Clove trees (Syzygium aromaticum) produce the cloves you use to spice up your cooking. Can you grow a clove tree? According to clove tree information, it’s not hard to grow these trees if you can provide ideal growing conditions. If you are wondering what it takes to grow this tree or about clove tree uses, read on.
Clove Tree Information
The clove tree is native to Indonesia, but clove tree information suggests that it has naturalized in many warm countries. These include Mexico, Kenya, and Sri Lanka. The plant has been cultivated since 200 B.C. to produce cloves. The most important clove tree use is, of course, the plant’s aromatic dried buds, or cloves. The name cloves comes from Latin “clavus,” meaning nail, as cloves often look like small nails. Clove trees are evergreens that grow to some 40 feet (12 m.) tall. Their bark is smooth and gray, and their long, 5 inch (13 cm.) leaves look like bay leaves. Blossoms are tiny – about ½ inch (1 cm.) long – and gather in clusters at branch tips. The entire plant is fragrant and aromatic.
Clove Tree Growing Conditions
Can you grow a clove tree? You can, but it’s hard for most gardeners to replicate ideal clove tree growing conditions. Clove tree information tells you that the tree is native to wet, tropical areas of the world. Therefore, the trees grow best in a hot and wet region. Ideal growing conditions include at least 50 to 70 inches (127-178 cm.) of rainfall annually. The minimum temperature for clove trees is 59 degrees F. (15 C.). Most commercial clove producers locate their plantations within 10 degrees of the equator.
Clove Tree Care
If you happen to live in such an area, and near the ocean, you probably won’t have much trouble growing clove trees. Plant the seeds in well-drained, fertile loam, then follow good practices for their care. One part of clove tree care is to install shade plants to protect the young seedlings for the first few years. Banana plants work well to provide this temporary shade. Clove trees are not a short-term project. The trees regularly live a century and sometimes live for over 300 years. More pertinent to the average gardener, you’ll have to wait at least 20 years for the tree to produce a full crop.
Clove Tree Uses
Many Americans use cloves for cooking. They are popular spices for baked hams and pumpkin pie. However, clove tree uses are much broader than this globally. In Indonesia, cloves are used to make popular clove aromatized cigarettes. Other clove tree uses are medicinal. Extracted clove oil is also used as an essential oil that is used medicinally. Some people make tea from cloves as well, which is considered to help with stomach upsets, chills, and impotence.
Gardening tips, videos, info and more delivered right to your inbox!
Sign up for the Gardening Know How newsletter today and receive a free download of our most popular eBook "How to Grow Delicious Tomatoes."
Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.
Which Types Of Wood To Use For Growing Fungi
Wondering about the best logs for mushroom plugs? Match the mushroom type to the tree variety for a great crop of delicious mushrooms.
By Bonnie L. Grant
Woodland Stumpery Garden Design – Working Wonders With Woodland Stumperies
Grow a beautiful woodland stumpery garden with woodland plants interspersed in, on and near tree stumps of all kinds and sizes.
By Teo Spengler
Clove Tree Sumatra Info: Recognizing Sumatra Disease Of Cloves
Sumatra disease is a serious problem that affects clove trees, particularly in Indonesia. It causes leaf and twig dieback and will, eventually, kill the tree. Learn more about clove tree sumatra disease symptoms and how to manage and treat cloves with sumatra disease here.
By Liz Baessler
Common Clove Tree Issues – Managing Problems With Clove Trees
Did you ever poke cloves into a baked ham for the holidays and wonder where they come from? They are unopened flower buds that grow on a clove tree. Before you plant a clove tree, you should learn a little about clove tree problems. This article will help with that.
By Teo Spengler
Can You Grow Cloves In Containers – How To Grow A Clove Tree In A Pot
It's tempting to want a clove tree of your very own, but their extreme sensitivity to cold makes them impossible for most gardeners to grow outdoors. Can you grow cloves in containers? Learn more about caring for container grown clove trees in this article.
By Liz Baessler
Clove Tree Pests: Controlling Pests On A Clove Tree
Clove trees (Syzygium aromaticum) are evergreens grown for their aromatic flowers. The clove itself is the unopened flower bud. A number of clove tree pests attack the plant. For more information about pests of clove trees, click this article.
By Teo Spengler
Clove Tree Propagation Tips – Methods For Propagating Clove Trees
While the spice is technically the plant's seed, you cannot buy a jar of cloves at the grocery store and plant them to grow a clove tree of your own. If you would like to know how to propagate a clove tree, click here for clove propagation methods and tips.
By Darcy Larum
Common Clove Tree Diseases: Learn How To Treat A Sick Clove Tree
Although they are generally hardy and easy to grow, clove trees are susceptible to several clove tree diseases. Click on the article that follows for more information about diseases of clove trees and tips on how to treat a sick clove tree.
By Mary H. Dyer
Clove Harvest Guide: Learn How To Harvest Cloves For Kitchen Use
The cloves you use to flavor your dishes are the result of at least 6 years of growth on the part of the tree. Six years is the minimum time it takes the tree to flower. If you?re interested in learning more about the harvesting of cloves, this article will help.
By Amy Grant
Common Uses For Cloves – How To Use Cloves From Your Garden
If you?re lucky enough to have a clove tree in your yard, you can harvest and use your own cooking and medicinal spice. Clove tree uses range from basic landscaping to actually harvesting and cooking with your cloves. Here are some ideas for what to do with your backyard cloves.
By Mary Ellen Ellis