Growing Sugar Apple (Sweetsop) in a Container – Terrace Garden

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We see Sugar Apple (Custard Apple or Sweetsop) growing from tiny Bud to a big Fruit in a container. Plus hand pollination, growth tips and tricks to get it right in your Terrace Garden.



I have been cultivating terrace garden from past two years in Bangalore, India. I knew about Sugar Apple and it was only of the early plants to grow in our terrace garden. I did have this plant in a small container and shift it to bigger one for better growth. And when the Sugar apple (Sweetsop) started to flower, we decided to shoot growth footages and shared it with the world, below given is some general information on Sugar Apple (Custard Apple).

ABOUT SUGAR APPLE — Sugar Apple also known as Custard apple and Sweetsop is the fruit in the species of Annonaceae, Sugar apple is indigenous to the Amazon rainforest. This fruit tree grows up 10 to 20 feet, producing 3-inch-long green heart-shaped fruit covered in bumps.

There are several popular Sugar Apple related fruits around the world (some hybrid as well) like Atemoya, Cherimoya, Thai Lessard and Kampong Mauv.

GROWING ON TERRACE — Sugar apple (Custard Apple) is one of the best trees to grow on terrace container cause its roots are shallow and its not particular about the soil, and you need not water it daily unless it high summer, though I knew it will grow in container, I came to know its so much maintenance free only after growing it :)

Its also rarely effected by pests. Also you need to have patience because the changes in the plants are slow. I would hardly see changes over long period of time.

PLANT CARE — The only time that i had to cautious and careful was when the seed germinated and started to grow. This is the time when it will be delicate and needs a bit of more watering and care. After it grew to about 2 inch long, there was almost nothing that I did for another one year until the tree started flower.

A personal experience to testify its low maintenance is, We had to go out of station for a week and no one could water our beloved plants, most of the melons and small plants died off :( … But Sugar apple was as fine and healthy, this shows its drought tolerance.

SOIL — Sugar Apple does not require any particular soil or manure. It can grow in Red, Black and even in sandy soils. Only thing that we need be careful about is it should have good drainage. It cannot tolerate water logging.

FLOWERING AND POLLINATION — Sugar apple flowering is seasonal. The flowers emerge in spring and once successfully pollinated you will get the fruit in about 4 months after that. If you are growing Sugar apple (Sweetsop) or any of its relatives in a Terrace or Backward then I am pretty sure you will NOT have the Natural Pollinators (which in this case is Beetles) so you have to hand pollinate or see your flowers dry and drop :).

Since Sugar apple flowers are protogynous. i.e. they are born female and but changes their sex to male later in it development stage. I would suggest you view some of the videos in YouTube which clearly explains how to hand pollinate Sugar Apples because identifying Male and Female is not strait forward visual task :)

The pollination procedure is same for all the varieties of Sugar apple like Atemoya, Cherimoya, Thai Lessard and Kampong Mauv.

MALE AND FEMALE FLOWERS — You can identify the Male and Female flower by seeing how much the flower petals have opened up. So when the flower slightly opens its petals it will be Female and as the petals spread wider it becomes Male. This is the only way identify the sex of Sugar apple (Custard apple) flowers, and you have to know this well to hand pollinate them, and this stages of sex is same for all its relatives like Atemoya, Cherimoya.

That’s it about Sugar apple, I have also grown Papaya, Coriander, Mint (Pudina), Ladies Finger (okra), Bitter gourd, Musk Melon, Cucumber, Tomatoes, Spinach (Palak), Egg Plant (Brinjal), Amaranthus, Hyacinth (Lablab), Spring onions, Ash Gourd (Winter Melon) and different type of flowers in our Terrace Garden.

Happy Gardening :)

Winter Melon Pollination Video —

— AUDIO CREDITS —
“First Noel (Instrumental)” Jingle Punks
“Night Music” Kevin MacLeod

— TABLE OF CONTENTS —
[00:02] – Intro
[00:36] – About Sugar Apple
[01:30] – Seed Germination
[01:58] – Plant Structure
[02:58] – Bud To Fruit
[04:10] – Hand Pollination
[05:30] – Pollinated Flowers
[06:53] – 1.5 Months Later
[07:57] – 2.5 Months Later
[09:28] – 3.5 Months Later
[10:49] – Harvesting
[12:47] – Thank you note

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