Star apple info – how to grow a caimito tree
Cainitos are small fruits that look like little stars. They have a very sweet flavor and they are extremely popular among children.
People love them because they taste so good! But there’s another reason why people love these tiny fruits: they’re easy to grow! You don’t need any special equipment or even soil; all you really need is some water and sunlight!
The first thing you’ll want to do when growing a Cainito is to make sure it gets enough light. If not, your plant will never get big enough to produce its full potential.
Soil also plays a role in the size of your plants. Too much organic matter and too little light and nutrients can cause problems with growth and yield. Soil type matters most, but there are other factors such as temperature and moisture levels that affect the final product as well.
You may wonder if you should buy seeds from a nursery or grow your own. Both options are valid, but choosing which one is best depends on several factors including time, money and space constraints.
Let’s take a closer look at each option…
Growing Your Own Seeds From Seed
If you want to start growing your own Cainito seeds right away, then buying them directly from a nursery might be the way to go. They can be quite expensive, however, so you’ll want to save money any way that you can.
One of the best ways to do this is to get your seeds from fruit that you’ve already enjoyed before.
Did you like the taste and flavor of that particular Cainito?
Great! Then chances are you’ll also enjoy the seeds as well since they’re virtually identical.
First, you’ll need to let the seeds dry out naturally after harvesting the fruit. If you’re patient enough, simply leaving them out for a few days should be enough time.
Be sure to keep them away from any potential contaminants, such as dirt and bugs. Once they’re dried out, plant them in some good soil and keep them watered.
It takes around a month for the seeds to grow fully, but soon you’ll have your very own Cainito trees! You can help them grow faster by using fertilizer, but this isn’t required.
One important thing to consider is the soil. It needs to be loose and rich with nutrients, so be sure to use compost or some other kind of fertilizer. If you’re strapped for cash and can’t buy any fertilizer, then using organic ingredients such as chicken manure will help out a lot.
The great thing about growing your own trees from seeds is that you have a virtually unlimited supply of them! You don’t need to worry about the flavor of these trees since they’ll all taste pretty much like the seeds you plant.
Buying Seeds From A Nursery
There’s nothing wrong with buying seeds straight from a nursery. The main advantage to this is that you don’t have to wait a month for them to grow, and you can get them without spending a fortune on a fruit orchard.
The main disadvantage is that you might not be able to get your hands on as many types of seeds as you’d like. Since the demand for Cainito trees isn’t very high, only a few nurseries even carry them, and these places usually don’t have a large supply on hand.
Regardless of whether you grow your own seeds or buy them from a nursery, the process is going to be fairly similar. You’re still going to plant them and make sure that they have enough nutrients, water and sunlight.
The type of soil you use isn’t all that important (as long as it holds moisture well), but you may want to add a bit of fertilizer or compost to make sure the trees grow as fast as possible.
One thing you might notice is that your trees may grow differently than others. Not only will the shape of the leaves be different, but the color may be off as well.
The trunks could end up being a different color than normal, or the whole tree might be a different size or shape than what you’re used to. Don’t worry about this since it’s completely natural for a lot of variables to come into play when growing anything. As long as it tastes good and has seeds inside then it’s all good!
Now that your trees are fully grown, you can start harvesting the fruit to make seeds. The best time of year to do this is during the fall or winter, since the seeds are easier to collect during this time.
Harvesting the fruit isn’t as easy as plucking it off the branch. You need to do a bit of preparation first, such as building a sturdy ladder and putting on gloves.
It’s also recommended that you do this outdoors, since the juice from the fruit has a tendency to get everywhere. Once you’ve gathered everything you need, follow these steps:
Step 1: Climb your ladder and pick off all of the fruit that’s ready to be harvested. Be sure to leave the greenish ones, as well as the golden apples, since those aren’t good for making seeds.
If there are any brown or black spots on the branches, you can cut them off as well since those fruits aren’t good either.
Step 2: Fill up a bucket or bowl with water, then take each fruit and dip it into the water. The reason for this is to prevent the seeds from being germinated prematurely.
If a seed is ready to be germinated, then it will sink to the bottom. (If you’re planting them anyway, then you can skip this step).
Step 3: Sort out all of the good seeds from the bad ones. The good ones will be a dark brown or black, and most of them should have a slightly flat edge.
The bad ones will either be completely brown (and inedible) or white (and inedible). You can also pick out the medium brown seeds since those aren’t quite ripe yet. It’s up to you whether or not you want to plant these as well.
Step 4: Fill up your holes with the good seeds. Try to make sure they have lots of space to grow and some sunlight.
It’s also recommended to keep the seeds moist until they sprout, so you might want to water them each day.
Congratulations on planting your first tree! You’ll need to keep watering and weeding around them until they’re fully grown, which can take a few years.
