Introduction to Sapodilla seed germination process: Sapodilla is one of the major fruit crops in India and belongs to the Sapodillaceae family. Sapodilla is a good source of sugar ranges between 12 and 14 percent. It is popularly known as Chikku, Sapodilla, and Kali Patti. The fruits have and Appreciable amount of protein, fat, fibers, calcium, phosphorus, iron, carotene and also vitamin. Also, several medicinal properties have been ascribed to a different part of the Sapodilla tree. In this article we also discussed below topics;
- Process of growing Sapodilla from seed
- Time to take Sapodilla seeds take to germinate
- Sapodilla seed germination time
- Different varieties of Sapodilla
- Sapodilla seed germination temperature
- Process for germinating Sapodilla seeds
- Sapodilla seeds germination period
- Tips for Sapodilla seeds germination
- Best times to plant Sapodilla
- Germinate Sapodilla seeds indoors
- Paper towel germination method for growing Sapodilla
A step by step guide to Sapodilla seed germination process
Importance of Sapodilla – The Sapodilla when fully ripe is delicious and eaten as a dessert fruit. The Sapodilla pulp is sweet and melting. Besides food values, the Sapodilla fruits are used in some Ayurveda preparations. From the time of germination, the Sapodilla fruit will usually take anywhere from 5 to 8 years to bear fruit. The Sapodilla tree will yield fruits twice a year.
Varieties of Sapodilla
Several traditional varieties are grown in India; the important ones are given below;
Cricket Ball – It is also known as ‘Calcutta Large’ bear’s large round fruits. The fruit pulp is gritty and granular and moderately sweet.
Kirthibarti – It is a popular variety in Andhra Pradesh. Fruits are medium-sized and the peel is rough and thick.
Baramasi – It is a popular variety in West Bengal, Bihar, and Uttar Pradesh. The fruits are medium-sized and round.
Pilipatti – This fruit variety has unique small fruits found in Maharashtra and Gujarat. The fruits are oblong, elongated with very soft sweet pulp.
Kalipatti – It is the leading fruit variety in Maharashtra, Gujarat and North Karnataka. The fruit has dark green broad and thick leaves. These are oval-shaped with sweet pulpy pulp.
Pala – This is a popular variety in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. These are small to medium with oval or egg shape borne in clusters.
Gutthi – These fruits are small-sized and oval, with apex broadly pointed.
Jonnavalasa – This fruit is from Andhra Pradesh has medium to large ovate fruits with light-colored peel and pulp which is sweet.
Some improved Sapodilla varieties or hybrids are CO 1, CO 2, CO 3, PKM-1, PKM-2, PKM-3, PKM-4, PKM-5, DHS-1, and DHS-2.
Sapodilla plant and its properties
The Sapodilla plant is upright in structure and considered to be a slow-growing tree. Sapodilla is an attractive tree and has an extensive root system. The Sapodilla tree develops into a dense, rounded crown-like canopy as it ages. Sapodilla tree is famous for its rich white gummy latex called the chuckle. In tropical areas, the tree can grow to a height of about 100 ft. Different grafted varieties of the Sapodilla are found to have shorter height. The leaves of the Sapodilla tree are 3 to 4 inches long and almost 1-2 inches wide. The plant leaves are glossy, clustered spirally at the top and are arranged alternately. The stomata of the leaves can be found exclusively on the upper part of the tree.
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The flowers of the Sapodilla tree are small almost around 8 to 12 mm, bell-like in shape. The flowers have three brown outer sepals and three inner sepals. The diameter of the flower is about ⅜ inch. The sepals enclose a pale green to the white corolla and six stamens with stigma extending beyond the corolla. The Sapodilla tree produces several flushes of flowers throughout the year.
The fruit is round or egg-like in shape. It has an approximate diameter of 2 to 4 inches. The skin of the fruit is brown and scruffy upon ripening. The flesh within the Sapodilla fruit varies in color (shades of yellow to brown) for different varieties. The Sapodilla fruit contains high latex content when raw, but it decreases when the fruit ripens. The flesh of the fruit is smooth and granular in texture and sweet flavor.
Requirements for Sapodilla seed germination
Soil requirements for growing Sapodilla
The soil requirement for growing Sapodilla should be well-drained, deep and porous type. Typically, any soil variety can be used for Sapodilla growing, but there should not be any hardpan in the subsoil level. The Sapodilla trees can tolerate salt content in the soil. The soil varieties suitable for Sapodilla growing are deep alluvium, sandy loam, and medium black soil. The pH level of the soil should be around 6 to 8. Shallow clay type of soil is not suitable for Sapodilla growing.
Planting Sapodilla fruit
- You can find Sapodilla seeds at your local nursery or online.
- Plant directly into the ground if the conditions are right or plant in a pot or a container.
- Use a good quality, well-draining soil for growing Sapodilla.
- Choose an area with plenty of suns, at least 6 to 8 hours per day.
- Push the Sapodilla seed into the soil about an inch deep and water.
- Once the tree germinates, as it may take 5 to 8 years for a sapodilla tree to start bearing fruits.
