Custard Apple Gardening, Tips, Ideas, and Techniques

Introduction to custard apple gardening for beginners, planting questions and answers (FAQs): Hello gardeners, everyone loves to eat custard apple and even loves to grow a custard apple tree. So, to grow the perfect custard apple tree you will need to follow this complete article. In this article, we are going to discuss some frequently asked questions about planting and growing custard apple trees.

The custard apple or sugar-apple, also known as sweet-sop, is the fruit of Annona squamosa, the most frequently planted Annona species and even a tropical climate native to the Americas and the West Indies. It was brought to Asia by Spanish Manila galleon traders in the Philippines. It’s referred to as an “atis” in the Philippines.

A step by step guide to custard apple gardening for beginners, custard apple questions and answers, custard apple planting FAQS

Custard apple gardening for beginners
Custard apple gardening for beginners (Image source: pixabay)

Sugar apple, Sweetsop, Sweetsop-Anon, Atis, Sitafal, Sitaphal, Seetha Payam, Sitappalam, Sharifa, Sarifa, Araticum, Buddha’s Head Fruit, and so on are some of its common names.

The fruit is spherical to conical in shape and colour, with a thick rind made up of knobby segments. Custard apple fruit ranges in hue from pale green to blue-green. When the fruit is ripe, the segments very easily part when lightly pressed between hands, exposing the white flesh. Custard apple gets its name from the creamy quality of its flesh.

Custard apple plantation is largely reliant on meteorological factors such as temperature and humidity.

You need to plant in a part of the garden that is warm, wind-free, frost-free, and even humid.

The custard apple tree will produce greater growth and fewer fruits at temperatures above 28 °C, while the fruit will suffer skin darkening and splitting at temps below around 13 °C during fruit growth.

Avoid dry places where the relative humidity drops below 70% during the fruit set.

Frost has the potential to harm young and fruit-bearing plants.

The custard tree cannot be grown indoors.

Custard apples grow best in sandy loam soil, so dig the ground approximately a meter deep and add enough river sand and compost to promote optimum tree development. Root rot is caused by rocky soil or too much clay.

To avoid bacterial wilt disease, avoid soils that have previously grown ginger, eggplant, capsicums, tomatoes, or potatoes.

When the trees are actively growing and flowering, they need to be watered regularly.

Fruit can burn in direct sunlight if the tree isn’t properly watered, and root rot can occur if the tree is overwatered. During the winter, when the tree is dormant, it does not need to be watered regularly.

In the spring, mulch and prune the tree to help it open up into a vase shape. Fertilize with organic fertilizer after fruit set. Watering should be done regularly, starting at blossoming and ending at harvest.

Now, let us discuss some frequently asked questions about custard apple growing

What is the best way to grow a Custard apple plant?

In case if you miss this: Sapodialla Seed Germination.

Custard apple plant
Custard apple plant (Pic source: pixabay)
  1. Fill a tiny container halfway with dirt that drains properly.
  2. Sow the seeds about 1 inch deep, with a 2-inch space between them.
  3. Make sure the pot is well-watered and that it is exposed to indirect sunshine.
  4. Custard apple seeds sprout quickly (approximately 3 weeks) in temperatures ranging from 18 to 25°C.

When a Custard apple tree bears fruit, how long does it take?

In subtropical settings when the days are not too hot and the nights are not too cold, the fruit takes between 20 and 25 weeks to mature.

Is it possible to grow Custard Apple in a pot?

Custard apples are simple to grow in containers. Custard apple trees are simple to grow, although they do require a sunny location and well-draining soil. Custard apples have a distinct colour from green apples, and there is a creamy flash inside the fruit, making it a delectable snack.

When it comes to Custard apple seeds, how long do they take to germinate?

Seed germination demands warm, humid settings, so keep the soil moist. Custard Apple seeds sprout quickly in temperatures ranging from 18°C to 30°C. Germination takes roughly 3 weeks. The transplant grows a Custard apple from a seedling when the plant reaches 3 to 4 inches in height.

Is it necessary for the custard apple to be exposed to direct sunlight?

Fill the container with potting soil meant for tropical plants that drain well. By placing a tray of water next to the plant, you can keep it humid. Sugar apple trees, in particular, require full sun and mild temperatures.

What causes custard apples to become black?

Anthracnose – The infection starts at the fruit’s blossom end and spreads throughout the entire fruit surface. Affected fruits shrivel and may cling to the tree or fall. Unripe fruits develop necrotic patches with a diameter of 2 to 10 mm that turn dark brown to black.

