Wood childhood dream - chocolate tree

By Admin | Garden, Garden
23 May 2016
COCOA

Theobroma cacao

Soil - fertile, loose

Watering - summer abundant in winter is moderate

Reproduction - seed and vegetative

Homeland Chocolate tree (Theobroma cacao), evergreen family sterculioideae - tropicalforests of Central and South America, the Amazon basin.Grow these unusual trees in a warm humid climate at 24-28 ° C.

In Greek, Theobroma means "food of the gods."The indigenous people of Mexico, the Aztecs attributed to the divine origin of the cocoa and grains of cooked special bitter drink chokolatl (hence the European name - chocolate), which has tonic properties.In Europe, the cocoa beans were in 1520.At the end of the XIX century began to cultivate the plant in India, Indonesia, Brazil and Africa.It has since been withdrawn a large number of its varieties.

Cocoa - large tree, reaching 10-12 meters in height, but in the culture, on the plantations, only grows to 6-8 meters.It is remarkable not only for its fruit.It all unusual.The leaves of the cocoa, for example, did not gro
w up gradually, like all evergreens and "Splash", just a few pieces.Young leaves hanging down from the tops of the shoots a beam and painted in brown-pink color, very elastic and soft, but they resemble wilted.And only with time they turn green and become strong.

flowers in chocolate wood small, dull and it's not surprising, with an unpleasant odor.And one more feature - they grow directly on the trunk and branches of the powerful, where there are no leaves.This "tsvetostvolie" characteristic of many tropical plants, called kaulifloriey.Pollinated flowers are mostly small insects and bats.During the year, in every tree, there is up to 100 thousand flowers, but only a twentieth of them gives the ovary.

The full fruition in the cocoa comes 6-7-th year and lasts 25 depending on the variety.One tree usually produces up to 50 fruits.Ripen it for a year, but collect them twice a year;in February and August, the end of the rainy season.Yellow, orange or reddish fruits (up to 30 cm long) look like small ribbed melons and contain;20-60 almond-shaped seeds - cocoa - beans.With one tree usually collect 1 - 2 kg.seed per year.

way

raw cacao beans have a bitter astringent taste and no characteristic cocoa flavor.Each seed (usually purple or red-brown color) is enclosed in a thin brown shell.After maturing cocoa beans are released from the membrane and subjected to fermentation (fermentation), which lasts 5-7 days.In the process of fermentation seeds darken, the bitter taste disappears and there is a pleasant smell of cocoa.

were then washed and dried in the sun or in special equipment.

To prepare the cocoa powder, of which all known brewed beverage from grain half removed oil (treated seeds it contains up to 45-55%) and the cake was ground into powder.For the preparation of solid chocolate beans are roasted, purified and milled in a viscous oily slurry which is compressed together with sugar and powdered milk.


Reproduction and care

Despite the fact that cocoa - exclusively tropical plant, it is grown in conservatories and greenhouses.For example, the greenhouse GBS, RAS.NVTsitsin few decades of the trees bloom and bear fruit every year.

Propagation cocoa, usually, seeds and air layering.Seeds are sown immediately after ripening of the fruit, because they quickly lose their germination.For this purpose the bottom bowls sphagnum moss placed 3-4 cm thick, and then laid on top of the seeds and covered with a thin layer of the same moss.Kept at high humidity and a temperature 22-24 ° C.After three weeks, the seedlings in the three-leaf stage are seated in small pots (7 cm diameter) in the friable substrate (ground sheet, humus, sand and peat in a ratio of 1: 1: 1: 1).

Cocoa growing rapidly, so that the roots of the whole opletut clod, it rolled over into a larger pot size, which is placed at the bottom of the drainage layer 2-3 cm (expanded clay, sand, pebbles), and on top of the mixture is poured a little land.When planting can not bury the root neck of plants and soil to fill the pot to the brim.You must leave space for watering (1.5-2 cm).Young plants are rolled over 2-3 times a year, adult specimens of rare - once in 2-3 years, in the spring, when plants start to grow after winter dormancy.After transplant the plants several times with warm water and shed copiously sprayed.

way

The liquid compound fertilizers "Russia" (JSC "Seliger-Holding) contains all the necessary elements of supply -azot, phosphorus, potassium, trace elements and biologically active humic substances.They mobilize the immune system, increase energy plant cells and resistance to complex diseases.Consumption of fertilizers in the soil dressing - 8.10 ml per 1 liter of water.


second method of reproduction - air layering.On semilignified escape length of 15-30 cm are doing an annular crust slice width 1.5-3 cm before the cambium.Place the cut wrapped first wet sphagnum moss thickness of 5-6 cm and a width of 6-7 cm, and then a polyethylene film (transparent can then be seen emerging roots) and tied with twine on both sides.Moss inside should be kept moist.When the roots opletut moss strains cut under the lower unit twine, remove the tape and planted plants (without removing moss) in a container.

Watering and fertilizing

to make guests feel comfortable from the tropics in the winter garden, you need to create the appropriate conditions for its growth.One of them - the correct and timely watering, which depends on many factors: the time of year, temperature, size of the container, as a substrate.In the summer the plants watered abundantly, winter - in moderation.Excessive watering, as well as drying of the soil is dangerous for the cacao - his dying roots, the leaves turn yellow and fall off.But how do you know it's time to water the plant?Most often, the need for irrigation is determined by touch: the land dried up, as a rule, do not get your hands dirty and falling apart.

When watering is necessary to make sure that all the earthen room is damp and the balance of water released through the drain hole as the suction area of ​​the roots at the bottom of the container.The water temperature should be 26-28 ° C.In the process of watering is leaching the top of the substrate, so you need to periodically pour into a container or a mixture of fresh land sour peat.

cocoa Feed up to a period of growth in the spring and summer, once in two weeks.Initially, organic fertilizers, and in the second half of the summer - mineral complex.Before feeding plants necessarily watered.For cocoa are very useful foliar feeding of a solution of salts of zinc and lime is very low concentration (30 g of zinc sulphate and 15 g of lime per 10 liters of water).


V. Gorbachev, T. Kobyakov

«Gardener» №4-2007