The-Best-Time-To-Plant-Fruit-Trees-In-Florida

The Best Time To Plant Fruit Trees In Florida

A Seasonal Guide to Planting Fruit Trees in Florida

If you’re looking to grow some delicious fruit in your garden, consider planting a tropical fruit tree! 

Many different types of tropical fruit trees can thrive in Florida’s climate and provide you with years of enjoyment. 

This blog post will discuss the best time of year to plant fruit trees in Florida and the most popular varieties for our state. So read on to learn more!

The best time of year to plant fruit trees in Florida is during the Summer, May through September.

The best time of year to plant fruit trees in Florida is during the summertime to take advantage of the summer rains. The natural rainwater will help establish your fruit trees. 

You can technically plant year-long in Florida due to its unique growing climate, but if you want to grow fruit trees long-term, the rainwater goes a long way in establishing them.

Young trees planted in the summer months will benefit from the summer rains.

Many tropical fruit trees will need rain to produce flowers and fruits.

The best time to plant fruit trees in Florida
Atemoya fruit growing in Florida.

Is it ok to plant fruit trees during the wintertime in Florida?

In Florida, it is ok to plant trees during the winter time but it is not recommended due to the colder temperatures that might affect certain cultivars or fruit trees – especially those that are ultra-sensitive such as soursop, cacao, mamey sapote, and breadfruit.

When is the best time to plant tropical fruit trees in North Florida?

The best time to plant tropical fruit trees in North Florida is spring to summer. By planting in the springtime, young trees can grow with the rainfall and expand the plant’s root system.

In North Florida, it is important to consider the winter months in Florida as North Florida gets much colder weather compared to central and southern florida.

It is advised in North Florida to avoid planting until the final threat of frost has passed.

When is the best time to plant tropical fruit trees in Central Florida?

The best time to plant tropical fruit trees in Central Florida is in the early spring to summer time.

Central Florida typically experiences a mild winter compared to North Florida, but it is still recommended not to plant trees when the weather is too cold.

When is the best time to plant tropical fruit trees in South Florida?

The best time to plant tropical fruit trees in Florida is technically year around due to South Florida’s average high temperatures compared to Northern and Central Florida.

Sugar apple fruit guide in Florida
Sugar apple fruit growing in Florida.

The most popular varieties of fruit trees for Florida include sugar apple trees, mango trees, and avocado trees.

Sugar apples, mango, and avocado are Florida’s most popular fruit trees. They are easy to grow and produce exotic fruits.

Sugar apple trees

The best time to plant sugar apple trees in Florida is during the fall or early spring.

Sugar apples (Annona squamosa) will be coming out of dormancy in Florida during the early spring season and will grow very fast as spring comes around. 

Sugar apple trees will go dormant during the winter, and their leaves will turn brown and fall off.

If you are in Northern to Central Florida, consider planting your sugar apple tree in a microclimate where it can stay protected during winter.

If you want to start growing your sugar apple tree, check out this online nursery here.

Mango trees

Mangoes are a popular type of fruit tree in Florida. Mangoes are native to the tropics and prefer warm weather. 

They can be grown in pots or the ground and need little care.

The ideal time to plant Mango trees is almost year-round in Florida, with the expectation of cold snaps and freezes. 

Mango trees have adapted to Florida’s weather conditions and are one of the best care free fruit trees you can grow in Florida.

Mango trees fruiting and growing in Florida.

Mango trees in Florida are easily pollinated. Flies are the primary pollinators of mango. It is not typical for homeowners to pollinate mango trees as the trees set fruits easily by themselves.

Mango trees typically flower in late winter, and fruits are harvested in the summer.

Mango trees come in many varieties and flavors, and some produce fruit in Florida at earlier and later times of the year.

If you’re ready to add a mango tree to your garden, you can order one from this online nursery.

Avocado trees

Avocados are also popular in Florida. Avocados are native to Mexico and prefer warm weather. 

They can be grown in pots or the ground and need little care.

The best time to plant avocado trees in Florida is during the early spring and in the summer, as avocados thrive in Florida’s heat and will establish well with the rain storms. 

It is vital to ensure that avocados are planted at the highest point of your yard where water does not sit after a typical rain. Avocados need to have well-draining soil and cannot tolerate standing water.

If you are looking to add to order an avocado tree to your door you can do so with this website here.

Planting tropical fruit trees can provide you with years of enjoyment and fresh fruit for your family to enjoy.

When it comes to planting tropical fruit trees, There are a couple steps to ensure that your tree will thrive. 

First, you must choose a location for your tree that gets plenty of sunlight.

Tropical fruit trees need at least six hours of direct sunlight each day to produce abundant fruit.

In addition to full sun, you’ll also need to ensure that the location you choose for your tree has well-drained soil.

Fruit trees don’t do well in soggy conditions, so it’s important to ensure that the area you’re planting doesn’t retain water.

The Best Florida fruit trees for beginner gardeners

I recommend the three tropical fruit trees for Florida beginner growers, Sugar Apple, Mango and Avocado. These three types of fruit trees grow excellently in Florida’s sandy soils.

Mango tree new growth in Florida.

Planting your tropical fruit tree

After you’ve settled on a tree, it’s time to get planting! When it comes to fruit trees, the general rule of thumb is to plant them slightly above the depth as they were in the pot they came in. 

Once your tree is in the ground, water it well and give it a high-quality, slow-release fertilizer.

With proper care and attention, your fruit tree should provide you with years of enjoyment – not to mention delicious fresh fruit!

When choosing a tropical fruit tree be sure to choose one that is appropriate for Florida’s climate.

Florida’s climate is hot and humid, with average temperatures ranging from 68- 87 degrees Fahrenheit. 

It is important to choose a fruit tree that can withstand these conditions. Some good options include mangoes, sugar apples, atemoyas, and avocados.

These trees will not only be able to survive in the warm weather, but they will also produce delicious fruits that the whole family can enjoy.

Sugar apple tree growing and fruiting in Florida.

With proper care and maintenance, your fruit tree will thrive and provide you with delicious fruit for many years to come.

Tropical Fruit trees are an excellent addition to any Florida home garden, providing fresh, delicious fruit for many years. 

Your fruit tree will thrive and produce abundant fruit with proper care and maintenance.

Deciduous fruit trees in Florida

In Florida, growing tropical fruit trees may go deciduous when in the winter months.

When cold weather comes around December through January, many tropical trees will go dormant, and some will shed their leaves.

Most fruit trees will keep their leaves, but many will keep their leaves to stay warm.

What tropical fruit trees lose their leaves in the winter in Florida?

Fruit trees that are deciduous and lose their leaves in the winter include sugar apple trees, soursop trees, atemoya trees, mamey sapote trees, and persimmon trees.

Tropical fruit trees that lose their leaves during winter need to be protected from cold damage if temperatures reach freezing temperatures.

What fruit trees are frost-tender trees?

Tropical fruit trees that can be grown in Florida and are frost tender and will not handle frost are soursop, cacao, breadfruit, sugar apple, caimito, abiu, and achachiaru.

Container trees

Container trees can be planted year-round in Florida. 

Tropical fruit trees can be up-potted into a bigger pot any time of the year in Florida, but it is advised to do so during the summer so they can get wet with the tropical summer rainwater.

An advantage to growing tropical fruit trees in pots is mobility. 

If freezing temperatures threaten your tropical fruit trees, you can move them into your garage or a warmer area.

Citrus trees in Florida

Citrus trees are a Florida classical fruit tree that comes to mind when planning to add fruit to your yard.

Citrus trees in Florida over the years have gotten more challenging to grow due to the citrus greening, also known as Huang Long Bing (HLB). 

Citrus greening attacks citrus trees in Florida and makes them, so they produce very little to no fruits.

The only way to combat this citrus pest is by spraying your tree with a foliar application to make it stronger and more resistant to this pest.

Key Tips Tropical Fruit Tree Gardening Takeaway:

1. Water regularly. Your fruit tree must be watered deeply and regularly during growth. Water at the base of the tree, ensuring to wet the roots well. Avoid watering the leaves, as this can encourage fungal diseases.

2. Fertilize regularly. Feed your fruit tree with a good-quality slow-release or organic fertilizer several times during the growing season. Follow the manufacturer’s directions on how often to fertilize.

3. Prune annually. Pruning your fruit tree helps promote new growth and keeps the tree healthy. Each year, prune out dead or diseased branches and any crossed or rubbing branches. Also, prune back any excessively long or leggy branches.

4. Protect from pests and diseases. Check trees often for pests and diseases that could harm your fruit tree. If you see anything suspicious, treat it immediately with an appropriate pesticide or fungicide.

There are many benefits to planting fruit trees in Florida, including the delicious fruit they produce and the enjoyment you will get from watching them grow.

Summer months, May through September is the best time of year to plant fruit trees in Florida, and popular varieties include sugar apple trees, mango trees, and avocado trees. 

Planting fruit trees can provide you with years of enjoyment and fresh fruit for your family. 

When selecting a fruit tree for your tropical fruit forest, choose one appropriate for Florida’s climate. With proper care and maintenance, your fruit tree will thrive and provide you with delicious fruit for many years.

How-To-Grow-An-Atemoya-Tree

How to grow an Atemoya tree in Florida

How to grow an Atemoya tree in Florida

Florida is the perfect climate for growing Atemoya trees. This sweet and juicy fruit is a cross between a sugar apple (Annona squamosa) and a cherimoya (Annona cherimola), and it thrives in Florida soils and weather.

Here’s what you need to know to add an Atemoya tree to your fruit garden.

Recommended Products For Growing Atemoya

Atemoya care guide

Common namesAtemoya, Pineapple sugar apple,  
Scientific nameAnnona atemoya
Months of Atemoya HarvestIn Florida from June through December
Sun requirements for AtemoyaFull sun for best fruit production
Water requirements for AtemoyaTwo to three times a week during flower + fruiting season.
Soil requirements for Atemoya Rich, well-drained soil. Sandy soil will work in Florida.
Fertilizer requirements for Atemoya2-3 times yearly with Florikan, Osmocote, Azomite, Nutricote
Atemoya pestsWhiteflies, Scale, Potato LeafHoppers, Annona seed borer
Atemoya diseasesRoot rot
Annona Atemoya care guide updated: December 19, 2022

Atemoya fruit growing How to grow atemoya fruits guide
Un-ripe atemoya (Annona atemoya) fruit hanging.

