stiff clay, soft limestone–and can even stand waterlogging for a time, but it is intolerant of salt. For best results, plant your cherry in well-drained soil and do not let it get wet feet.
Being deep-rooted, Barbados Cherry is adapted to take long periods of drought once established,
although the fruit may be delayed until rainfall.
The plant responds quickly to irrigation, the fruit rapidly becoming larger and sweeter in flavor after a good watering.
University of Florida: "Irrigation is especially important during the blooming and fruit development period. Irrigation is usually needed during the dry spring months while rainfall is usually sufficient during the summer and fall months."
Indoors, misting of the plants is helpful in winter.

The plants may be set out at any time of the year but the best time is spring, and try to plant before your area's rainiest time of year.
If you live near the ocean, pick a spot that is protected from oceanfront breezes or salty water,
as this will negatively impact the Barbados Cherry's growth.
The cherry loves a full sun spot.
Quarterly feeding with a complete (organic) fertilizer promotes fruiting.
Using too much will encourage the vegetation too much and will negatively impact fruit growth.
There is no untied opinion on this topic in official circles.
Florida State University advises :"Pruning can be useful in shaping trees and thinning growth. The upright branches can be headed back to encourage more side branches for developing a less leggy, fuller tree. More bushy selections, producing numerous branches and forming thick growth, can be thinned to promote heavier yields. Early fall, after the plants have finished fruiting, is a satisfactory time to prune.Pruning should not extend into late fall since tender regrowth may suffer cold injury nor should it be done just previous to the new spring growth since this will reduce yields. " (according to Florida State University)
Some professional horticulturists object: "They are most productive if unpruned, but still produce a great many fruits when close-clipped in hedges."
In our experience, we never prune our Barbados Cherries, due to the simple fact that
they should be pruned after the harvest, and the harvest never stops.
So they grow just fine their own way and bring heavy harvests at least 6 times a year, with little to moderate yields in between.


The most serious pest of the Barbados cherry is the root-knot nematode which weakens the plant, causing it to drop leaves and display symptoms of malnutrition.
Preventive measures include regualar pattern of watering, heavy mulching around the tree and surrounding tree base (about 50 cm away from the trunk for young trees and about 1 mtr for mature ones) with FRENCH MARIGOLDS or other nematode-repelling plant species.
Other desirable companion is German Chamomile for general health.
 Carrots, sage, rain lillies and gay feather are excellent choices to underplant this beauty and help her growth and fruiting.
Keep the leaves of the Barbados Cherry dry to prevent the Cercospora leaf spot, which is the only common disease that you need to worry about. High humidity encourages this condition, and dark, sunken spots on the leaves are an indication that it is present. Use organic fungisides such as "Eco-Fungisides" or specifically designed agrigultural treatments in the unlikely event of the disease persisting. Make sure the treatment has no harvest withholding period, which means it is less toxic.


The use of thick layer of mulch is desirable, especially in sandy soils.
Mulching helps to conserve soil moisture, control weeds and lessen possible nematode damage.
The mulch may be straw, grass clippings, leaves, wood chips, sawdust or similar material.


Barbados cherry will flower and fruit the second year after planting and
will be in full production in the third or fourth.
Flowering occur several times a year, with a
single moderate sized tree having thousands of flowers.
Fruiting is profuse with hundreds or thousands of fruits per cycle and
trees sometimes fruiting up to 6 times a year. 
The fruit should be picked frequently since it does not store on the tree.
Ripe fruit must be carefully handled to avoid bruising and
should be used as soon as possible or be frozen for future use.
Half-ripe fruit usually will hold up well for several days under refrigeration.

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