Yes, you can grow a soursop - guanabana tree.
5/15/2013 By: Jason "Pepe"
Just a few different trees we grow on our property.
The Soursop tree is a very easy tree to grow in warm climates
In this article the names Soursop, Guanabana, Graviola will be used and that's because they are all common names for the tree.
The biggest challenge in most cases is maintaining your trees warmth and humidity. I kid you not graviola trees will catch a cold and sneeze if you just open the refrigerator door in front of them. Well of course that is almost an exaggeration on my part.
Almost is the key word because again they don't like it cold.
Would you believe me if I told you that everyday I get calls from people in Northern Florida that want to grow Soursop trees. As a matter of fact people call me for trees of all kinds from all over the world. Here at Bestsoursoptrees.com we can thank the power of the internet for all the attention we get. Oh by the way we just love the calls so keep them coming! And of course we propagate the absolute best soursop trees known to humankind. Really we do! People just won't keep a secret and we hope you will also spread the word.
Okay let's cover some basics in growing your Guanabana tree. Most soursop/guanabana trees are grown from seeds.That is not always the best way when it comes to propagating fruit trees in general. Soursop trees on the other hand are mostly grown from seed and produce fruit usually as good or better than the parent in many cases. Soursop trees have flowers that are hermaphrodites. The term hermaphrodite refers to a flower that has both male and female sex organs.
A hermaphrodite flower is also called a perfect flower. Many people will often argue that a hermaphrodite flower is not a perfect flower because a perfect flower is a hermaphrodite that is self pollinating without the intervention of an insect, wind or possibly by hand pollination. To me a perfect flower is a hermaphrodite that has both male and female organs required to produce fruit. Wind pollination alone does not allow us to differentiate them or break them into another classification such as a perfect flower. Okay let's leave this terminology alone and I am sure some professor will ultimately either correct me or maybe if I'm lucky agree with me.
Grafting soursop is not commonly practiced but seems to be making a comeback. We now have several grafted trees but they won't be available for sale for many years. Grafting assures you that you get the same fruit with all the characteristics of the parent. Grafted trees produce much quicker but since soursop seeds grow faster it's often better to just purchase a seed grown tree.
Your tree will grow best when grown in well-drained sandy to sandy loam type soils. The important thing to remember is that the soil drains well and the trees roots get a shower and not ever end up in a bathtub. Soursops do not like wet feet! Soursop trees will tolerate a wide range of soil types including well drained loamy clay soils. Soursop trees grow within a pH range of 5 - 6.5.
Trees also produce more abundant harvests when temperatures are near 78 degrees fahrenheit and relative humidity is near 70% - 80%. when both of these conditions are met, soursop flowers are more receptive to pollen and produce larger better shaped fruit with higher yields. The ideal fruit is heart shaped and most odd shaped fruits are the result of incomplete pollination. Don't be afraid to enjoy a nice odd shaped fruit, they can still be quite delicious.
Here in Florida we like to plant trees in full sun with some wind protection. Because the trees have shallow root systems we often plant about seven feet away from a house or other structure. A wall helps to radiate some heat back to the soursop tree in the cooler months. Soursop trees also tolerate and will produce fruit in part shade. The trees also require a period of dry weather. In Florida this is during our winter months. The dry period stresses the trees just enough to stimulate flowering.
Now let's talk about the taste of soursop fruit. Soursop varies in acidity and some trees produce very sweet fruit and others tend to be less sweet and often referred to as having a sub acid flavor.
The majority of our seedling trees lean towards the sweeter side of the scale. Our sweetest soursop tree grows in Lake Worth Florida and it can get cold in that area so we protect the trees in winter with blankets, irrigation, propane heaters, whatever is appropriate for the weather conditions.
So let's say your soursop got a little chill and dropped all of it's leaves? Holy crap now what? Relax say a prayer, light a candle and take action!
Here is your strategy:
First realize that you have a tree in winter with no leaves. Floridians south of Lake Okeechobee you might be able to save your tree. Anybody else good luck. I am feeling your anxiety and your pain. So is the tree, why oh why did you do this to me screams the tree!
Now it's time to get out a penny and send it to me via Paypal. Just kidding!!
Take the penny and gently scrape the bark of your tree at the upper most part you can reach safely. Is it green below the bark. Oh lord we hope so. Now you keep scraping different areas until you find green under the bark. Green is good, brown is bad. Now that you have done this test and found some green at some point STOP!
You now have a leafless tree that can't breathe (Transpire)* so don't drown it with the garden hose six times a day trying to bring it back to life. Don't grab a bag of fertilizer and dump it also hoping that will save your tree. Sacrificing a rooster under the moonlight won't do the trick either. I tried it trust me it won't work. Just kidding of course!
Here is what you do. Do nothing more than water lightly once per week until you see new leaves return. Now if another cold snap hits your area again, it usually means bye bye soursop tree. In some cases they do regrow from the roots but it all depends on how cold it got and how wet the soil was. Root rot can kill them quickly when wet and cold. So protect the tree from the cold and take action if severe cold injury occurs to your tree.
Well that concludes this article on soursop tree care. Hope you stop by and visit us one day in sunny warm beautiful South Florida.
We could use some more folks down here. Houses are cheap, the weather is great and you can grow all sorts of fruit trees. Promise me you will at least give it some thought. LOL.
Peace my friends,
*Transpiration: The evaporation of water from plants.
When the surface of the tree is greatly diminished by the loss of its leaves, transpiration and the flow of the sap is proportionately diminished.