Selecting an atemoya tree

Make sure to select a grafted atemoya tree

Select an atemoya tree that is grafted. A cultivar such as ‘Geffner’ always makes a great first atemoya tree due to its easy care and self-pollination.

Find out what rootstock it grafted onto

Not all atemoya rootstocks are equal. Some rootstocks, such as cherimoya (Annona cherimola), are superior over other rootstocks for Atemoya, such as pond apple (Annona glabra), which works better for grafting other Annonas such as ilama (A. diversifolia).

The best rootstock that has been reported for atemoyas is cherimoya (Annona cherimola), as well as the Custard apple (Annona reticulata). Last but not least, grafting Atemoya onto atemoya seedlings often works great.

Check the graft union 

Checking the graph union to ensure the atemoya tree is healthy and strong is recommended before buying the tree. 

By ensuring a strong and healthy graft union, you can make sure the Atemoya tree has the best chance to live a long and productive life.

Which varieties of Atemoya are the best to grow?

  • ‘Gefner’ atemoya: Green Self pollinating fruit, sweet classic atemoya flavor, and profile
  • ‘Lisa’ Atemoya: Pink/Green atemoya with a sweet tropical berry taste profile. 
  • ‘Priestly’ Atemoya: Green bumpy atemoya fruit with a sweet and juicy taste profile that is said to be superior in taste to ‘Gefner’.
  • ‘Dream’ Atemoya: A atemoya with cherimoya characteristics with a delicate, juicy, sweet flavor that is a favorite among many atemoya growers.
  • ‘Phet Pak Chong’ / ‘PPC Atemoya’: A jumbo chewy, sweet and juicy sugar apple-like atemoya that originated in Thailand.

Atemoya site selection

Where should I plant my atemoya tree?

The best spot to grow an atemoya tree should have well-drained soil, full sun, protection from strong winds, and enough space between each tree for maintenance and harvesting activities.

Atemoya tree standing 15 feet tall.

Where in Florida does Atemoya grow best?

Atemoya grows best in Florida in zone 9b-10a. Atemoya grows excellently in Miami, Fort Myers, Tampa, Sarasota, West Palm Beach, etc. 

Preparing the hole for planting atemoya

Preparing the hole correctly provides the proper foundation for the atemoyas roots to settle and ideally leads to a successful planting. 

Should I add anything to the hole before I plant?

It is recommended before planting Atemoya to add Azomite, an organic micronutrient supplement that will help feed your Atemoya.

How to fertilize Atemoya

Fertilizing atemoya trees is vital to maintaining the tree’s health and ensuring they produce fruits yearly and stay healthy. 

By providing fertilizer to the Atemoya, it helps provide the nutrients that Atemoya needs to help it thrive and grow.

When is the best time to fertilize atemoya trees?

Fertilizing atemoya trees should be done in the early spring (Late April to Early March) as trees will be in their prime growing season and hungry for nitrogen, potassium, calcium, and other micro-nutrient nutrients such as boron, zinc, manganese, and iron.

How many times should I fertilize an atemoya tree per year?

Atemoya trees should be fertilized twice a year, depending on your brand and type of fertilizer. 

Slow-release fertilizers are recommended over instant fertilizers as they might burn the tree’s roots if too much is applied. 

Slow-release fertilizers can also be applied fewer times per year and still provide nutrients every growing season every time the plant is watered.

There are many types of fertilizers for tropical fruit trees. Organic and synthetic fertilizers are available for tropical fruit trees and, in Florida, are necessary if you want to produce fruits from your fruit trees year after year.

To read more on fertilizers for tropical fruit trees, read this article here.

What is the best organic fertilizer for atemoya trees?

The best organic fertilizer for Atemoya is Azomite, which provides the Atemoya with the necessary micronutrients to help produce fruits yearly.

I also recommend adding organic compost, mulch, and teas to help your Atemoya be in its best health.

Which fertilizer is best for atemoya trees?

A quality slow-release fertilizer such as Osmocote 15-9-12 or Florikan works excellent for growing atemoya trees. 

For Atemoya trees to produce high-quality, delicious fruits must be supplemented with vitamins and minerals, as Florida’s sandy soil supplies little to no nutrients. 

Be sure to use only a little fertilizer as this might cause the leaves to grow due to the nitrogen content but at the cost of fruit production. 

Atemoya flowers

Atemoya flowers are similar in appearance to sugar apple (Annona squamosa) flowers and cherimoya (Annona cherimola) flowers.

Is Atemoya self-pollinating?

Some varieties of Atemoya are self-pollinating such as the ‘Gefner’ atemoya. It is recommended to hand pollinate atemoya fruits for a higher fruit set and a more uniform fruit shape.

Which varieties of Atemoya do not self-pollinate?

Atemoya varieties such as ‘Lisa’ and ‘Priestly’ may have a more challenging time setting fruit without assistance in hand pollinating the flowers.

How do I manually pollinate atemoya flowers?

If you are trying to pollinate atemoya flowers, you will need 

To pollinate female atemoya flowers, you will first need to collect male pollen from the male sugar apple flowers.

Male Atemoya Flower

Male atemoya flower petals are widespread, and the pollen can be extracted by lightly tapping on the atemoya flower with a black film canister directly under the flower.

Collecting male atemoya pollen from 10 am – 12:00 pm is best.

Male_sugar_apple_flowers
Male Atemoya Flower Pedals are wide open

Female Atemoya Flower

Female atemoya flower pedals are tighter together and have a banana liquor smell when in bloom. 

When ready to receive pollen, the stigma inside the atemoya female flower will be wet and slightly sticky so the male atemoya pollen can stick easily.

Female Atemoya Flowers with tight pedals

When is the best time to pollinate atemoya flowers?

The best time to pollinate female atemoya flowers is early morning, around Sunrise, to around 10:00 am, as the stigma is most receptive to the male pollen.

The best time to collect male pollen from your atemoya trees is late morning, around 10:00 am to 12:00 pm.

Atemoya pollen can be kept from the male atemoya and stored for up to 48 hours in the fridge vegetable and fruit compartment sealed. 

What is atemoyas natural pollinator?

Atemoya (Annona atemoya) natural pollinator is the nitulid beetle. The nitulid beetle is smaller than a grain of rice and can be hard to spot with the eye.

How do I attract atemoya natural pollinators to my garden?

If you want to attract the nitulid beetle (Atemoya natural pollinator) to pollinate your atemoya flowers naturally, you will need to include pieces of rotting fruits under the base of your atemoya trees.

The nitulid beetles like to hang out and reproduce within pieces of organic rotting material and prefer rotting fruits. So if you want to attract atemoyas natural pollinators, this is a must.

Atemoya fruits

Knowing when Atemoya is ready to harvest can be tricky–it requires patience, timing, and a trained eye to know the signs of ripening since they ripen at different times depending on climate conditions and the type of atemoya tree. 

But when done right, atemoya fruits provide an amazingly unique flavor that is sure to be remembered by many fruit lovers!

How to harvest atemoya fruits

To harvest an atemoya fruit, check to see signs of it being ready to harvest. Typically atemoya fruits are cut off the tree when still rock hard and are left to sit for 2-3 days before becoming soft and ready to consume.

How do I know when my atemoya fruit is ready to be harvested?

  1. Check the carpals on the fruit; if the spaces between the atemoya scales are becoming white and more prominent, it means your atemoya fruit is getting close to harvest.
  2. Check for any soft spots or softer areas. Atemoya fruits that are close to being ready to harvest may turn slightly soft.
  3. Check for any cracks on the atemoya fruit; cracks are due to irregular watering patterns. Once an atemoya cracks open, it will ripen slightly faster, so it’s essential to harvest the cracked fruits as soon as possible.

How to ripen an atemoya fruit once harvested

To ripen an atemoya fruit, simply place it inside a brown paper bag or a cardboard box. By placing the atemoya in one of these two will speed up the ripening process of the Atemoya.

How do I eat an atemoya fruit?

To eat an atemoya fruit, you must first wait until the fruit is soft all over, similar to a ripened avocado when soft. Once soft, you may cut it into the atemoya fruit with a knife or tear the Atemoya open with your hands.

It is important to eat only the atemoya flesh and avoid eating the skin and seeds of the atemoya fruit.

Is atemoya fruit poisonous or toxic?

All Annonaceae fruits carry small amounts of Annonacin which is concentrated in the seeds and skin of Annonaceae fruits. 

Annonacin is a chemical compound that may have toxic compounds to the human body if consumed. The flesh of Annonas is SAFE to consume compared to the seeds and skin, which is NOT safe to eat. 

Atemoya leaves and branching structure (Annona atemoya)

Pruning Atemoya

Pruning atemoya trees is essential for maximizing fruit production. 

Pruning atemoyas can also help to improve airflow, maintain an optimum leaf-to-fruit ratio, and encourage new growth each spring and summer. 

Proper pruning techniques include:

  • Thinning the canopy to increase light penetration.
  • Removing dead and broken branches.
  • Pruning long, thin, lean branches by 35-50%.
  • Thinning atemoya fruits.

When is the best time to prune Atemoya?

The best time to prune atemoyas is in the early spring. Prune atemoya trees in late April or early March to prepare them for the growing season.

Me standing next to an atemoya (Annona atemoya) tree I planted that stand over 15ft tall.

How do I prune my Atemoya?

  1. Identify any long lanky branches on the Atemoya that can be pruned back about 50% back. Atemoya branches that are long and lanky need to be pruned back at least 30-50%.
  2. Remove any atemoya branches crossing each other, as this will cause damage to the atemoya tree with branches rubbing against each other. 
  3. Remove branches in the middle of the atemoya tree that will increase the airflow inside the Atemoya when removed.
  4. Finally, remove any diseased or damaged leaves from the previous growing season to ensure new green leaves grow with flower buds.