Once that happens, you should be able to start picking fruit from them every so often, which you can either eat or plant. Just remember that plants grow differently depending on the soil they’re in, so yours might not turn out exactly like the ones you’re used to.
You Can Do This!
Apple trees can live anywhere from twenty to sixty years, depending on how well you take care of them. If you pick the fruit when it’s ripe and eat it yourself, then the seeds inside will either come out undigested, or they’ll be no good to plant.
If you’ve been eating the apples and the seeds are still good, then you should plant them right away.
If you’re unable to eat or plant your seeds, just be sure to keep the core once you’ve eaten the flesh. You can also plant the cores themselves as long as they haven’t rotted!
Remember to water your seeds or cores once a day and keep them out of the sun. A dry seed won’t be able to sprout, so don’t skip that step!
If you’ve done everything right, then the seed should sprout in a week or two. Patience is an important skill for anyone trying to grow things!
Just remember, you don’t always have to settle for store-bought apples. Growing your own is almost as fun as picking them yourself, and they taste a lot better!
And don’t worry if some of your trees die. You can always plant more!
Table of Contents
If you need any help while growing your apple tree, just ask one of our friendly staff for assistance.
Chapter 2: Apple Cider
Now that you know how to grow your own apple trees, it’s time to learn what to do with them when they start producing fruit.
Apples are a very popular treat among humans and animals alike. After picking them and eating as many as you want, you’re going to want to make apple cider.
You can also make apple juice, but that takes a lot longer and the taste isn’t quite as strong. Cider takes less effort and you can enjoy it while you’re waiting for your juice to be ready.
Step 1: Gather Your Apples
After a few months have passed, your apple tree should start bearing fruit. Make sure to pick the apples as soon as you see their color darkening–while green apples aren’t good to eat, they’re perfectly fine for juicing or cider!
Check your trees often, since some apples ripen sooner than others.
Step 2: Storing Your Apples
Apples will only keep for a few days after picking, so you’re going to have to juice or cider them as soon as possible. The fruit cellar is the best place for storing apples until you’re ready to use them.
They should stay fresh down there, but check on them every day or so just to make sure none of them have rotted.
Step 3: Peel Your Apples
Before you can start juicing or cidering the apples, you’re going to have to peel them. You can either do this by hand or using a machine, it’s up to you.
Once the apples are peeled, either put them in a large bowl or place them directly into the juicing or cidering machine.
Step 4: Juicing or Cidering
Making juice and cider is simple. If you’re making juice, then simply put the apples in your juicer and juice them.
If you’re making cider, follow the instructions that came with your cider maker. Most makers require you to gradually add apples and other ingredients over a long period of time.
Step 5: Adding Sugar
If you want to make apple juice, then you’re going to have to add sugar before you can drink it. Once the juice is strained, add the same amount of sugar as juice you made.
For example, if you made two cups of apple juice, then add two cups of sugar. Stir it well, then put the juice back on the stove over low heat.
Step 6: Heating and Storing
Keep heating the juice until it becomes warm. Then, store it in your kitchen cupboards so you can enjoy a glass whenever you want!
If you’re making cider, then you can drink a glass or two now if you want to! Let the cider continue to ferment in the machine according to the instructions that came with it.
If your machine doesn’t allow for fermentation, then find a friend who has a garage where you can let the machine sit. Cider made with these instructions should be ready in a week or two.
Step 7: Flavoring (Optional)
If you want to add flavor to your juice or cider, now is the time to do it. Consider adding some cinnamon, vanilla, or other cooking spices for added flavor.
Be careful not to add too much of any one thing though, or it could ruin the taste completely. After adding the spices, put the juice back on the stove and bring to a boil. Then, remove from heat and allow to cool in the refrigerator until cold.
Sources & references used in this article:
Polyphenolic Antioxidants from the Fruits of Chrysophyllum cainito L. (Star Apple) by XD Luo, MJ Basile, EJ Kennelly – Journal of Agricultural and Food …, 2002 – ACS Publications
Domestication Syndrome in Caimito (Chrysophyllum cainito L.): Fruit and Seed Characteristics by IM Parker, I López, JJ Petersen, N Anaya… – Economic Botany, 2010 – Springer
Origins and close relatives of a semi‐domesticated neotropical fruit tree: Chrysophyllum cainito (Sapotaceae) by JJ Petersen, IM Parker, D Potter – American Journal of Botany, 2012 – Wiley Online Library
Pharmacognostic and phytochemical evaluation of Chrysophyllum cainito Linn. leaves by S Shailajan, D Gurjar – Int J Pharm Sci Rev Res, 2014 – doc-developpement-durable.org
Star apple (Chrysophyllum cainito L.) by EM Yahia, F Gutierrez-Orozco – … of Tropical and Subtropical Fruits, 2011 – Elsevier