Sapota trees may be propagated by chiku seed or vegetatively. Seeds must be planted within 3 weeks of harvesting from the fruit, and seedlings may begin to bear in 7 to 8 years. Sapota varieties in India do not come true to seed and should be vegetatively propagated by grafting or budding onto seedling rootstock. Chiku tree Grafting and budding are most successful during the warm season when trees are actively growing.
Growing techniques of Sapota Plants
The ideal sapota season for Sapota trees is spring and early summer. The growth of the Sapota plant is also good in a container . For planting Sapota plants, the pot must be at least 10 to 12 inches. Sapota can be planted in any type of soil but prefers well-drained soil. Also, garden soil mixes some coarse sand in it. Soil consists of 70% soil and 30% coarse sand. Mix them well but for good growth of young plants, fertilizer is needed and also requires a little bit of organic compost.
Put a small piece of gravel in the container and put the mixture in the pot. To remove air pockets in the soil, tap the pot and sapota plant the grafted plant, keep in mind that its grafted joint must be 2 to 3 inches above the upper layer of soil. Always place the sapota plant in the middle of the pot and water immediately after planting. And if any branch is coming out below the chiku tree grafted joint then cut that branch.
It blooms twice in a year, that means one in February-March and another in October-November. It takes 6 to 7 months from flowering to maturity of fruits. The young Sapota plant is likely to be damaged due to the high sunlight, dry and hot wind. Sapota trees can grow in both arid and humid environments. In the summer season, the Sapota plant can live up to 6 to 7 days without water and in winter water it in 20 to 25 days.
Unripe chiku fruit is very hard and gummy. When the fruit is ripe then it becomes soft and its seeds are black and shiny. One chiku fruit can yield 2 to 5 seeds. To know if the Sapota fruit is ripe or not, scratch gently if the skin beneath is green, the fruit is unripe. But if it is pale yellow and soft to the touch, it is ripe. When you pick an unripe fruit, it releases white latex from its stem and its latex is very sticky and is used for the preparation of chewing gum. If you picked an unripe Sapota fruit then do not throw it. To ripen it, wrap it well in paper and maintain it at room temperature for 3 to 4 days.
This plant is generally invincible to insects and diseases. Sapota Plant damages due to overwatering. White fuzz and webbing in the lower portion of the leaf are because of leaf Webber insects. Leaf Webber lays eggs on Chiku leaves. Larva feeds on Chiku leaves by sucking the juice from plant leaves. And it damages flowers, fruits, and buds. If your sapota plant has the same problem then collect the insect infected plant parts and destroy them. To prevent the pest attack in the Sapota plant, use neem cake on plants during the spring season.