Cherimoya is a beautiful subtropical fruit tree that those living in zones 8 and up can easily grow out into their lawns. The taste of the fruit is said to be heavenly, and that I can attest for. A creamy, custard like texture makes the cherimoya great for dessert fruit, puddings, pies, and an assortment of other great tasting fruit concoctions.

Cherimoya is also very easy to grow from seed. Even year or two old seed will readily sprout with just the easiest of care.

If you can't find the fruit in your local market, try ordering the seed from Tradewinds Fruit. Because the fruit brusies easily, it is not easy to find, so this may be your only option if you live in a more northern climate.

After acquiring your seeds, take a nail clipper and very carefully remove just a tiny chip of one corner of the seed, just enough to expose the actual seed inside. Then soak all of the chipped seeds in a shallow jar of water overnight. If you have floaters you are sure have not taken in an air bubble, dipose of them, they will not sprout. The rest take to your potting area.

Place each seed in a small but deep pot, and lightly cover with soil. If you have rainwater available, use this to water the soil daily until you see the sprouts, which should be within 2 to 3 weeks. After the first week up, begin to fertilize them with half strength liquid all purpose fertilizer. Do this once a week for three weeks.

After they are four weeks old, you will need to transfer them to a deeper pot. Annona Cherimola quickly grows a long water seeking tap root. This you do not want to damage by leaving in too small of a planter. Begin by using a hand held garden spade to loosen the dirt on the sides of it's original pot, and then use your hands to reach through the soil and gently feel for the root system and tap root. Dislodge with care. Have the deeper pot ready, and place the seedling cherimoya in the pot and firm soil around it. Make sure to sink the tap root and fill in around it first.

Water the newly potted seedling in with rainwater if you have it available. Keep it in a semi-shady spot for a week or so, to let the seedling adapt and re-root in the new pot. Then slowly expose it to more sun, but always protect it from the strongest afternoon sun, especially if you are in a desert climate.

Re-pot the cherimoya when you see roots peeking out the bottom of the container you have placed it in. This should be within 2 to 3 months. This time place it in a deep 3 gallon pot. After the roots peek out the bottom of the 3 gallon, your cherimoya should be large enough to place into the ground. Prepare the planting site in advance, and put out in the ground as I have described you do for on this page: Planting Angel Trumpet in the ground.

Unfortunately, because of the deep taproot cherimoya makes, this subtropical fruit tree does not do well in container gardening. If you live in zone 8, 9, 10 and 11, do place it out in the ground. For the more northern zones, choose a planting site that it will get protection from the coldest days, say nest to a building or the house. Cherimoya does not get exceedingly large, only to 15 or 20 feet, and is easy to control because of it's natural growing habits

Unless you are lucky enough to live in one of the warmer zones, you will also have to hand pollinate the blossoms to get fruit. It is easy to do. Here is more information on cherimoya and information on how to pollinate the flowers: Cherimoya Fruit Facts

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