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Soursop Tree Care – A distinctive plant family, Annonaceae, includes the soursop (Annona muricata), as well as other fruits such as cherimoya, custard apple, and sugar apple, often known as pinha. Soursop trees are found in tropical parts of the Americas, where they grow bizarre-looking fruit. How do you develop a soursop tree, and what is the best way to prepare for it?
What Exactly is Soursop Tree?
The fruit of the soursop tree has a prickly outer shell that is soft and pulpy on the inside, with a lot of seeds in it. They grow to reach more than a foot (30 cm) in length, and when mature, the soft pulp is used to make ice cream and sherbets, among other desserts.
As a matter of fact, the Annonaceae family’s biggest fruit is produced by this little evergreen tree. A single fruit can weigh up to 15 pounds (7 kilograms) (the heaviest being 8.14 pounds (4 kilograms) according to the Guinness Book of World Records), and it is frequently shaped like a heart on one side.
A few seeds are present in the white segments of the soursop fruit, but the majority of the fruit’s seeds are absent. Toxic alkaloids such as anonaine, muricine, and hydrocyanic acid are found in both the seeds and bark of this plant.
Because it is grown in so many different countries, soursop has a variety of distinct names as well. Originally from the Dutch language, the term “sour sack” was used to describe the plant.
Soursop Tree Care and Growing Tips
Despite its soil tolerance, the soursop tree may grow to a height of 30 feet (9 meters) and thrives in well-drained, sandy soil with a pH of 5 to 6.5. This low-branched and bushy tree, which is native to the tropics, is not tolerant of cold or strong, prolonged winds. But in tropical climates, it will thrive at sea level and even at altitudes of up to 3,000 feet (914 m).
Soursop plants take three to five years from sowing to produce their first harvest. However, sowing seeds within 30 days after harvesting will result in greater success. Seeds will germinate between 15 and 30 days after being planted and will remain viable for up to six months after that. Although fiberless cultivars cannot be propagated by seed, they may be propagated by grafting. Before planting, it is necessary to wash the seeds.
Soursop Trees Treatment Guides
Foliar mulching is essential for soursop tree maintenance because of the shallow root structure. Pollination issues are caused by extremely high temperatures (80-90 degrees Fahrenheit, 27-32 degrees Celsius) and low relative humidity, whereas slightly lower temperatures and 80 percent relative humidity help pollination.
A regular irrigation schedule for soursop plants is recommended to reduce stress, which might result in leaf loss.
Using a 10-10-10 NPK fertilizer, fertilize every quarter of the year for the first year, then 1 pound (.45 kg) for the second year, and then 3 pounds (1.4 kg) every year for the following years.
Once the basic shape has been achieved, very little pruning is necessary. Pruning out dead or diseased limbs should be the only thing you have to do when the harvesting is complete. Harvesting will be easier if the trees are topped at 6 feet (2 m.).
Harvesting Soursop Fruit and Its Benefits
As soon as the soursop fruit is picked, its color changes from dark green to a lighter yellowish green tone, indicating that it is ready for harvest. The fruit’s spines will get softer, and the fruit will enlarge as a result of this process. The ripening of soursop fruit takes four to five days after it is harvested. In a typical year, the trees will yield at least two dozen fruits.
As well as providing 71 kcal of calories and 247 grams of protein, the soursop fruit also has a high concentration of minerals such as calcium and iron, as well as potassium and phosphorus. It is also a good source of the vitamins C and A.
Soursop may be eaten raw or cooked, and it can be used in desserts such as ice cream, mousse, jellies, soufflés, sorbets, cakes, and confectionery. Filipinos eat the young fruit as a vegetable, but in the Caribbean, the pulp is drained and the milk is blended with sugar to drink or mix with wine or brandy to make a liqueur or mixer.