Growing a grafted cherimoya in a pot.

andrew78(6)April 25, 2010

Hello everyone,

I ordered a grafted cherimoya from Roger Meyer. He only takes checks so what I did was sent him a check and I told him that when he got the check I would decide if I wanted a Pierce or Fino de Jete. I have no experience with cherimoya. I was just happy to finally be able to get one after looking for so long. I know that it needs to go in a pot that matches the size of the roots and the height of the tree itself. Beyond that, I really don't know anything else. My question is what kind of soil does it need? I know not to fertilze it for a while, I will wait at least for a month. I know the tree needs full sun. What kind of fertilizer works best? I know most of the people in CA grow these in the ground. I was reading up on the cherimoya on cherimoya.com and got some usefull info there. I found it interesting that the cherimoya doesn't grow in Florida(At least that is what the site said.), I guess S. California is the main place where these fruits grow. Thanks for any help you can give me.

Andrew

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tammysf(9b/10a or sz15/16)

Andrew. Cherimoya is considered sub tropical so i found more info in the fruit tree forum at gardenweb as well as on cloudforest.com. look for axel he has a ton of info on cherimoyas ( and apples)

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 5:51PM
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red_sea_me

Most any soil should be fine so long as it drains well, use a balanced (organic) fertilizer I have a 10-10-10 pellet that I apply once a month, regular water. I've had them in 5gal and 15 gal they seem to grow fine though every few years you need to dump the out, trim the roots and replace the soil. Maybe next winter for fun try grafting a piece onto your sugar apple and see if that reduces it's growth rate?

-Ethan

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 6:17PM
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jsvand5

After getting he fruit from Cherimoya.com I am starting to wonder how well these will fruit in pots. I did not realize how large the fruits are. Did Mr Meyer mention how large the trees he ships are? I have asked a few times through email and he has not answered that question yet. I am still going back and forth on whether or not I want to order one. Knowing myself, I will end up ordering one but spending this $50 just means less money I will have for mangoes and lychees during my south FL trip.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 7:24PM
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ohiojay(z6 OH)

So far none of my hand pollinating is working. Rather odd when I was getting nearly 100% on the sugar apple. I'm hoping that maturity is coming into play. Disappointing though. Only one or two left.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 8:02PM
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andrew78(6)

Ethan,
Can you take some pictures so I can see the trees? How big are your cheimoyas and how large did they have to get before you got any fruit? Did you have trouble like Jay did with the pllination?
Andrew

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 8:43PM
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tammysf(9b/10a or sz15/16)

My tree from roger meyer was about 3 ft shipped.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 10:21PM
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andrew78(6)

Tammy,
Thats pretty good for a tree thru the mail. I can't wait. Man, these fruit need to hurry up and ripen! What did you think of the other fruits you got? Are they ripe yet and how long do they take to ripen?
Andrew

    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 10:49PM
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red_sea_me

Andrew,
my trees have never fruited (in ground or potted) though they have bloomed the past couple of years. I had a seedling in a 15 gal that was 7'+ the pot, this past winter I topped it to fit in the GH. The base has a caliper about 1.5" dia. When spring rolled around it went into the ground, it did bloom last year but no fruit. My Fino, which receive major damage right before winter looks like it is dying, I bought another to replace it with. In previous years it did flower and try to hold fruit but thankfully dropped it. It was a grafted tree from Roger M.

I do have a 5 gal with new Selma and Incan red grafts on it that will be potted up plus multiple 1 gallons with different varieties on them that need to be potted up. Plus I have some Costa Rican cherimoya seedlings that are supposedly the most cold tolerant rootstock that I'm currently growing out and will eventually graft onto. I'm hopping to eventually plant out my cherimoyas and keep my atemoya, sugar apples and rollinias in pots.

If your going to dream, dream big,
-Ethan

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 12:07AM
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andrew78(6)

Hello Ethan,
I love that quote. I chose the Fino de Jete cherimoya. I want to do everything I possibly can to have a producing tree. I inno way expect to be picking bushels of this fruit. Maybe some day when I have a house I can have a larger tree in better growing conditions. Now I have some more specific questions. I was wondering if Al's gritty mix would be a better option for the soil but it contains no organic material whatsoever. I then thought about buying potting soil for succulents. I could mix some well rotted manure into that and mix in some slow release fertilizer. You said that you grow them in both 5 and 15 gal. pots. Should I base the pot size on the rootball before potting? I just worry about root rot. I don't know if the trees are more suceptable than other trees. I was thinking as far as location goes I could put the pot on the side walk. It's made of concrete and would be a lot warmer and I have several black nursery pots that would absorb more heat. I will check for the 10-10-10 fertilizer. If it is hard to find I can order online. I read that potted plants that grow indoors can have issues with brittle branches. I do live close to Lake Erie so I do get quite a bit of gusty winds so that should help and I could run a fan on low during the winter to help the branches grow more sturdy. Is there anything I am missing?
Andrew

