The monkey pod tree is a tropical member of the legume family. The tree is memorable for its huge, domed canopy and massive, gnarled roots. Growing to a height of 80 feet, the monkey pod is native to South America and grows in many tropical regions of the world. If you plan on growing a monkey pod tree, realize that this tree will get very large and it grows quite fast, from 2 1/2 to 5 feet per year, according to botanists at Bishop Museum in Honolulu. Very heat- and sunlight-dependent, the monkey pod tree is hardy in USDA zones 9 to 11.
Clean the seed well of all fruit by scrubbing it lightly under lukewarm running water. Make sure that you remove all of the pulp.
Fill a small bowl with hot water, at least 175 degrees F. Botanists with the Bishop Museum suggest using water volume five times the seed volume.
Place the seed in the bowl of hot water, allow to sit for two minutes, stir, then remove them and place them in a bowl of lukewarm water, 86 to 104 degrees F, for 24 hours.
Combine three parts potting soil, one part sand and one part compost. Fill the planting pot with the mixture and water it well, allowing the excess water to drain from the bottom of the pot.
Plant the monkey pod seed 1/2 inch into the soil, cover lightly and place the pot in a warm area, such as on top of the refrigerator. Keep the soil moist but not soggy. Germination should occur within 10 days.
Allow your seedling to grow to a height of 8 inches prior to planting it outdoors. This may take from three to five months.
Plant the seedling in a location that receives sun all day. The monkey pod seedling will die in the shade. Pull any weeds around the seedling as soon as they appear, so that the seedling doesn’t have to compete for sunlight and moisture.