Macadamia is one of the most wanted tropical nut trees.
The tree shape is variable, can be pruned to convenient size. Leaves are dark green with prickly edges to 8" long and 2" wide in whorls of three. Small white flowers, no petals, in racemes in Spring (6 to 7 months from flower to nut). There is a leathery outer husk that splits open revealing the very hard-shelled nut, 1/2 to 1 in diameter. Delicious fresh nut, may be roasted and salted. Tolerates all Florida soils. Plant likes lots of water, will live through some flooding, as well as some drought once established.
Species: Smooth-shelled Macadamia (Macadamia integrifolia), Rough-shelled Macadamia (M. tetraphylla). Hybrid forms exist between the two species.
Most popular Varieties: Arkin Papershell, Beaumont, Dana White.
Season: September to December.
Caring for your Macadamia Tree:
Space trees 15' apart and 20'-25' between rows. Trees can tolerate full sun to partial shade. Dig hole twice as large as pot and mix well drained organic material with dirt. Plant in a well drained area. Do not use heavy or claylike dirt. Make a ring around the tree to retain water. Water frequently for the first 3 months, after that they can tolerate dry periods. Ideal pH is 5.5 so they like the soil to be somewhat acidic. Blueberry mulch with fine pine bark is a good choice.
Resist the urge to fertilize for at least 6 months. You may use micronutrients soon after planting especially iron, zinc and copper as macadamias usually are deficient in these. Use a very watered down liquid fertilizer after a few months if you have sandy soil. When its time, use a slow release fertilizer that is low in phosphorus: 9-0-5 or close to it. DO NOT OVER FERTILIZE!
Prune lower branches for the first 3 or 4 years, remove suckers as they appear. It's a good idea to prune branches growing towards the middle of the tree or growing downward.