Once called superfood in the “Oprah Winfrey Show”, Acai berries are an inch long, antioxidants-rich deep purple fruit. Acai (ah-sigh-ee) berry fruit is harvested from acai palm trees grown in the territories of Brazil, Central and South America.
Brazilian berry consists of a small size seed and flesh coating. An acai palm tree harvests around 600 berries that can be consumed in the form of capsules, juices, pulp, raw berries and powder.
- 0.1 Nutrients Profile of Acai Berries
- 0.2 What are the health benefits of Acai Berries?
- 0.3 Ideal weather condition for growing Acai Berries
- 0.4 Growing Tips for Acai Berries
- 1 How to grow Acai Berries
- 2 Conclusion
Nutrients Profile of Acai Berries
Nutrient-Packed, antioxidant-rich acai berries push other seasonal fruits aside to get you rolling. Acai fruit contains
- Dietary fibers
- Ellagic acid
- Oleic Acid (Omega-9)
- Linoleic Acid (Omega-6)
- Palmitic Acid
Acai berries contain Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Calcium, Iron, Potassium in a nominal amount.
What are the health benefits of Acai Berries?
Acai berries ace the race in keeping you healthy. Brazilian superfruit gets calories burning and cleans the digestive colon to keep you fit as a fiddle.
- Acai berries are touted as disease-preventing fruit for its antioxidant-rich properties.
- Fatty acids, Omega-6, Omega-9 maintains and reduces cholesterol levels.
- However, not a magic bullet to flatten the tummy but it does aid in weight loss. It curbs cravings to get you leaner.
- Known for the concentration of antioxidants, acai berries neutralize the damage caused by the free radicals.
- Brazil’s super berry is used in different anti-ageing creams because it contains loads of antioxidants.
- Acai oil is used in shampoos and moisturizers as well as for dressing salad.
Ideal weather condition for growing Acai Berries
Acai Palm trees, indigenous to subtropic climate, cannot stand freezing temperatures. Acai plants cannot grow at a temperature falling below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Warmer temperature, preferably, 70 degrees Fahrenheit and above is required for the growth.
Acai Palm trees can be grown at home where there is a warm and humid climate. If the temperatures are cooler, the acai plant can be planted in a greenhouse.
Growing Tips for Acai Berries
The hot, humid and swamp-like climate is suitable for the successful production of berries.
USDA zones 10-11 are preferred for the acai palm tree plantation.
Sufficient drainage is required as the wet roots will hinder the growth.
Acai palm trees grow up to 80-100 feet tall so they must be planted in an area that supports such height
Acidic soil is required for plantation.
Acai palm trees bear fruit within 3-5 years of growth.
Acai berries are low light plants.
Harvesting is done from July to December. Harvesting the plant is a tough job because of the height. Berries are usually picked by hands.
How to grow Acai Berries
When growing Acai Berries, the first thing to consider is is the weather condition that fits Acai Plant needs. if you are living in a warmer climate, you can grow acai berries at home. People living in areas when the temperatures are cooler can grow the acai plant in the greenhouse.
Buy fresh Acai Seeds from the market. Soak the dried Acai seeds in warm water for two days before plantation.
Fill 1 gallon of a pot with peat moss and perlite to raise the acidic pH levels. Plant the seed in the mix and enclose it in a plastic bag.
Seed germination is done in moist soil and warmer temperatures. Red spikes will be spotted within more or less two weeks.
If the temperature is below 70 degrees Fahrenheit provides heat with the heating lamp or heating mat.
The seed will germinate within weeks and begin to sprout.
Transplanting to Pots
After the successful germination of seeds, transplant the seedlings to pots approximately 4-inch diameter. Transplant them to pots when they are 2 inches tall. They must remain in post for 6 months or when they are 20 inches long.
Choosing a site that is well-drained but uniformly moist is good for the Acai Palms. Acai berries are low light plants so a shady outdoor area would help the growth.
Acai plants need acidic soil to grow. Test the soil for fertility, potential growth and to know the soil type.
Compost, manure, sphagnum peat moss make the soil acidic and fit for plantation. Acidifying fertilizers also pitch in to help raise the acidic levels of the soil.
Dig the planting hole twice as large as the Acai palms root system. Mix compost with the soil. Now plant the Acai palm in the hole and fill it with the soil/compost mixture. Water the Acai plant well at the root zone and keep it wet.
Watering Acai Plants
Water the plant more often as they require a moist environment. But appropriate drainage is necessary for the roots to do well. Waterlogged roots restrict respiration which hinders growth.
Fertilize the new plant every six weeks with a balanced 10-10-10 fertilizer. Feed the plant 4 times a year for a good yield. Fertilization must be done after regular intervals. Time-released or organic berry fertilizers can be used to feed the plant.
Acai plant will produce purple flowers and fruit within 3-5 years. Harvest is collected from July through December.
When to harvest the Acai Berries?
Acai berries have a short shelf life and lose their nutritional value quickly so they must be harvested when they turn deep purple. Processing must be done after 24 hours of harvest. Harvesting is done from July-December.
Growing Acai Berry in Greenhouse
In colder regions, Acai berries can grow only in the greenhouse. Greenhouse provides the temperature required for the growth of the Acai Plant. But the bigger concern for a grower is the height of the plant.
Additional palm stalks grow from the base of the primary stalk. Many Acai growers trim the primary stalk to make sure the tree doesn’t get gigantic.
Dark purple berry with citrusy intense flavour is an appetizing member of superfoods squad. Acai berries aid in a broader spectrum from health benefits, skincare to delicious recipes.
Growing Brazil’s beautyberry is daunting yet rewarding. These magical berries are expensive and hard to get that’s why growing them in your big backyard is a sound choice.
Hi i am Waqar Zafar, a passionate plant pathologist. I have done graduation Plant pathology and animal science. My research papers on pest control and plant health phenomenon published in many journals. Research is not limited to some papers as agriculture and farming is a wide field so looking for suggestions from readers.