How to Grow a Graviola (Soursop) Tree
We often receive questions on how to grow a graviola tree. The Graviola tree (Annona muricata) derives within tropical areas, which are typically frost free. They can thrive throughout subtropical U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones ten through eleven provided that temperatures do not drop under 32 degrees Fahrenheit for a substantial amount of time. Sometimes referred to as a Soursop tree, it generates substantial in size, soft-spiked, green fruits which provide a sour flavor. If eaten in large amounts, the seeds and bark can be toxic as well as can potentially cause eye irritation, so it is advised to utilize gloves and exercise some caution when attending to the tree.
How to Grow a Graviola Tree
As with most plants and trees, a sandy, well-draining soil will assist with healthy growth, although graviola may endure many soil types provided that they drain well. Avoid growing graviola in regions exposed to salt spray such as salt from the ocean or with heavy soil salt content since they are not salt tolerant. The tree thrives in full sun, yet can also endure partial sun. The branches are somewhat fragile and can easily break during excessive winds, so try to grow the tree within a area which is somewhat protected from strong winds. Graviola is a thinner type of tree, so it can grow in a modest space, typically 8 feet away from other trees.
If you’re seeking how to grow a graviola tree, keep in mind that extremely dry soil or drought conditions may bring about premature leaf drop, so provide adequate to moderate deep watering so the root zone is thoroughly soaked every two weeks if it hasn’t rained significantly. If the tree begins to drop leaves at a rapid pace, water more frequently. The tree requires high humidity and persistently moist soil, which makes it most appropriate for tropical and subtropical regions. Graviola produces shallow roots, so it is advised to keep the area around or near the tree weed free to minimize contention for water and nutrients. The root zone can grow from the trunk of the tree to the far edge of the canopy, so covering it with a couple of inches of mulch helps to alleviate the growth of weeds and also preserves moisture. Provide an area of 4 inches between the mulch and the trunk of the tree.
When it comes to understanding how to grow a graviola tree, typical fertilizer coverings bring about in healthy growth and robust fruiting, so fertilize the tree every 3 months during spring, summer, fall and winter. Try to utilize a balanced 10-10-10 granular fertilizer, spreading it throughout the root zone equally and then watering it in after application so the nutrients soak into the soil and towards the roots.
Administer approximately a half a pound of fertilizer per tree during the initial year and one pound during the following year. Apply 3 pounds each year and split up the necessary fertilizer quantity among the 4 annual applications starting from the third year forward.
Pruning the tree isn’t a requirement, however pruning in the initial year following planting may generate a more captivating shape. Clean the shears and pruning saws by cleaning them with an isopropyl alcohol-soaked cloth prior to cutting. Eliminate lower branches or suckers around the primary trunk to help train the tree into a single, robust trunk. Furthermore, you may cut out crossed or touching branches to assist the tree to open up. Cut flush to a larger branch or the trunk. Additional pruning is not typically essential, although you can eliminate dead or damaged branches at any given time. Remove the ripe fruit from the stems with disinfected pruning shears whenever the fruits lighten from darkish green to yellow-green. Generally, the fruits completely ripen throughout four to five days after harvest.
There are a variety of diseases and insects which may harm the graviola tree, yet typically do not create substantial damage to to become an issue. Persistent watering and fertilizer applications, combined with thriving in the appropriate circumstances will help the tree grow more vigorous and forestall substantial diseases or pest infestations. The tree can be susceptible to Anthracnose, which affects many plants, including vegetables, fruits and trees causing dark, sunken lesions on leaves, stems, flowers, and fruits. It also attacks developing shoots and expanding leaves. It can spread very quickly during rainy seasons. Brown stem rot may bring about fruits, flowers leaves or stems to rot and shrivel, particularly within times of high humidity. Disposing of fallen leaves and cutting out dead and injured branches at the conclusion of the dry season helps to avoid these types of diseases. Scale insects along with fruit flies can additionally plague graviola trees, but scarcely in amounts which necessitate one to take action. Should fruit flies persist around ripening fruit, cover cloth bags around developing fruits to help protect them.