Growing Cherimoya in Florida
Cherimoya (Annona cherimola), a fruit of the Annonacae family, is an exotic fruit known for its creamy texture and sweet flavor.
The cherimoya is not to be confused with sugar apple and custard apple; for an article comparing the three fruits check out this article.
Cherimoya, botanically known as Annona Cherimola, originated in South America and is widely grown and exported worldwide today.
The fruit thrives best in tropical to subtropical climates, particularly in the mountains and highlands.
Cherimoya trees are relatively medium to large trees and can grow up to 30 feet tall. The leaves are green and glossy, while the fruit is oval or heart-shaped, with a scaly green exterior covering a soft white creamy interior filled with black seeds.
Growing Cherimoya in Florida
Although Cherimoya is not commonly grown in Florida due to its low elevation and flat terrain, growing the fruit in the state with some extra care and attention is possible.
Compared to gardening states like California, Florida’s Cherimoya plants are less successful in growing, flowering, and fruiting. However, with the right growing conditions, Cherimoya can also thrive in Florida.
If you want more information on how to grow cherimoya in Florida, read this article.
Growing Cherimoya from Seed
If you plan to grow Cherimoya from seed in Florida, you need to take extra care of the seedlings.
Cherimoya seedlings are sensitive to Florida’s heat and may require significant shade protection, such as planting them under a large tree canopy.
The seedlings also need to be protected from pests and diseases, which can cause damage to the plant.
Getting Fruit from a Mature Cherimoya Tree
If you have a mature Cherimoya tree in Florida, you can still get fruit from it. While Cherimoya fruits much more in higher elevated states like California, it can still flower and fruit in Florida.
To increase the chances of fruit set, it is highly recommended to hand-pollinate the flower.
Cherimoya as Rootstock
Cherimoya seeds are mainly used as rootstocks for other Annona varieties in Florida.
Rootstocks are the roots of the plant that can be used with another compatible species of the same plant to grow another variety of trees while utilizing the Cherimoya roots.
Cherimoya rootstocks are vigorous growers and grow faster than other Annona varieties.
In Florida, the cherimoya is often used as rootstocks for other superior Annona varieties that can thrive in Florida, such as Atemoya, Sugar apple, or Custard apple.
Where to Grow Cherimoya in Florida
In Florida, Cherimoya thrives best in the southern and central parts of the state due to the warmer tropical weather and rainfall in those regions.
In North Florida, a greenhouse may be required for growing tropical fruit trees like Cherimoya. However, with the proper care and attention, all can enjoy Cherimoya in Florida.
Where to Get Cherimoya Seeds in Florida
Garden Florida is a reliable source of Cherimoya seeds in Florida. They offer fresh Cherimoya seeds at different times of the year, typically during the Cherimoya fruit seasons, and they remain viable for up to a year once removed from the fruit.
In conclusion, while growing Cherimoya in Florida can be challenging, it is possible with extra care and attention. Cherimoya is a delicious and exotic fruit that is worth the effort. With the right growing conditions and techniques, you can enjoy Cherimoya’s creamy texture and sweet flavor right in your backyard.
Q: Can I grow cherimoya from seed in Florida?
A: Yes, You can grow cherimoya from seed in Florida, but it requires extra care. Cherimoya seedlings are sensitive to heat and need a lot of shade protection, such as under a large canopy of a tree.
Q: Can cherimoya fruit in Florida?
A: Yes, cherimoya can fruit in Florida, but it may not be as successful as it is in higher elevated states such as California. It is recommended to hand-pollinate the flower to increase the chances of fruit set.
Q: Can cherimoya be used as a rootstock in Florida?
A: Yes, cherimoya can be used as a rootstock in Florida. Rootstock is the plant’s roots that can be used with another compatible species of the same plant to grow another variety of Annonaceae trees while utilizing the cherimoya roots. Cherimoya rootstock is a vigorous grower and can be used for other superior Annona varieties that thrive in Florida, such as atemoya, sugar apple, or custard apple.
Q: Where does cherimoya grow best in Florida?
A: Since all of Florida is flat and considered lowlands, cherimoya does not grow best in Florida. However, the Southern and Central parts of the state are the best places to grow cherimoya with more tropical conditions. North Florida’s conditions are too cold and require a greenhouse for growing tropical fruit trees such as cherimoya. A northern alternative to cherimoya is Paw-Paw.
Q: Where can I get cherimoya seeds in Florida?
A: You can purchase cherimoya seeds from various sources, including farmers’ markets with cherimoya fruit or online stores specializing in tropical fruit trees. At Garden Florida, we carry cherimoya seeds at different times of the year, typically during the cherimoya fruit seasons and many months after the season has passed. Cherimoya seeds are viable for up to a year once out of the fruit.
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