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 10:27PM
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red_sea_me

Andrew,
so far I only have one plant in Al's mix so I cant tell you yet whether it is best or not (though lots of people love it). I use a standard potting mix from OSH and mix in 'Soil Moist' mycorrhizae fungi. So far so good, as for ferts, just a balanced mix should be fine doesn't have to be 10-10-10, organic is even better.

Based upon my conditions, I cringe when you talk about letting the rootball heat up. Here, esp in a few months, a plant would be dead in a day with it's pot (rootball) exposed to the sun. To avoid root rot put it in a pot that is just big enough to hold it, after a few weeks/month when you notice growth then pot it up to a bigger size. Also consider building a small humidity chamber, esp w/bareroot. When it arrives after potting etc. place it in the humidity chamber and it should recover nicely. I did not do this with one of my plants this winter and now have a very expensive stick.

good luck,
-Ethan

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 12:04PM
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simon_grow

Hello everyone, I have some experience growing cherimoyas and they seem to do really well here in SoCal. I often see small potted cherimoya trees at Ong's Nursery holding fruit. These trees were in very small containers, not sure how many gallons but it was about 10-12 inch diameter containers.

I grow most my plants organicly but I have tried the Miracle Grow Moisture control potting soil and it works great if you are prone to over/underwattering. In the past, I have had trouble with my organic potting soil because I added too much organic ammendments and when the soil dries out, it does not absorb water easily. You can water your potted plants and think you are giving it plenty of water but actually, all the water is just running off the soil and out of the drainage holes.

I have had excellent results with hand pollination. I take the pollen from several fully opened flowers and use this to pollinate the just opening or just cracked flowers.

During the growing season, just make sure you water the potted Cherimoya every few days. Take the time and effort to water your plant and check every day to see the moisture level in your pot by carefully digging down several inches into the soil to determine how often you need to water. During the summer, you may need to water every day or two. During the winter time, I like to give the tree just a tiny bit of drought stress. Just water slightly less than you normally will.

I have innoculated my soil with mycorrhizal fungi and beneficial bacteria and had great results. I also innoculate with red/earth worms and fertilize every once in a while with kelp/fish emulsion. When using organic fertilizers, I personally like to fertilize at half the concentration that the manufacturers recommend but I fertilize twice as often.

Remember to train your trees when they are small, you want to develope the scaffold branches very low to the ground and tie/weigh them down so that they grow horizontal instead of vertical. Cherimoyas grow very vertical and if you don't plan ahead, it will be very difficult to hand pollinate the flowers when the tree gets larger.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 11:52AM
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andrew78(6)

Ethan,
The summer temps in western NY barely make it to the high 80's and that's around August. Last summer was not so hot and we didn't hit the 90's except for a few days and that was it. It was mostly in the high 70's low 80's and rainy. We don't get near as warm as you and my plumeria didn't even bloom. I wish we were a little warmer, it makes it a challenge to get some of my trees just to bloom!
Simon,
Thanks for the tips. I will do what I can to follow your advise. I have the beneficial bacteria but not the organic fertilizer. Shouldn't be too hard to find.
Andrew

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 12:00PM
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bluepalm

I've attached 2 pictures of my cherimoya tree that I'm growing here in Florida. I hand pollinated 1 blossom 2 weeks ago and ended up with 1 developing fruit. The sunglasses are for scale. BTW, this tree came through this winter's cold with no damage...my low here was 25.7, and it was below freezing every night for 10 days (high 20's, low 30's). I do have problems with ambrosia beetles boring in and causing limb die-back every year, but the tree seems to be outpacing them.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 1:14PM
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hmhausman(FL 10B)

How much are you asking for the sunglasses? Which cherimoya cultivar is it?

