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How to Grow Macadamia Nuts

By Jennifer Loucks ; Updated September 21, 2017

Macadamia nuts originated in Australia, but also are found in other warm climates on a bush type tree that reaches approximately 40 feet in height and width. The nuts will not produce until 4 to 5 years after tree planting with full production around 12 to 15 years of age. Macadamia trees prefer moist soil conditions and have roots that grow close to the soil surface to optimize moisture absorption.

Growing Macadamia Nut Trees

Purchase macadamia nut seeds from a garden supply store. Soak seeds in water for 24 hours prior to planting.

File a groove into each seed shell with a hand file to assist with the start of germination.

Prepare the soil by adding peat and sand to make a mixture that will drain well. Macadamia grow well in a soil that stays moist but not wet.

Plant the seeds in the soil mixture. Place the container in a location that gets full sun or indoors under grow lights. Young saplings do not tolerate cool temperatures. Water the plants frequently to keep the soil moist.

Fertilize the young trees 6 months after planting using a fertilizer that is less than 1 percent nitrogen. Continue to fertilize the trees twice a year with a low nitrogen fertilizer.

Plant the seedlings into the ground once they start growing. The trees grow into a large bush type tree quickly the first 4 years. Provide wind protection as the trees form shallow roots. Protect young plants from frost if necessary.

Harvest the nuts once they start producing. It is best to harvest every 2 weeks in dry and sunny locations and every week when the conditions are wet. Remove the husks immediately to prevent molding.

Dry the nuts for 3 weeks before cracking them. Another option is to dry the nuts in a food dehydrator set on the low for 2 to 3 days. Test the nuts after drying to verify the shells are brittle and crack clean.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Macadamia seeds
  • Hand file
  • Soil
  • Peat
  • Sand
  • Container
  • Fertilizer
  • Food dehydrator

Tips

  • A popular seed type is macadamia integrifolia. This nut is smooth shelled and high in sugar so it will toast well.
  • Macadamia trees can be grafted, however this is only this is only possible if a growing is available.
  • Macadamia trees grow best in the warm climates of Hawaii, California, or Australia.
  • Macadamia trees require a rainfall amount of 60 to 120 inches per year depending on the moisture holding content of the soil.

About the Author

 

Jennifer Loucks has been writing since 1998. She previously worked as a technical writer for a software development company, creating software documentation, help documents and training curriculum. She now writes hobby-based articles on cooking, gardening, sewing and running. Loucks also trains for full marathons, half-marathons and shorter distance running. She holds a Bachelor of Science in animal science and business from University of Wisconsin-River Falls.