The cacao tree is quite delicate. It needs protection from direct sun and wind, requiring a canopy of shade to thrive.
Cacao seedlings often are planted in the shelter of taller mother trees such as banana, plantain, coconut and rubber which provide the necessary shade while also producing other important crops.
Once the cacao trees are established, they can tolerate much more sunlight, but they grow best on small plots of land in partial shade, tended regularly.
As a general rule, cacao trees get their start in a nursery bed where seeds from high yielding trees are planted in fiber baskets or plastic bags.
The seedlings grow so fast that in a few months they are ready for transplanting.
Charlotte Boord wrote:Here in Central Texas the soil is acidic also, so all the ash from the fireplace that I've been saving is useless! I suppose I could make soap with it...