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Tropical Fruit–Sugar Apple

Tropical Fruit at a Glance–Sugar Apple
by Jeff Wasielewski, Laura Vasquez and Jonathan H. Crane

Na Dai sugar apple

Common name: Sugar Apple

Botanical name: Annona squamosa

Family: Annonaceae

Good varieties: Lessard Thai, Kampong Mauve

About the fruit: This segmented fruit has a soft custard-like pulp texture, but an extremely sweet, pleasant taste.

Season: Main season is July through September.

Why you should consider it: It does not need a lot of space and is an excellent dessert fruit. It is a good addition to any yard.

Be aware: The annona seed borer lays its eggs in the seeds of the fruit causing it to get a fungus that mummifies the fruit turning it black. The tree can also look terrible in the winter, but fear not, it will soon drop its browning leaves and produce new, healthy ones.

Pruning: The sugar apple takes very well to pruning and can be kept at eight to ten feet through annual selective pruning. Remove strong verticals and encourage lateral growth.

Planting: Make sure not to plant too deep. Dig the hole bigger than the container but refill the hole with the native soil so the plant’s first flare root is at or just above ground level. Protect the tree from mechanical damage (string trimmers and mowers).

Fertilizer: Use an 8-3-9 or something similar two to three times during the rainy season (May to October). Drench with chelated iron (EDDHA) and use a micro-element foliar spray two to three times from May to October.

For more information see: Sugar apple growing in the Florida home landscape.