Carob tree grow and care – tree of the genus Ceratonia also known as Carub tree or Ceratonia silique, Carob tree perennial evergreen or semi-deciduous plant also used as ornamental plant as shade tree, it’s drought tolerant and can survive long period of drought, also possible to grow as bonsai tree, grow in mediterranean, subtropical and rarely in temperate climate and growing in hardiness zone 9-11.
Leaves color green, the shape is elliptic with serrated, grow in even pinnate structure
Flower color can be: yellow, orange or red, there is female or male flowers on separate flowers, some cultivars can pollinate without male.
Better more than -3C but can survive lower temperature, in some cultivars need female and male trees, fertilizer possible to add when the tree are young to help the tree to grow faster and when the tree mature before the fruits but mature trees don’t need fertilization, well-drained soil and better slightly alkaline
What is the best way to start growing? Plant / Seed / Air layering / Cutting care
Is it necessary to graft or use vegetative reproduction? Yes, possible to graft female cultivars that won’t need male, verify the quality of the fruits, can be more juice, bigger pods, smaller seeds, some cultivars that bear fruit after a lot of years with grafting possible to reduce the time that need to wait before fruits, male trees need one male tree on 20-25 female trees, to graft all the male with females, to graft female and male flowers on the same tree, graft the male lower than the female and take care not to let the male to grow above the female.
Difficulties or problems when growing: Most of the cultivars need 2 trees female and male
Planting season: Hardiness zone 9-10a plant in spring to autumn and when planted in the autumn need to care for the tree to put mulch or light cover in hardiness zone 9, hardiness zone of 10b-11 can be all year but better in spring or autumn, in situation of just put the plant without watering at all better in autumn.
Pests and diseases: Aphids, scale insects
Pruning season: Autumn / Winter
Carob tree pruning: For mature trees no need except dead parts or design, young tree need to design that it will grow up and reduce the amount of branches that go from the main trunk, to create bonsai need to cut the trunk in low place, grafted tree with female and male on the same tree better to keep the male small and let the female evolve.
Size of the plant: 5-15 m, 15-45 feet
Growth speed in optimal condition: Medium growing / Slow growing
Water requirement: Small amount of water (minimum 200mm per year) to average amount of water, won’t be problem with more but need good drainage in rainy winters, when trees young need more water until establish and the tree are big can drought tolerance
Light conditions in optimal condition for growing: Full Sun, when tree young can let them grow in half shade they will grow up to the sun to get full sun
Is it possible to grow indoor as houseplant? No, possible as bonsai on the window
Growing is also possible in a planter /flowerpot / containers: No, but possible to grow in container as bonsai
Carob tree bonsai: Growing as bonsai care require few steps
Bloom season: Autumn
General information about the flower Yellow, orange or red flowers, there is female or male flowers on separate flowers, some cultivars can have female flowers that will bear fruits
Pollination is done by: Bees
Edible fruits pods
Fruit harvest season: Autumn (one year after the flowers)
Fruits pests or diseases: Bore
What can be done with big quantities of Carob tree fruits? Eat raw, dry, powder, substitute for chocolate
How long does it take to bear fruit? 3-9 years, can be above 20 years from seeds, if after 5 year won’t bear fruits consider to graft
Medicinal uses for the pods: Digestives problems, obesity, high cholesterol, diarrhea, heartburn
Yield information: Mature tree yield around 80-100 kg, if let it to yield a lot next year will yield less or won’t bear fruit at all
Harvesting method: Better to harvest with pole or shake the tree
How to grow carob tree from seed
Sowing requirement: Better to sow in 25C (77 °F), soak the seeds for 2-4 days, switch the water few times a day
Saving seeds until sowing: Room temperature, dry and dark location, better to use fresh seeds
Sowing season: Spring will be better but possible also autumn and end of winter
Planting spacing: Better in different pot, spacing for agriculture 3*4 m (10-13 feet) and private as shade 5*5m (15*15 feet)
Depth of Sowing: 2-3cm, 1 inches
Conditions for seeds germinate: Moist soil, temperature of 22-27C, good drainage, sunny location
Watering requires for Seeds: Average amount of water
Germination time: 2 weeks to 1 year, it depend if seeds fresh or not, mostly when the seeds not fresh and enter to dormant it takes time to germinate
Condition of seedling: Well drained soil, mulch on the soil, if germinate in winter need protection from wind and frost (put a lot of mulch or cover