Jaboticaba – tropical exotic in indoor culture – cultivation and care

Jaboticaba (or Jaboticaba) is a grape tree, traditional in every Brazilian farm or farm, like real bushes of a perennial vine in peasant estates in the warm regions of Russia and the CIS. In the south of Russia, in country-type estates with winter gardens and greenhouses, jabotykaba is a welcome tree. Surprising in appearance due to the unusual arrangement of flowers and fruits, it will successfully decorate and “feed” delicious fruits to the owners who have shown patience and love for unusual plants.

Jaboticaba, or Jaboticaba (Myrciaria caulifloria). Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Pedro Bezerra

Origin and distribution area

Jaboticaba, native to southern Brazil, belongs to the myrtle family. Among taxonomists, it is known as Myrciaria stem or stem. In plant taxonomy – Myrciaria caulifloria… Jaboticaba is grown commercially on the American continent (Bolivia, Northern Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Peru, Cuba). Also known as jaboticaba.

Biological features

Jaboticaba belongs to the decorative-deciduous group of evergreen woody plants 3-12 m in height, forming edible berries. The biological characteristic of jaboticaba is its very slow growth. Therefore, they are suitable for container cultivation in the form of a small tree or bonsai in an apartment or other type of enclosed space (container garden, office recreation area, greenhouse). If you plant a seedling, you will have to wait for the harvest for 10-14 years. In recent years, thanks to the work of breeders, jaboticaba hybrids have been bred, which form a crop at 4-6 years of age.

The bark of the tree is pinkish with gray spots. The crown of the jabotikaba is spreading, but small in volume, since the leaves, flowers and fruits of this unusual tree are located on perennial shoots, trunk, and skeletal branches. The arrangement of flowers and fruits directly on the skeletal branches of the crown and trunk is called caulifloria.

The crown of the tree in spring is covered with elegant oval-lanceolate small elongated leaves of a pleasant pink color, accompanied by a delicate aroma of myrtle. Over time, the pink tint of jaboticaba leaves is replaced by a rich dark green. Gradually falling off in winter, the tree forms new young leaves in the spring from buds in the same place.

Jaboticaba, or Brazilian grape tree during floweringJaboticaba, or Jaboticaba, or Brazilian grape tree during flowering. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Mariana Soares

Small single flowers that bloom several times a year directly on the trunk and skeletal branches of the tree give a fabulous elegance to the tree. Jaboticaba flowers of 4 perianth petals, carefully surround about 60 stamens on 4 mm filaments. Due to the abundance of flowers, the surface of the trunk and branches is practically invisible, and after a few days small rounded fruits appear, similar to moles.

Fruits are sessile, located tightly pressed against the trunk or branch. The color is different – green, red, light and dark purple or black. The fruit is a juicy elliptical berry up to 4 cm, covered with a dense skin on top. Inside there are 2-5 large seeds, for which the berry is officially called drupe. Ripe berries have a deep purple or black color.

Jaboticaba is harvested selectively as it ripens. The skin has a bitter taste due to its high tannin content. Therefore, only squeezed berry pulp is used for food. It is jelly-like, sweetish, very tender, reminiscent of the taste of a grape. The berries ripen for 3-4 weeks, and the tree lays a new crop.

Useful properties of jaboticaba

The fruits are kept fresh for a maximum of 3 days, and then wine fermentation begins. Therefore, jabotikaba is most used for making wine and other low-alcohol drinks. In addition to fresh use, jams, juices, marmalade are prepared from berries, used as additives in ice cream and other culinary delights. The fruits are used in the recipe of sauces for meat dishes. The peel is separated from the contents of the berry, dried and used as a dye to impart a deep red color to processed berries (wine, jam and others).

Jaboticaba is not just a decorative decoration of the interior of a room, a food product, it also has a number of medicinal properties. In folk medicine, a decoction of fresh or dried fruits is used to treat chronic inflammation of the tonsils, indigestion, and reduce the severity of asthmatic diseases. Officially conducted scientific research has proven that the composition of the fruit contains organic substances that have the ability to protect the human body from the formation of malignant cells. In this regard, it is useful to use the fruits of jaboticaba in food as a prophylactic anti-cancer agent. Be careful when using fresh and processed form! The fruits have certain allergenic properties and belong to individually intolerable foods. Be especially careful when eating berries with skins that contain certain toxins.

