Acerola is a cherry like fruit native to tropical America. The fruit is extremely high in vitamine C. It grows from a small tree which is also ornamental. The scientific name is Malpighia glabra. It is usually grown in tropical and subtropical countries but it can be tried further North.
Can Malpighia glabra grow out of the tropics?
- Acerola is hardy to-2 C (28 F). It grows and fruits outdoors in coastal Mediterranean climates. Malpighia glabra needs no protection in warmer Southern Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece and also in the French Riviera.
- Malpighia glabra has a fast fruiting cycle. It goes from flower to fruit in just 3-4 weeks. Acerola does not need a long summer. One or two crops of acerolas can be expected in northern latitudes.
- Malpighia glabra grows well in pots. It can be kept as a small shrub and it will still fruit freely. In colder areas, potted plants can be moved to a warmer site in winter, and can be placed in full sun during the warmer months.
- Acerola stands drought and can do a winter rest. Potted shrubs can be kept on the dry side during the winter months. It will drop some leaves and will come back with leaves and new flowers when warmth and water are provided.