Perfectly Guidance for the How to Grow & Care Nutmeg Tree

7 Min Read

Nutmeg Tree is a special spice that is made from the seeds of the Myristica fragrance tree. It gives any meal a strong, earthy flavour. Despite being native to Indonesia, nutmeg trees may be grown anywhere there is warm, humid weather.

However, to ensure healthy growth, the soil and seeds must be correctly prepared for the seeds to sprout and grow into a robust tree.

Nutmeg Tree Overview

Common NameNutmeg tree
Botanical NameMyristica fragrance
Plant TypeTree
Mature Size10-60 ft. tall, 6-25 ft. wide
Sun ExposureFull, partial
Soil TypeWell-drained
Soil pHAcidic
Bloom TimeSpring
Flower ColourYellow
Hardiness Zones10-11 (USDA)
Native AreaAsia

Nutmeg Tree Care

The following are the primary maintenance needs for nutmeg tree growth:

  • Choose a spot that receives both afternoon shade and morning sun.
  • Before planting, make sure the soil is rich, well-drained, and amended with organic matter if necessary.
  • Make sure the soil is continually moist and the tree is well-watered.
  • Regularly apply a slow-release fertilizer.
  • To keep the tree in good shape, prune it.


Plant your tree in a spot that gets plenty of sunlight and some shade during the day. While older trees can withstand full sun, younger trees are more vulnerable to leaf burn.

The best shade is in the afternoon and morning. If the afternoon sun is shining where you are planting, cover a young tree with 20–40% shade fabric.


When planting this tree in your yard, choose a soil type that is very fertile and has good drainage. The majority of seasoned nutmeg farmers start with a base of well-draining soil mixed with a small amount of sand and well-rotted manure.

Before planting, mix in a substantial amount of composted manure if you’re planting directly in the ground. Nutmeg can grow in low soil, but it requires more to fruit and pollinate. Soil that is somewhat acidic works best overall. Check if the pH of your soil is between 5.5 and 7.0.

Water and Humidity

When the top two inches of soil are dry in the morning, water nutmeg. Use the same guidelines when watering a tree in a container. Soil tends to dry out faster in containers.

An adequate layer of mulch, two to three inches thick, can help keep the soil in the garden bed or yard moist. A drip irrigation line should be installed around your tree’s base, away from the trunk. Make sure the soil doesn’t dry out. Since nutmeg is native to regions with continuously moist soil, provide it with this environment for it to thrive.

If the relative humidity in your area is less than 85%, mist your tree often enough to allow the water to pool on the leaves without dripping off. Repetition is allowed up to twice daily if needed.

Sun and Temperature

Nutmeg likes to be in areas that receive four to six hours of sunlight, partial shade, and full sun every day. The ideal temperature range for nutmeg trees is 77–86 degrees Fahrenheit. As such, this tree should be cultivated outside in an area with hot summers and mild winters, and plants grown in containers should be introduced to areas outside of its growing zone.

Moreover, severe cold, especially below 30 degrees Fahrenheit, will easily destroy nutmeg. If you cultivate this tree outside of its ideal range, make sure you have a greenhouse or some inside room to shield it from harsh weather. Pollination becomes more difficult at this phase. If you keep within that range, you should be set to go!


Nutmeg plants require regular fertilization to bear fruit. Apply a full-spectrum, slow-release granular fertilizer—ideally one designed for fruit and nut trees—and pay attention to the label’s recommendations for application frequency and amounts.

Additionally, the tree’s growth and the quality of the soil will be enhanced by distributing a layer of compost or well-aged manure around it once a year.


Young trees should have any inward branch growth towards the trunk chopped off. Prune branches around the base of the nutmeg tree to make room for you below and to raise the crown as the tree ages.

Some think that more branches equal more fruit, while others think that trimming will encourage fruits and flowers. To find what works best for you, you can test a range of things.

Furthermore, extreme cold—especially those below thirty degrees Fahrenheit—will quickly ruin nutmeg. If you grow this tree somewhere other than its natural habitat, you should have a greenhouse or at least some inside space to protect it from inclement weather.

This stage makes pollination even more challenging. You should be OK to go as long as you stay within that range!


When ripe nutmegs fall to the ground, they may find the ideal moist soil and shade and begin to spread on their own. All you have to do is remove the seedling with its new growth and place it in a gallon container with the same soil that you would use for your established tree.

They have a maximum 45-day shelf life. Plant them in 5-inch starting pots that are 1 inch deep after soaking them in clean water for at least 24 hours. You’ll sprout nutmeg in six to eight weeks if you keep the soil moist.

