How to Grow Brazil Nuts


Brazil nuts are hard shelled seeds collected from trees growing in the Amazon basin. The collection and selling of Brazil nuts is a primary source of income for rural Brazilians and is often considered an alternative to deforestation. Though notoriously hard to cultivate, healthy trees can reach over 150 feet tall and produce nuts for several hundreds of years. Raw Brazil nuts can be ordered online from specialty nurseries and grow best in rainforest-like conditions.

Step 1

Soak the seeds in a large, sealed jar of water for 24 hours. This will initiate the process of germination and loosen the outer husk.

Step 2

Pour out the water and rinse the seeds. Fill the jar with fresh water and allow seeds to soak in water for 8-hour increments seed sprouts.

Step 3

Remove water and fill jar two-thirds full with nutrient-rich potting soil.

Step 4

Use your finger to make a slight hole in the center of the soil. Push the seed into the soil and fully cover with dirt. Allow the sprout to slightly stick up out of the soil.

Step 5

Wet the soil by slowly pouring water over the seed. Soil should remain moist without any standing water.

Step 6

Place a breathable cloth (such as gauze or cheesecloth) over the mouth of the jar and secure with a rubber band. Place in an area with indirect sunlight and periodically check seeds for growth and soil dryness.

Step 7

Once seedling reaches 6-12 inches in height, plant in an area with full sunlight and well-draining soil. Brazil nut trees do best in environments with tropical temperatures and high humidity.

Tips and Warnings

  • Brazil nut trees cannot survive freezing temperatures. Protect your trees by wrapping them with blankets and insulating the ground with high quality mulch.

Things You'll Need

  • Large jar
  • Cheesecloth
  • Potting soil
  • Water
  • Rubber band


  • BBC: Brazil Nuts' Path to Preservation
  • New York Botanical Garden: The Brazil Nut
  • Living Foods: Sprouting
Keywords: brazil nut, grow brazil nut, brazil nut tree

About this Author

Kelsey Erin Shipman has worked as a travel writer, poet, journalist and award-winning photographer since 2004. She is a featured poet on NYC public radio, is the winner of the San Jacinto & Alethean Literary Societies' Poetry Award, and has authored three collections of poetry including "cold days," "bastante" and "short poems." She earned a B.A. in philosophy from Southwestern University.