Growing cherimoyas

We have two trees, an El Bumpo that fruits without hand pollination and a booth or pierce that hasnt fruited without it so will probably be removed. They do get “frost pruned” but are such vigorous growers it works well. I haven’t had any issues with sunburn and they have been in full sun since planted. A friend grows honeyhart and they are delicious, hope you enjoy!


Thanks @Lids. My local FB group mentioned that sun protection is needed only for the first year in the ground. A few of us got these trees last year and for some the newly planted ones defoliated and died quickly. Could be just the heat wave in June.

I hear Cherimoya act like corns for cross-pollination. A friend showed different fruits (atleast the outside texture) on the same tree when pollinated with pollen from different varieties. Did you observe that in your trees?

The el bumpo is a la verne nursery graft and is actually a younger tree, i think in the ground about four years and fruiting two years. The booth or pierce was from a local nursery and im suspicious that it may not be grafted. I bought it before i knew enough to ask and despite being in the ground a year or two longer is far less vigorous. It made a handful of fruit two years ago but not since and the wildlife stole them. I have been reluctant to get rid of it without tasting the fruit but realistically wont be doing any hand polinating and it hasnt been a strong tree.

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First (and only) home grown cherimoya of the season. I LOVED it. Tasted as good as any I’ve eaten.

Unfortunately, my trees are weak and not growing much. I thought they dropped all their fruits but one survived. I’ll let them get established this year with compost and better watering schedule and not worry about making them fruit.


I just started cherimoya seeds last year and am entering my first winter with young plants. So far, so good. But we haven’t really had frost yet here in Napa. I have enough seedlings to leave unprotected to get a rough sense of what will die left unprotected at least in whatever weather this season brings. But so far I’m impressed with how tough these plants are. Some freshly sprouted seeds became damaged, losing the first true leaves, and the young plants were able to pull through, budding out from tiny stalks. I let them dry, I left them soggy, so far they are very robust. I’m feeling very hopeful. Cherimoya are wonderful fruits. It’ll be a real thrill if they thrive here.

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I think there is quite a bit of difference in vigor between seedling rootstocks. Of the two I planted, one grew like crazy and the other is just a few inches taller. So, I like your idea of starting from seedlings and only plant the most vigorous and frost hardy ones in the ground. Marta did something similar (not sure if thats what she was intending to do) - Gardening : Cherimoya selection experiment in Vacaville, open ground.

Something I learned recently about cherimoyas which surprised me - they behave like corn when cross-pollinated. You can see different fruits on the same branch looking completely different based on the pollen they were pollinated with. Photo from a friend’s tree from the Cherimoya group


Congratulations on your crop! Looks awesome!

I’ve heard that too but haven’t looked into it yet. If fruit flavor and quality are also affected it would be awesome to know what the prize male donor varieties are, though this may be a matter of preference.

I haven’t noticed too much difference in vigor. Pretty much all the seedlings I started in 1 gallon containers. I potted up 6 and those all grew way more than the ones left in 1 gallons. (Obviously, I’ve come to my senses, and potted up 6 more!) My intention is to graft a dozen or so varieties onto individual trees and over time scale down to a couple multi grafted trees. Along the way I expect to be evaluating vigor, hardiness, etc. as expressed by my preferences for the individual trees, thinking that I’ll like the best suited trees most and I’ll graft those ones up.

I tried atemoya in containers, got some luck. Tree grew to big for containers, had to abandon it. Have better luck with Jaboticaba, more happy with fruiting.


My brother grow one from the seed of a fruit he bought from a supermarket, I think he claimed he had 5 fruit from the tree. I never actually saw them. But cherrymoya seedlings are sprouting left and right from my compost, I had to remove them frequently, I don’t have space for them.

Did you like the taste of El Bumpo?

I might get a chance to buy some grafted Cherimoya and Atemoya shortly so I’m trying to scope out varieties for Z10 SoCal (Irvine).

Would love any other variety recs or suggestions.


Cherimoya is one of the ones I’m intrigued to grow but have yet to. I have a few annona seedlings, sugar apple and soursop; but no cherimoya yet. If only my greenhouse was twice as big, but who am I kidding it could be the size of a football field and I’d find a way to have no room left still.

Awesome to see y’all’s successes, interesting to stimulate flowers like that, good to know.

I liked El Bumpo a lot. The skin is very thin so it would never be one I’d expect to find in a store or even in local orchards. A neighbor grew honeyhart and that was great too!

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Thank you! I’ll put those on my list. Any recs for Atemoyas by any chance?

I wish I did! I haven’t tried any but remember reading a blog from a local guy that grew African Pride and liked it if that’s helpful

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how so? Id think they’d be pretty easy to grow. Pests should be nil due to acetogenins. Pollination may be unreliable, as in other Annonaceous crops like paw paw. Ive tried growing cherimoya and atemoya a few times in containers and they don’t live long for me, really resenting the transitions of seasons and light regimes. They’re fickle in my experience, and unhappy with extremes, but trying to grow here is a big ask, so I guess Im not too surprised. Just wondering what your take is in terms of difficulties.

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Maybe it’s what you’re implying but there are some of these on sale by OC CRFG this weekend.


That’s a really OC cool list of trees, plants and website. Here’s my local CRFG page. Not very enticing.

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Yes! That’s it! I wasn’t sure where folks were located so didn’t post the link. I should have!

That is helpful! Thank you!

Cool, just wanted to make sure :smiley: and to share with others who might not know but are close enough to make it. I’ve asked my Dad to pick me up a couple of trees and drive them up next time he visits, they live a few minutes away from the lot where the sale will be.

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