When pruning atemoya trees, it is important to consider where the fruit will grow and set. 

Atemoya fruits can easily weigh 2-3 lbs plus, so if it grows on a branch that is not strong, the fruit can easily snap the branch.

Is it good to prune atemoya trees?

Atemoya and other Annonaceas fruit trees benefit greatly from a hard prune. Atemoyas will send out new flower buds and new branches on wood that has been pruned. 

How tall can atemoya trees get?

Atemoya trees can grow up to 25 ft plus if left unpruned.

How do I make my atemoya flower?

If your atemoya tree has not produced any flowers and is only growing leaves, a hard pruning of the branches and removing old leaves will force it to send out flowers and new leaves. 

Cut at least 25-50% of the branches and remove leaves to make your atemoya flower.

Questions about growing Atemoya 

Is it safe for dogs to eat Atemoya?

Although it is safe for a dog to eat the meat flesh of atemoyas, it is doubtful that they will enjoy the fruit as it has a sweet and acidic taste.

If you are giving your dog atemoya, always remove the seeds or process the fruit by removing the skin and seeds completely before giving them a taste.

Is it safe for cats to eat Atemoya?

It is safe for cats to eat Atemoya, but it is highly unlikely that they will want to eat a piece of Atemoya willingly.

I have observed my cats licking the atemoya flesh as I believe they enjoy the texture of the atemoya meat against their tongues. I have watched only one out of three cats living with me enjoy licking atemoya fruits for a little taste.

Can children and kids eat atemoya fruits?

Yes, It is safe for children to eat atemoya fruits.

It is highly advised for parents to supervise kids eating atemoya fruits and to remove all the seeds and the skin before feeding them to a child, as the seeds may be a choking hazard if not removed properly.

Atemoyas also contain Annonacin, a chemical that can be toxic to humans if consumed improperly. Annonacin is found concentrated in the Atemoya’s skin and seeds, so the two must not be consumed.

Although if you accidentally were to swallow an atemoya seed by accident, nothing would happen as I have experienced this.

Will Atemoya grow true to seed?

No, Atemoya will not grow true to seed. Atemoya grown from seed will produce a fruit similar to the parents but different. 

Will Atemoya grow in sandy soils?

Yes, atemoyas will grow in sandy soils and a wide range of soil types like clay and loamy soil.

Conclusion

If you want to grow an atemoya tree, this is the perfect guide for learning about its growing, fruiting, and care methods.

Atemoya in Florida is a reasonably new fruit that is still making its way across many Floridians’ gardens as people realize how delicious atemoyas are and the health benefits of growing your own Atemoya fruit tree.

How To Grow Mamey Sapote Tree in Florida

How To Grow Mamey Sapote Tree In Florida

How To Grow Mamey Sapote Tree In Florida

Growing a Mamey sapote tree in Florida is possible in zones 9b – 10a with the right conditions and care. 

This tropical fruit tree is native to Central America and bears large, round fruits weighing up to four pounds and even more. 

The flesh of the mamey sapote is reddish-orange and very sweet, making it a favorite among many fruit lovers.

Planting the mamey sapote, a tropical fruit tree is a great way to add tropical and exotic flavor to your home landscape. 

If you’re thinking about growing your mamey sapote tree, here are a few things you should know.

Recommended Products For Growing Mamey Sapote

Mamey Sapote Care Guide

Common namesMamey sapote, Sapote, Zapote rojo, 
Scientific namePouteria sapota
Months of Mamey Sapote HarvestIn Florida, from May – July, Some cultivars all year
Sun requirements for mamey sapote:Full sun for best fruit production
Water requirements for Mamey sapoteTwo to three times a week during flower + fruiting season.
Soil requirements for Mamey sapote: Rich, well-drained soil. Sandy soil will work in Florida.
Fertilizer requirements for Mamey sapote2-3 times yearly with Florikan, Osmocote, Azomite
Mamey sapote pestsWhite-flies, Scale
Mamey sapote diseasesRoot rot
Mamey Sapote care guide updated: December 9, 2022

How to grow mamey sapote tree in Florida
Mamey sapote tree cultivar ‘Pumpkin Pie’ growing in zone 10a Florida.

Mamey sapote Site Selection

Before you grow your mamey sapote tree, there’s an important step that must come first: site selection.

Planting your mamey sapote in the right location is critical for it to thrive over its long life span. 

Where should I plant my mamey sapote tree?

You’ll want to look for sites with good drainage and nutrients, limited wind exposure (which could lead to stunted growth or damaged leaves), and adequate sunlight.

Where in Florida does the mamey sapote grow best?

Mamey sapote thrives best in USDA growing zone 10a; this includes areas like Miami, West Palm Beach, Naples, Homestead, and more.

If you are growing a mamey sapote tree in zone 9b, you will need to consider growing this fruit tree in a microclimate or plan on keeping it warm during the winter.

Preparing the hole for planting

Planting a tree is more challenging than burying it in the ground and hoping for the best. 

If you want your mamey tree to live a long, healthy life, you need to create an environment that will help your sapote tree thrive.

When preparing the hole for planting, start digging deep enough so that the roots of the mamey can stretch out without being cramped or bunched up.

Remember that planting tropical fruit trees too deeply can stunt their growth, so ensure the depth at which you plant them is slightly above the soil level.

Should I add anything to the hole before I plant my mamey sapote tree?

It is recommended to add amendments to the hole before planting any tropical fruit tree. One of them is Azomite – an organic micronutrient supplement that will help the mamey sapote tree produce fruits.

Planting and Watering Mamey Sapote

Plant Mamey Sapote at least fifteen feet from other trees to ensure it receives plenty of sunlight and air circulation for its fruiting season. 

When planting Mamey Sapote, prepare to dig the hole two times as wide and deep as the pot that your mamey sapote tree is in; fill it with rich soil and Azomite, patting down around the base to anchor your Mamey sapote after dropping in the root ball. 

Water the mamey sapote thoroughly until the rootball and surrounding soil are completely soaked.

Keep Mamey Sapotes watered consistently; during hot summers, they’ll need two inches of in-ground water per week. 

The mamey sapote needs plenty of water and nutrients to succeed, so ensure that you have a feeding schedule for the mamey sapote, such as organic or synthetic fertilizers.

Fertilizing Mamey Sapote Trees

It is recommended to fertilize the mamey sapote fruit tree two to three times a year, with March through October being ideal months while the tree has a more active growth period.

Fertilizing Mamey Sapote Trees is a great way to ensure your tree is healthy and potentially increases its fruiting capabilities.

Fertilizers should include a balance of nutrient-rich organic matter, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. 

For more information on fertilizing tropical fruit trees, read this article.

Mamey sapote fruits for sale at a market
Pouteria sapota fruits for sale (Mamey sapote).

Which fertilizer is best for mamey sapote trees?

It is advised to use a slow-release fertilizer such as Osmocote plus 15-9-12 or another high-quality slow-release fertilizer like Florikan

Be careful using cheap instant fertilizers, which can easily result in over-fertilization and potentially cause death to the roots and foliage. 

During the winter months, when the growth period slows down, you can relieve the fertilizer schedule and begin the following year again in March.

Sticking to a regular fertilizing schedule is essential to keep your tree healthy and productive.

Fertilizing your Mamey Sapote Tree will keep it healthy for many years and maximize its fruiting potential so you can enjoy the sweet taste of Mamey Sapote with family and friends. 

Mamey Sapote Flowers

Mamey Sapote flowers are a creamy-white color and flower off the tree’s base, similar to a jaboticaba.

Pollination typically occurs when fruit bats or other birds feed on the tree’s fruits and spread the Mamey Sapote’s pollen around.

The Mamey Sapote must be pollinated for the tree to produce its delicious, nutritious fruits.

Mamey sapote cultivar 'Pumpkin Pie' flowering in Florida zone 10a
Mamey sapote (Poutera sapota) flowers. Variety: Pumpkin pie

Mamey Sapote trees can take 10 to 20 years to produce their first flowers; purchasing grafted mamey sapote trees is advised to ensure blooms immediately within one to two years after planting.

Do you have to pollinate mamey sapote flowers?

Mamey Sapotes are self-pollinating. What is self-pollinating? It means the flowers don’t need a foreign pollen source to bear fruit.

Mamey Sapote Fruits

Mamey sapote trees produce smooth, rounded fruits with an exterior similar to sapodilla.

When cut into, Mamey sapote fruits reveal an orange-brown flesh that is soft and sweet. 

Mamey sapote trees in Florida can take 20 years to bear fruit from seed, so it’s highly advised to purchase a grafted tree to get flowers and fruits within one year after planting. 

How to Harvest Mamey Sapote Fruits

You can tell when the mamey sapote is ready to harvest by scratching the exterior skin of the mamey sapote. If it is green, it is not ready, but if it is red/orange, the fruit is ready to pick.

Mamey sapote fruits are usually picked by hand, as they damage easily when handled and must be collected before they over-ripen on the tree.

What are the benefits of eating mamey sapote fruit?

Mamey sapote provides a great source of vitamins B6 and C. The fruit is also rich in vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, vitamin E, manganese, potassium, and fiber.

Mature mamey trees can bear hundreds of sapotes at a time, making Mameys a popular choice for those looking for large amounts of a delicious and healthy tropical treat.

What is mamey sapote used for?

Aside from being eaten raw, Mameys can also be used for flavorings and preservatives in ice cream and jams. Its seed is also pressed, and the oil is processed into beauty products.

Mamey sapote (Pouteria sapota) fruits being prepared for mamey smoothie
Mamey sapote is blended in the blender to make a mamey smoothie.

Questions about growing mamey sapote

How tall does the mamey sapote tree get?

Mamey sapote trees can grow over 100ft if left unpruned. There are specific dwarf cultivars, such as the cultivar ‘Pumpkin Pie’ that is propagated by Zills High-Performance Nursery; this variety is a dwarf variety mamey and is a low-spreading compact grower.

