The Lisa Atemoya: All you need to know about this fantastic atemoya variety (Annona atemoya)

What is Lisa Atemoya

The Lisa Atemoya is a hybrid fruit from the Annonaceae family, specifically, Annona atemoya. The Lisa atemoya was bred in Florida by Annonaceae fruit expert Mr. Har Mahdeem in 1996.

Har Mahdeem Annonaceae fruit exepert Holding first Lisa atemoya fruit
Har Mahdeem with the original ‘Lisa’ atemoya in 1996.

‘Lisa’ atemoya was created by pollinating a ‘Libby’ cherimoya flower (Annona cherimola) with pollen from a ‘Red sugar’ sugar apple (Annona squamosa). This was done by Mr. Har Mahdeem himself.

The Lisa Atemoya is known for its superior berry taste and texture and its beautiful pink hue, making it a highly sought-after variety among Atemoya enthusiasts.

Physical Description

The Lisa Atemoya boasts a distinct pink appearance. Its outer skin is characterized by overlapping, finger-like projections that give it a textured, bumpy surface.

Lisa atemoya growing in Florida Garden
Pink Lisa atemoya in Florida.
Inside a Lisa atemoya few seeds
Lisa atemoya contains very few seeds.

The fruit’s creamy, custard-like flesh is white and incredibly smooth, with a delectable, sweet taste reminiscent of a blend of summer berries with banana and pineapple.

Inside a Lisa atemoya with very few seeds
A ‘Lisa’ atemoya with low seed count.

The Lisa Atemoya typically contains few seeds, making it easy to enjoy.

Cultivation and Care

The Lisa Atemoya thrives in tropical and subtropical climates, requiring temperatures between 70-90°F for optimal growth.

The plant prefers well-draining soil with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5. Regular watering and ample sunlight are necessary for healthy growth and fruit production.

Lisa Atemoya trees can grow up to 20-30 feet (6-9 meters) in height. It is important to prune the tree yearly to encourage better fruit growth and health.

Lisa atemoya fruit with dream atemoya and rollinia fruit african pride
‘Lisa’ atemoya with ‘Dream’ atemoya and Rollinia in Florida (Rollinia deliciosa)

Lisa Atemoya is an excellent variety of atemoya to grow in Florida, Texas, and California. For a more comprehensive guide on growing atemoya trees in Florida, check out our article on how to grow an atemoya tree in Florida.

Planting and Propagation

Propagating Lisa Atemoya is done through grafting, resulting in a 100% Lisa Atemoya tree.

Planting the seeds of a Lisa atemoya fruit will not be a ‘Lisa’ atemoya tree, so grafting is required if you want the guaranteed Lisa atemoya.

Lisa atemoya fruits in Garden Florida
Pink Lisa atemoya fruits

Spring or early summer is the best time to plant a Lisa Atemoya tree. Providing the young tree with adequate space is essential, as overcrowding may limit growth and fruit production.

Fertilizing Lisa Atemoya

I have found that Lisa atemoyas grow best with both organic and slow-release feeding practices.

The best fertilizer for the Lisa atemoya is Osmcoote plus 15-9-12 as well as Azomite and monthly foliar sprays with a combination of bi-yearly organic mulch applications.

There are several other fertilizers that atemoya growers use as well, such as Florikan. To learn more about fertilizing atemoya trees, read our ultimate guide to fertilizing atemoya trees.