Harry

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 1:25PM
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andrew78(6)

Your cherimoya looks wonderfull Blue Palm. It makes me hopefull. If your tree could handle those temps, that means it could stay out doors longer than I thought. I will still bring it in when temps dip below 30. How long have you had it?
Andrew

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 1:48PM
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bluepalm

The sunglasses are open to barter: I'll take mangos, lychees, or longans. : )
I bought this Cherimoya 7 years ago (it was really small). The owner of the nursery had cherimoya slices set out for customers to try, and this was a seedling from that tree. I don't remember the name (I know, I know...weak!), but the fruit was superb. I have dug up the tree 2x's to move it to a better spot (one stayed too wet and the other started getting shaded out by some nearby trees)...the last time was 4 years ago. I prune back about 1/3 of each year's previous growth. I also have to stake it since Tropical Storm Fay blew it so it leans.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 2:07PM
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red_sea_me

hey wait, cherimoyas dont grow in FL.

nice tree,
-Ethan

    Bookmark   April 30, 2010 at 4:25PM
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andrew78(6)

I heard the same thing. Great to see when people can grow something where it's not supposed to grow. That gives me hope!
Andrew

    Bookmark   May 1, 2010 at 12:28PM
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andrew78(6)

My grafted cherimoya arrived today. I will take a picture of it once it is potted up. It arrived in good shape and the root ball was still moist. I can see no damage and it has green buds on it that are ready to start growing! I am very excited to see how my new Fino de Jete is going to do!
Andrew

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 1:37PM
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nullzero(9)

I just got a Elixir Cherimoya from Roger. Since he was out of Fino de Jete when I ordered. Roger said the Elixir was a new variety with good taste, and had fewer seeds in the fruit compared to other varieties.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 2:23PM
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Eggo(z10soCal LBC)

I too am interested in those sunglasses, haha.

I have heard from Floridians that the high night time temps in Florida is what causes most of the cherimoya problem issues over there.

I believe I read somewhere that Elixir is selection from the OC CRFG chapter. I believe it's a White seedling cross or something.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 2:59PM
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yaslan(8 WA state)

Congrats on the arrival of your fino cherimoya Andrew! I can't wait to see pics.
Bo

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 6:32PM
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nullzero(9)

"I believe I read somewhere that Elixir is selection from the OC CRFG chapter. I believe it's a White seedling cross or something."

Eggo,

Sounds like that is probably what the case is. Roger lives in Orange County (most likely he attends CRFG meetings). I talked to him about it since Fino was out of stock, and asked him what he would recommend. From what Roger told me, Elixir was selected for its low seed count.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 7:17PM
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ch3rri(z6 PA)

Andrew- great that you got your cherimoya tree. Can't wait to see picture. The Fino is great, but then this fruit is so large. How many can we get from a potted tree? I'm going to plant a few seeds too.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 9:23PM
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ajaysr5

Andrew,congrats on your new tree.I will be visiting Roger tomorrow as I am 30 minutes away from him and I am adding 1 cherimoya and 1 more atemoya to my tree colloection.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 10:30PM
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andrew78(6)

Kristi,
I all ready took the pics just need to download them here. I think Ajay said that the cherimoya will fruit when small and to use stakes to support the branches with developing fruit. He also said that they can grow 4-7ft in one season! Maybe the fruit will just be smaller on a smaller tree? Guess I will judt have to find out!! Honestly the tree doesn't look like anything great yet. It looks like a stick with a bunch of leaf buds on it. Roger only ships while trees are dormant. I am sure it will look much better in a few weeks, especially with the nice weather we are having in western NY.
Andrew

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 11:08PM
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nullzero(9)

Cherimoya trees in general look very twiggy. I am sure with proper pruning, and techniques should be able to thicken up the main trunk and branches.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 11:25PM
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tammysf(9b/10a or sz15/16)

Ajay

Say hi to roger from all of us. Next time i am in s. Cal will pay him a visit

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 11:38PM
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ajaysr5

Tammysf,will do.