Is it safe for dogs and cats to eat mamey sapote?

Yes, It is safe for dogs and cats to eat ripe mamey sapote fruit.

Is it safe for children to eat mamey sapote?

Yes, Children may eat ripe mamey sapote fruits. It is always advised to supervise children when consuming mamey sapotes. The mamey seed is big and can be a choking hazard if not removed and disposed of properly. 

How do you eat the mamey sapote fruit?

The mamey sapote has to be soft similar to how an avocado needs to be soft before cutting into it. Once the mamey is soft, you may cut into its creamy flesh.

Will mamey sapote grow in sandy soils?

Mamey sapotes will grow fine in sandy soils with additional amendments such as mulch and fertilizer. It is vital to keep the mamey sapote well hydrated during the hot months of the year in Florida, such as summer. 

Are mamey sapote true to seed?

No, mamey sapotes will not grow true to seed and produce a new variety if grown from seed.

Where can I order a mamey sapote tree online from?

You can order a grafted mamey sapote from this recommended nursery.

Conclusion

Every tropical fruit grower should consider learning how to grow mamey sapote. This post goes step-by-step through site selection, preparing the hole for planting, planting and watering, fertilizing, flowers and fruit

By following these steps, you will be prepared to grow your own mamey sapote tree. And if you want to grow your mamey sapote tree, we know just the place – check out this nursery!

How To Grow A Sugar Apple Tree In Florida

How To Grow A Sugar Apple Tree In Florida

Growing sugar apple in Florida is one of the best tropical fruits to cultivate. Its sweet and delectable taste will drive you to include a tree in your home garden.

When growing sugar apples in Florida, you should consider a few things before buying your first tree or planting one. 

In this guide, you will learn everything you need to know about how to grow a sugar apple tree in Florida.

The sugar apple (Annona squamosa) is a fruit tree part of the Annonaceae fruit family. It is known as the cherimoya of the lowlands because of its ability to be productive in low elevations such as Florida.

Recommended Products At Amazon For Growing Sugar Apples:

Sugar apple fruits in Florida
Sugar apple (Annona squamosa) fruit grown in Florida.

Sugar apple care guide

Common namesSugar apple, Sweetsop, Anon, Annona, Custard apple, Mang cau dai, Srikaya, Sitaphal
Scientific nameAnnona squamosa
Months of sugar apple harvest in FloridaMay to November
Sun requirements for sugar appleFull sun to partial shade
Water requirements for sugar applesWater twice a week water during the growing and fruiting season. Water should increase as the sugar apple tree is flowering and fruiting.
Soil requirements for sugar appleWell-drained, loamy, nutrient-rich soil.
Fertilizer for sugar apples Sugar apples should be fertilized 2 to 4 times per year. Osmocote + 15-9-12 is our recommended fertilizer for sugar apples.
Sugar apple pestsMealy Bugs, Ambrosia Beetles, Annona Seed Borer, Plumose Scale, Philephedra Scale, Potato Leafhopper
Sugar apple diseaseDry Fruit Mummification, Fruit rot, Branch dieback
Sugar apple care guide updated: November 15, 2022

How to grow sugar apple trees

Sugar apple trees are adaptable to various planting situations but will do best when planted with full sun.

Sugar apples can be planted with high density. The sugar apple tree responds well when pruned vigorously; actually, the tree prefers to be pruned as it triggers it to send out flowers and new leaf growth.

Best place to plant sugar apple tree

The best place to plant a sugar apple tree is a spot where it will receive full sun and have well-drained soil.

Sugar apples will grow in various soils and can grow in Florida’s sandy soil.

Sugar apples can be planted in semi-shade and still produce fruit, but they might face more pest problems and have slightly less production.

Purple sugar apple how to grow sugar apple tree in Florida Annona squamosa
Purple sugar apple (Annona squamosa) growing in Bradenton, Florida zone 9b.

About planting a sugar apple tree

Sugar apples can be planted at various stages of growth, but it is best advised to produce a sugar apple tree with a well-established root system in a 3-gallon or more.

Sugar apple trees should be planted in well-drained soil. Florida’s sandy soils are ideal for growing sugar apples and other Annonas, such as atemoya.

If you are growing sugar apples from seed, it is advised that you plant the seedling when it’s at least six months to one year of age.

How to plant a sugar apple tree

  1. To plant a sugar apple tree, dig a hole that’s about twice the size of the pot in which your sugar apple tree is growing in.
  2. Plant the sugar apple in the hole but ensure the tree is slightly above the soil level. It is better to plant fruit trees higher than below the soil level.
  3. Water the sugar apple for at least two minutes or until its roots, are thoroughly soaked. Repeat this two to three times a week for the first month so its roots establish.
  4. Sugar apple trees should be planted in well-drained soil. Planting sugar apple in sandy soil is fine. Amendments such as wood chip mulch, organic fertilizers, and granular fertilizers are highly recommended to supplement the sugar apples’ nutritional needs.

Fertilizing sugar apple trees

Sugar apple trees can be fertilized once planted into the ground the day they are planted with fertilizer, such as Osmocote 15-9-12 for established sugar apple trees or Osmocote 14-14-14 for seedling or smaller sugar apple trees.

Organic fertilizers can be used to fertilize sugar apple trees, such as chicken or cow manure, as Annonaceaes thrive with organic materials.

It is advised to fertilize about half a cup of fertilizer per sugar apple tree and spread around evenly around the tree.

After fertilizing, it is vital to continuously water the sugar apple tree as water will trigger the fertilizer to release nutrients for the roots of the sugar apple to absorb.

It is recommended to fertilize your sugar apple trees for the first few years two to four times a year with organic or synthetic fertilizers until they are big, healthy, and strong.

Check out this article for more information on fertilizing tropical fruit trees

Sugar apple fruit Annona squamosa growing in Florida
Green sugar apple ‘Lessard Thai’ ripening on the tree in Florida.

Sugar apple water requirements:

Sugar apples, when first planted out, require water at least two to three times a week during the active growing season in the spring and summer months.

Younger sugar apple seedlings and saplings require more water generally than older established trees.

Sugar apple trees are relatively drought-tolerant and will survive if you forget to water them.

Sugar apple flowers

Sugar apples can produce flowers as early as six months of age from seed.

Sugar apple trees can flower and set fruits as young as one year, but it is highly advised to keep the sugar apple tree from holding fruits so early.

Young sugar apple trees that hold fruits at an early age (Younger than three years of age) may become stunted in growth as all the life force energy goes to producing the fruit. This energy is better invested in growing leaves and size.

Sugar apple flowers will bloom first as female flowers and, within 24 hours, change to male flowers.

How to pollinate sugar apple flowers

Sugar apple flowers will first start as female flowers. Within 24 hours, they will switch from female to male flowers on the same flower.

Female sugar apple flower pedals are more enclosed and tight together, while male sugar apple pedals are spread open.

The best time to pollinate female sugar apple flowers is in the early A.M from 7 AM – 11:00 AM as the stigma is moist.

Male_sugar_apple_flowers_ANNONA_squamosa
Male sugar apple flowers in Florida (Annona squamosa)

The best time to collect male sugar apple pollen is from the morning to noon time. Pollen can be stored overnight in the fruit and vegetable compartment in the fridge.

  1. First, collect pollen from the male sugar apple flower while using a small container and a small paintbrush to brush the pollen.
  2.  Second, identify the female flower and apply the male pollen directly to the female sugar apple flower.
  3.  Within three to four days, if the flower is still attached to the tree, the sugar apple successfully has set and is beginning to grow.
Fruit set sugar apple and flowers on a sugar apple tree
Sugar apple fruit set (Annona squamosa)
Learn how to hand-pollinate sugar apple (Annona squamosa) flowers in one minute.

How to know when sugar apple fruit is ready to harvest

The sugar apple fruit will be ready to harvest when the segments between the sugar nodes begin to turn white. The sugar apple fruit will also become soft on the tree, but it is recommended to harvest it before it gets too soft to where it could fall off.

How to harvest sugar apple fruit

  1. Identify that the sugar apple has white lines in between the nodes of the sugar apple.
  2. Touch the sugar apple fruit and check if it is soft. If it is soft it is ready to be harvested but if it is still rock hard it will need more time on the sugar apple tree.
  3. Cut the sugar apple fruit from above the stem and store the sugar apple in a cool environment inside.
  4. The sugar apple fruit once harvested from the tree will begin to ripen fast. Once soft the sugar apple is ready to eat.

Sugar apple pests

Sugar apples in Florida can be attacked by aphids, mealy bugs, white flies, chalcid wasps, and potato leaf hoppers.

For treating sugar apple pests such as aphids, mealy bugs, and white flies, I recommend a product like neem oil to treat them.

Whiteflies growing on a sugar apple Annona squamosa leaves
Whiteflies on sugar apple. A common sugar apple (Annona squamosa) pest in Florida.

For potato leaf hoppers, an organic pesticide such as Pyganic works great to kill potato leaf hoppers on sugar apples and other Annonaceae fruit trees.

How to grow sugar apple tree from seed

  1. Allow the sugar apple seeds to soak in water for at least 12-24 hours (or longer) to absorb water and begin the germination process.
  2.  Plant the sugar apple seeds in one inch of soil and lightly cover the sugar apple seed.
  3.  Pro tip: I always get better germination results when I plant the opening of the sugar apple seed (there’s only 1) up toward the sky.
  4.  Water the sugar apple seed in the soil once or twice weekly or whenever the soil gets dry.
  5.  It is essential to place your sugar apple pot where it will be warm enough to sprout. I suggest placing it under a tree where it can still get some shade but still get some warmth.
  6.  Fresh sugar apple seeds should sprout within 2-3 weeks of planting during the active growing seasons in Florida. Seeds may be sprouted indoors with a heated seedling kit, My favorite one that I’ve used to sprout several sugar apples indoors is this one.
  7.  Once the sugar apple seeds sprout, it is important to keep up-potting the seedling into bigger pots as it grows to allow the seedling to grow optimally over time.

