How To Grow Sea Grape Trees
A plant for all season
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 is 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.
How to grow seagrape trees
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 contains 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.
How to grow seagrape trees
Now comes the fun part and that is harvest, 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 results of insects that are known as sucking insects which 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 disease
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 in helping to oversee our international airports 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.