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Jamaican Otaheite Apple Tree | Caring For It

by Birgit Müller

Grown Jamaican Apple Tree | Photo Credit: @karljamaica

So Birgit came here (Jamaica) recently - yes in the middle of the pandemic, had Jamaican Otaheite Apple and fell in love with it!

She apparently took back the seed home (to Germany), but she needs some advice on taking care of it - love it!

Here's his question (below) answered by Deon.

Hi, we have been to Montego Bay this year and ate some delicious Otaheite apples!
I took the core to Germany and planted it here. The plant is around 10 centimeters high right now.

Do you maybe have an advice for me how to handle the plant for the next time?
In Germany, no one can help me with this kind of plant.

Thanks so much & stay save in this time,

-Birgit Müller.

RESPONSE: by Deon Clarke, Associate Writer

Hi Birgit,

I'm smiling as I respond :-)

Thank you so much for your question, and thank you for choosing Jamaica - Montego Bay in particular. I will be happy to provide you with as much information as possible so you can take care of your little 'slice of Jamaica' apple tree.

And by the way, it’s great to hear that you really enjoyed our otaheite apples, so much so that you took back the core with you so you can grow your own, lol.

I'm going to assume that you currently have it in a pot or container, right?

Well, I did a little research on your behalf, so here are some tips for the care and growth of your tree.

  1. With your tree so young, try to keep it in a frost-free environment. You can cover it and ensure that it has rich, well-draining soil and a good amount of organic matter. For well-drained soil you could use a mixture of soil, sand and perlite.

  2. The tree will thrive well in an acidic soil but not in locations that are high in alkaline

  3. It loves bright light and direct sunlight so try to ensure this as much as possible; 12 hours of bright sunlight is great for growth and the production of fruit.

  4. Note that your tree is fast-growing and can grow up to 60 feet tall and it’s trunk or body can grow up to 15 feet. And so, it will need a lot of room to stretch so it should be placed at a distance of at least 10 feet from other trees when you are ready to plant it directly in the ground.

  5. When watering your apple tree, ensure that you only lightly soak the soil and do not add anymore water until the top is about 2 inches dry. Depending on the location or the amount of foliage, you may need to water on a daily basis or weekly basis. Also ensure that you do not overwater your plant as this will result in root rot and eventually hurt it.

  6. As far as fertilizing is concerned, it is recommended that you fertilize it at the same time you are watering it using a time release fertilizer of 8-3-9. This will help it grow.

    It is important to note that you should follow all instructions on the fertilizer label to avoid burning or killing your plant during this tender stage.

It will take some amount of patience to care for your apple tree but after a few years you will reap the rewards of your labour by enjoying delicious Jamaican apples from your very own apple tree.

And by the way, do you know that this fruit is loaded with a myriad of health benefits? Oh yeah, read more about the 9 Surprising health benefits of Jamaican Otaheite apples here.

And, be sure to try one of these 27 Must-Eat Foods In Jamaica (video).

I do hope that the information I provided answered your question.


P.S. See also: What are the main fruits eaten in Jamaica?.

Editor's Note
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