About the sugar apple tree in Florida

The sugar apple is a tropical fruit tree originating in South America. In Florida, sugar apple has been grown throughout the state, and trees can fruit from Jacksonville down to the Keys.

In recent years in Florida, sugar apples have become a popularised yard tree to include in the home landscape due to their sweet tropical taste and growing compatibility in various types of soils.

Sugar apples make a beautiful specimen to grow in your yard and produce a delicious fruit that has adapted well to Florida conditions.

In Florida, the sugar apple (Annona squamosa) is most commonly called sugar apple, but you may hear it called custard apple, Annona, or Anon.

How To Grow A Sugar Apple Tree In Florida
Sugar apple tree in the yard in Florida (A. squamosa)

How to care for sugar apple trees

  1. Ensure that the sugar apple tree is watered at least two times per week during its growing season, which is the spring and summer months.
  2.  When sugar apples are young trees, they might produce flowers and set fruit. Removing fruits from young sugar apple trees younger than 2-3 years of age is vital to allow the tree to grow a strong trunk and branches.
  3.  Sugar apples will lose their leaves at the end of summer, entering the winter season in Florida. The leaves will turn brown, yellow, and even black and look diseased but rest assured, the tree is just going dormant and will wake up in early spring.
  4.  During the growing season, sugar apples can be attacked by pests, including mealy bugs, white flies, potato leaf hoppers, and aphids. Organic pesticides such as Neem oil or Pyganic for leaf hoppers will help your plants thrive.
  5.  Sugar apple trees and other tropical fruit trees thrive when fertilized with organic and synthetic fertilizers. Tropical fruit trees need to be fed with nutrients from a complete fertilizer (NPK) to thrive optimally in Florida.
  6.  Sugar apple flowers can be naturally pollinated in Florida by the nitulid beetle. You can attract the nitulid beetle into your yard by leaving fruit peels under your Annona trees, as that is their food.
  7.  Sugar apple flowers can be hand pollinated and are recommended if you want your fruit to be set nearly 100% of the time. By hand pollination, you will ensure your fruit has a uniform round shape to the fruit.
  8.  Sugar apples benefit from being pruned annually.
  9.  Pruning sugar apple branches can trigger flowers and new leaves to emerge.
Fresh sugar apple fruit harvest in Florida
Fresh sugar apple (Annona squamosa) fruit harvest in Florida.

Questions about growing sugar apples

Does sugar apple grow in Florida?

Yes, the sugar apple (Annona squamosa) grows great in Florida’s subtropical climate.

Is growing a sugar apple tree easy?

Growing sugar apples are easy in lowland areas such as Florida. Not many pests and diseases affect sugar apples, and they are drought-tolerant.

Does sugar apple tree attract rats?

No, while growing, the sugar apple fruit is rock hard, and its taste or smell does not attract rats. The pre-mature sugar apple contains a chemical that prevents animals from wanting to eat it.

Is sugar apple the same as atemoya?

No, Sugar apple (Annona squamosa) is different from atemoya (Annona atemoya).

Is the sugar apple tree poisonous?

No, the sugar apple tree is not poisonous.

Is the sugar apple fruit poisonous?

No, the sugar apple pulp is not poisonous and is eaten and enjoyed by millions of people around the globe.

Are sugar apple seeds poisonous?

Sugar apple seeds contain a chemical that may become toxic to humans if consumed in large amounts. It is advised to never eat the seeds of Annonaceae fruit. If you accidentally swallow a seed no harm will happen. Always spit out the seeds of the sugar apple while eating as you would while eating an orange with seeds. It is highly advised not to eat the sugar apple seeds.

Planting a Jaboticaba? Here’s what you need to know before doing so.

The Jaboticaba is a fruit unlike no other, purple, sweet, tangy taste with a softcore. If you are gardening in Florida and are obsessed with tropical fruit, the Jaboticaba tree is a tree you need in your garden.

There are many things to know before you consider ordering your very own Jaboticaba or decide to visit your local nursery, such as knowing the varieties of which Jaboticaba there are as well as how to plant and care for one.

Here are important things to know on how to plant and care for a jaboticaba tree.

Recommended Products At Amazon For Growing Jaboticabas (Plinia cauliflora)

How to plant a jaboticaba tree
Jaboticaba fruits at different ripening stages.

How to Plant a Jaboticaba tree

  1. Dig a hole about twice the size of the jaboticaba tree in the ground
  2. Fill the hole with an acidic organic material such as Sphagnum peat moss and mix it with the native soil. You may also use premium soil such as Pro-Mix HP with the native soil. Jaboticaba roots are sensitive, and roots do not like alkaline soils.
  3. Plant the jaboticaba tree with the trunk slightly above the soil level by about 1 inch.
  4. Fill back in the hole with more peat moss or Pro Mix, as well as some premium amendments such as worm castings.
  5. Add a cup of Organic Hollytone Espoma 4-3-4 around the base of the trunk.
  6. Water in the jaboticaba tree thoroughly as it will be in transplant shock and need water to help it establish.

Jaboticaba Care Guide (Plinia cauliflora)

  • Common names: Jabuticaba, Jaboticaba, Tree grape
  • Scientific name: Plinia cauliflora
  • Months of Jaboticaba fruit harvest: Up to five times per year, January – October
  • Sun requirements for Jaboticaba: Partial shade to full sunlight
  • Water requirements for Jaboticaba: Water twice weekly while ensuring the roots are thoroughly soaked.
  • Soil requirements for Jaboticaba: Jaboticaba roots need an acidic soil with a PH between 4.0 to 6.5 to thrive optimally.
  • Fertilization schedule for Jaboticaba: Jaboticabas can be fertilized two to four times per year with organic fertilizers such as Holly tone or worm castings
  • Jaboticaba Pests: Jaboticabas pests include aphids and whiteflies. Birds may go after the fruit.
  • Jaboticaba diseases: Leaf tip burn, Yellow leaves, Jaboticaba tree decline.
Jaboticaba fruit ripe in hand
Ripe Jaboticaba fruits are freshly picked.

How to care for a Jaboticaba tree

Jaboticaba trees need a lot of water as they are water-loving fruit trees. The trees, to be able to produce fruit, need to be supplemented with nutrition. One is Holly tone by Espoma – an organic fertilizer explicitly made for acidic-loving plants like the Jaboticaba.

The Jaboticaba will produce fruits 1-4 times per year and sometimes, even more, depending on the water, sunlight, and nutrients.

To maximize fruit production on the jaboticaba tree, add mulch, fertilize, and water abundantly.

The jaboticaba tree also benefits from monthly nutritional foliar sprays greatly.

Jaboticabas can thrive in full sun to part shade environments and still fruit even in shaded areas. In its native habitat of Brazil, it is said that jaboticabas have evolved under the forest canopies, so it’s able to thrive in part-shade.

How to Plant Jaboticaba seeds

Jaboticaba seeds need to be planted fresh almost immediately; if left to dry out, they will become unviable.

When planting jaboticaba seeds, it is ok if the flesh is still on them when planted. The jaboticaba seeds will still germinate with some pulp still attached to the bases.

It is crucial to store jaboticaba seeds with a small amount of moisture in the bag. Be careful not to add too much water, as this may rot the seeds.

Plant the jaboticaba seeds in a regular potting mix. It is essential to keep the soil at a temperature from 65 °F to 90 °F.

The soil should be kept moist and not be too saturated as this may cause rot on the jaboticaba seeds.

Jaboticaba seeds will begin to germinate in as little as three to twelve weeks, depending on the freshness of the seeds as well as growing conditions.

If your jaboticaba seeds do not sprout within six months, the seeds may have died.

Most vendors will send seeds already germinating if you are ordering Jaboticaba seeds online. So all you have to do is put them in the soil and allow the roots to establish.

Jaboticaba flowers with unripe fruit in the background
Jaboticaba flowers with unripe fruits.

The Jaboticaba Is A Slow Grower

If you are considering having a Jaboticaba in your garden, consider keeping it for the long haul.

Jaboticabas are very slow-growing trees, it usually takes 5-8 years from seed to fruit, and during the year, the Jaboticaba tree might not make much of a change in appearance while growing its roots below.

If slow growth differs from what you had in mind, you can always purchase an already fruiting Jaboticaba to save you years of waiting.

You can speed up the growth of your jaboticaba tree by providing it with proper nutrients, water, sunlight, and care.

The Jaboticaba Grows Great In Partly-Shaded Areas

Location is crucial when it comes to planting your Jaboticaba – of course, if you are like most gardeners, you would think that the sun is excellent for fruiting trees. 

Jaboticabas can do great under canopy situations or in part-shaded areas. The trees would thrive in full sun areas as well, but if you need more space in your garden to receive the full sun – don’t feel bad putting it in a dappled light setting; they will do just fine.

A video from Pete Kanaris GreenDreamsFL shows how the Jaboticabas grow under a shaded light situation.

Some gardeners have reported that Jaboticabas grow faster in the shade than those planted in the sun.

When Should I Add Fertilizer To My Jaboticaba?

Jaboticabas should be fertilized immediately after planting in the ground or as early as six months from seed.

An organic fertilizer that Jaboitcabas love which I highly recommend, is Espoma Organic Holly-tone 4-3-4 Natural & Organic, which is organic jaboticaba fertilizer that the tree loves because of its acidity.

Jaboticabas don’t like nitrogen very much in their fertilizers. Organic fertilizers are recommended for the Jaboticaba tree as they have sensitive roots. Synthetic or slow-release fertilizers may cause leaf burn on your jaboticaba tree if misapplied.

Jaboticaba canopy with trunk
Jaboticaba tree trunk with canopy.

How Do I Tell If My Jaboticaba Is Healthy?

The best way to tell if your Jaboticaba is healthy and happy is to check if the bark is peeling. The jaboticaba bark peeling is an excellent indicator that your Jaboticaba is thriving. 

Also, another way to tell if your Jaboticaba is doing great is by looking out for new growth and flower buds on your tree.

The bark peels off the Jaboticaba to make room for new flower buds growing from the fresh bark.

