Babaco. Hybrid of Ecuadorian origin, from the province of Loja, resulting from the cross between Carica pubescens L chamburo and Carica Stipulata H toronche.


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  • 1 Origin
    • 1 Cultivation
    • 2 Features
    • 3 Temperature
    • 4 Humidity
    • 5 Brightness
    • 6 Irrigation
    • 7 Floors
  • 2 Propagation
    • 1 By stakes
    • 2 By tender shoots
    • 3 By graft
    • 4 Soil Preparation
    • 5 Layout of the garden
    • 6 Planting framework
    • 7 Fertilizers and fertilization
    • 8 Pruning
    • 9 Hilling and debarking
    • 10 Harvest
    • 11 Postharvest
    • 12 Performance
    • 13 Pests
    • 14 Diseases
    • 15 Collection
    • 16 Multiplication
  • 3 Source


Originally from Ecuador , Brazil , Peru , New Zealand , Italy , Israel , Greece and in Spain there are productions in the province of Malaga .


Its cultivation in the open air is located mainly in the valleys of the inter-Andean region in the provinces of Imbabura Atuntaqui, Perucho and Otavalo, Pichincha, among others.

The trunk is straight, cylindrical, not woody, green when young to become grayish-brown in adulthood. Leaves inserted to the trunk alternately, lobed limbus with five to seven lobes; ribbed, long petiole. Its green changes shades, depending on the development phase. The flowers appear continuously in the axils of the leaves, feminine in a bell shape, solitary, with white-yellowish-greenish petals and green-dark sepals. The fruit is a seedless berry, it does not need pollination to develop.

With the introduction of greenhouse cultivation, babaco can be cultivated throughout the inter-Andean alley of the Ecuadorian highlands, at altitudes ranging from 2,400 to 3,200 meters above sea level, with this it has been possible to cultivate this fruit in the altitude range that was not previously possible.


Shrub plant, semi-perennial crop, with a stem of more than 2 m, growing in a greenhouse up to 3 m. Root system made up of fleshy vertical roots from which superficial and delicate absorbent roots are released, responsible for the absorption of nutrients.

Its root system is susceptible to soil removal work after planting. The trunk is straight, cylindrical, not woody, green when young to become grayish brown in adulthood. It has leaves inserted alternately to the trunk, lobed limbus with five to seven lobes, marked rib of long petiole. Its green changes shades, depending on the development phase.

It has feminine, solitary flowers, white-yellowish-greenish petals and dark green sepals, they appear continuously in the axils of the leaves, one month after transplant if there has been adequate fertilization and irrigation.

Its fruit is a seedless berry, it does not need pollination to develop, it is elongated with a pentagonal section, median of about 30 cm. long by 10 to 15 cm. in diameter, those obtained inside the greenhouse. Fruits of different sizes can be found on the same plant. The number of fruits per plant varies, it produces according to how it grows but it has been estimated at 60 average fruits per plant during its 24-month life cycle.

The production of babaco, under a greenhouse, begins at 12 or 13 months of age after transplanting, depending on the altitude and the area where it is found.


Average temperature suitable for the development of this crop, is between 14 and 27 ºC. Physiological disorders occur if the temperatures are excessively low or high 5 or 35 ° C. respectively, causing flower drop, fruits and also nutritional deficiencies.


The most recommended environmental humidity for the development of the crop is within the range of 70 to 80%, the same that can be controlled in greenhouses, through adequate ventilation. Otherwise, diseases such as powdery mildew or ashen and pests such as red spider mites will occur when the relative humidity reaches low levels (60% or less for more than 8 days).


This crop is not very demanding in light hours, but it does need a minimum of 4.5 light hours per day.


Irrigation of the greenhouse cultivation of babaco requires irrigation spaced every 12 or 15 days according to the climate and the textural conditions of the soil. The recommendation for loamy soils is: start watering 5 liters per plant every 12 days to finish with around 20 liters per plant every 12 days.

In sandy loam soils it is recommended to water every 8 days in the amounts indicated above. For drip irrigation, it is recommended to start watering 1 liter per plant day and then advance to 3 liters per plant day, always placing two drippers per plant at least 30 cm away from the stem of the plant.


Deep soils are preferred. It does not admit saline soils. The ideal soil texture is loamy or sandy loam, rich in organic matter, around 5%. It also adapts to loamy soils with easy drainage. Special care must be taken with excess water in the soil to avoid root rot. The pH suitable for a good development of the crop and assimilation of nutrients, is between 5.5 and 6.8.


The babaco can be reproduced only by asexual or vegetative way, because it has a parthenocarpic fruit, that is, it does not produce seed.

By stakes

For the propagation of the babaco, cuttings must be obtained from mature plants, with a minimum of two years of production, free of sanitary problems. The length of the stakes is from 25 to 30 cm and the diameter from 4 to 6 cm., The upper cut should be made in a bevel, to avoid the water getting thick when watering is carried out and the cross cut of the base, to Having a greater rooting area, it is recommended after this cut to apply Rootone in doses of 4 g / in 20 liters of water to stimulate the emission of roots.

The treated material must remain under shade for 4 days, so that the latex is removed and the cuts heal. Once this work has been carried out, the stakes are disinfected with Vitavax, diluting 3 grams per liter of water and the stakes are immersed for 1 hour, and then allowed to dry in the shade for 48 hours. Another way of disinfecting is by applying Bavistin 200 cc + Kocide 200 gr in 200 liters of water, submerging the stakes and drying in the shade.

After carrying out this process, place the stakes in large plastic covers (6 x 10 in.), Containing two parts of new black earth, one of pomina and one of earthworm humus, which has been previously disinfected. For the propagation of plants under a greenhouse, it is recommended to place a dark plastic or a strip of saffron so that the sheathed stakes do not receive light directly.

