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Tropical Fruit Point



  • Common name: Soursop, guanabana, prickly custard apple
    Scientific name: Annona muricata
    Family name: Annonaceae
    Origin: Tropical regions of the Americas and the Caribbean
    Height: 15 to 20 ft
    Width: 12 to 15 ft
    Growth: Fast
    Zone: USDA zones 10b through 11
    Light needs: Full sun
    Salt tolerance: Low
    Soil/pH/Texture: Prefers organically rich, well-drained soils with a neutral or slightly acidic pH between 5.5 and 6.5.
    Moisture: Soil should be kept consistently moist. Does well in humid environments.
    Drought tolerance: Moderate - can tolerate drought but fruit production will be stunted. For the best fruit production, make sure to irrigate it during dry spells.
    Pests/Diseases: Several insect species, such as the Annona seed borer, Giant sphinx moth, scales, mealybugs, and aphids, may defoliate or damage this plant. Annona seed borers go into the fruit, so to prevent this, individual fruits should be bagged.
    Growing conditions: Should be grown in a warm, humid area with full sun. Plant it at least 15 ft away from other plants to ensure that it gets enough sunlight. Soil should be moist but not waterlogged. Water young trees regularly until established, and water mature trees during droughts. Plants are not frost tolerant and will be damaged or killed if temperatures drop below freezing. After fruit harvest, make sure to prune back the branches to ensure that future fruit remains easy to reach.
    Characteristics: This tree usually grows to about 15 ft, but can reach 30 ft in optimal conditions. Leaves are large, evergreen, glossy, with an elliptical shape. The flowers grow singly and can emerge from the trunk, branches, or twigs; they are somewhat triangular with a bell-like shape, and are yellow-green in color. Fruits are oblong, often shaped somewhat like a mango, but with rough, spiky green skin. The pulp is white with many large seeds. This pulp is sweet, tasting somewhere between strawberry, pineapple, and citrus.
    Propagation: By seeds or by grafting. Seed is the most used method, but grafting is used to create better varieties.
    Wildlife: Several species of moths use it as a larval host plant. Many animals are fond of the fruit.
    Facts: The fruit pulp is used in smoothies, ice cream, candy, and many other sweet treats. In some places, the leaves are brewed into a herbal, medicinal tea. The fruit is also a great source of vitamins.
    Designer considerations: It is a great choice for tropical gardens due to its appearance and love for humidity and warmth. Its interesting flowers and fruit make it a great specimen planting and conversation piece.