Is the Jaboticaba Cold-Resitant?

Yes, The Jaboticaba can take cold temperatures as low as the 20s in Florida, making it an excellent fruit tree to grow in Central and South Florida and even North Florida.

What Types Of Soils Do Jaboticabas Prefer?

Jaboticabas prefer well-drained soils with a slightly acidic pH. The trees don’t tend to like alkaline soils. 

Before you plant a Jaboticaba in Florida, it is highly recommended to test your soil with a pH reader.

When planting a Jaboticaba tree in Florida, we recommend filling your hole in the ground with Spahmum peat-moss first, or a premium in-ground soil such as PromixHP, as the Jaboticaba roots prefer to be planted in something other than straight sandy soils.

How Do I Prune My Jaboticaba?

Pruning your Jaboticaba can be optional, depending on the shape you would like your tree to be shaped.

In the world of Jaboticaba, it is not a common practice to prune the tree as you would other fruit trees.

Since the Jaboticaba is a slow grower, gardeners tend to perform a light prune to the Jaboticaba to allow more sunlight to penetrate the bark to stimulate more flowers & fruit. The bark is often covered by the Jaboticaba’s natural branching growth habit.

Should I Prune my Jaboticaba?

Pruning your jaboticaba tree is optional. Consider pruning your Jaboticaba if you are having trouble fruiting your tree or if your tree needs to receive more light on its bark. 

Since pruning is done so rarely and little on the Jaboticaba, considering how long it takes to grow, it is recommended to only prune your Jaboticaba if it needs it.

How much should I water my Jaboticaba tree?

Jaboticaba trees LOVE water, in-fact it is tough to overwater this tree. 

Since the tree originated in the rainforests of Brazil, the tree naturally is used to receiving heavy amounts of rainfall. 

In Florida, your tree will thrive off the heat and rainfalls we have – but the tree still is going to be needed to be watered regularly to maintain proper health.

Tip: Consider planting your Jaboticaba in a part of your yard that would typically stay flooded after heavy rain, as those spots are where a Jaboticaba would love, as it prefers wet areas.

Should I plant my Jaboticaba or leave it in the pot?

Jaboticaba is an excellent pot culture plant if you choose not to plant it directly in the ground.

Many gardeners claim that they have been able to maintain a healthier, richer fruiting Jaboticaba when in the pot.

You should consider growing your Jaboticaba in a pot if you live in certain areas where it might get too cold or if you need the healthiest of soils or enough room in the ground to grow Jabtoicaba successfully.

Beautiful jaboticaba tree growing in a pot
The Jaboticaba tree grows in a pot nicely.

Which Jaboticaba fruits the fastest?

There are several varieties of Jaboticaba (Plinia cauliflora), but some are known to fruit faster than others.

Below are cultivars of Jaboticaba (Plinia cauliflora) that are known to fruit fast from seed

  • ‘Red’ Jaboticaba – Known to fruit within 3-5 years from seed
  •  ‘Escarlet’ or ‘Scarlet’ Jaboticaba – Known to fruit as little as 2-3 years from seed
  •  ‘Grimal’ Jaboticaba – Known to fruit five years from seed

Where Can I Order A Jaboticaba Tree Online?

If you want to add a jaboticaba tree to your fruit tree collection, you can do so here.

Frequently Asked Questions about Jaboticaba trees.

Q: Are Jaboticaba trees easy to grow?

Yes, Jaboticaba trees are on the more easy side to grow once established. Jaboticaba trees require consistent watering for abundant fruit production.

Q: Which Jaboticaba variety grows and fruits the fastest?

The variety of Jaboticaba that fruits the fastest are ‘Red’ and ‘Scarlet’ Jaboticaba. These varieties are known to fruit as early as 2-3 years of age.

Q: How much do Jaboticaba trees cost?

Jaboticaba trees can range anywhere from $15.00 to $1000 and more, depending on the tree’s variety, size, and condition. Collectors breed some Jaboticabas, and within this fruit family, many vendors are selling one-of-a-kind rare jaboticabas varieties that can cost thousands of dollars on eBay or fruit forums.

Q: How much do Jaboticaba fruits cost?

Depending on where you live, Jaboticaba can be reasonably cheap to purchase. In Florida, some vendors sell Jaboitcaba as cheap as 5.00$ the pint, but in California, that price could be triple from other vendors. In Hawaii or Brazil, where Jaboticaba is abundant, the price for Jaboticaba fruit is even more affordable per pound.

Q: What do Jaboticaba fruits taste like?

Jaboticaba fruits taste like a combination of a muscadine grape mixed with a bit of tartness followed by sweetness. The sweet part is in the pulp inside the jaboticaba skin. The skin is sourer.

Q: Are Jaboticaba seeds edible?

Yes, Jaboticaba seeds are edible, and the fruit may be consumed whole. Some people prefer to pop the Jaboticaba in their mouth and suck the pulp out and spit out the seeds and skin. Eating the skin and seeds of the Jaboticaba provide many health benefits but tastes sour.

Q: What are the Jaboticaba varieties?

Jaboticaba trees come in expansive varieties such as ‘Red,’ ‘Escarlet’ or ‘Scarlet,’ ‘ESALQ,’ ‘Sabara,’ and ‘Grimal.’ There are hundreds more varieties, and many can be purchased online.

Growing Mulberry In Florida

How To Grow A Mulberry Tree In Florida

How to grow a mulberry tree in Florida

Are you considering growing a berry in your yard but are stuck on which one? Look no further – Mulberry is the berry that your garden needs.

Mulberry is a delicious fruiting tree that produces black berries that taste sweet to the palate. The Mulberry is part of the Moraceae plant family, which is also family to the tasty jackfruit, fig, and breadfruit – no wonder this fruit is delicious!

Recommended Products At Amazon For Growing Mulberries:

How To Grow A Mulberry Tree In Florida
Thai-Dwarf Mulberry Producing In Florida

Mulberry Tree Care Guide

Common namesMulberry
Scientific nameMorus nigra (Black mulberry), Morus rubra (Red mulberry), Morus alba (White mulberry)
Months of mulberry harvest in FloridaLate March / Early April through November
Sun requirements for mulberriesFull sun to partial shade
Water requirements for mulberriesWater once to twice a week during the growing and fruiting season. Water should increase as the mulberry tree is flowering and fruiting.
Soil requirements for mulberriesWell-drained, loamy, nutrient-rich soil. Sandy soil works just fine.
Fertilizer schedule for mulberriesMulberry trees should be fertilized 2 to 3 times per year. Osmocote + 15-9-12 is our recommended fertilizer for mulberries.
Mulberry pestsMealybugs, root-knot nematodes, whiteflies
Mulberry diseasesCanker, Powdery Mildew, Root-Rot
Mulberry care guide updated: November 30, 2022

Where Should I Plant My Mulberry Tree?

If you plan on growing this fruit tree in Florida, select an area where it will receive plenty of sunlight.

The mulberry plant is also found growing in the wild under the shade of taller trees – so ideally, it could still grow in part shade.

A tip for home gardeners growing Mulberry is taking into account that when the berry falls off when ripe, it can stain your driveways, sidewalks, concrete, etc. Planting the Mulberry away from concrete surfaces is better to decrease staining.

You can order the Mulberry plant perfect for your garden or patio here. Mulberry can grow well in the hardy zones 7-9 or indoors with sufficient lighting and heat.

Which parts of Florida can mulberry trees grow in?

Mulberry trees can grow and produce fruit in North, Central, and South Florida.

What Type Of Soils Do Mulberry Like?

Mulberry trees prefer deep, moist soils but can tolerate many soils in Florida, such as ordinary sand soil. Mulberries also adapt well to native soils.

The Types of Mulberry Available

There are 150 varieties of Mulberry, but only about ten have grown in popularity for use in the garden.

Three types of Mulberry are widely grown across the United States and Florida, are the Red Mulberry (Morus rubra), White Mulberry (Morus alba), and Black mulberry (Morus nigra).

Mulberry varieties you can get in Florida

In Florida, the varieties of mulberries available at nurseries are

  • ‘Pakistan’
  • ‘Dwarf Thai Mulberry’
  • ‘Dwarf everbearing mulberry.’
  • ‘Tice’
  • ‘Himalayan’
  • ‘Australian green’
  • ‘World best mulberry.’
  • ‘Shangri-La’
Pakistan Mulberry Tree In Florida
Pakistan Mulberry Growing in Florida by Shangri-la Farms

How Does Mulberry Grow?

Mulberry trees grow very fast. You will notice plenty of new growth throughout the spring and late summer. Also, berries with fruit will be in season to harvest during the spring, summer, fall, and possibly late winter.

The mulberry fruit will start growing green, turning bright red, and finally, it will ripen to a black and purple color – looking just like a skinny blackberry.

Planting one black variety mulberry (Morus nigra) in a Florida fruit forest is recommended as it fits the Florida garden well. Mulberry trees are excellent fruit producers at any size and have reliable productivity. These mulberry trees also tend to have a bush-like formation.

It would help if you pruned your Mulberry to keep the desired shape. If not, the mulberry tree can grow up to 30 to 70 feet high, depending on the species. The Mulberry tends to spread its branches to form a crown.

Does the Mulberry Tree Grow Fast?

Yes, the Mulberry tree is a very fast-growing tree. In Florida, we notice a growth in our Mulberries all year (slowed during winter). If you plant a mulberry plant, keep this in mind to ensure it gets the best planting spot it can receive.

Can I grow a Mulberry tree in a pot?

Yes, mulberry trees grow excellently in a pot. Make sure to provide adequate drainage. Growing Mulberry in a pot allows you to move it and keep it to a chosen size.

Add soil amendments to your pot, such as compost and worm castings, to give your mulberry trees the nutrition they need to thrive in a planter.

Mulberry tree transplant is relatively easy – your plant might look stressed once planted in the ground, but your Mulberry should be fine with enough water days following the transplant.

What is Mulberry used for?

