Jun. 6, 2023
The soursop is usually grown from seeds. They should be sown in flats or containers and kept moist and shaded. Germination takes from 15 to 30 days. Selected types can be reproduced by cuttings or by shield-budding.
Soursop seedlings are generally the best stock for propagation, though grafting onto custard apple (Annona reticulata), the mountain soursop (A. montana), or pond apple (A. glabra), is usually successful. The pond apple has a dwarfing effect. Grafts on sugar apple (A. squamosa) and cherimoya (A. cherimola) do not live for long, despite the fact that the soursop is a satisfactory rootstock for sugar apple in Ceylon and India.
In ordinary practice, seedlings, when 1 ft (30 cm) or more in height are set out in the field at the beginning of the rainy season and spaced 12 to 15 ft (3.65-4.5 m) apart, though 25 ft (7.5 m) each way has been suggested. A spacing of 20 x 25 ft (6x7.5 m) allows 87 trees per acre (215/ha). Close-spacing, 8 x 8 ft (2.4x2.4 m) is thought aufficient for small gardens in Puerto Rico. The tree grows rapidly and begins to bear in 3 to 5 years. In Queensland, well-watered trees have attained 15 to 18 ft (4.5-5.5 m) in 6 to 7 years.
Mulching is recommended to avoid dehydration of the shallow, fibrous root system during dry, hot weather. If in too dry a situation, the tree will cast off all of its old leaves before new ones appear.
A fertilizer mixture containing 10% phosphoric acid, 10% potash and 3% nitrogen has been advocated in Cuba and Queensland. But excellent results have been obtained in Hawaii with quarterly applications of 10-10-10 N P K-1/2 lb (.225 kg) per tree the first year, 1 lb (.45 kg)/tree the 2nd year, 3 lbs (1.36 kg)/tree the 3rd year and thereafter.
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