How to Grow Pistachios in California


People have been eating pistachios since 7000 BC, although commercial production of the fruit in the U.S. didn't begin until the 1970s, according to the California Rare Fruit Growers. The pistachio tree thrives in areas that have cool winters and hot summers such as they have in California. They don't like a lot of rain and can, in fact, go without water in drought conditions.

Step 1

Plant your pistachio tree in an area that gets full sun.

Step 2

Provide the pistachio tree with deep, well-drained soil. Although the tree will produce if grown in poor soil, it will thrive in soil that contains organic amendments and drains well, but holds moisture. If you have typical California sandy soil, adding compost and other amendments will help it to retain moisture.

Step 3

Water the pistachio tree deeply every two weeks. Allow the water to puddle around the tree at each watering.

Step 4

Fertilize the tree in the spring with a 10-10-10 fertilizer, according to the rate suggestion on the fertilizer package.

Step 5

Prune the pistachio tree only to remove dead and dying branches or those that are crossing others. Over-pruning can interfere with the tree's production of nuts.

Step 6

Inspect the pistachio tree for pests such as aphids and stink bugs. Consult with your county cooperative extension agent for pesticide or other eradication recommendations.

Step 7

Harvest your nuts by laying a tarp under the tree and then giving the tree a good shake.

Things You'll Need

  • Fertilizer
  • Tarp
  • Pruning shears


  • California Rare Fruit Growers: Pistachio
Keywords: grow pistachio in California, pistachio trees in California, caring for pistachio trees

About this Author

Victoria Hunter, a former broadcaster and real estate agent, has provided audio and written services to both small businesses and large corporations, worldwide. Hunter is a freelance writer specializing in the real estate industry. She devotes her spare time to her other passions: gardening and cooking. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.