The custard apple tree yields sweet and delicious fruit unlike any other. Its lumpy green exterior hides creamy flesh that is rich in vitamins A and C, fiber, and magnesium, making it a flavorful, low-fat treat.
However, these exotic and rare fruits are often difficult to find in the produce section of supermarkets, and can cost a pretty penny.
Thus, many custard apple lovers are now choosing to grow their own custard apple trees from seed, as propagation is relatively easy and only involves a few simple steps.
Custard Apple for Good Eyesight: The presence of riboflavin and vitamin C in custard apple which is an antioxidant too, is suggested to help in fighting free-radical damage caused to the cells. These can help in maintaining good eyesight.
Custard Apple for Healthy Heart: It is suggested that custard apple contains reasonably high amount of magnesium and potassium. Magnesium can relax the smooth muscles of the heart and soothe spasms or cramps, thereby preventing heart attack and strokes.
On the other hand, the rich content of potassium may regulate blood pressure, thereby maintaining cardiovascular function.
Custard Apple to Treat Arthritis and Rheumatism: Experts suggest that high in magnesium content, custard apple may regulate water balance. This might help in removing acids from the joints, thereby alleviating symptoms of arthritis and rheumatism.
Custard Apple for Fighting Fatigue: Custard apple is a rich source of energy. This can help in fighting fatigue and weakness. Also the presence of potassium can also help in fighting muscle weakness.
Prepare Seeds for Germination
Soak the custard apple tree seeds in a large bowl of water, ensuring that they are fully submerged. Let the seeds sit for four days, checking occasionally to remove any seeds that are floating on the surface. Use a spoon to collect the seeds still sitting at the bottom of the bowl after the four-day period, and then place them on a clean cloth or paper towel to air dry.
Prepare the Pot
Use a small garden pot that has drainage holes along the bottom and sides. Fill the pot with equal parts of a well-draining soil, such as sandy loam, and peat.
Create a 1-inch deep hole in the center of the growing medium and place the seed into the hole, before covering it with a layer of topsoil. Water each seed until the excess moisture begins to drain from the bottom of the pot.
Propagating Custard Apple Tree Seeds
To get custard apple seeds off to a great start, gardeners should keep a few basic care instructions in mind. Custard apple seeds are more likely to thrive in humid and warm environments that mimic their natural habitat.
As such, water, light, and temperature levels are all important considerations to make.
Temperature and Lighting Requirements
Custard apple tree seeds grow more rapidly in temperatures between 64 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit, and should not be placed in direct sunlight until they have fully germinated. Seeds that grow in these conditions usually produce seedlings within 21 days.
However, germinating custard apple tree seeds in colder climates may take up to two months.
The growing medium should be moist at all times. If the topsoil is dry, use a watering can to apply water directly to the developing root system. It is best to check the pots daily to ensure that the seedlings have a sufficient amount of water and that the soil is at an optimal growing temperature.
Transplant the Saplings and recommended things:
Transplant custard apple tree saplings to a larger pot that contains potting soil when they reach 3 inches in height. Place in a well-lit area out of direct sunlight until the root system is strong enough to transplant the tree to its permanent home, or when there is no longer the threat of frost.
Caring for Custard Apple Trees
Use a balanced fertilizer every three months until the tree begins to bear fruit, and apply nitrogen annually once the tree is mature. Typically dormant during the winter, custard apple trees do not require regular watering.
They do, however, need watering twice a month starting in early spring, when they are actively growing. Use a water timer or drip irrigation system to supply custard apple trees with a sufficient amount of water.
Over watering the tree can lead to root rot, while under watering it can cause the leaves to fall and the fruit to burn in direct sunlight.
Custard apple trees are sensitive to frost. Cold climate gardeners can safeguard the tree by covering it or wrapping the trunk with sponge foam and erecting a temporary shelter to protect the branches.
You must know :
Requirements for growing Custard apple:
Two trees for increase the chance of pollination
What is the best way to start growing Custard apple:
Is it necessary to graft or in Custard apple?
Difficulties/Problems with growing Custard apple:
It is an easy to grow and and low maintenance plant.
When is the best time to plant a Custard apple tree?
Pests and diseases in Custard apple:
When is the best time to prune a Custard apple tree?
How to prune a Custard apple:
Cut the outer branch, make the branches grow into each other in density, take by hand the leaves
What is the size of a Custard apple tree?
2-6 recommend to keep it small
Growth speed in Custard apple:
Custard apple Irrigation Water Management:
Average amount of water
Light conditions in optimal condition for growing Custard apple:
Full Sun / Half Shade
It is possible to grow Custard apple indoor?
Growing Custard apple is also possible in a planter /flowerpot / containers:
How much water the plant needs:
Plants sun exposure:
Full sun Plants
When does Custard apple bloom?
Spring / Summer
General information about the flower:
Small green-yellowish flower, separate times on the same tree female and male flower, the flowers are protogyny at first female and after becomes a male flower.
Thinning / Deadheading of Custard apple Blossom:
First two years
When does Custard apple yield:
Summer / Autumn
Pests or diseases in Custard apple fruit:
What can be done with big quantities of Custard apple fruit?
Eaten raw, juice, cakes, jam
Work requirements on the Custard apple fruit:
Increase Irrigation, possible to put net under the tree to collect the fruits
How long does it take for a Custard apple to bear fruit?
Health Benefits of Custard Apple
Custard Apple or Sitaphal as it is most commonly known in most parts of India is an Epic fruit having many medicinal properties.
The fruit is rich in minerals like iron, phosphorous, calcium and riboflavin. Not just the fruit pulp, but other parts of the sitaphal plant are also beneficial in curing many ailments. Some of the medicinal properties associated with the fruit include the following:
- A decoction made from the leaves of the custard apple serves as an excellent vermifuge, i.e. it is an excellent remedy to expel intestinal worms.
- The paste of the flesh of the fruit or crushed leaves of the plant can be applied on ulcers, boils and even abscesses for a soothing and curative effect.
- The root and bark of the tree are often used as effective treatment against toothache. Many herbal concoctions meant to cure toothache have ample amounts of the bark and root of the custard apple tree.
- The seeds of the fruit are also useful, as they have insecticidal and abortifacient properties, and are often used by farmers.
- Regular consumption of the fruit is said to cure anemia. Sitaphal is also an excellent coolant, haematinic and expectorant.
- A solution made from the bark of the plant may be used as an effective remedy to combat diarrhea and dysentery.
- The leaves are believed to have healing properties and have been used against tumors and cancers.
- The custard apple has a gamut of enzymes, which are believed to facilitate digestion.
- The fruit is also beneficial for curing vomiting, diarrhea, dysentery and vertigo.
Not just the fruit, but other parts of the trees also have their own benefits and uses. For example the leaves of this tree are rich in an ingredient used to make dyes, stains, inks, tattoos, etc.
The whole plant is a rich source of hydrogen cyanide. The fatty-acid methyl-ester of the seed oil meet all the bio diesel requirements in many countries like USA, Germany and many countries in the European Union.
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Buy ready to use nutrient rich soil:
In general use a soil-based compost placed over a generous layer of drainage material such as earthenware crocks, pebbles or gravel. Water and feed regularly, especially while plants are bearing flowers and fruit, when a high-potash fertilizer is recommended.
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Decorate planters or garden landscapes with these decorative pebbles :
Using pebbles in a garden brings different colours and textures to the garden. Pebbles can also fill up otherwise empty space in the garden, leaving a visual that might be considered more interesting and aesthetic than simple dirt, soil or mulch.
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