According to the University of Florida, Mulberry has been used in early human civilizations as early as the 1500s. Native Americans would store these berries and preserve them for use in jams and dyes as they produced an abundance in nature. In today’s society, Mulberries are used for jams, pies, jellies, marmalades, icecreams, and juices. Mulberry tree wood is sometimes used in the production of fence posts.

Are Dogs And Cats Allowed To Eat Mulberries?

Dogs and cats can consume mulberries if they like, although highly unlikely they will enjoy the taste. However, you might find other outdoor animals sharing your mulberry plant with you, such as raccoons, birds, and insects.

Are Mulberries Safe For Children To Eat?

Mulberries are safe for children to eat. Ensure they are fully ripened to avoid any bitterness. Also, before you consume any fruit harvests, it is highly advised to wash your produce thoroughly to ensure any insects or outdoor material has washed off.

Make sure to supervise your children eating Mulberries as they are small and can be a choking hazard if not chewed properly.

Which is the best mulberry variety to grow?

The best mulberry variety to grow are the ‘Thai dwarf’ and ‘Pakistan’ Mulberry.

These two are the best mulberry varieties to grow in Florida because they produce many fruits per tree and can produce multiple times per season.

The Pakistan mulberry trees produce mulberries that are long and slender. This mulberry cultivar is also very sweet and is a reliable producer in Florida.

The Thai dwarf overbearing mulberry trees produce mulberries slightly smaller in length than the variety ‘Pakistan’ but make thousands of sweet mulberries at a dwarf height.

The Thai dwarf overbearing Mulberry is not to be confused with the familiar ‘Everbearing mulberry’ sold at Home Depot or Lowes throughout Florida.

What is the best way to clone mulberry trees?

The best way to clone or propagate mulberry trees is air layering, or marcotting, and by rooting cuttings.

It is recommended to take cuttings in the dormancy season to root mulberry cuttings. Using a rooting hormone can increase the chances of cutting rooting.

How to root mulberry tree cuttings

Cut small branches about 10 to 20 millimeters thick and stick the cuttings in either water or a medium such as peat moss or perlite.

The Mulberry cultivar ‘Pakistan’ is rooted in water. Photo by BT Corwin

How to air layer a mulberry tree

To air layer a mulberry tree, you will need peat moss or coconut coir, a plastic bag, pliers, tin foil, and strips of plastic or rubber to tie with.

  1. Select a branch that is about 10 – 20 millimeters thick or more.
  2. With the pliers, lightly scrape and damage the cambium layer of the mulberry branch selected.
  3. Prepare the moist peat moss or coconut coir and stuff the plastic bag about halfway with the moist coconut coir. Seal the plastic bag.
  4. Cut a small incision on the plastic bag about the same length as the cut you made on the mulberry branch.
  5. Wrap the plastic bag with the moist substrate around the damaged cambium and ensure that the peat moss touches the mulberry branch’s damaged part. This is the area where roots will grow roots.
  6. Tie the bag and secure it to the branch as necessary.
  7. Poke two or more tiny holes in the plastic bag so the roots don’t rot. But ensure not to cut too big of holes as you want the roots to constantly stay moist. Coconut coir or peat moss as a substrate holds lots of water, so it’s hard to dry out.
  8. Add tin foil around the air layer to ensure sunlight does not directly dry out the soil. Tin foil will also protect the forming roots of the mulberry as they will be sensitive to direct sunlight.

When is Mulberry season in Florida?

Mulberry season starts at the beginning of April, and the season can extend until November in Florida.

Mulberry trees are known for producing multiple crops a year – sometimes up to 3 crops (or more)! Also, many gardeners have found a method to force the mulberry tree to produce fruits even in the off-season.

By pruning your mulberry tree after each harvest, you can make your mulberry tree push out another set of flowers and produce another crop.

Questions about growing Mulberry trees

My Mulberry tree won’t produce fruit

If your mulberry tree is not producing fruit, this is what you need to do.

  1. Trim about 35-50% of your mulberry tree branches’ limbs, as the Mulberry requires hard pruning to send it into production mode.
  2. Observe the Mulberry, as it will show new growth with flower buds.

If your mulberry tree still does not produce fruit, it could be an issue with the soil, such as nematodes, with is a common issue for mulberry trees growing in the ground in Florida.

Which mulberry variety is the most productive?

The most productive mulberry variety in Florida that is a consistent producer is the ‘Thai dwarf’ mulberry. The Thai dwarf mulberry tree produces large-sized, sweet, juicy mulberries that first ripen at the beginning of April.

Will Mulberry grow in sandy soils?

Mulberry will grow fine in sandy soils. They are great adapters to the climate and can thrive with additional amendments on the top of the sand, such as mulch, worm castings, compost, and slow-release granular fertilizers.

Are mulberry trees resistant to nematodes?

Mulberry trees in Florida may suffer from nematodes attacking the roots. There are attempts to create a nematode-resistant rootstock in Florida in 2022.

Can I grow mulberry trees in Florida, or will nematodes kill them?

In Florida, many mulberry trees thrive and produce a significant amount of fruit year after year. Site selection is key to where to plant your Mulberry. It is best to plant mulberries in the richest, nutrient-dense part of your property to ensure that the mulberry trees get the best chance to grow.

Do mulberry trees need full sun to grow?

Mulberry trees produce best in full sun but will still produce fruits in part shade as well. In their native environment, mulberry trees grow under larger canopy plants.

Which nursery can I order a mulberry tree from?

You can order mulberry trees from many nurseries, including amazon.

What fertilizer should I use for my mulberry tree?

Osmocote + 15-9-12 Slow-release granular fertilizer is the best fertilizer for mulberry trees. This fertilizer releases the right amount of nutrients, feeds your mulberry tree over a 3-4 month period, and keeps them healthy and producing.

How To Hand Pollinate Sugar Apple or Atemoya Flowers in Florida

If you are growing sugar apple (Annona squamosa) or atemoya in Florida you want to be able to maximize your chances of getting healthy, big, and delicious sugar apple fruit from your trees.

Since both the sugar apple and atemoya tree is capable of having both female and male sexual parts that mature at diffrent times of the day (known as ‘Dichogamy’), it is possible for gardeners to carry out artificial hand-pollination on sugar apple tree which almost increases the setting of fruit up to nearly 100%.

Lisa Atemoya Fruit Growing
Lisa Atemoya growing in the shade

The best time to artificially hand pollinate sugar apple flowers is in the morning time from 5:00 AM – 8:00 AM. The best time to artificially hand-pollinate atemoya flowers is in the evening time from 4:00 PM – 8:00 PM.

It is recommended to hand pollinate your sugar apple and atemoya flowers to produce a better fruit set and yield.

Materials You Need To Artificially Hand Pollinate Your Sugar Apple and/or Atemoya Flowers

  • Pipe cleaner, a horsehair paintbrush with soft hairs, or Q-tip
  • Black film canister, pill jar, dark-colored cup

3 Steps To Hand Pollinate Your Sugar Apple Tree Successfully

  1. Identify your sugar apple is in the stage of pollination. When sugar apple flowers first open they are females, but then they will turn to males by the next day. The male stage is when to collect the pollen. The way to identify if it’s a male flower is by identifying their open pedal formation compared to the female flower which is slightly closed.
  2. Use your pipe cleaner (or selected pollen-collecting tool) and brush the insides of the male flower while holding your film canister (or selected cup) under and lightly brush the inside of the flowers while observing the pollen from the male flower fall.
  3. Once pollen is collected from the male flower, look for a female stage flower and take the pollen and collect it onto your tool. Take the pollen and slightly open up the pedal and brush the pollen inside the female flower. It is recommended to use your brushing tool more than once to maximize the amount of pollen in the flower.
Female Male Sugar Apple Flower
Female Flower compared to Male Flower

How Do I Pollinate My Sugar Apple Flowers Naturally?

In Florida’s nature, the Nitidulid beetle is the natural pollinator of the sugar apple flower. Without these beetles present in the yard, the flowers may not pollinate or semi-pollinate leading to irregular fruit growth or no fruit at all. If your garden has no nitidulid beetles present it is because there is not enough rotting fruit and vegetables around the yard.

Creating a compost ditch is very beneficial in any Florida garden, check out this article on how to make your very own.

Nitilud beetles in Florida are typically found where decomposing fruit and vegetable are. In these areas is where they like to feed and reproduce. We recommend either having a compost ditch on your property or in a bin. Although the nitidulid beetle is attracted to the strong aroma of flowering sugar apple flowers it also needs food to feed on.

Here is a video by Truly Tropical on hand pollinating annonas (sugar apples)

How Old Does A Sugar Apple Tree Have To Be Before Having Flowers?

Sugar apple grown by seed takes around 2-3 years before it is able to flower and set fruit. It is recommended to allow plants to grow vigorously the first few years to not allow your sugar apple to fruit to encourage root development – but if you love the taste of the fruit it might be difficult waiting.

Problems After Artificial Aand Pollination Of Sugar Apple Flowers

Some problems growers might face after hand pollination of sugar apple flowers although winds, fruit pests, disease, and fruit rot.

Sugar apple fruit may face several diseases or problems while bearing fruit. Dry fruit rot is a disease to sugar apples caused by fungi. Typically these fungi appear on your tree after the emergence of an Annona Seed Borer.

Annona Seed Borer is the most focused on pest when it comes to sugar apple trees in Florida. Female Annona seed borers will lay their eggs inside the seeds of small fruit. Once the larvae develop in the seed it will burrow out of the fruit essentially ruining the whole fruit.

Symptoms your fruit has had the annona seed borer is a small black hole on the fruit or browning on the fruit itself

The solution to prevent the annona seed borer is to bag up your fruit once they reach a size. We strongly recommend using a protective fruit bag like this one here to prevent the annona seed borer laying eggs in your fruit.

Benefits Of Having Both Sugar Apple And Atemoya In Your Garden

Some gardeners have reported successful atemoya hand pollination with the pollen of a sugar apple flower.

Harvesting Of Sugar Apple

Sugar apple is harvested typically in the late summer throughout the fall season.

