How To Grow Sea Grape Trees

A plant for all season

Sea grape tree-How-to-grow-sea grape-trees
Seagrape tree

In my opinion, seagrapes is a plant for all seasons because seagrapes serve so many purposes. The seagrape plant is a native of the West Indies and South Florid. Seagrapes grow best in tropical climates.

I live in a tropical Region (The Bahamas) where seagrapes are widely grown. This tree can be found along coastal areas, parking lots, many home gardens, and along the streets in concrete man-made islands.

The natives, as well as tourist, enjoy these fruits that not only taste great but has a ton of benefits besides being loaded with vitamins. Just yesterday I was out and about around our international airport’s parking lot where many of these trees have been installed feasting on some of these delicious fruits.

Seagrapes if not properly maintained can grow anywhere from 25-30 feet but if used as a hedge or border plant should be kept at a height of 5 feet. Seagrapes branches off into multiple trunks but can be pruned to form a single trunk.

What I also found interesting is that the leaves of the seagrape plants are large which brings me to this point and that is many of the older generations whom we called old timers years ago as I was told used these leaves as plates for their food, just thought I would throw that in.

How to grow seagrape trees

Growing seagrape trees is not hard at all, following these steps will ensure that you are successful in growing, caring for, and harvesting your homegrown sea grapes.

1. As said earlier sea grapes are a tropical plant, therefore, look for a sunny location that gets 5-6 hours of sunlight.

2. Seagrapes tolerate a wide range of soils but thrive best in sandy soil.

3. When installing into the ground from containers ensure that the planting hole is twice that of the root ball in width so it can fit comfortably.

4. Firm the soil around the plant ensuring the plant is erected.

5. Give your seagrape plant a good drink of water.

6. The soil should be somewhat moist not waterlogged.

7. Fertilize with a slow-release fertilizer.

How to use seagrape trees

Here are some tips on how to use sea grape trees

1.  Seagrapes can be used as windbreakers along coastlines and other areas that have high winds.

2. Can be used as a specimen plant.

3. Seagrapes can be used as a shade plant.

4. Can be used as a hedge.

5. Makes a good backdrop.

6. Can be used in a wildlife garden.

7. Is grown to produce food.

8. Makes a good plant to install in your garden especially if you are living in coastal areas because seagrapes can stand up against the salt that is carried by the wind.

The benefits of having a seagrape tree are really rewarding from what we have mentioned.

Seagrape benefits

Below are reasons why you should include these grapes in your garden.

1. Seagrapes aids in weight loss.

2. The compounds found in seagrapes promote proper liver function.

3. Helps to control cholesterol.

4. Promotes good digestion.

5. Contributes to heart health.

6. Seagrapes are loaded with antioxidants that help the body to get rid of free radicals.

7. Helps to improve memory.

8. Seagrapes has been known to lower blood pressure.

9.  Seagrapes are full of fatty acids that improve eye health.

10. Aids in fighting cancer- Seagrapes contain fucoidan a compound that helps the body to fight off cancers.

Other uses of seagrapes

The sap of the seagrape is use as dyeing and tanning of leather by persons living in Jamaica and the West Indies.

Harvesting seagrapes

Now comes the fun part and that is harvest time, hey who doesn’t love to reap a harvest after putting in the time and effort I know I do. Once the fruit turns dark purple your grapes are ready to harvest,

I have also harvested grapes that were not fully purple, these grapes were between light green to purple.

Seagrape plant pest

There are some insect pests that love this plant but the good news is these insect pests can be brought under control. These insect pests include

  • Leaf feeding insects
  • Seagrape borer

The adult seagrape borer is pale brown to yellowish. The wings of the adult moth are a rust color. The larva of this moth is legless, the pupa stage is brown. Control these insect pests by pruning and destroying infected plant parts.

If your seagrape plants are every covered in a dusty dark mask this is the result of insects that are known as sucking insects that suck the plant’s juice. When it is time for these insects to take a bathroom break (Their secretions) is a sugary substance that is known as honeydew which causes a mold to form which is the dark mask that covers your plants that are known as sooty mold.

Two insects to watch out for that is responsible for this are mealybugs and whiteflies. Control these insect pests with organic insecticides.

Seagrape plant diseases

What I love about seagrapes is that the disease issues are like zero what makes this shrub a must-have as a part of your home garden. I have the responsibility of helping to oversee our international airport landscape where there are many seagrapes and for years even up to this day as I write this post I have not had any issue with having to treat these seagrapes for diseases.

The final word

The seagrape plant is truly amazing from, producing foods to being used as a hedge plant to breaking wind speed, withstanding the salt sprays along coastal areas and so much more so why not consider making this plant a part of your overall garden design.

Seagrape trees is a plant for all seasons that can really work wonders in your garden and landscape so join the many homeowners that are benefiting greatly from this shrub.


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About the author

+ posts

Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.

