How to hand pollinate Soursop(Annona Muricata)?

roger89October 15, 2007


Please allow me to ask, how do I hand pollinate soursop flower? My tree has lots of flowers(some are very big too) but VERY few turn into fruits.

I've read the thread on pollinating annona squamosa(sugar apple) but the flower is different from the annona muricata. If you know how to, please give me some description on how to hand pollinate them. Pictures addition would be useful too.

Thank you.

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Eggo(z10soCal LBC)

Roger, just think of the soursop flower as a cherimoya flower on steroids and a few additional petals. Anatomically every part should still be where it is, petals, stigma, anthers, and pollen its all at the same places. It should still go from close flower, to female(semi-open) bloom, and followed by the male stage. See the attachment below for steps on cherimoya pollination, except for the slightly different looking petals not much is different.

Here is a link that might be useful: How To: Cherimoya Pollination

    Bookmark   October 19, 2007 at 2:47AM
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Is this how a pollinated flower suppose to look like? I have pollinated this flower while it was in the female stage by using the pollen from the male flower which had previously been a female. I realise the stigma turns black after the male stage and then it seems to dry up, 'crack' and shed. I see no sign of potential fruit development

I want to ask to, is it possible for a flower which has been polinated to not set? and how long does it take from the male stage to turn into fruit? I want to know the time so that I would know if the hand pollination is successful.


    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 10:40PM
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rayandgwenn(z11 Puerto Rico)

Unfortunately Roger, that fruit did not pollinate.
A pollinated one starts growing right away- I usually catch it a day or two later and it already starts looking like a small spiny ball.
Keep trying, I tried for a while with no success. I intend to try again soon.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2007 at 7:53AM
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Hi Rayan,

Can you teach me how to hand pollinate these soursop tree flowers? What's the appropriate timing to collect pollen and for the stigma to be most receptive?

Do I need to be concerned if I 'smear' the pollen on the stigma with the brush? As in I mix the sticky thing with the pollen and in the process removing some of the sticky thing because it sticks to the brush?

Does rain abrupts the pollination process?


    Bookmark   October 24, 2007 at 11:46AM
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rayandgwenn(z11 Puerto Rico)

I have never successfully hand pollinated one yet. But I will try again. I think I took my pollen when it was too old. It seems to be a trial and error process.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2007 at 3:12PM
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Is this a successful pollination? I was careful to transfer only pollen to the stigma, and lightly touch the stigma with the tip of the brush so as not to remove the stickyness of the stigma and also not smear the pollen. Is this how it should be done?

The first pic is a picture of a male stage flower, which I collected pollen from and apply, just to experiment. The 2nd pic is a female flower which then I pollinated it with lots of pollen from the previous male flower. 3rd pic is how it looked like after I pollinated it.

Please give your opinion. Thanks. :)

    Bookmark   October 25, 2007 at 7:55AM
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rayandgwenn(z11 Puerto Rico)

I think that looks great. Now it all depends on Mother Nature!
What time did you get your pollen?

    Bookmark   October 25, 2007 at 11:37AM
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Thanks. I took it in the evening and transfered to the stigma on the same time too.

Today it shed its anthers and petals.

Do you have any suggestions?

    Bookmark   October 26, 2007 at 7:17AM
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rayandgwenn(z11 Puerto Rico)

How does it look now? Possible fertilized? Is it growing?

    Bookmark   October 27, 2007 at 4:35PM
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Hi Rayan.

This is how it looks like now

I think it failed. :(. I'm so heart broken, I tried so many times yet none turn set. It's like the pollen was not received by the stigma. Perhaps it's the timing, perhaps the tree doesn't want to bear fruit.

Anybody has suggestions? :'(

    Bookmark   October 28, 2007 at 6:23AM
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Eggo(z10soCal LBC)

I would just recommend to keep trying and you will eventually figure it out. It could be timing, it could be that the pollen was too old or the stigma too immature or the tree too young. I hope you do achieve it as you are the first person here on this forum doing some guanabana hand pollination. =)

    Bookmark   October 28, 2007 at 11:37PM
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I tried on one of my grafted Soursops back in July, but the flower didn't grow.

