Cacao Forastero Plant

Regular price$219.00
Tax included. Shipping calculated at checkout.

Cacao (Theobroma cacao)

Theobroma cacao, also called the cacao or cocoa tree, is a small evergreen tree in the family Malvaceae. Its seeds, cocoa beans, are used to make chocolate liquor, cocoa solids, cocoa butter and chocolate. The cacao plant is evergreen and very hardy, they can live for several decades. This variety produces large deep yellow fruit and is highly sought after. When ripe it has a tinge of orange at the top of fruit.

The plant is from a Forastero variety which is the Queen of the chocolate industry producing 80% of the world cacao bean’s supply. This variety is also a disease resistant, a quick and prolific producer. 

It takes about 5 years for a cacao tree to mature and start producing cacao pods. The beans grow in football-shaped pods on the trunk of the tree and from larger branches. The average cacao tree produces 30-40 cacao pods per year. 

In ideal conditions and the right climate the Cacao will fruit within 4 years. In NZ, it will be 4+ years.

Plant Care

  • Soil: Prefers well-drained, fertile soil with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0.
  • Watering: Requires high humidity and consistent moisture without waterlogging.
  • Temperature: Needs a warm climate, between 18°C and 32°C; not frost-tolerant.
  • Light: Thrives under partial shade or filtered sunlight.
  • Fertilising: Use a balanced NPK (10-10-10) during the growing season; requires magnesium supplementation.
  • Pruning: Regular pruning to remove old branches and manage size.
  • Mulching: Essential to maintain soil moisture and organic content.
  • Pest Control: Susceptible to fungal diseases; manage with proper air circulation and fungicides.
  • Flowering and Fruiting: Flowers and fruits continuously after 3-5 years of planting.
  • Potting: Not typically recommended due to its size and root system.
  • Feeding Regime: Regular feeding with emphasis on nitrogen and potassium during active growth.


We ship our plants and garden supplies throughout New Zealand. Due to the increased costs of shipping and packaging, we now apply a minimal delivery charge. After offering free shipping for three consecutive years, we find it necessary to adjust this policy to align with current market conditions. However, we have lowered our prices to help offset this change.

Please note, we do not ship plants or garden supplies internationally from New Zealand. We do export plants and tissue culture materials from our overseas nursery, which requires a minimum order. Please contact us at to discuss your specific requirements.

Shipping (per plant)
Auckland & Northland: $20
Rest of North Island: $25
South Island: $35
Rural Address: Additional $5

Shipping Garden Supplies
Auckland & Northland: $10
Rest of North Island: $15
South Island: $20
Rural Address: Additional $5


  • Our plants are available for shipment throughout the year, depending on stock levels. Typical delivery times range from 5 to 7 business days, although they can take up to 10 business days depending on the destination.
  • We take extra care in packaging; most of our plants are secured in bespoke inserts and shipped in individual boxes to ensure they arrive undamaged.
  • Deliveries are scheduled once a week, typically on Monday. If you place your order over the weekend, we aim to dispatch your plants on the following Monday. This scheduling allows our team to prepare your order thoroughly and ensures the courier has sufficient time to deliver your plants safely, avoiding any unnecessary delays over the weekend.
  • All orders are shipped via courier track and trace service (not signature required)
  • We cannot deliver to PO Box addresses.
  • If you have a rural address, please contact us beforehand to discuss the best delivery options and avoid any potential issues.

Additional Delivery Information

  • We dispatch our plants year-round, as most are shipped with soil. During the winter months, we closely monitor weather conditions and may temporarily delay shipments if the weather is particularly severe. Our packing process includes adding insulation when necessary to protect the plants against temperature extremes.
  • In summer, we ensure that plants are thoroughly watered before they leave our nursery. Occasionally, we may need to ship plants bare-rooted, particularly when they cannot be comfortably re-potted into smaller packaging for shipping. We will always discuss this with you in advance if your plant needs to be shipped in this manner.
  • It's important to note that shipping can be a stressful experience for plants, often due to spending several days in a dark, confined space. While most plants withstand this with little to no stress, some may experience leaf drop. However, they generally recover quickly with some additional care, including proper watering and gradual reintroduction to light after arrival.

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Cacao Seeds - Pack of 3
Cacao Seeds - Pack of 3
Cacao Seeds - Pack of 3

Customer Reviews

Based on 7 reviews
Lucy Tanner

A lovely little healthy looking plant. Loved the little extra packet of fertiliser included too.

Katrina Danielsen
Cocoa Forestero

All the plants I've had from Exotica come packaged amazingly. The plants are of excellent quality and continue to grow in my green house incredibly. I pot them up and they just grow so fast. Many thanks for your excellent service and fulfilling my addictions to growing exotic Fruits...I hope they do fruit ...fingers crossed🤞💕

Bev Taylor
My Dream Cocoa Tree

Thankyou, My tree arrived in great condition very well packed, and not one piece broken, great job on your part. I have it in the kitchen at present, not sure where to place it, in the hot garage, in the conservatory, under the pergoda, will leave it in the same pot awhile, but it is so lovely I just keep looking at it. It may loose some leaves I think. Before it arrived I was very sure where its new home would
be but now not so sure. Thank you so very much for starting the growing process for me. I have imported a number of seeds but none grew. Regards Bev

Louise Pullan
Excellent customer service

Highly recommend

Analiza Badilles
Great product and great service

Experience buying from this company is a joy, they have great products and very helpful.

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