How to Care for Brazilian Cherries

Overview

The Brazilian cherry (Eugenia uniflora), also known as Surinam cherry, is a fruiting shrub that grows to 25 feet at maturity. It has aromatic foliage and produces ribbed, dark-maroon edible fruits that resemble tiny pumpkins. You can grow Brazilian cherry shrubs in full sunlight and in any soil type. Native to South America, they are best grown in the ground outdoors in tropical and subtropical climates where temperatures don't drop below 22 degrees Fahrenheit. In climates that have frosts and sustained freezing temperatures in winter, Brazilian cherries can be container-grown and brought indoors during the colder months.

Step 1

Water your Brazilian cherry deeply and thoroughly once or twice each week throughout the flowering and fruiting season, to supplement rainfall. Soak the soil down to, and around, the root zone. Watering the shrub during this period will encourage the fruits to grow larger and sweeter.

Step 2

Feed the shrub four times each year with a balanced, complete fertilizer, such as 10-10-10 NPK (nitrogen-phosphorous-potassium). Apply the fertilizer in January, April, July and October, according to the dosage instructions on the label.

Step 3

Prune Brazilian cherries for shape, if you're growing them as a hedge. But if you want to promote timely or early fruiting, wait until the third or fourth year to prune the shrubs.

Step 4

Harvest cherries three weeks after the flowers open. In most regions where Brazilian cherries are grown, you can harvest the first crop in spring and the second crop in fall. In Brazil, the fruits are harvested in autumn and again in December or January.

Step 5

Control Caribbean and Mediterranean fruit flies that may infest your Brazilian cherries by spraying the shrub with an appropriate insecticide. Follow the instructions on the insecticide label exactly.

Tips and Warnings

  • Be careful where you plant Brazilian cherries. These shrubs self-propagate easily by spreading seeds and can overtake other plants.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden hose
  • Balanced fertilizer
  • Pruning shears
  • Insecticide (optional)

References

  • Purdue University: Surinam Cherry

Who Can Help

  • Daleys Fruit Tree Nursery: Brazilian Cherry
  • Plant-Care.com: Surinam Cherry
Keywords: edible cherry shrub, Eugenia uniflora, grow Surinam cherries

About this Author

Sarah Terry brings 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters, and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.