How to Grow Coccoloba - Planting & Caring

By Sharon & Team   /   Bush Category   /   2022

Coccoloba, also known as seagrape, is a genus of flowering plants in the buckwheat family. The genus includes about 150 species, which are distributed throughout the tropics. Coccoloba plants are shrubs or small trees with leathery leaves and small, white flowers. The fruits of some species are edible, and the wood of some species is used for construction and crafts.

How to Grow Coccoloba - Planting & Caring

Growing Easiness

Is it easy to grow Coccoloba plant? The reason why the plant is easy to take care of is that it doesn't require a lot of water and can grow in different types of soil. The Coccoloba plant is an easy plant to take care of. The main reason why it is easy to take care of is that it doesn't require a lot of water and can grow in different types of soil. Coccoloba is a plant that is native to the Caribbean and South America. The leaves of the plant are large and have a waxy texture. The flowers of the plant are small and white. The fruit of the plant is a small, red berry.

Plant Size

How big can it be? The reason for the difference in size is the growing conditions. In the room, the plant is grown in a pot, and it is limited in growth by the size of the pot. If the pot is small, the plant will be small. If the pot is large, the plant will be large. But in nature, there are no pots, and the plant can grow to its full size.

Growth Rate

How fast is the growth? When plants are small, they can grow quite rapidly, especially if they are getting lots of sunlight and water. However, as they get older, their growth slows down. This is because they are putting more energy into making flowers and fruits, and into producing new leaves to replace the ones that are lost through wear and tear. Some plants, such as bamboo, can grow more than a metre in a single day!

Coccoloba Basic Knowledge

Plant Form Bush
Family Polygonaceae
Origin Tropical Africa, West Indies

Lifespan, Perennial or Annuals

How long is the lifespan? Although most species are shrubs or small trees, a few are lianas, and some, like C. uvifera, grow to large tree size. The leaves are alternate, simple, entire, and leathery, with conspicuous stipules. The flowers are small and inconspicuous, with five greenish-white petals. The fruit is fleshy and contains one to five seeds. Coccoloba species are long-lived plants. With age, however, they lose their attractiveness and require pruning and rejuvenation. The leaves of most species are alternate, simple, entire, and leathery, with conspicuous stipules. The flowers are small and inconspicuous, with five greenish-white petals. The fruit is fleshy and contains one to five seeds.

Ideal Temperature

What is the ideal temperature? Eventually, it should be noted that the plant does not tolerate low temperatures. In summer, the optimum temperature for it is 68-73.4 ° F, in winter it is not lower than 60.8-64.4 ° F. Also, the plant does not like drafts and changes in temperature conditions.


What about the humidity? The plant originates from tropical America, so it cannot do without high humidity. In summer, it must be sprinkled regularly with soft water so that the air around does not dry out the leaves. In winter, when the heating is turned on, it is also necessary to spray the plant so that the air does not become too dry. It is good to place the plant on a tray with moist pebbles.

Light Requirement

What amount of light this plant needed? Although this plant prefers bright ambient lighting, it can grow in the presence of shading on the south window. However, growth will slow down in the shade, and leaves may fall off.

Soil Composition

What is good soil for Coccoloba? Since it is native to sandy and rocky coasts, in its natural habitat, the plant grows in well-drained soils. You can create a similar environment for your plant at home by mixing one part of garden land, one part of coarse sand or perlite, and one part of peat. The plant prefers rich and loose soil and requires good drainage and a hole in the pot.

Watering Time

How much I must water Coccoloba? Although the plant prefers moderate humidity, the substrate should be constantly moistened, but not too wet. After all, the plant does not tolerate waterlogging of the root system. In the warm season, watering is done 2-3 times a week, and in winter it is reduced to 1-2 times.

Fertilizing and Nutritient

About fertilizer. Although it’s not necessary, you can give your plant a liquid fertilizer about once every three to four weeks. If you choose to fertilize, use a fertilizer made specifically for Coccoloba plants along with a balanced, all-purpose fertilizer. You can also use an organic fertilizer.


How to reproduce Coccoloba? The plant can be propagated by taking semi-lignified apical cuttings that root easily in water, sand or peat. In the spring, they are also propagated by seeds. Layers can be done all year round.


Why Coccoloba won't bloom? If you want to see Coccoloba plant flowers, you'll have to wait a few years. The plant blooms around the 6th year of its life, with small white flowers appearing in the spring and summer. Coccoloba blooms are relatively short-lived, but they are beautiful while they last.

Transfer or Repotting

How much I must water Coccoloba? The reason for this is that the root system of the plant grows very quickly and will soon fill the initial pot that it was placed in. Therefore, it is necessary to transplant the Coccoloba into a larger pot to accommodate the roots. The best time to transplant is in the spring, before the plant begins to grow too large.

Caring The Coccoloba

How to care the plant? Unless you live in a tropical climate, you will need to grow Coccoloba uvifera in a pot so that you can bring it indoors during the winter months. It is an evergreen shrub that can grow up to 15 feet in height, with leaves that are 6 to 12 inches long. The young leaves of the plant have a beautiful bronze shade. The plant usually grows vertically upwards. To stimulate branching pruning is necessary in the spring. After 3-4 years the plant begins to die, therefore it is desirable to replace it with a younger one.

Pests & Challenges

What is the challenge when caring Coccoloba plant? The leaves of this plant are very large, up to 60 cm in length, and the plant itself can grow to a height of 12 m. The leaves are glossy, dark green in color, and have a wavy margin. The flowers are small, white, and borne in large, showy clusters. The fruit is a black, fleshy drupe, about 2 cm in diameter.

Toxic & Poisonous Type

Are Coccoloba poisonous? When pruned, the leaves of the Coccoloba plant exude a milky, white sap. This sap is toxic and can cause skin irritation. The toxicity of the sap is due to the presence of toxic compounds called diterpene esters. These compounds can also be found in other plants, such as poison ivy and poison oak. When the sap comes into contact with the skin, it can cause an allergic reaction.