Sapodilla plant care
To grow a Sapodilla tree, propagation is done by seed, which will be viable for years although commercial growers use grafting. Once germinated, it takes 5 to 8 years to grow a sapodilla tree of bearing age. The fruit tree is tolerant of most conditions but prefers a sunny, warm, and frost-free location in most any kind of soil with good drainage.
Fertilize young Sapodilla trees with -8% nitrogen, 2-4% phosphoric acid, and 6-8% potash every 2 or 3 months with 1/4 pound and increasing gradually to 1 pound. Sapodilla trees are drought resistant, but water once a week if there is no rain. As long as the Sapodilla tree is protected from frost, the tree does not need a lot of care and you should expect fruits to bear.
Propagation of Sapodilla tree from seed
Sapodilla seeds lose viability quickly and should be planted soon after removal from the fruit. They germinate in 2 to 4 weeks. The removal of the hard outer coat will speed germination and seeds must be planted with the more pointed end upward and protruding 1/2 inch above the soil to assure good form in the seedling. Seedlings must be grown in experimental plantings intended for the selection of desirable characters, and use as rootstocks. Seedlings will not bear until they are 8 to 10 years old and they do not essentially come true from seed.
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Growing Sapodilla from seed
- The Sapodilla tree likes bright light and direct sun. If possible, keep this tree indirect light for about 12 hours. And bright sunlight increases its productivity. Though, they plant a little shadow. Select a place that is free from cold and where direct sunlight comes.
- Sapodilla plant requires well-drained sandy soil. Choose a ripe Sapodilla fruit and cut it open with a knife. Extract the Sapodilla seeds and rinse them of all pulp.
- Crack the coat of each seed before planting to increase the chances of seed germination. Place a seed between 2 wooden boards and apply light pressure to the top board. And a hairline crack in the seed is ideal.
- Seeds planting in the soil-free potting medium, no more than 14 days after harvesting, as seeds do poorly in storage. Make sure that the pointed side of each seed faces up 1/2-inch from the surface of the soil and water each seed deeply.
- They need a fix type temperature for a short period to seed to germinate that is (-2 to -3°C). They acquire a huge requirement for water. Continue watering deeply throughout the germination process, which occurs in 2 to 4 weeks, and through seedling growth, keeping the potting medium moist. Once seedlings outgrow their pots and then transfer them to increasingly larger containers.
- Choose an outdoor planting space once trees grow between 2 and 4 feet tall. Select an area with well-drained soil that receives full sun, and with no nearby structures. Water each Sapodilla tree thoroughly before planting. Dig holes 30 feet apart that are 3 to 4 times wider than the root ball and 3 times as deep as the tree’s container. Backfill and tamp down soil once Sapodilla trees are planted.
- Mulch newly planted trees with 2 to 6 inches of wood chip mulch, staying 8 to 12 inches away from the trunk of each tree. Water each Sapodilla tree with 1 to 2 inches of water.
Paper towel germination method for Sapodilla
- Sapodilla seeds are viable over a very long period, and then if you cannot get fresh fruits to peel the seeds off you can get them by mail order.
- Clean your seeds and soak them in water for 24 hours. Now spread them on a wet paper towel, cover with a second paper towel and put this sandwich in a zip lock bag with some air inside. Alternatively, you can place paper towels into a plastic tray spread the seeds, cover, and place in your zip lock bag.
- Place the bag in a dark and warm place and wait for your Sapodilla seeds germination. Seeds germinated after 2 weeks. Germination of Sapodilla seeds takes about 2 weeks. After this time open the zip lock bag and look at the seeds; they must have germinated and developed a root.
- Remove the Sapodilla seeds gently from the paper towel and plant them 1cm deep into 10cm pots or suitable plastic bags filled with a good potting mix. Put the pots in a bright area with no direct sunlight and maintain the soil moistly.
- After 3 weeks, about a week after planting the germinated Sapodilla seeds the seedlings start to emerge from the soil. Don’t forget watering the seedlings to maintain the soil moist but not soaked.
- After 4 weeks the Sapodilla seedlings have a height of 5 cm and have developed their first set of leaves. Continue to maintain the soil moist and watch the little trees growing.
- Two months old Sapodilla seedling – After 2 months the seedlings are 15 cm high and have developed several sets of plant leaves. Keep watering regularly and transplant to a larger 20 cm pot after about 3 months.
- Young Sapodilla – The tree is around 50 cm high and has developed several branches. It is ready to be planted outdoors or in a large pot with 50 cm in diameter.
Watering for Sapodilla tree
Watering is done every 10 to 15 days in winter and at weekly intervals during summer. A drip irrigation system is recommended.
The physiological maturity of the Sapodilla fruit is indicated by the shedding of brown scaly scurf from the skin. The Sapodilla fruits turn corky brown with a tinge of yellow when they reach the harvest stage. When no green color tissue is observed on the fruit, then it is clearly understood that the Sapodilla fruits are ready for time of harvest. The mature Sapodilla fruits are harvested by handpicking.
The conclusion of Sapodilla seed germination process
Healthy seeds produce hugh quality fruits with better yield. You might be interested in Dryland Farming, Agriculture Technologies.