How To Grow Cashew Nuts From Seeds: Step-By-Step Guide

If you want to learn how to grow cashew nuts from seeds, then you’ve come to the right place. Growing cashews from seeds are easy and rewarding, and in this blog post, we’re going to show you exactly how it’s done.

Cashew nuts are an incredibly versatile nut, with a huge range of uses in both sweet and savory dishes. What’s more, they can be grown at home from almost any variety of seeds!

In this post, we’ll take a look at the basics of growing cashew nuts from seeds. After reading this post, you should have all the information you need to start growing your own supply of cashews – so let’s get started.

What Are Cashew Nuts?

Cashew nuts are the edible seeds of the cashew tree (Anacardium occidentale), which is a tropical evergreen native to Central and South America. The cashew nut is encased in a hard shell-like structure called the cashew apple, though this structure is actually a false fruit that contains the nut at its base. Cashew nuts are typically roasted or processed before eating to enhance their flavor and nutritional value.

Cashews are enjoyed as snacks and used as ingredients in many dishes due to their unique flavor and high nutritional profile. They contain healthy fats, protein, vitamins, minerals, making them a beneficial part of any balanced diet. Cashews are also used to make cashew butter and bonemilk for those who cannot consume dairy or prefer non-dairy alternatives.

How To Grow Cashew Nuts From Seeds

Step 1 – Select the right cashew seeds

Selecting the right cashew seeds is an important step in ensuring a successful crop. Look for seeds that are plump, dark brown and have a hard outer shell – avoid any cracked or holed seeds, as they may not be viable. Research different varieties of cashew tree to choose one suitable for your growing conditions and desired outcome. Make sure that the seed you choose is from a healthy and mature tree with a good yield; this will give you a better chance of achieving a good harvest.

When purchasing cashew seeds, buy them from a reputable supplier to ensure that the quality is good and the seeds have been stored correctly to maintain their viability.

If you take the time to select the right cashew seeds and purchase from a reputable supplier, you can be confident of reaping a successful crop.

Step 2 – Prepare the soil for planting

Preparing the soil for planting cashew trees is an important step in ensuring a successful crop. The ideal soil is well-draining and rich in organic matter, with a pH between 6 to 7 that is slightly acidic to neutral. Before planting, test the soil to determine its pH level and nutrient content, then adjust as needed with lime or sulfur. Amend the soil with organic matter such as compost or well-rotted manure to improve fertility.

In addition to preparing the soil, it is necessary to clear the planting area of any weeds, debris or other plants that might compete with the cashew tree for light, water and nutrients. Tilling the soil will help loosen it and improve drainage.

Once you have prepared the soil, plant each cashew tree seedling in a hole that is twice as wide as its root ball and just as deep. Be careful not to plant them too deeply. After planting, water and mulch around each seedling to conserve moisture and suppress weeds.

With proper care and preparation of the soil before planting, your cashew trees should thrive and provide good fruit.

Step 3 – Planting and Germinating Cashew Seeds

When planting cashew seeds, it’s best to do so in the spring when there is more rainfall and warmer weather. The seeds should be planted in a hole that is twice as wide as the root ball and just as deep. It’s important that the seed is placed at the correct depth, otherwise it may rot.

Fill the hole with a mixture of soil and compost or well-rotted manure, then water well and mulch to conserve moisture and suppress weeds. Keep the seeds moist but not waterlogged for optimal growth. Germination usually takes place within 2-4 weeks, at which point the seedlings should appear above the soil surface.

Since cashew seeds have a hard shell, some growers recommend soaking them in water for 24 hours prior to planting to soften up the shell and make it easier for them to absorb water. This can help improve germination rates of cashew seeds.

Step 4 – Caring for Your Cashew Trees

After the cashew tree seedlings have germinated, they need to be given proper care in order to ensure healthy growth and development. This includes regular watering, applying fertilizer, and monitoring for pests and diseases.

Young cashew trees should be kept lightly moist, but not waterlogged. As the tree matures and grows it will require more water. It is important to add a slow-release fertilizer at planting time so that the tree has access to the necessary nutrients when it is establishing itself. Additional fertilization may be needed as the tree continues to mature.

It is also important to check for potential pests and diseases that could affect cashew trees such as mealybugs or black spot fungus and take appropriate action if necessary.

Step 5 – Monitor for pests and diseases

When growing cashew trees, it’s important to keep an eye out for any pests or diseases that can affect the health of the tree. Common pests include mealybugs and scale insects which can damage leaves and branches if left unchecked. Mealybugs can be exterminated with insecticidal soap, while scale insects can be eliminated with horticultural oil.

Fungal diseases like black spot and powdery mildew can also affect cashew trees, causing black spots on the leaves in the case of black spot, and a white powdery growth on leaves and branches in the case of powdery mildew. Both of these diseases can be treated with fungicides.

