Back in 2009, Chantal planted some fresh cocoa beans from Grenada. She was astonished at the time to find that they actually grew, because the Theobroma Cacao is a notoriously fickle tree that likes very particular (and tropical) conditions.
Two plants survived, and the one that’s been kept in Chantal’s house under the skylights is making incredible progress and is now well over 6 ft.
Cocoa trees take 4 or 5 years to begin to bear fruit in ideal conditions. Ours has developed a crown, which is an important step towards developing flowers and fruit. We expect that from here it will stop growing upwards and start to thicken and then, if we’re really lucky, we might start to see cocoa pods!
We’ll keep you updated on any progress. If you want to see cocoa trees for yourself in London, they grow in both the Princess of Wales Conservatory and the Palm House at Kew Gardens.