Growing jaboticaba at home

In the southern frost-free regions, jaboticaba can be cultivated outdoors. In areas, even with short-term slight frosts, it does not survive. But given its decorative effect, small trees are increasingly appearing in enclosed spaces, winter gardens, greenhouses, recreation areas of public institutions. Agrotechnology in terms of the complexity of care does not differ from other crops in the tropical area.

Jaboticaba, or Jaboticaba in a potJaboticaba, or Jaboticaba in a pot. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Wigert’s Bonsai

Jaboticaba requirements for environmental conditions

For home breeding, it is best to buy 2-3 grafted hybrid seedlings. 1-3 years of age. If they take root and begin to develop well, you can leave 1, and give the rest to friends. Hybrids bloom for 4-6 years, and begin to systematically form fruits, decorating the interior of the apartment and adding a delicate aroma of myrtle notes to the air. Like many other tropical crops, for normal growth and development, jaboticaba needs partial shade and only in the morning and evening hours in a small amount of direct sunlight.

Soil and planting

When growing jabotikaba indoors, the soil mixture is prepared on the basis of peat, forest and leaf land, humus and sand. All ingredients for the mixture are taken in 2 parts, and peat, humus and sand in 1 part. The pH of the soil mixture should be neutral or slightly acidic (5,5-6,0).

  • The purchased seedling is dipped for 4-5 hours in a root solution,
  • prepare dishes with good drainage (a layer of at least 5 cm from large shards and rubble). Cover 1/3 of the container container with soil mixture with a slide,
  • inspect the seedling. If necessary, trim the roots by 1/3,
  • the prepared seedling is placed in a container and completely covered with soil mixture. Gently squeeze the soil around the trunk. Planting is carried out so that the root collar is at the level of the soil. After planting, water the plant along the edge of the container. Drain excess water from the pan after 20-30 minutes.

Jaboticaba, or Jaboticaba in a potJaboticaba, or Jaboticaba in a pot. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Matt

Jabothikaba is transplanted as needed, more often with a large growth of the root system in a small volume of a pot or container of another shape. A healthy plant tolerates pruning of roots painlessly. Adult plants are not transplanted, but only change the top layer of the soil mixture to a new one.

Watering the jaboticaba

Overdrying the soil negatively affects the growth and development of the plant. Each subsequent watering is carried out while drying the upper 1-3 cm layer of the soil mixture. Watered soil is mulched. Stagnant water in the sump is not allowed. Water for irrigation is used warm, dechlorinated.

Fertilization and feeding

Systematic application of complete or complex mineral fertilizers for ornamental and flower crops accelerates the slow growth and development of plants. Top dressing is applied once a month under watering at the rate of 1-10 g of fertilizer for a plant, depending on age. Fertilize plants during the spring-summer season. By autumn, the dose of dressing is reduced. In winter, the plants are not fed. In the summer, foliar feeding is carried out with microelements with the obligatory content of iron chelates (in order to avoid chlorosis).

Jaboticaba crown formation

Jaboticaba in the upper part of the crown forms a large number of perennial branches that are heavy for it. Branches under their own weight can break off and damage neighboring shoots. To avoid damage and lighten the crown, the upper branches can be pruned periodically, while removing thickening and dry shoots. Jaboticaba bears better and more abundant fruit with a slightly thinner crown. Plant pruning is easy to tolerate. It is carried out before the growth of shoots (in early spring). Pruning in order to correct the crown has practically no effect on the yield of the tree.

Jaboticaba fruits on young branchesJaboticaba fruits on young branches. Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Nancy Sirois

Diseases and pests of jaboticaba

Jaboticaba can be damaged by aphids and spider mites. If the appearance of pests is noticed during the time, then it is easy to remove them with a warm shower, having previously covered the soil in the container with a film. If time is lost, plants can be treated with drugs, but by no means chemical, but biological. These drugs are made on the basis of various types of beneficial microorganisms or metabolites of their activity. These include fitoverm, avertin, spark-bio, lepidocid, acarin and others. It is necessary to prepare solutions and carry out spraying strictly according to the recommendations set out on the packaging or accompanying package. Biopreparations are good because they do not harm the human body and within 48 hours after application, the fruits can be eaten.

If you decide to add jabotikaba to your relaxation corner, follow all the requirements of these exotic plants for cultivation and care technology. Plants are capricious and at the slightest deviation from agrotechnical requirements (lack or excess of watering, fertilizing, lighting, temperature, etc.) they can immediately die.

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Anna Evans

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