How to grow Marula tree

Marula tree grow and care – tree of the genus Sclerocarya also known as Amarula plant or as Sclerocarya birrea, Marula tree perennial evergreen to semi-deciduous plant, used for the edible fruits and seeds, also used as ornamental plant can be shade tree or grow as bonsai and can be drought tollerant, grow in desert, mediterranean or subtropical climate and growing in hardiness zone 10-12.

Leaves green to light green, ovate shape grow in pinnate structure.

Flower mostly grow in groups the color is green-yellow, the size 1-2 mm the flowers can separate to female and male flowers on separate trees.

Marula plant fruits

Fruits color yellow-green and juicy, possible to collect the fruits from the ground,

Seed color white-yellowish and edible as nut.

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Condition requirements for Marula tree growing and care:

How to grow a Marula tree:
Need male and female trees, well-drained soil, better when the tree young to add mulch and to add nitrogen it will help the tree to grow faster

How long does it take for Marula tree to grow:
Takes at least 5 years to grow to size that will bear fruits, and to bear big amount of

What is the best way to start growing?
Plant / Seed – information bellow / Vegetative Reproduction

Is it necessary to graft or use vegetative reproduction?
Yes, grafting male and female, better to graft the male on the side of the tree and the female on the top

Difficulties or problems when growing:
Need male and female tree

Planting season:
Winter, spring, summer

How to plant Amarula plant:
Dig a hole as deep as the current root ball plus extra 40%, put in the hole organic matter, hummus and dried leaves and mix it with some soil, put the tree and loos little bit the root ball above the hole, plant the tree and cover it and don’t push the soil too much strong but not too much lightly because it won’t be stable, after this put mulch to keep moist on soil, put water, for the next two weeks put every day (better in the morning) , better to take that the tree will be stable, and if not support it with bamboo or a stick that it won’t fall.

Pests and diseases:

Pruning season:
Autumn / Winter

How to prune:
Branches that grow down, more prune for design

Size of the plant:
10-30m, 30-100 feet

Growth speed in optimal condition:
Fast growing / Medium growing

Water requirement:
Average amount of water to small amount of water – grow well with small amount but grow better with more water, when the tree big possible to reduce the water because the roots might arrive groundwater

Light conditions in optimal condition for growing:
Full Sun, possible half shade when the tree younger but will grow slowlier untill arrive to full sun and also not sure that it will bear fruits

Is it possible to grow indoor as houseplant?

Growing is also possible in a planter /flowerpot / containers:
No, only as bonsai tree

Blooming information

Bloom season:
Spring / Summer

General information about the flower
Green flower mostly grow in groups, the size 1-2 mm the flowers can separate to female and male flowers on separate trees

Thinning the bloom:
Mostly cause there is not male in the way

Pollination is done by:
Bees, rarely self-pollinators

Edible Fruits

Fruit harvest season:
Summer / Autumn / Winter

Fruits pests or diseases:
Mediterranean fruit fly, fruit fly, elephants

What can be done with big quantities of Marula fruits?
Eat raw, alcohol, juice, oil

Work requirements on the fruit:
Traps from mediterranean fruit fly

How long does it take to bear fruit?
5-6 years, from seeds might take longer and might need to graft in order to get fruits

Ripening of fruit:
Better to collect the fruit from the ground

How to grow marula tree from seed

Sowing requirement:
Moist soil, well-drained soil,

Saving seeds until sowing:
Dry and dark location in room temperature

How to plant Marula seeds:
Dig an hole bigger than the seeds and better to put light soil and cover it lightly

Sowing season:
Spring to summer, in desert possible autumn and end of the winter

Planting spacing:
Better in different pots to put the seeds, if it’s just for 1 tree in the garden better to graft male and female plant on the same tree and if it’s for few trees better to graft them also before transplant them (it’s rare to success 100% of grafting)

Depth of Sowing:
3-5cm (1-2inches)

Conditions for seeds germinate:
Moist soil, sunny location, warm weather

Watering requires for Seeds:
Average amount of water

Germination time:
3-9 weeks

Condition of seedling:
Keep the soil moist and add fertilizer with high content of nitrogen

Scientific name:

Sclerocarya birrea

How to grow Marula tree

Marula leaves

Harvest Marula fruits

Marula tree

Growing Marula


Blooming Seasons
  • Spring flowers
  • Summer flowers
Edible Parts
  • Edible Fruit
  • Edible Nut
Culinary uses
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Eaten raw
  • Fruit
  • Ice pop & Ice cream plants
  • Jams
  • Juice
Flower colors
  • Green flower
  • Yellow flower
  • Desert Climate
  • Mediterranean Climate
  • Subtropics Climate
Harvest Season
  • Autumn Harvest
  • Summer Harvest
  • Winter harvest
Ornamental parts
  • Ornamental leaves
  • Ornamental plant
Plant growing speed
  • Average growing plants
  • Fast growing plants
Plant life-form
  • Deciduous
  • Evergreen
  • Perennial plant
  • Tree
Plant Uses
  • Bonsai
  • Drought tolerant plants
  • Edible plants
  • Ornamental plants
  • Shade tree
Planting Season
  • Spring Planting
  • Summer planting
  • Winter planting
Plants sun exposure
  • Full sun Plants
Watering plants
  • Small amounts of water
Hardiness zone
  • Hardiness zone 10
  • Hardiness zone 11
  • Hardiness zone 12