Custard Apple (Sitafal)
Custard apple (Annona squamosa) also known as Sitaphal in India, is a small, well-branched, round Crown, delicious dry land fruit tree that bears fruits with rich in Vitamin C. It is Suitable to grow in pot as well as Natural Earth.
Pack size : 30 Seeds,
Fruit Type : Summer season crop,
Ideal climate : Full Sunlight to Partial Shade,
Ideal Temperature : 15 – 30° C.
Sowing method: Seedling,
Germination rate : 60%,
Flowering Season : April – May,
First Harvest : 2-3 years after Germination,
Fruit Size : 5 – 12 cm in Diameter,
Tree Height: 3 – 7 m,
Pot size : 20″ – 24″ Dia & 24″ Height,
Tree duration : 20 – 30 years.
It is a small, tropical, low-growing deciduous tree that grows between 3-7 m high, with spreading or open crown, formed by branches growing in the irregular form. Young shoots grow zigzag and are grayish-waxy, odorous when crushed. It should be planted outdoors in frost-free areas protected from cold winds.
The leaves are simple, thin, oblong and 5-11 cm long with 2-5 cm width. They are dark green on the top and light blue-green on the underside with smooth edges.
The flowers are hermaphrodite (bisexual) and usually can grow in groups of two to four. Sugar apple flowers are greenish yellow, fragrant and have a green tint in outside and cream on the inside. These flowers are 1 to 1/2 inch long and have six petals.
The fruits are oval shaped, from 5 to 12 cm in diameter of green-yellowish color. The pulp is white between binding carpels with many seeds. It is sweet, aromatic and creamy flavor. The fruits are low in saturated fat, cholesterol and hing in vitamin C, Manganese, Iron and Potassium. It is eaten fresh or can be used for shakes.
The seeds are black and shiny, 1 cm in length. The seed kernels contain between 14 to 49% oil that is used as a substitute for peanut oil in the manufacture of soap. These seeds are poisonous.
Other Names: Sharifa, Sitaphal (Hindi, Manipuri), Katal (Assamese), Sitapalam (Tamil), Sita phalamu (Telegu), Sitaphala (kannada)
Custard Apple trees prefer bright light and direct sun. If possible 12 hours of bright sun light is best for growth and fruit production Although these tree can grow well under partial shade i.e it may withstand upto 30% shade.
The most Optimum temperature for growing sugar apple is around 15° – 30 °C. The sugar apple trees are susceptible to cold, when the temperature falls below 0°C emerging seedlings and young plants die. Mature trees show some frost tolerance. If the temperature fall below or above optimum affects pollination and fruit set.
These tree can grow best in well drained sandy loam and clay loam soil. Although the tree’s main feeder roots are relatively shallow, at least 1 m well drained soil is needed to avoid root rot. A mixture of soil, sand/perlite and manure of ratio 2:1:1 is highly recommended.
Custard apple tree can be grow on both pot and natural earth. The best method of planting custard apple seeds is transplanting, i.e the seeds should be grown on small bags or pot for a period of 2-3 months till it reach 1’ ht and then transplanted to main area. If it is grown on pot, you should use 20” – 24” size pot. Please refer seed treatment tab to know more details.
The tree can withstand long periods of drought. For optimum growth of mature tree , it should be watered every 12 to 15 days. The tree should be watered in every 2 – 4 weeks during the period of low growth and every 3 to 5 days while it is flowering and setting fruits.
Custard apple tree give good response to apply manure in terms of vigor, yield and quality. Application of 60-80 kg vermicompost + Neem cake per year / 3 : 10 : 10 fertilizers in initial years significantly increase flowering and fruit set.
It is most important practice for trees grown on pots. It must be done on spring season. Pruning helps to maintain height of the trees and remove all diseased branches and side suckers. Renewal pruning is done around 10 years once.
The trees start yielding 3rd year onward, during spring and summer. It can give 4-5 pickings from August to October in South India and September to November in North India.