Achacha Tree

Growing Zones in Ground: 9 - 11 / in Pots: 4 - 11

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Description

The Achacha Tree (Garcinia humilis) is a rare tropical tree that produces four-inch, orange, egg-shaped fruits that have juicy pulp said to taste like lemonade. The handsome, bushy trees are small, with mature specimens reaching fifteeen to twenty feet tall, and ten to fifteen feet wide. They like partial sun, are slow growing, and can make fruit in as little as one year in the ground. Once established, Achacha Trees are easy to grow and can take temperatures as low as 30ºF.

Achacha Tree can be grown outdoors in USDA Zones 9 to 11, or in pots and over-wintered indoors in Zones 4 to 11. Achacha Fruits are related to mangosteens, are self-fertile, and a single mature tree can produce hundreds of the orange, sweet-sour, four-inch fruits per year. Achachas are also rich in vitamin C, vitamin B, and potassium, all of which are considered nutritionally valuable. Add this Amazon Forest native to your edible landscape and begin growing a rare delicacy right in your own yard.

Achacha Tree Care

Achacha Trees thrive in much the same conditions as citrus or mango trees. They like well drained soil with balanced organic matter and plenty of water. In Zones 9 to 11, plant Achacha Trees in full sun or a spot that gets at least six hours of direct sunlight each day. The trees will not tolerate standing water, so plant on raised mounds if flooding is possible in the area. Also, do not plant in low ditches or near lakesides where ground may become saturated in rainy seasons.

Once you have selected the planting spot, dig a hole that is as wide and as deep as the potted tree’s root ball. Position the tree so that the root ball surface is even with the ground soil level. Backfill the hole with a mixture of half soil and half organic material such as manure or compost. Water the new tree in well, then water once per week for the first two months. In very hot and dry conditions, increase new tree watering to twice per week, or when soil is dry to two inches deep at the tree base.

Fruit & Harvesting

Achacha Fruits are most often eaten fresh by splitting the rind and eating the juicy pulp from around one or two large inedible seeds. Achachas can be chilled before eating, which adds to the sweet-tart taste. Achacha Pulp with the seeds removed can be blended into smoothies or juiced for tropical drinks. The flesh can also be sliced and added to salads. Achacha skins can be pulverized and steeped in water to make a refreshing drink that contains beta-carotene, amino acids, and beneficial minerals.

Harvest Achachas when the skins turn deep orange and the fruits are oval and about three to four inches long. Once picked, the fruit will not ripen further, but it will store for a long time. Harvested Achachas can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for three weeks or more. Most Zone 9 or warmer locations will produce Achachas that ripen between January and April.

Growing Zones

Advice

Achacha Trees are self-fertile and will grow fruit alone. Two or more Achacha Trees growing within fifty feet will increase fruit yields. Pruning is not required, but can be done to help the bushy trees maintain a balanced shape. Prune Achacha Trees in early May after all fruit has been harvested. The ideal shape is a rounded broom with the largest branches supporting a network of smaller stems at the top. Remove trimmed materials from the tree base and do not fertilize until new growth emerges.

Achacha Trees absorb nutrients from both shallow and deeper roots. For this reason it is a good practice to keep the area beneath the Achacha Trees free from weeds and thick grass. Mulch the area under the trees with woodchips, straw, leaves, and/or grass clippings. Mulch can be up to five inches deep, but not stacked against the tree’s trunk. Water new mulch down to help keep it in place, and pull mulch back when adding fruit tree fertilizer. Mango or Citrus Fertilizer can be added once every three months in manufacturer suggested amounts according to tree size, and always watered in well.

FAQs

What do Achacha Fruits taste like?

Achaha Fruit is considered a delicacy and is one of the highest rated fruits in the world. The thick skin conceals juicy, white pulp that has a slightly bitter, tart, and sweet taste that reminds some of the sweet yet tart taste of lemonade.

Are Achacha Fruits available in the grocery store?

Achachas may be available in some local markets where trees are grown, but the fruit is considered rare in many places. Achacha Fruits are seldom seen in commercial grocery stores.

Can Achacha Trees produce fruit if grown in pots?

Containerized Achacha Trees can grow fruit if planted in large pots and placed in the sun. Be sure the pots drain well, and reduce recommended fertilizer amounts by half.

How big do Achacha Trees get?

Achacha Trees grow to be about twenty feet tall and fifteen feet wide at most if in the ground, and up to ten feet tall in large containers.