Pecans (Carya illinoinensis) are a gorgeous tree to grow, provided you have the space! They can grow up to 10m tall and make a wonderful shade tree. But the best bit – the nuts! Pecans are delicious raw or roasted and a handful of these nuts a day can actually help reduce your risk of heart disease. They are a long-term investment though, as most varieties bear fruit after 8 years, however, you can find grafted varieties which can produce nuts in 4-5 years.

How to grow pecans in a garden

  1. Choose a sunny spot with well drained soil and enrich the soil with plenty of organic matter, like Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser. Make sure there’s plenty of room around the spot you’ve chosen as pecans grow into large trees. 
  2. Dig the planting hole twice as wide and to the same depth as the root-ball. Remove the tree from the container, gently tease the roots and cut away any circled or tangled roots.
  3. Position in hole and backfill with soil, gently firming down. Form a raised or doughnut shaped ring of soil around the outer edge of the plant's root zone. This helps keep water where it's needed. Always water in well after planting to settle the soil around the roots and keep the soil moist for several weeks while the new plant establishes.
  4. Mulch around the base with organic mulch like bark chips, sugarcane or pea straw, keeping it away from the trunk.
  5. Water deeply, once or twice a week, depending on weather conditions.
  6. Feed your pecan at least twice a year, in early spring and late summer with a complete fertiliser, such as Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser.


Growing tips

  • They grow best in temperate and sub-tropical regions, but can tolerate areas with cold winters. Check plant labels before purchasing.
  • Pecans can be divided into two groups, depending on when male and female flowers mature – Type A (protoandrous): pollen is shed early, before the female flower is ready. Type B (protogynous): pollen is shed late. While most varieties are self-pollinating, planting varieties from each group will ensure optimum cross pollination.

  • You can help the plants to make the most of any available water by mulching heavily over the root area with a ten-centimetre-thick layer of organic mulch and by applying Yates Waterwise Soil Wetter Concentrate, every six months. Soil wetters help break up the waxy surface on soils and help water move into the root zone.

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