Originating from Brazil, the Jaboticaba is a member of the Myrtle family and relative to Guava. The botanical name of Cauliflora translates to flowers, which is produced by this tree. In addition, the Jaboticaba produces fruit on mature branches and trunk.
While going through the flowering season, the tree becomes covered in beautiful clusters of white flowers, which eventually turn into dark berries. Interestingly, the fruitís kernels can be grown for indoor bonsai. Then, bark will often peel off and curl as the result of the trunk and branches expanding. By the time the Jaboticaba reaches 10 to 12 years of age, it would measure around 15 to 16 inches tall.
Jaboticaba prefers bright sunlight although it can tolerate low light levels. If you place it outdoors in the summer, full sun can be handled well. During the hottest summer days, you would need to provide some shade. It is important that Jaboticaba never be in an environment below 30 degrees. In addition, this tree does not care for dry soil or great variations in temperature.
For watering, keep the soil moist in the summer and less in the wintertime. Usually, Jaboticaba likes to dry out just slightly during watering. However, when the soil dries out too much, the leaves will begin to drop off. You also want to provide Jaboticaba with humidity, through misting or a humidity tray. As for food, you want to feed the Jaboticaba every two weeks during the heavy growing season and then about every four weeks in the winter. Additionally, this tree prefers soil slightly on the acidic side.
Hard pruning Jaboticaba is important since this is a fast grower. For this, you want to shorten any new shoots with six to eight pairs of leaves, allowing one to two pairs to remain. In addition, while Jaboticaba is in the active growing season, wiring can also be performed. You just want to protect branches, as they scar easily. For strong plants, leaf pruning should be done in the summertime although most experts suggest otherwise. Jaboticaba can tolerate up to two-thirds root loss as well.
For soil, you want to use quality bonsai soil. If you were interested in propagating, use cuttings in the summer and seeds or air layering in the fall. Finally, Jaboticaba is prone to some pests such as aphids, red spider mites, scales, and mealy bugs so use organic pesticides to control the problem.