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Tips for successfully growing macadamias at home

Follow these guidelines to keep your backyard macadamia thriving and productive.
Choose the right variety of macadamia

There are four varieties of macadamia to choose from so speak to your nursery about which one will grow best in your location. If you want to enjoy your own home grown nuts sooner, we recommend purchasing an established macadamia sapling from an Australian natives nursery. These have often been grafted onto root stock that is more disease resistant and will give your backyard tree the best chance of success.

Plant bee-friendly plants

It takes around four to seven years for a macadamia tree to start producing nuts, but during that time you can be busy planting some other flowering plants. Macadamias are pollinated by insect activity, so surrounding your macadamia tree with insect-attracting plants will help it produce more nuts.

Check for pests and diseases

For an abundant harvest of mouth-watering macadamias, it’s important to protect your nuts from creatures big and small that love feasting on the delicious kernels as much as we do. Trees generally grow too big to net, so keep birds like cockatoos and galahs at bay by using scare tactics. Hanging noise-making or shiny items (like old CDs) in the tree can work well. Rats might need professional baiting, unless you want to get a dog or cat to do the control job for you.

Nut borer is a smaller, but no less devastating, pest that can affect your harvest. Unfortunately, pyrethrum sprays won’t work on these critters that lay eggs in the maturing nuts. One natural solution is to introduce trichogramma wasps which parasitise nut borer eggs. They are available to purchase in the mail as well as a range of other beneficial insects. Another natural solution can be to remove all the nuts for a season in order to take away the borers laying sites.