Andrew78,not sure if you have seen this before on how to prune cherimoya.Here is a great way to prune cherimoya to thicken the branch and get great production.Cherimoya bears flowers on new branch remember..I also would not be surprised if the new buds have flowers.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zL3N5kf_Muc

    Bookmark   May 5, 2010 at 11:43PM
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andrew78(6)

Hi AJay,
That was a great video. Seeing the fruit in the end made my mouth water. Thank god my cherimoyas should be here tomorrow! Those pruning practices will make it easier to keep the tree in a pot.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 12:40AM
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andrew78(6)

What do you guys think is the best soil mix to use for my cherimoya?
Andrew

    Bookmark   May 6, 2010 at 11:54PM
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nullzero(9)

I was planning to grow my Cherimoya in a mix of good potting soil, pine bark, added perlite, and a touch of compost. Something like 50% potting mix 20% perlite 20% pine bark 10% compost. I intended to repot each year as well. It may not be as good as the gritty mix for long term. This mix should be effective at providing moisture, and nutrients to the plant with ample drainage.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2010 at 2:23PM
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tammysf(9b/10a or sz15/16)

hi andrew,

i have been meaning to respond.

i had my cherimoya in a pot all last year. i think they are pretty hardy.

i actually bought my tree last feb/march...i can't remember, but i bought the tree before i tasted the fruit. then i saw some cherimoya at the supermarket and bought some. they were so horrible that i wanted to throw out the tree...instead i left it in the pot it came in and did not re-pot it. i barely watered it. it only got water once in awhile when i felt sorry for it. then it went into dormancy, lost all its leaves and i thought it was dead so i completely stopped watering it.

about a month later it started sending out new growth. i felt so sorry for the tree i started to water it but very infrequently because by now i was VERY pregnant and didn't want to go out in the heat.

it survived my neglect. now it is in ground with the fino de jete that i bought from roger. i promise to be nicer to my cherimoya trees from here on out.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 12:09AM
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andrew78(6)

Hi Tammy,
I know you are amom so being busy and not answering is more than fine. I got an email from Roger and he said the same about there hardiness. He told me they could handle temps in the 20's so that is very good news for me. I am thinking maybe this fall I will get one of those pop up greenhouses so I can etend my mangoes, avocado, citrus, charimoya, wow I need to stop! I will need a huge house at this rate. Roger told me they can grow fast and to make sure that I am good with pruning so the tree will have a good srong frame work of branches to support the fruit. I feel better about growingit. I have got a lot of advice here and I really appreciate it. Temps are going to drop really low tomorrow night. They are talking 30's and snow!! My apartment is going to look like the garden of Eden now! Well I am done with buying more fruit trees anyways. I am now trying to root a bunch of plumerias that I got from Mimi the moderater of the Aloha plumeria group. She sent me 4 very nice cuttings, 2 gold pineapple tops and I am getting a dozen passionfruit seeds. I really have my hands full now. If anyone wants to try growing plumeria she is really worth getting in contact with. I saved big bucks and got awesome stuff!
Andrew

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 1:25AM
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ajaysr5

I just got this 2 plants from Roger last thursday.He saved me the last Fino and I actually got a White also.Here is a few pics.
White with tons of flowers.This has already been transplanted in the ground.



Fino still in the pot till I find a good location.Fino still just coming out of dormancy.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 11:33AM
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mango_kush

has anyone tried a Libby Cherimoya?

that is what 48-26 is, a Libby Cherimoya and a Red Sugar Apple cross by Gary Zill

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 1:06PM
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andrew78(6)

I noticed today that my Fino from Roger is starting to bud up also. I just wonder if anything will come of it with the tree still being so small. I would like to at least practice fertilizing the lowers to see if I can do it right and get the fruits to form. This is very exciting for me. The actual vegatative buds have not started growing yet but they are greening up.
Andrew

    Bookmark   May 12, 2010 at 9:56PM
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ohiojay(z6 OH)

Always a good sign. Look for that post by Eggo on pollinating cherimoya.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2010 at 7:06AM
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andrew78(6)

Sorry it has taken me so long to get this picture posted but here it is. I now have 2 flower buds and as you can see, the tree is really growing nicely. I have now had it for a little more than two weeks. Kristi had asked me how many fruits I would get because the fruits are so large. I am taking an educated guess here but I am thinking that maybe the fruit will only grow as big as the tree will allow it? Only time will tell!

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   May 23, 2010 at 10:59PM
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ch3rri(z6 PA)

The tree looks like it's thick enough to hold fruits...lol I think it will be same as my atemoya. At least 10 small fruits when the tree get a little larger. But then again we need our tree to be certain size to fit thru the door.:) That's why I planted more than one atemoya and couple more sugar apple trees.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2010 at 1:40AM
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andrew78(6)

Hi Kristi,
Yeah I think this one will be a year or two longer than the atemota/cherimoya and I too will be keeping some of the cherimoya seedlings.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2010 at 1:56AM
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Dan8fruit

Beautiful pictures everyone! Thanks so much for sharing them.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 5:56PM
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