Q:

How do you grow cherimoya?

A:

Grow a cherimoya by planting the tree in a well-drained, sunny spot with plenty of water, and apply fertilizer twice a year. Pollinate the flowers by hand every three to five days once the flowers bloom to produce fruit.

A cherimoya requires shelter from strong winds, high heat and strong sunlight to protect its foliage from damage. It should be watered thoroughly during the growing season, and watering should decrease during the winter and when the tree matures. Pruning may be done to keep the size of the tree shorter to facilitate harvesting the fruit.

Because the male and female parts of the flower mature at different times, the cherimoya is unable to self-pollinate. Unless there are natural insect pollinators present, a cherimoya requires the grower to help it pollinate. This pollination is achieved by removing the male anthers from the flower with tweezers. The pollen is then removed from the anthers using a soft paintbrush. It is then painted on the female stigma of another mature flower.

Cherimoya trees are capable of bearing fruit after three growing seasons. The fruit is ready for harvest when it turns a yellowish-green or bronze color. A cherimoya is firm when harvested, but it softens within three to four days.

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