How to Succeed at Growing Starfruit Trees in Your Backyard

More gardeners than ever are interested in trying exotic fruits in their home gardens. If you want to try harvesting growing trees, this is an exciting, delicious option to add to your yard.

Never tasted a starfruit before?

You are missing out on a panoramic treat! Starfruit are fleshy with a yellow, waxy, edible peel; The seeds are edible. When ripe, these fruits are sweet and full of vitamins and look like stars when sliced. This is why it got its name!

Starfruit Tree Information

Starfruit tree, Everhoa Carambola L, Originated in Southeast Asia but introduced in Florida over 100 years ago. Some older varieties are pungent, but new hybrids and tenants are known to be sweeter and more attractive to eat fresh. These new farms come from Thailand, Taiwan, Florida, Hawaii and Malaysia.

Starfruit trees, also known as cambols or star fruits, are in subtropical and tropical regions. They are evergreen, but if grown in cooler areas, they lose some or all of their leaves in late winter and early spring.

Expect these trees to grow up to 20 to 30 feet if not prickly, so you need plenty of space to grow them. They provide a lot of shade under a multi-branched, shrub canopy.

Best Starfart Variations

Not all starfriends are sweet. They can range from sweet to tart, and fruits can be small, medium, or large. Some require pollination for the fruit, which means that you will need more than one tree.


‘Arkin’ is one of the sweetest varieties out there. It is a self-pollinating hybrid and has moderately flavored fruits and has a juicy, crisp texture. The production of the tree begins when young, and the fruits turn orange when ripe.

Fawang Tung

This Thai variety is self-fertile and produces beautiful yellow fruits with a clear star shape. The fruit is sweet and crisp, and the tree starts producing from an early age.


‘Kajang’ was breaded in Hawaii and produces sweet, juicy, crisp fruits. It is a self-fertile variety that works well for aspaliers.


‘Kari’ is an abundant, self-pollinating hybrid from Hawaii. The high quality, sweet fruit is small and has an extraordinary taste.


This hybrid from Florida has sweet fruits on a self-pollinating tree.

Planting trees in your garden

If you want to grow starfruit trees, you need to live in USDA zones 10–11; They only grow in southeastern and southwestern states and countries. However, it does not tolerate salt or high pH soil, so make sure that it is well suited to your area.

When to apply starfruit

These trees grow in places where frost is rare, but the best time to plant a star tree is in the early summer, to ensure that it settles and establishes before the hot summer months. Time to be.

Where to plant starfruit trees

These exotic fruit trees should be planted in full sunlight from other trees, buildings, or structures. They should be planted in well drained soil; The standing water kills these trees. This is beneficial if the trees get some protection from the wind.

Preparing soil for starfruit trees

Ensuring that your trees are important for the right soil is important if you want to grow starfruit. Compost is often added to the soil, to ensure the tree needs nutrients to grow the plant.

Knowing the pH range of your soil is important, so order a test from your local county extension office or buy a soil pH test online. Starfruit trees do not tolerate pH soils because they are alkaline, which is the yellowing of plant tissue in alkaline or limestone soils.

These trees prefer slightly acidic soil. If you need to amend the soil, sphagnum peat moss increases the acidity of the soil with wood ash. Aim for a range between 4.5 and 7 for optimal growth.

Starfruit growing from seed

If you try to grow starfruit from seeds, make sure you provide plenty of heat. They require warm soil to germinate, so it is best to use heating mats.

You will need to keep the young trees in the container for some time before planting in the soil. Starfruit grown from a seed takes up to three years to prepare for transplanting outside the tree.

Grafting or buying from local nursery

Another option when growing starfruit trees is grafts from an existing tree. It is possible to graft a branch on another rootstock; It is a technique used to grow nursery stocks. However, it is best to leave it to the professionals.

Instead of grafting a tree, it is best to buy a tree from the nursery if you do not want to start a tree from seed.

Planting Outside a Starfruit Tree

When the plant is two to four feet high, it is time to plant outside. Prepare the soil ahead of time, allowing the roots to grow freely to ensure that the soil is loose. Remove the large rocks and plant the tree at the same depth as it was in the pot. It should not be planted to any depth.

Water deeply to help establish roots in the ground.

Caring for starfruit trees

Once established, these trees are low maintenance and easy to grow, assuming that you provide them with proper care. Here’s how to take care of your new exotic fruit trees.

