rollinia, soncoya seedlings

cattman(z10a FL)April 18, 2013

I will soon have some seeds arriving for "Soncoya" -- annona purpurea (I think it's also known as the ilama). I have ordered these before, and also "Biriba" -- rollinia deliciosa -- at least twice.

Every time I plant these seeds I get good germination, but the babies seem to just fade away over weeks or months before they can get very large.

I've germinated many, many kinds of tropical trees and grown them up to maturity, but I've basically always been working with variants of the same potting ingredients: milled peat, perlite, and sand, adjusting the perlite and sand higher or lower depending on how critical drainage is.

I've got a seedling atemoya tree here that I raised in Atlanta (in a pot) before a good 8 years before moving to Florida, and last year that tree bore me a bumper crop of fruits. My grafted kampong mauve purchase is doing well. Even my young soursop tree -- purchased from a vendor -- is in its third year here now and actually bloomed late last year.

Can anyone give me some clues on raising seedling soncoya or biriba? Do they need sweet soil, which I'm ruining with the peat-based mix? Like to be kept wet, and I'm ruining the mix with too much sand? Can they handle South Florida sun right away, and I'm just starving them for light by keeping them in the shade? T.I.A. (thanks in advance!)

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Hi Cattman,
I planted my first Rollinia graftling last June. It has grown by leaps and bounds. It was Arty my knee and now almost six feet tall. It just came out of dormancy two months ago. I would love to induce flowering. I don't Loewe how though. I guess I'll just have to wait. Let me know how your seed planting works. I know annonas grow fast!

All the best,


    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 3:16AM
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cattman(z10a FL)

Vince, thanks for that reply -- and a great pic! How big was your grafted rollinia when you bought it? (I didn't even know anyone grafted rollinias!!!) Are you farther south than I am? I am in the greater Fort Myers area.

I'm starting to get nervous about the seed order I placed a full 4 weeks ago -- no replies or order from the vendor, even though the company's been around forever. Bizarre not to have them even reply to a worried email. But anyway, wherever I end up getting seeds from, I'm going to use fungicide a bit more on my soil for the seedlings, see if that helps the plants to thrive a bit better. And I may just plant some seedlings into the ground promptly, and keep the rest in pots.

Best of luck with your plant -- looks like you are well on your way!

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 12:15AM
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flatwoods_farm(9A Riverview, F)

I got 5 year old rollinia to fruit here in Tampa. It was potted always with compost and got bright shade. Soncoya never thrived for me, but I raised Ilama seedlings to 17 years from my own fruits' seed. They are in the ground and one small fruit has set so far this year and lot's of flowers coming.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2013 at 10:36AM
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cattman(z10a FL)

Thanks for that info, FlatwoodsFarm! And let me say that I am astonished that you're doing so well with Ilama in Zone 9!! Are you protecting these trees in winter? (Then again, you mentioned shade, and I know larger trees overhead can provide significant winter protection for the plants beneath.)

I started a compost pile my first or second year here in the Cape, and to date I've only added to it - never actually used the dirt. I think that's what I'll use for growing the soncoya seedlings. And I'll go ahead and order some rollinia seeds and try them again, I guess.

Thank you, thank you for those details, and kudos on a remarkable achievement (I would think) for the Tampa area!

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 5:42AM
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flatwoods_farm(9A Riverview, F)

Thank you. The ilamas are not protected except to wrap a blanket around on really cold nights. I am a long time member of the RFCI and have lots of fruit action going on such as :olives, soursop, pawpaws, chestnuts, and real wine grapes

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 9:05AM
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cattman(z10a FL)

Good to know, Flatwoods Farm! And unfortunately, after all of this buildup, the package of seeds finally arrived -- and the vendor mistakenly sent me sugar apple seeds instead of sancoyas! I was so disappointed.... I don't know whether to look for another source or spend the money the next time I get to Homestead and just look for a potted tree. And you've gotten me more interested in rollinias (ilamas) now, so maybe that's the tree I need to pick, whether in seed or potted form.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2013 at 6:06PM
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