Osmocote Smart-Release Plant Food Plus Outdoor & Indoor, 8 lb.
  • OSMOCOTE QUALITY: Osmocote is the original slow-release plant food. Decades of rigorous field testing confirm product effectiveness with hundreds of plant species in a variety of climate and soil conditions.
  • OSMOCOTE’S BEST FORMULA: Each homogeneous granule contains 15-9-12 NPK plus micro and secondary nutrients and feeds up to 6 full months.
  • OSMOCOTE’S SECRET: Soil temperature controls how Osmocote releases its nutrients, and more importantly how nutrients are taken up by the plant. Replenishment and feeding are in natural harmony.
  • OSMOCOTE’S DIRECTIONS FOR USE: 1 pound of Osmocote covers 37.5 sq. ft. (approx. 6’ x 6’). Works best when mixed into 1 – 3 inches of soil. Package includes applicator. In containers, mix 1 pound with 19 gallons of potting soil.
  • OSMOCOTE IS MISTAKE-PROOF: Even if over-applied up to 3x the recommended rate, Osmocote does not ‘burn’ the plant.
Azomite Raw Supply Organic Trace Mineral Powder 44LB Micronized, White
  • AZOMITE has been shown to improve root systems, yields and general plant vigor in a variety of applications; from field crops and orchards to lawn and garden use. AZOMITE helps remineralize nutrient-depleted soils. 100% naturally derived, AZOMITE is OMRI listed for use in organic production and farming.
  • Organic Trace Mineral Powder w/ 67 Essential Minerals for Your Garden Bulk Fertilizer Powder-Be Green and Grow Your Own Food. Great for blending into soil mixes, hydroponic systems, Irrigation System Injection with Agitation, Greenhouse Potting Soil, Fertilizer, Home Gardens, Potted Plants
  • Improves root systemsMicronized is a powder with flour-like consistency, where 90% of the particles will pass through a 200-mesh screen., yields and plant health
  • Vegetable & Flower Gardens: Apply 1/2 lb per 100 square feet or 1/2 lb per 200 ft of linear row in a 6? wide band.
  • This product is OMRI-Listed for use in organic production

Pest and Disease Management

Lisa Atemoya trees are relatively resistant to most pests and diseases. However, it’s essential to inspect your tree for signs of infestation or infection regularly, as there are some pests that can affect your atemoya trees, such as

  • Scale
  • Mealy Bugs
  • Potato Leaf Hoppers
  • Annona Seed Borer

The worst Annona pest I’ve had to deal with are potato leaf hoppers which cause Annona leaf curling problems due to the leafhopper.

You can learn more about managing these Annonaceae pests by reading our article on potato leaf hoppers and annonas leaf curling problems.

PyGanic Gardening 8oz, Botanical Insecticide Pyrethrin Concentrate for Organic Gardening
  • OMRI listed; meets National Organic Program (NOP) requirements
  • Can be used throughout the growing season, on many different garden sizes, up to the day of harvest
  • Created from botanically-derived pyrethrins, making it the ideal insecticide product for your garden
  • Can be used on many different types of plants, including tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and celery
  • Kills more than 200 types of crop-damaging insects, including beetles, mites, roaches, and ants

Some diseases can affect Lisa Atemoya trees include fungal infections and root rot.

Proper care, including adequate watering and ensuring the tree is planted in well-draining soil, can help prevent these issues.

For more information on disease prevention and management for Annona trees, check out our article on disease prevention and management for custard apple.

Harvesting Lisa Atemoya

The Lisa Atemoya typically ripens between late summer and early fall. You can identify ripe fruit by its slightly soft texture and strong, sweet berry aroma.

Lisa atemoya fruits in Garden Florida Annonaceae
Lisa atemoya fruits with a beautiful pink color in Florida.

Harvesting the fruit carefully is essential to avoid damaging its delicate skin. You can either handpick the fruit or use a fruit picker to harvest them without damaging the tree.

After harvesting, store the fruit at room temperature to allow it to ripen further. Once fully ripe, the Lisa Atemoya can be refrigerated for up to a week.


The Lisa Atemoya is a fantastic variety to grow for its unique appearance and exceptional flavor. With proper care and attention, you can enjoy the sweet, custard-like fruit from your own tree in just a few years.

For more information on growing fruit trees in Florida, check out our beginner’s guide to tropical fruit gardening and our article on what fruit trees grow the best in Florida.

FAQs about the Lisa Atemoya Tropical Fruit

Q: How long does a Lisa Atemoya tree take to bear fruit?

A: A grafted Lisa Atemoya tree can start bearing fruit within 1-2 years.

Q: Can I grow a Lisa Atemoya tree indoors?

A: While it’s possible to grow a Lisa Atemoya tree indoors, it’s essential to provide adequate light, humidity, and temperature conditions for optimal growth and fruit production.

Q: Is Lisa Atemoya the same as a regular atemoya?

A: Lisa Atemoya is a specific variety of atemoya, known for its pink exterior and superior berry taste and texture compared to other atemoya varieties.

Q: How do I know when my Lisa Atemoya fruit is ripe?

A: A ripe Lisa Atemoya will give slightly when gently pressed and may emit a sweet, fruity aroma. The skin color may also change to a slightly yellowish-pinkish hue.

Q: Which fertilizer should I use for my Lisa atemoya tree?
A: You should use a fertilizer such as Osmocote plus 15-9-12 and monthly organic foliar sprays alongside the organic mulch applications.

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