How To Grow Acai Berries

Acai berries (Euterpe oleracea) are small, dark purple fruits that grow on acai palm trees.

They’re one of the most nutritious berries, containing more antioxidants than blueberries, blackberries and raspberries. [1]

Acai berries are expensive to buy and only have a short shelf life, so in this article I’ll explain how to grow your own nutritious Acai berries at home.

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acai berries in bowl

Acai (pronounced “ah-sigh-ee”) palm trees are native to Central and South America, so they grow best in warm tropical or subtropical climates.

If you live in a cool climate, you can grow Acai berries in containers in a greenhouse over the winter months.

Growing Acai Palms

Acai palms can reach up to 80 feet (24 metres) tall, so they’re best suited to big backyards, but if you only have a small yard there are a number of ways to control their growth. [2]

Each tree produces several trunks so you can remove the large middle trunk and keep the smaller offshoots.

You can also grow Acai palms in large containers to restrict their height or plant dwarf Acai palm seeds.

How to grow acai berries from seed

Acai berries contain a large seed in the middle, so if you have access to fresh berries, you can clean the seeds to remove any pulp and soak the seeds for a day or two before planting them.

If you live outside of South America, where fresh Acai berries are scarce, you can purchase Acai berry seeds for planting.

The best seed raising mix for Acai seeds is a combination of vermiculite and finely shredded coconut coir.

Fill a pot with the seed raising mix and plant the seeds about an inch (2.5 cm) deep.

Place the pot in a plastic bag and place it in a warm spot near a sunny window.

You can also use a heat mat underneath the pot if you live in a cool area.

After 1 to 2 months, the seeds will germinate and you can transfer the seedlings outdoors when they’re about 6 months old.

To get a head start, you can also buy Acai palm seedlings.

acai palm tree

Growing tips

Acai palms grow best in a position with part shade and moist, slightly acidic soil.

They prefer warm temperatures of 70 degrees fahrenheit (21 degrees celsius) and above.

Acai palms grown in containers will need good drainage holes at the bottom of the container.

The trees are fast growing, so you’ll need to repot them every six months or so when they start to outgrow the container.

Acai palm trees are self-pollinating, so you only need to plant one tree to get fruit.

It can take between 3 to 5 years for the trees to begin producing fruit.

If you see purple flowers beginning to appear, it’s a sign that the fruit is not far away.

The harvest time for Acai berries is usually during fall but in tropical areas there is a long harvest season lasting 6 to 8 months and the trees usually produce 2 lots of fruit during this time.

How to eat Acai berries

Acai berries aren’t as sweet as most other berries with more of an earthy taste.

They’re usually soaked in water to soften their tough skin and then mashed or blended to form a puree.

Acai puree can be used to make smoothies, acai bowls or added to dessert recipes.

Fresh Acai berries have a short shelf life so they’re usually not available to buy outside of the area that they’re grown, but you can buy Acai powder to add to smoothies or drink Acai berry juice.

So there are my tips for growing Acai berries at home.

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Have you tasted Acai berries or tried to grow them yourself? Let me know in the comments below.

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How to grow acai berries

Kelly Martin

Hi, I'm Kelly Martin. I'm passionate about gardening and horticulture and I love growing just about everything including herbs, vegetables, flowers, succulents and indoor plants. I've been gardening most of my life and I created this blog to inspire beginner gardeners to create their own urban garden. Read more

This Post Has One Comment

  1. I eat acai berries all the time but I didn’t know they grew on trees! I’d love to plant an acai palm tree in my backyard. I think I’ve got enough room for it. I like that they’re self-pollinating so you only need one tree to get fruit.

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