After three months the plants are ready to be transplanted. When the plants are purchased, the transplant must be done immediately.

For tender shoots

This form of propagation is carried out in greenhouses or in germination beds protected with semi-transparent plastic. The material that spreads, are shoots 10 cm long by 1.5 to 2.5 cm. in diameter that are obtained from growing and production plants.

Before placing these shoots to root, an apical cut is made to stimulate bud buds. The substrate must have been previously disinfected. The rooting occurs after 45 days and they are transplanted to covers with sterilized or disinfected soil as previously indicated.

By graft

This system uses chamburo and jigacho patterns, which have characteristics of vigor and longevity, as well as evidence of resistance to nematodes. The graft used is the one with a terminal handle and consists of decapitating the pattern at a height of 10 to 15 cm and in which a transverse slit is made in which a barb barb with a thickness equal to or less than the pattern and which has 2 or more yolks. It is tied with a plastic tape from bottom to top and covered with mastic or wax.

Soil Preparation

The preparation and improvement of the soil is one of the fundamental activities, for the good development of the cultivation of babaco, it can be carried out by means of a tractor or a hoe, taking advantage of the opportunity to incorporate 60 t / ha (6 kg / m2) of organic matter, which will depend on the soil analysis.

Soil preparation should reach at least 50 cm depth, since, as indicated, a subsequent removal is detrimental to the surface root system of the crop located within the first 5 to 10 cm of the soil. After the deep preparation of the soil, an equalization rake or rake can be carried out, being ready to make the layout and hole of the garden.

Garden plot

For the babaco it is advisable to land with little inclination. The distance of the plants in the crop will depend on the type of plantation that is carried out, thus:

Single row where the distances between plants is 1.5 m and between rows 1.5m. Double row where the distance between plants is 1.2 m and 2.0 m between double rows, you can put 4 rows of plants in greenhouses with 6 m of light, especially the truss type.

The holes must be prepared three months in advance, this allows disinfection by solarization. If the holes are prepared one month in advance, they must be disinfected with Kocide 200 gr + Bavistin 200 cc + Terraclor 500 gr in 200 liters of water, the soil to be used for transplanting must also be fumigated. The dimension of the holes is 40 x 40 x 40 cm.

Plantation frame

The seedlings are sown at distances of 1.2 x 1.5 m, 1.5 x 1.5 m in square; 1.5 x 1.5 m (staggered), this originates on average 5,500 plants / ha.

Fertilizers and fertilization

Composting is one of the main activities in the cultivation of babaco, after having applied the organic matter at the beginning, it is recommended to carry out an additional incorporation every six months, about 50 cm from the stem with the help of a tooth rake. small at less than 5 cm depth, at the dose of 6 kg / plant. The organic matter must be well decomposed before application.


It is characterized by emitting new shoots, which must be eliminated, leaving a maximum of two, if you want to reduce the size of the fruits. Once the pruning is done, copper products are applied in doses of 200 gr / 200 liters of water. Another fundamental pruning is the removal of diseased leaves and burning the buried to avoid sources of contamination.

Hulled and debarked

It takes place 45 days after planting and serves to better support the plant. Dry bark around shoots should be removed to avoid water accumulation.


The harvest begins 12 or 13 months after transplanting, to determine the state of physiological maturity that the fruits must reach to be removed from the plant, the methods are used:

  • Determination of fruit pressure: An apparatus is used to measure pressure (pressure gauge).
  • When the fruit has reached maturity Ie corresponds to a pressure of 15 Ib / cm2, at which time the fruit must be harvested.
  • Color method, is simply to determine the point of color change, when its green hue begins to change to a yellow color.


The fruits harvested in physiological maturity, reach commercial maturity after 15 to 30 days later, this process can be accelerated by placing the fruits at a temperature of 25 ° C and in the presence of Ethylene (ETH). In contrast, when you want to delay the output of the product, you can put the fruits in the shade with a temperature of 15 ° C, conditions in which the fruit delays its consumption for 15 days. When the fruit is 75% yellow, it is ready for human consumption.


As previously stated, during the vegetative period of the cultivation of babaco you can obtain, on average, 60 babacos per plant, if in a greenhouse of 1000 m2 we have 450 plants, they can be harvested in the 24 months of the crop’s life, around 27,000 babacos, which sold at an average of $ 0.80 each, fetch around $ 21,600.


  • Red mite (Tetranychus urticae), yellow mite (Tetranychus yusti)
  • White mite (Hemitar somemustos)
  • Green aphid (Aphis sp.)
  • Whitefly (Trialeurodes vaporariorum)
  • Fruit and stem miner
  • Leaf miner (Liriomyza sp.)
  • Nematodes (Meloidogyne sp.)
  • Snails and slugs
  • Myriapods (Cienpies)
  • Birds


  • Alternariosis (Alternaria sp.)
  • Fusariosis (Phytophthora sp.,
  • Pythium sp., Rhizoctonia sp., And Fusarium sp.)
  • Powdery mildew (Oidium sp.)
  • Freckle of the Babaco (Asperosporum caricae)
  • Anthracnose (Mycosphaerella sp.)
  • Foma (Phoma sp.)
  • Neck tumor (Agrobacterium sp.)
  • Root rot (Erwinia carotovora)
  • Mosaic virus
  • Rough virus


It is important to know that the fruit must be harvested with everything and a peduncle so that its ripening is slower and avoids an attack by fungi, which can enter due to scars.


It can be reproduced only asexually or vegetatively (cuttings and grafting), because it has a parthenocarpic fruit, that is, it does not produce seed. It is propagated through cuttings in the nursery, planting is done when the plants are 30 to 40 cm tall. The time it generally takes to reach this height is 60 to 70 days after being sown.


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