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.


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!

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