It is essential to stay vigilant and take action as soon as possible if any signs of pests or disease are spotted. Routinely inspecting the tree and its surroundings will help you identify any issues early on, so you can take steps to prevent further spread before it goes too far.

Step 6 – Fertilize and water as needed

Fertilizing and watering are essential for the health and productivity of cashew trees. A slow-release fertilizer should be added to the soil at planting time to provide initial nutrients, while additional fertilization may be required as the tree matures. It’s important to monitor the soil moisture and water the tree with a drip irrigation system or a soaker hose as needed in order to prevent water logging.

When fertilizing, it’s important to use a fertilizer that is specifically for cashew trees. This will ensure that the tree has access to the necessary nutrients and minerals it needs to grow and produce delicious cashews.

Step 7 – Prune and train the tree

Pruning and training cashew trees is essential to ensure good health and productivity. As the tree grows, it should be trained in a way that allows for optimal air circulation and sunlight penetration, helping to prevent disease and pest infestations.

Dead or damaged branches should regularly be pruned off the tree and it should also be thinned out to allow for better air circulation. Any suckers that appear at the base of the tree should also be removed as they can draw energy away from the main trunk.

By pruning and training your cashew tree properly you can promote healthy growth, encourage fruiting, and increase yields.

Step 8 – Provide shade for young trees

Young cashew trees are sensitive to full sun and can be damaged by direct sunlight. Providing shade for young trees is important to protect them from sunburn and heat stress. This can be done by using a shading cloth or by planting other trees nearby to provide natural shade.

Step 9 – Harvesting and Storing Your Cashews

Cashew trees begin bearing fruit after 3-5 years, typically in late summer or early fall. The cashew fruit, also called cashew apples, will turn red or yellow when ripe and the nut is located at the bottom. The nuts should be harvested when the fruit is fully ripe and then dried in the sun for a few days to remove any remaining moisture before shelling them.

When removing the shells, wear gloves and clean any tools or equipment used as it contains a toxic oil called urushiol which can be potentially irritating to your skin or cause allergies. Once shelled, store the nuts in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

Enjoying home-grown cashews is rewarding but handling them requires caution due to their toxicity when unprocessed. With proper care and precautions, however, you can safely enjoy fresh cashews from your own garden.

Step 10 – Enjoy your cashews

After all the steps of growing, caring, harvesting, and storing your cashews, it’s finally time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Cashews can be eaten raw, roasted, or added to various dishes to add a delicious, nutty flavor. They are also a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals.

In summary, pruning and training the tree, providing shade for young trees, harvesting and storing the cashews and Enjoying your cashews are the last steps in growing cashews from seeds. Prune and train the tree for good air circulation and sunlight penetration, provide shade for young trees, harvest the fruit and nuts at the right time, store the nuts properly, and finally enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Tips for Growing Healthy Cashews

Growing cashews can be a rewarding experience, and with the following tips, you’ll be able to ensure your tree is healthy and productive:

  1. Select high-quality, fresh cashew seeds from a reputable supplier – This will increase the chances of germination and provide you with healthy, viable seeds for planting.
  2. Prepare the soil well before planting – Cashew prefers well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. Adding compost or manure will enhance its quality and provide the necessary nutrients for growth.
  3. Provide proper care – Proper care includes regular watering, fertilizing, monitoring for pests and diseases, and pruning to train the tree properly. For young trees or newly planted trees, keep them moist but not waterlogged and use a slow-release fertilizer at planting time. As they mature additional fertilization may be necessary.
  4. Shade young cashew trees from direct sunlight – Young cashew trees are sensitive to strong sunlight which can cause damage so provide some by using a shading cloth or planting other trees nearby to provide natural shade.
  5. Harvest and store correctly – Cashew trees usually start producing fruit after 3-5 years and it should be harvested during late summer when it’s ripe. To store them properly put them in an airtight container away from light, heat, or moisture because these factors can reduce their shelf life significantly

So, with the right care and attention, you can successfully grow cashews from seeds and enjoy their delicious flavor.


How long does it take to grow cashew from seed?

It takes 3-5 years for a cashew tree to start producing fruit from seed.

Can you grow cashews from raw cashews?

No, you cannot grow cashews from raw cashews. You need to use fresh cashew seeds from a reputable supplier.

How many cashews do you get from one plant?

It depends on the age and health of the tree, but a mature tree can produce up to 1,000 cashew nuts per year.

Are cashews easy to grow?

Cashews can be challenging to grow as they have specific requirements for soil, temperature, and humidity.

How many cashews can one tree produce?

A mature cashew tree can produce up to 1,000 cashew nuts per year.

Is cashew farming profitable?

Cashew farming can be profitable if done on a large scale with proper management and market conditions.

How long does a cashew tree take to grow?

It takes 3-5 years for a cashew tree to start producing fruit.

Do cashews take a lot of water to grow?

Cashew trees require consistent water but they cannot tolerate waterlogged soil. A drip irrigation system or a soaker hose can be used to supply water to the tree slowly and efficiently.

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