A few years ago, I bought a star fruit and I got curious – could I grow a new tree from one the seeds? I almost gave up on the idea because I’ve heard so many contradictory and discouraging things when it comes to growing stuff from fruit you buy from the store.
Turns out, there are some things you can grow from fruits you buy at the grocery store and star fruit is one of them. And it’s super simple.
In this post, I’ll provide some quick steps for getting your star fruit tree started this spring and at the end of this post you’ll find a video that shows the progress our tree has made since it sprouted in 2012. It hasn’t bore any fruit yet, but I’m betting this will be the year. It can take three years or more before a seedling will be strong enough to fruit and this the start of the third year for us.
We started some new seeds indoors last November and they are already off to a great start. Although, I’m not sure we’ll be able to grow them all, we’ve successfully started five new plants.
If you’d like to try to grown a star fruit tree of your own, check out the following tips:
Growing a star fruit tree (carambola) from seed
1. Start by buying a few ripe star fruits from the grocery store.
2. Carefully cut the fruit, take care not to cut the seeds. Eat some of the fruit (the fun part) to see if it’s sweet and worth planting. You’ll want to plant seeds from the fruits that are the sweetest.
3. Remove all of the seeds.
4. Put some seed starter soil (peat moss mix) in cups and wet it with warm water (it’s important to wet the soil before you plant the seed to keep the water from pushing your seed to the bottom of the cup). You may also use Jiffy Pellets – prepare them by wetting them with warm water, also.
5. Plant one seed per cup.
6. Water thoroughly with more warm water and cover with plastic to keep the soil moist.
Star fruit trees are tropical plants so this is a plant you’ll want to grow in a container if you don’t live in a tropical climate. Start with a small container and keep graduating the plant to a larger one as it grows. It will need to be transferred indoors or at least kept in the garage when the outside temperature falls below freezing or when there is a threat of frost.
During the winter it may loose leaves due to lack of light and lower temps, but it should pull through if you remember to water it every now and then.
We just brought our star fruit tree outside for the season. We’re keeping an eye on the lows and will bring it in if it dips below freezing or frosts again. Over the winter, the tree lost all its leaves, but we are hopeful it will spring back to life in no time. We will keep you updated on its progress as the season goes on.
In the meantime, have a look at what it looked like in the fall:
If you decide to give this a try, share your progress with us! Tell us, have you ever tried growing anything from fruits or vegetables you bought at the store? How did it go?