Growing Tasty Tropical Cinnamon

Grow your own healing cinnamon with these expert tips.


  • Learn the basics of growing cinnamon with this handy chart.
  • Cinnamon is well known for its culinary uses, yet it is hardly ever grown in ordinary home settings. Learn how to care for this surprisingly easy-to-grow tropical herb.
    Photo courtesy Storey Publishing (c) 2010
  • Cinnamon sticks are simply dried bark from a mature cinnamon plant. Luckily, it's simple to harvest your own.
    Photo By Barbara Dudzińska/Fotolia

Excerpted from Growing Tasty Tropical Plants in Any Home, Anywhere, by Laurelynn G. Martin and Byron E. Martin, with permissions from Storey Publishing (c) 2010. The following excerpt can be found on Pages 118 to 119. To read the main article about growing other tropical wonders, visit Growing Tasty Tropical Herbs.

• Cinnamomum zeylanicum
• sin-uh-MOH-mum zey-LAN-ee-kum

Cinnamon is well known for its culinary uses, yet it is hardly ever grown in ordinary home settings. It’s easy to grow, however. As long as the soil is kept slightly dry, a potted cinnamon plant can thrive for years without special care. You can keep the plants as small as 3 feet by pruning regularly, or you can repot them over time into a 12- to 14- inch pot and allow them to reach up to 8 feet tall.

The leathery, rich reddish bronze juvenile growth provides a nice contrast to the dark green mature leaves. (However, mature leaves will remain light green if plants are kept in high light.) Sprays of small white flowers appear in summer. The purplish black berries are inedible; it’s the bark that is harvested for its culinary qualities.



Both the stem and bark are highly aromatic, and it’s the inner bark that is used as a spice. Even small stems can be scratched to release a rich cinnamon fragrance. True cinnamon is often confused with cassia, also known as Chinese or Vietnamese cinnamon (Cinnamomum cassia). Although the latter is more common in the United States as a spice and is often offered for sale as true cinnamon, it’s not as aromatic, and it has a stronger, more assertive flavor. True cinnamon (C. zeylanicum) can be grown from seed, vegetative cuttings, or grafts, but it is more difficult to propagate vegetatively than cassia.

On occasion, cinnamon produces seeds, which can be picked and planted. These seeds must be picked when ripe (black in color) and planted right away because seed viability is limited.

TamsynB
2/7/2019 9:16:29 AM

There are some Cinnamon zeylanicum plants for sale on eBay. Search for "Cinnamon plant live".


Christmasfairy
11/18/2014 9:22:30 AM

I read that the berries are inedible, which squashed my dreams of growing this plant. I grow orchids and thought I could grow a cinnamon plant, but now I'm afraid the kitty cat mafia would pick,digest, and have to go to the vet for a visit with poison control. sigh..............................


Michael Williams
3/22/2013 2:46:00 AM

I found some last year at a local plant place and it grew great in a pot on my patio. It even flowered and had seed pods that I took and layed out on a cookie sheet and let them dry out. After that I took the pods and put them on a plastic bag and kind of worked to break them up to release the seeds. I have already planted some inside this year and they are starting to grow. I so can not wait for them to get big again. Just the smell from rubbing a leaf it great.




Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Get the latest on Natural Health and Sustainable Living with Mother Earth News!

Mother Earth News

Your friends at Mother Earth Living are committed to natural health and sustainable living. Unfortunately, the financial impact of COVID-19 has challenged us to find a more economical way to achieve this mission. We welcome you to our sister publication Mother Earth News. What you sought in the pages of Mother Earth Living can be found in Mother Earth News. For over 50 years, “The Original Guide to Living Wisely” has focused on organic gardening, herbal medicine, real food recipes, and sustainability. We look forward to going on this new journey with you and providing solutions for better health and self-sufficiency.

The impact of this crisis has no doubt affected every aspect of our daily lives. We will strive to be a useful and inspiring resource during this critical time and for years to come.

Best wishes,
Your friends at Mother Earth Living and Mother Earth News

Save Money & a Few Trees!

By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of Mother Earth News for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).


Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Classifieds