What time of year do custard apples ripen?

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Ripened Custard apples
Ripened Custard apples (Pic source: pixabay)

Custard apple (Sitaphal) grows best in a dry, hot environment. It prefers light soil and is typically planted on hillside slopes. The plants are grown from seeds and produce fruit in three to four years. Between April and May, the plant blooms, and between August and November, it yields fruit.

Is it true that custard apples lose their leaves?

However, with custard apples, a leaf must be removed for a new shoot to emerge. Axillary buds will not open until the leaves have been broken off or have fallen off naturally.

What kind of soil is best for custard apples?

Soil: The Custard Apple is tolerant of a wide range of soil types, flourishing in shallow, sandy soils, but failing to develop if the subsoil is poorly drained. If the soil is well-drained, it can thrive in deep black soils.

What’s the best way to prune a custard apple?

Custard apples should be pruned and trained as soon as they are planted. Start pruning in the shape of an open vase and keep it for the first four years. Then keep the canopy open to allow light to penetrate and fruit to be distributed evenly around the canopy.

What is the best fertilizer for a custard apple tree?

Fruiting and flowering Custard apple yielding trees need to be supplied 250 g N, 125 g P2O5, and 125 g K2O per plant before the rainy season begins.

What is the best way to pollinate a custard apple flower?

Collect pollen from a newly opened flower with a fine brush and carefully place it into a flower that is only barely open. Natural pollinators are small insects that live near creeks or rivers. For the largest fruit, pollinate the largest female blooms on robust stems or branches.

When a custard apple is ready to eat, how do you know?

If a custard apple yields slightly when gently pressed, it is ripe. Custard apples are available in two states: ready to eat and still firm to the touch. If this is the case, let it ripen for a few days before eating. Put the fruit in a brown paper bag with a banana and leave it on the kitchen counter to speed up the ripening process.

Is it possible to start a custard apple tree from seed?

Simply plant them as you would any other seed. They require a long time to germinate, anywhere from three to twelve months. Because they are a hybrid of a Sugar apple and a Cherimoya, you are unlikely to receive the custard apple tree that produced the fruit from which you are acquiring the seed.

What is the best way to care for a Custard apple plant?

Custard apples thrive in sandy loam soils, although they can also thrive in well-structured clay loams. Even though the tree’s main feeder roots are shallow, at least 1m of well-drained soil free of heavy clay or rock is required to prevent root rot and assure optimal tree performance.

Why isn’t my custard apple bearing fruit?

Continuous periods of hot weather may be preventing your custard apple tree from bearing fruit. Hand pollinates with a little paintbrush to transfer pollen from the male bloom to the female flower to increase the fruit set.

What are the types of custard apples?

Pinks Mammoth (aka Hillary White) and African Pride are the two most common Custard Apple kinds. They’re sweet, juicy, and flavorful.

On the custard apple, what are the white insects?

Custard apple was severely harmed by mealy bugs in India, Australia, and the Caribbean islands. Mealy bugs had coated the badly afflicted fruits of the custard apple. Mealy bugs were seen on the stem and leaves when the population exploded. They engulfed the entire fruit, lowering its market value.

What is the best way to get rid of mealy bugs in custard apples?

Spray buprofezin 25 percent SC @ 12 ml of water with a good quality sticker to suppress Mealy bugs in Custard apples.

Do worms live in custard apples?

“Adult medflies lay their eggs under the skins of fruit, especially where the peel is already broken,” says the author. Within three days, the eggs hatch, and the larvae develop inside the fruit.

Is it true that sugar apple trees shed their leaves?

Trees are deciduous, but the rate at which they shed their leaves is determined by the severity of cold winter temperatures and the presence of leaf disease pressure, which is exacerbated by late summer-fall rainfall.

Is it possible to grow custard apples in the shade?

Custard apples prefer direct sunlight and bright light. 12 hours of bright sunlight, if feasible, is optimum for growth and fruit production. Although these trees may grow in a moderate shade that is up to 30% shade, they do best in full sun.

Custard apples thrive in what kind of climate?

As tropical or subtropical fruit, they prefer warm temperatures and plenty of moisture. However, excessively high temperatures are not ideal; a temperature range of 25°C to 28°C is best for the optimum fruit set. They require humus-rich deep soil and are typically grown in valleys to avoid high winds.

What is the maximum height of a custard apple tree?

Depending on the variety, they will grow to be between 3 and 10 meters tall. They are a spreading tree that produces tasty fruit.

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