A Nest for All Seasons A Nest for All Seasons: How Cashew Nuts Grow

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03 August 2015

How Cashew Nuts Grow

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Did you know? I didn't!

Would you guess that cashew nuts grew in the ground? above the ground? on a bush? on a tree?
Would you believe that there are actually cashew APPLES, the fruit of the cashew TREE and that they are attached to a singular cashew nut?

The yellow part is the cashew apple fruit and that greenish/grey thing holds the cashew nut inside.  Plant the entire seed/pod to grow a cashew tree!
One single cashew nut per apple -- no wonder they are expensive!  ...and YES!  You can eat them, though the jury is out on whether we actually like them or not.  They bruise very. very easily, so that is why we have never seen them in the grocery store for sale.  Think fragile as raspberries, but as big as a medium apple.  The cashews grow on a tree that is really quite beautiful in its own right, and will only grow in very warm tropical climates.
Cashew Tree Seedlings 2 Weeks In
In other cashew news, they are VERY easy to grow from seed (nut). Note that you must plant the raw cashew, and roasted cashews from the can will not work. You also want to grow them in a zone 10/11 garden or very warm greenhouse and plant the raw seeds as soon as you can for speedy success. We soaked 5 seeds in water overnight, scored them a little with a meat hammer and planted in a pot.

A week or so later and all five were already sprouting -- 100% germination!  2 weeks and they visibly shed a green cashew seed pod (See it below?) and are several inches tall. Now we just have to find a place to PLANT these pretty trees!

So now when someone asks you...did you know that cashews grow on trees? You can say YES!

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