How to Care for a Cinnamon Tree
A cinnamon tree (Cinnamomum zeylanicum or Cinnamomum verum) can grow to 50 feet tall in the wilds of Sri Lanka. On cinnamon plantations, however, usually the tree is cut back drastically so it will produce thickets of new growth, the shoots of which are harvested for their curling inner bark. With long and reddish young leaves that gradually turn green, cinnamon tree also is used as an outdoor ornamental planting in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 and 11, where it is hardy, or as a houseplant elsewhere. During summer, the tree produces clusters of small, cream-colored blooms, which are followed by black berries. The berries are inedible for humans but attractive to birds.
Caring for the Tree Outdoors
Plant a cinnamon tree outdoors in fall to give it time to establish itself during the rainy season. Place it in sandy soil, at least 10 feet from other trees or shrubs and in partial shade.
Scratch 1 ounce of balanced, granular fertilizer into the tree’s soil, and water the soil. A balanced fertilizer contains equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Mulch the soil heavily with compost. Use about 22 pounds of compost at planting time, and apply an additional 22 pounds of compost in spring with another 1 ounce of balanced, granular fertilizer, and water the tree’s soil after applying the fertilizer. Increase the amounts gradually until the tree gets about 55 pounds of compost and 10 ounces of fertilizer at each biannual feeding when it is 10 years old.
Cover your tree with a frost cloth if the temperature may fall below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
Water the tree twice each week during dry periods while it is young, and mist it occasionally with a gentle spray of water from a hose. A cinnamon tree grows best in humid conditions.
Caring for the Tree Indoors
Grow a cinnamon tree indoors in a container that has drainage holes and light, somewhat acidic potting soil. An example is the kind of potting soil intended for African violets. Set the container on a windowsill where tree will get sunlight for at least part of the day.
Wait until the tree’s soil feels dry 1 inch below the soil surface before you water the tree. A cinnamon tree is subject to root rot if it receives too much water. Fertilize the tree every two weeks from spring to fall with a water-soluble plant food, but stop fertilizing it during winter. Mist it occasionally with water from a spray bottle if the indoor air is dry.
Watch for mealy bugs, pests that look like bits of cotton. Spray the tree with a neem oil solution if mealy bugs appear, repeating the treatment again one week later.
How to Care for a Cinnamon Tree. A cinnamon tree (Cinnamomum zeylanicum or Cinnamomum verum) can grow to 50 feet tall in the wilds of Sri Lanka. On cinnamon plantations, however, usually the tree is cut back drastically so it will produce thickets of new growth, the shoots of which are harvested for their curling …