Regularly water the trees

These trees are not tolerant, so it is necessary to give regular irrigation to the trees. The soil needs to be kept moist but not saturated at all times. If there is no rain, aim to water the tree deeply once or twice per week.

Water from the flower through fruiting is most important. The tree requires lots of water to produce edible, delicious fruits that you want to enjoy.

In the winter months, reducing water.

Fertilizer trees

Cambola trees are of moderate to heavy feeder; They need to be fertilized four to six times per year. Young trees need to be fertilized even more often. For optimum growth it is best to feed young trees every 30–60 days in the growing season.

When you fertilize the starfruit tree, use 6-2-6 or 6-4-6 fertilizer when possible. Look for one that contains micronutrients such as iron, zinc, manganese and magnesium.

If your tree grows in alkaline soil, it leads to nutrient deficiency, so you will need to pay special attention to regular fertilization. The tree will need regular spray spray to increase its supply of iron, zinc and manganese.

Don’t forget prune

Pruning is an essential part of growing trees. When your trees are one to two years old, it is time to close the branches that are more than three feet in length. It encourages lateral growth.

The best time to prune a tree star is in winter when the tree is dormant. Always check your trees every year to look for branches that grow inward. Selective pruning and removal of these inward-growing branches improves air flow and light over the rest of the canopy.

For easy harvesting, it is best to keep your mature trees at a height of 6-12 feet regularly. If the trees are any taller, you will need a ladder to harvest.

Common Pests and Diseases

Starfruit trees fall prey to many different pests and diseases. Here are the most common.

Scale insects

Cambola trees are vulnerable to insects of three different types of scale.

  • Plum scales
  • Filafedra scales
  • Brown scales

The best way to fight back scale insects is to use regular spraying of horticultural oils. Regular applications will dramatically reduce the population.


Two types of weavers disturb the starf trees: diapreous weevil (Diapres brief)Myctides iambaris) Belongs to. Diaparaps damage the weevil roots, causing the roots and sprouts to die back. Fruit weevils like to eat the fruits on your trees.

No matter what type of weevil you have on your trees, both are curable with pyrethrin which is available in all garden nursery stores.

stink bugs

Most people think of smelly insects because of the nasty smell that invades their home, but these pests also eat small holes in the fruit, allowing the pathogens of fungi and bacteria to enter.

You can use insecticidal soap to get rid of stink bugs. See our guide on getting rid of stink bugs.

Algal jung

Algal corrosion is caused Cephaluros virensense, Leading to brown or red circular patches on the bark. This causes twigs on the plant to die. Unfortunately, it is difficult to treat, but your local extension office may have treatment options that work in your area.

Anthracnose fruit rot

Anthracnose fruit rot is not common; You can learn about anthracnose leaf spotting here.

Treating leaf spotting helps reduce the spread of fruit, but if you do not treat it fast enough, it destroys the fruits on your trees. A bio fungicide containing Bacillus subtilis Or copper fungicide sprays are two effective treatment options.

root rot

Root rot is caused by Pythium fungi, and occurs in extremely wet soil conditions. You must ensure that the soil around your tree is able to dissipate excess moisture.

Unfortunately, once infected, there is no way to cure the root rot tree. Therefore prevention is necessary.

Harvesting starfruit

Starfruits should be harvested from June to February. They are the sweetest when you let them ripen completely on the tree.

Some farmers produce two to three crops per year, so if they are fully mature, they do not produce many fruits! In fact, a mature tree produces 200–400 pounds of fruit per year.

Starfruits do not ripen after harvesting. You will know that the time has come to start harvesting the crop when the grooves in the edges of the fruit are completely yellow, with only the upper tips still green. You can wait for the upper tips to turn yellow, but their storage life is dramatically reduced.

Storing starforce

When you harvest your starfarts, they can be kept in sealed plastic bags in the fridge for up to three weeks. It is best to eat them fresh, but since trees produce large quantities, this is not always possible.

For long-term storage, consider purifying starfruits and freezing them in ice cube trays. They also dehydrate well, or you can try making them in jam or jelly.

If you have ever thought of growing trees, but thought it would be very difficult, this is your sign to try. If you live in an area warm enough for trees, try to grow this exotic fruit that produces hundreds of pounds of fruit every year. It is worth the effort.

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