How to Grow Acai Berries


Acai berries are one of the latest super foods to gain popularity. Their abundance of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other beneficial compounds have earned them a place on the shelf of nearly every health store in the U.S. Provided that you live between USDA growing Zones 9-11, it's easy to cultivate your own homegrown supply of this beneficial berry. All the acai (ah-sigh-ee) palm needs is partial shade, humidity and nutritious soil to produce hundreds of pounds of acai berries per season.

Step 1

Dig a hole that is three times as wide and three times as deep as the container your acai palm sapling is currently growing in.

Step 2

Mix half of the excavated soil with an equal amount of aged compost.

Step 3

Carefully remove your acai palm sapling from its container. Check its root ball and use pruning shears to cut away any damaged roots.

Step 4

Place the acai palm sapling in the hole so its root crown is slightly above the surrounding soil. You will have to backfill a bit of your soil mixture into the hole first to accomplish this. After the sapling is in place, fill the hole with the rest of the soil mixture. Then tamp the soil down with your hands to remove any air pockets.

Step 5

Water the soil thoroughly--but do not soak it. The soil should remain moist to a depth of a few inches until the acai palm establishes itself and new growth occurs. Once the palm has established itself, only water it when the surface of the adjacent soil feels dry and warm to the touch.

Step 6

Once the acai palm has been in the ground for one year, begin to fertilize it annually in the fall. Spread a 4-inch layer of compost around, but 4 inches away from, the base of the plant.

Step 7

Keep your acai palm from growing too tall to harvest by cutting down the original stalk once it reaches 10 to 12 feet in height. Continue to harvest from other stalks until they reach the same height and then repeat. This not only curbs the acai palm's height, but increases its fruit production.

Step 8

Wait for the acai palm to mature when it reaches three years of age. The berries are ready to harvest in March and the tree will continue to produce until July.

Tips and Warnings

  • Acai palms are cold-sensitive. If they are not protected from a cold snap, they may die.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Aged compost
  • Pruning shears


  • Acai Berry Enthusiasts: How Do Acai Berries Grow
  • Tropilab: Pina Palm

Who Can Help

  • Tropical Plants Flowers and Decor: Fruit Tree Fertilizer
Keywords: grow acai palm, grow acai berries, plant acai

About this Author

Emma Gin is a freelance writer who specializes in green, healthy and smart living. She is currently working on developing a weight-loss website that focuses on community and re-education. Gin is also working on a collection of short stories, because she knows what they say about idle hands.