There have been attempts lately to graft male nutmeg onto female nutmeg. Self-pollinating trees are created in this manner. If you have a mature female nutmeg tree, you can graft a male branch onto it.

Potting and Repotting

The rate at which a nutmeg tree grows can vary greatly; several nurseries provide nutmeg trees that are suitable for container gardening. Choose a sturdy, at least 12 inches in diameter and 14 inches in depth container with lots of drainage holes.

Use an all-purpose potting mix or a tropical tree potting mix. Recall that nutmeg plants in pots need a lot more watering than trees in the yard. The tree should be repotted into a pot one size larger and filled with fresh potting mix when its container becomes too small.


If the tree is growing outside of USDA Zone 10, bring the potted plant indoors when night-time lows drop below 55 degrees F. To ensure that it gets direct sunlight, place it next to a window facing either the west or the south.

Make sure the soil stays continuously moist throughout the winter and that the relative humidity in the room is high enough.

Harvesting and Storing

Planting and managing the soil have brought you this close to having your ground spice, and nutmeg. Let’s talk about how to store nutmeg and how to remove the seeds from it. You can add toasted, dry flavour to any meal by using these spices.


Nutmegs are ready to harvest when the fruit cracks apart to reveal the seed. You can either use a long pole to remove the nutmegs or wait for them to fall in the area where your tree is located.

Keep in mind that it will take at least five years of intense development to realize the full result. Take off the seed casing and separate the red aril. After the seed has fully dried, the seed coat needs to be peeled off.

The aril must be sun-dried for two weeks in direct sunlight. When the nutmeg begins to shrink and the kernels begin to rattle, it is ready to be dried in the sun for six to eight weeks.

Use your sense of taste and smell to determine whether you need to cut back on the amount of powder in your sauces, beverages, desserts, and meats.


Whole nutmeg will be kept for up to five years at room temperature if stored in an airtight, dry container. For the past three years, ground nutmeg has been the norm. Additionally, mace needs to be kept in an airtight container in a cool, dark location.

It lasts for a year, but after six or eight months, it stops working. Spices like freshly ground nutmeg and mace are wonderful additions to meats, veggies, and other dishes.

Growing Problems

Growing nutmeg in insufficiently moist or infertile soil can prevent it from flowering or bearing fruit. If the flowers haven’t blossomed by year seven, fertilize a little bit more than you did the previous year.

Shade is necessary for nutmeg. Too little shade causes the nutmeg to fall off the tree and the leaves to singe. Simultaneously, insufficient sunlight will hinder their ability to synthesize the necessary nutrients.

Your tree could not take root properly if you placed it in a hole that was either too deep or too shallow. If you see exposed roots soon after, replant deeper. Be sure to allow a little space between any mulch and the tree’s trunk. This opening shields the trunk from any fungal or mould damage.


After making a circular hole in the nutshell’s shell, the cocoa weevil eats the kernel. If you see a hole in your nutmeg, treat your tree immediately so that you don’t lose all of the kernels. Weevils will lay their eggs in the hole, where the larvae will develop in addition to devouring the kernel.

Organic fumigants are widely used to treat kernels. You should also have in your garden plants that are natural predators, such as ladybirds, birds, and mantises. An effective pesticide for weevils is organic spinosad spray.


The fungus Colletotrichum gloeosporioides is the cause of anthracnose leaf spots, which appear on your tree’s leaves as dots with yellow halos. Apply a liquid 1% Bordeaux mixture to your leaves to treat leaf spots. An easier, store-bought solution is a liquid copper fungicide, which works well as well.

A fungus is also the cause of thread blight. In this instance, the pathogen is Corticium spp. It creates silky threads on stems and leaves that are either black or white and arranged erratically. A 1% Bordeaux combination or a liquid copper fungicide can also be used to cure this.


What is the yield of nutmeg from a nutmeg tree?

A tree may produce as much as twenty pounds or more, depending on its age and growth. It can take the female trees up to eight years to start producing fruit, but even then, they may do so for decades. The tree takes a while to mature.

How are nutmegs harvested?

If the tree has few fruits, just gather the seeds or seeds with arils that have fallen to the ground by themselves. The best way is to employ a telescopic pole nut picker, which is also how nutmeg is grown commercially.

Can nutmeg be grown easily?

The tree doesn’t require much upkeep, but its unique growing conditions make it challenging to grow. When grown in the landscape, it needs a warm, humid climate to attain its full size and produce the tree’s fruit, nutmeg.


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