Sugar apples will ripen naturally if left growing on the tree and eventually fall down. It is recommended to pick these fruit while they are large, green, and hard and place them to ripen inside. Often outside critters such as raccoons, squirrels, birds, and other pests will compete with you for this tasty fruit.

The sugar apple when ripen will have a yellow lining within the bumpy eyes of the fruit. Also, the fruit will become somewhat soft, so soft that you could puncture the skin of the fruit if you applied very little pressure.

It is recommended to pick your sugar apple or atemoya fruit before they fall to the ground because there skin will be so soft and will most likely split on impact.

Where To Purchase Sugar Apple Trees In Florida

Sugar apple is grown in the southern parts of Florida and is widely loved for its delicious custard taste. If you would like to purchase a sugar apple tree you could do so here.

Where to Purchase Atemoya Trees In Florida

If you are having trouble finding atemoya trees we recommend buying Atemoya trees here. Atemoya are not as common as the sugar apple tree in Florida but it should be grown more widely. The atemoya is much more cold-resistant making it ideal for the colder nights in Florida.

5 Things You Need To Know Before Growing Sugar Apple in Florida

5 Things You Need To Know Before Growing Sugar Apple in Florida

Growing Sugar Apple in Florida is an excellent tropical tree for eating, landscaping, and making a profit.

Before you grow your sugar apple in Florida, here are five things you should know to produce your best sugar apple tree.

Sugar Apples Trees Love Sunlight

When planting your sugar apple tree, select a well-lit area that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight.

Sugar apples will produce flowers and fruit the best in areas that have sun. 

Sugar apples can also produce in areas with part shade to part sun but will not be as productive as a tree that receives full sunlight.

Sugar apples grown in shaded areas might grow slower or produce less fruit than in direct sunlight.

Sugar Apple Thrives With Added Nutrition

Sugar apple trees will thrive when you add nutrients from organic fertilizers, foliar sprays, slow-release fertilizers, compost, and mulch

You will need to provide organic or synthetic fertilizer if you want fruit year after year on your sugar apple tree.

As sugar apple trees produce fruits, they use the nutrients in the soils they are in. As the years go on, if the nutrients are not replenished, then the sugar apple tree will not be able to be as productive as it was in previous years – this applies to all fruit trees as well.

Growing tropical fruit trees in Florida can be challenging because our soils are not as nutrient-rich as in South America, where sugar apple is native.

Because of this, supplementing nutrients in the form of slow-release fertilizers or organic fertilizers is highly recommended.

Organic Sugar Apple Fertilizer

An organic fertilizer that works excellent for growing sugar apples is Azomite, which is an OMRI-rated organic fertilizer that is derived from volcanic sand and contains several vitamins and minerals. 

Slow-release Sugar Apple Fertilizer

Sugar apples thrive with slow-release fertilizers such as Osmocote 15-9-12 plus or Florikan

Many tropical fruit growers in Florida use slow-release fertilizers as they provide a steady flow of nutrients such as nitrogen, Potassium, Calcium, and other micronutrients throughout the growing seasons.

Slow-release fertilizers release nutrients into the soil for your sugar apple tree to absorb every time water penetrates the coating.

Maintaining a water source on fertilized sugar apple trees is a must if you want your fruit tree to benefit from the slow-release fertilizer.

Foliar Spray Sugar Apple

Sugar apples benefit significantly from a foliar application of beneficial nutrients. 

Foliar sprays provide fruit trees, such as sugar apples, with additional nutrients they can absorb through their leaves.

Foliar sprays can also correct many deficiencies that fruit trees have, such as the common iron deficiency, which makes fruit tree leaves yellow instead of healthy green. 

Chelated iron is available in a liquid form that is mixed with water and applied onto the leaves of tropical fruit trees and can change the leaves’ color from yellow to green within minutes once applied.

Sugar apple trees that get scheduled foliar applications are healthier and more productive than sugar apple trees that receive no foliar sprays.

How to Foliar Spray Sugar Apple Trees

To feed a sugar apple tree, you will need a liquid foliar feed solution and a backpack sprayer.

  1. Mix 1 tablespoon foliar application solution per 1 gallon of water. 
  2. Shake the mixture of foliar application and water until it is thoroughly mixed.
  3. Spray the leaves under and above the bark and stems of the sugar apple tree to guarantee it will absorb nutrients.

When is the best time to foliar spray sugar apple trees?

The best time to foliar spray sugar apple trees is in the early morning or in the late afternoon once the sun is not intense.

Avoid foliar spraying sugar apple trees while the sun is at its hottest.

Sugar Apple Trees Grow Excellent In A Pot

If you do not have enough space to plant in your yard or live in an apartment with a balcony – growing a sugar apple in a pot is an alternative in Florida.

Sugar apple trees can also be grown in a pot moved to different areas of the yard depending on where the sunlight hits best in your Florida yard.

Here is a video of me planting a sugar apple tree in a pot

Ensure your trees have a nutrient mixture of organic compost and soil to ensure healthy growth.

Sugar Apple Fruit Can Sell For A Lot Of Money

If you want to buy sugar apples at your local garden market in Florida, be ready to spend a fortune.

How much do sugar apples cost in Florida?

Sugar apples in Florida in 2022 were selling for 10-15$ the pound. This means just one sugar apple fruit on average was 15-20$ per fruit.

Sugar apples are a delicacy here in Florida; typically, at your farmers market, they will go for about 15-20$ per fruit for a nice-sized healthy one.

It is recommended to grow your own sugar apple tree in Florida as they grow very quickly and can provide you with delicious fruit.

Beware of purchasing cheaper sugar apples at your local market, as they may have an awful taste inside. (From personal experience, I’ve tried to save a few bucks by purchasing less expensive not-so-pretty sugar apples over the healthier and costlier ones. In return, I ended up buying a bag of expensive awful fruit)

Sugar Apples Grow In Sandy Soils Of Florida

Sugar apples have adapted very well to Florida’s soils. 

Most of Florida has sandy soils, and sugar apples prefer well-drained soil types. 

It is important to note that although sugar apples will tolerate the planting medium in Florida, it is necessary to apply additional nutrients in foliar spray, fertilizers, compost, and mulch.

If you are planting your sugar apple in an area with mucky soil – it may grow slower or stunted and produce less fruit.

Sugar Apple Flowers Can Be Hand Pollinated

If you want to increase the overall yield of sugar apple fruit on your trees, consider hand pollination of your flowers.

Artificial pollination of your sugar apple is recommended because the sugar apple flower rarely gets pollinated by its native pollinator, the nitulid beetle. And if by chance, it gets pollinated naturally, the fruit comes out irregularly shaped, and the overall yield may be low.

How to hand pollinate sugar apple flowers

To pollinate your sugar apple fruits, you will need a paintbrush and a black container to capture the pollen.

Here is a video of the hand pollination of a sugar apple tree 

Conclusion

In Florida, growing sugar apples is a very rewarding fruit to grow, and by learning these 5 Annona squamosa lessons, you will be better equipped to produce your very first sugar apple fruit!

Should I Bury My Sugar Apple Tree Or Plant it in a Pot?

For all sugar apple lovers, deciding whether to plant your sugar apple in a pot or ground is something we all have to face. Maybe you don’t have the land and have to grow it in a pot, or maybe you want to plant it in the ground but also want it in your favorite pot. This article will help you decide what you should do with your favorite sugar apple tree.

Sugar apple or Annona squamosa is a tropical tree widely grown in Florida. It is loved for its sugary custard taste and sweet aroma.

The grand question is it better to grow sugar apple in a pot or in the ground – here are the factors that matter and the pros and cons of doing so.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rt25t386yr4&feature=youtu.be

About the sugar apple tree

Sugar apple trees can grow 15-20 feet and spread out. Sugar apple roots are shallow – so if you are considering potting it think of a planter consider one that is both wide and deep to accommodate the roots. Sugar apples are not very tolerant of excessively wet or flooded soil conditions, flooding as little as 7 – 10 days may result in root rot and death of the tree.

The leaves of a sugar apple are a green color with a smooth texture and round-shaped appearance.

In Florida, the sugar apple fruit can sell for quite a lot at your local market. Many cultivators of this fruit in Florida do so for the use of commerce making quite the sum. (Check out this article here of the best fruit to grow in Florida to make money.)

Growing Sugar Apple in Pot

Grow your sugar apple in a pot if you

  • Don’t have the yard or space to plant the sugar apple
  • Have no fertile land available
  • Are located in a flood zone that floods often
  • Are located in a colder climate and need to move your sugar apple
  • Want to maintain the size while in a pot
  • Want to move the sugar apple around for decoration

Growing Sugar Apple in the ground

Grow your sugar apple in the ground if you

  • Want to establish a long term fruiting sugar apple tree
  • Want to leave in one spot and manage from where its planted
  • Establish a stronger tree overtime

Which planter should I use to plant my sugar apple?

Sugar apple tree roots are shallow so a pot that can hold at least 5 gallons of dirt is recommended. Here are a few planters that would be great with a sugar apple tree (Annona squamosa).

How to plant sugar apple in a Pot

  1. Pick your planter and add your desired soil mix. Sugar apples like and are well adapted to soils that well-drained – this includes sandy soils and limestone-based soils found all around Florida. You may add fertilizer tom your sugar apple tree. If planting with sandy soil it is recommended a fertilizer formulations such as 2-8-8, 4-8-8, 6-6-6-3, or 8-6-9-5 or similar materials.
  2. Take sugar apple and gently scratch the base of the root system all around to allow the roots to untangle and be able to loosen up to its new planter.
  3. Add a mulching material around the base of your planter. It is recommended to mulch your sugar apples grown in planters due to the plant not being tolerant of colder weather conditions. Mulching also prevents fertilizer from splashing back or out of the planter as well as maintain soil moisture – so it’s recommended to add mulch your sugar apple.

Growing sugar apple in a pot will ensure your maximum mobility with your sugar apple tree. During the colder months in Florida, it is highly recommended to move the tree into a greenhouse or provide a degree of warmth. (Check out this article here on the most affordable greenhouses for your Florida garden.)