I just discovered another flower on one of my seed grown trees so I've got another shot now. I'll let you know how it goes!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2007 at 8:24PM
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I have yet to see any good results from the hand pollination :(.

I have seen the flowers when it sheds its anther, it also shed its stigma along. Anyone experienced this b4? This is frustrating, a clear sign that something is not right.

BTW, this tree fruit did set fruits on its own a while back before I got into hand pollinating. Maybe it is somewhat seasonal? but the flowers are kept on producing.. confused.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2007 at 7:25AM
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Do they need to be hand pollinated or do they usually polinate on their own? It seems Roger was maybe trying to set fruit out of season? My tree is just about 2 yrs. old but I have not seem flowers yet?

    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 6:04PM
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rayandgwenn(z11 Puerto Rico)

I will tell you about my experience.

My mature tree has made fruit on its own in the past. I have never had luck with hand pollination. It still makes flowers constantly, but has not made fruit in about a year.

My friends mature Soursop stopped producing fruit a few years back. This year, her tree started and has made fruit constantly for about 6 months now.

Maybe they go through a resting period or something?

My seedling tree is about 2 years old and has just started to make flowers. I hope to see fruit over the next year or so.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 6:27PM
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Here's I would pollinate soursop.
Approach the flower, then remember that the fruit tastes vile, rip up the tree and plant a lychee tree in its place.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 8:24PM
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Hello everyone, I'm new to the forum and I couldn't help but to comment about this wonderful fruit.
Hand pollinating the guanabana all comes down to timing and not over-doing it with the pollen. First, collect the pollen from the male flower in the early evening (about 5pm) and store it in the refrigerator to use it the very next morning (around 8am). Remember that it doesn't take much pollen to pollinate a guanabana (I can't stress this enough).
If you are lazy (like me :) and this is just too much work for you, I strogly recommend to throw scraps of fresh fruit (I use papaya with great success) near the trunk of the tree to stimulate the natural pollinators.
Good luck and enjoy!

    Bookmark   February 13, 2011 at 3:27PM
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Welcome Guajiro,

Thanks for sharing the information. Guanabana is my favorite of all of the Annonas unfortunately they won't survive our winters in Socal but I plan on attempting them in a little greenhouse this year. Thanks for the tip with the papayas I usually throw rotten bananas to stimulate natural pollination for my chirimoyas.


    Bookmark   February 13, 2011 at 5:36PM
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This is very good forum and source of information. I should be planting my first trees after about ten months and need to read everything from here. I am starting farm in Thailand. There are only few farms here so far.

Here is a link that might be useful: Soursop Farm Thailand

    Bookmark   December 26, 2013 at 9:09PM
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I have 2 soursop guanabanas trees. One gives fruit (female) and the other I think is a male, very green and beautiful blooms, but does not give fruit ever!!!. The other tree has given me plenty of fruit, but the left side trunk dried up while the right side still green and with plenty of flowers and fruit. I am worry I might be loosing my favorite tree for ever. While my other tree is not giving me fruit at all. Any suggestions? thank you

    Bookmark   September 16, 2014 at 7:02PM
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I did try the collecting of pollen and using a paint brush but no results at all. I guess I will try again. Am not giving up yet. Love my soursop guanabana trees.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2014 at 7:07PM
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Soursop is naturally pollinated by a beetle of genus Cyclocephala, but as there is no such insect everywhere. In Brazil it`s very common, but not aways very efficient. Therefore, hand pollination is obligatory for commercial purposes.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2015 at 9:31PM
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flatwoods_farm(9A Riverview, F)

Roger, the only photo I can see is your Oct 25th, right after pollination. It looks normal. Soon a small cap will fall off leaving the fruit-to-be on a green pedicel. It doesn't look like a fruit, but it will enlarge. If not successful, the pedicel turns black and drops off. It can take weeks for the fruit to start growiing. I've done it several times in Riverview, Florida. I have some hanging on now that have not enlarged yet but the fact that they have not dropped off by weeks end is promising. We have no natural pollinators here so get the camel hair brush ready. Freshly dropped pollen is best, but it can be dried and stored. You can even carefully snip away the petal tips go gain access to the stigmas, with should be sticky when receptive. Where are you growing?

    Bookmark   January 9, 2015 at 1:18PM
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