17 thoughts on “How To Grow Sea Grape Trees”

  1. I love grapes so a grape plant that is for all seasons sounds amazing. You say it needs 5-6 hours of daily sunlight. Would it be able to grow in colder climates that only has this kind of sunlight parts of the year and then survive to the next year, or would I have to replant every year? Or would it not even be able to grow unless it is a tropical climate?


    • Hello, seagrapes are very amazing plants that has so many benefits. Yes it is a tropical plant but if planing on planting them in cooler climates ensure that it gets the require amount of sunlight. What I would suggest for those who are living in cooler climates is to grow your seagrape in a container that is 7 gallon or larger that way with the help of someone you can always move your plant around especicall during the winter months 

      Your plant can be brought into a warmer area like the garage or some other spot where it is hidden from the winter chill until spring. Hope this helps, all the best of success and have a good day.

  2. Hey Norman:

    I was driving past a massive hedge of old sea grape trees in Paia the other day and I wondered about whether we might be able to grow the plants in Huelo where the Light of My Life lives.  They are so beautiful, with their round, plate-like leaves and the bunches of fruit dangling all over them.  They do grow in the coastal areas on our island and make lovely shade places in the heat of the day.

    I loved finding your post about them.  I had no idea that the fruit was edible and made good medicine.

    Unfortunately, we live too high up in the mountain rainforest and in a place with too much moisture for the plant to actually do well.  (Sigh!)

    However, I will go find out more about how to use the fruit and maybe figure out how to harvest and play with them.

    Thank you!

    • Hello so good to meet you. Seagrapes are pretty amazing plants and do benefit us in so many ways. I am so happy that I could help and wishing all the best as you seek to learn more about this natural healer. Have a good day.

  3. Hi Norman. You have put great effort to inform us about this wonderful grape. Amazing!

    With climate change, we started growing grapes with good results in our nordic regions. Not the tropical ones but the mediteranian ones. With good results because of sun, water and good soils. Some others have tried other species under glass with lesser results… 

    thank you again for such valuable information

    • Hello so,nice to hear from you, thanks so much for sharing and wishing you the best of success. So happy to help, have a good day.

  4. Norman, you mentioned that seagrapes is a plant for all seasons. Is it also a plant for all locations? I don’t live in the West Indies (but I’m so jealous that you do), so I was wondering if I were to take the roots or seeds and take in a completely different part of the world, will it have success growing as well?

    • Hello so good to hear from you. When I say that sea grapes are a plant for all season is because of the many benefits they have. But as mention in my post these are tropical plants but as long as you can provide your sea grapes with at lease six hours of sunlight you are good to go. Give it a try and let me know how it works out.

      Wishing you much success with your garden project.

  5. My grandmother has a garden full of fruit trees and I should probably help her grow some of these. I love grapes! We live in South Florida, so it sounds like they’d grow very well here. Do these tree’s require lots of maintenance or are they easy for a beginner to take care of?

    • Hello Ryan sea grapes at not hard at all to grow as long as you have the right climate and I see that you do living in South Florida you, can have garden success. these tress are easy to maintain. Just follow my guide and you will have good success. Please let me know how it goes and wishing you the best of garden success.

  6. I must say that this fruit is one of the best and I don’t know can I grow it in cold conditions because you say that it need light and sun. My neighbour is growing sea grape and he say that it is not easy because it is very demanding. I would like to try it but now is winter season so I don;t know would it be good to start.

    • Hello Daniel seagrapes are pretty amazing plants that has so many benefits. This plant grows best in tropical climates. I would wait until spring arrives to give it a go. Please keep me informed and wishing you the best of success. Have  a good day.

  7. Hi Norman,

    my grandpa planted a seagrape tree years ago and it has grapes constantly. They are like climber plants… we put some net like roof in our yard and it just grew over it. We love to enjoy the view and to eat of course. Grapes are so refreshing, whenever I’m thirsty I take that and I feel very good. No urge for water or nervousness.

    Your site is so nice, you have really useful information and some interesting stuff there!

    I will show this to my sister, because she wants to make her own organic garden, she was talking also about some decorations. I think that this site would give her some nice ideas.



    • Hello it is so good to hear from you and thanks so much for those kind words, for sharing your story and for passing the word along. All the best of success and have a good day.

  8. I have two pot bound sea grape trees. They’re indoors in the winter and outside in spring and summer. I keep getting this white bug on their leaves and use Clorox wipes to get it off as it eats the leaves. Is their a spray I can use?

  9. Hi
    I planted 6 Sea Grape bushes in the front yard to make a hedge to serve as privacy and to throw a bit of shade on the yard since I get so much sun. They have been in the ground about 18 months and have definitely grown, but I would like to see more rapid growth and not sure what kind of fertilizer to use. I will add that I live in Clearwater, FL where Sea Grapes flourish with the sun and sandy soil. I am anxious to have a nice hedge and notice that some plants are growing rapidly and some not so much.

  10. Norman , we live on the Atlantic coast zone 9b , we have sea grapes planted around our retention ponds and the leaves are turning yellow , could the water be leaching nutrients away from the plants ? Is there anything we can do to remedy this , don’t want to use fertilizer that close to the ponds .


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