How to Grow Sapodilla Tree From Seed, Growing Sapota Chiku From Seeds

Details on how to grow Sapodilla or Chiku (Chikoo) tree from seed and how to germinate chiku seeds are given. A Sapota tree can easily be grown from store bought sapota fruits, as I have grown it in Sydney, Australia. The Sapodilla can be grown from seeds, but getting correct seeds may be the problem . It takes only a few weeks to grow a Chiku tree from seed.

However, the sapota tree grown from seeds will produce fruit in about 7 years and the fruit may not come true to the parent tree. Veneer grafting with seedlings as rootstock is the best method for sapodilla propagation.
Sapodilla fruit growing on a tree
Sapodilla fruit growing on a tree

Where Sapodilla Trees Grow

Sapodilla tree thrives in warm climates. Sapodillas can be grown in USDA hardiness zones 9 to11 outdoors, however it can be grown in zones 4 to11 in patio or garden in a pot until the temperature drops to -2°C (30°F), then you have to bring it inside and place it by a sunny window. Sapodilla is being grown in Darwin and Queensland in Australia.

The method of propagating, planting and growing a Chiku tree from seed is similar to that of growing custard apple from seeds (how to grow custard apple from seeds). The steps for growing sapota tree from a seed shown here gives 100 % success rate.

How To Grow Chiku Tree From Seed

Growing sapodilla from seeds is quite easy. It is pointed out that chiku fresh seeds will germinate quickly, in a few weeks, but the older seeds will take longer to sprout. Following are the steps for growing chiku tree from seed, germinating first in a kitchen paper towel (how to germinate seeds in paper towel):

Buy fully ripe sapodilla fruit and cut it, you will find two to three large black seeds. Remove the seeds and wash them in water to completely remove the pulp.

Grow Sapodilla tree from Sapota Fruit
Cut Sapota Fruit and take out its seeds

  1. Soak the chikoo seeds in water for 1 day to soften the outer skin of the seed. Water will penetrate the seed causing the embryos inside to swell. You may carefully cut off the tip of the seed to help water reach inside the seed.
  2. Discard any floating seeds after 24 hours, they are not good for germination.
  3. You can directly plant the seeds 1 inch deep keeping the pointed side of each seed faces up in free-draining soil.

Sapodilla Seed Germination in Paper Towel

The chikoo seeds germinate much quicker in a paper towel.

Enclose sapodilla seeds in a damp paper towel to germinate the,
Enclose sapodilla seeds in a damp paper towel

  1. Take a paper towel and wrap the soaked seeds in it, then spray some water on the paper.
  2. Enclose the folded paper in a Ziploc bag and place the bag at a warmer place in shade.
  3. The moisture, heat and controlled conditions inside the plastic bag will help the seeds germinate in only a few days.

Sprouted Sapodilla seed
Growing Sapodilla tree from seed, Sprouted Sapodilla seed

Chikoo Seed Germination Time: The chiku seeds will germinate in a few weeks depending on the temperature and age of seeds. Temperatures lower than 21°C will take longer for the seeds to sprout. Also older seeds will need more time to sprout. The seeds more than 3 weeks old may  not germinate at all.

Planting Germinated Sapote Seeds in Soil

Next step is to plant the sprouted sapote seeds soil.

  1. Take a pot having drainage holes at its bottom.
  2. Mix some river sand in the potting soil. Sand will make the soil free-draining. Fill the pot with this soil, the water will not stand in the pot, otherwise the standing water may rot the seed.
  3. Plant the germinated sapodilla seed 1 inch deep in soil and water.
  4. Place the pot in shade at a warm place. Keep the soil damp. The sapodilla seedling will emerge in a few days. Plant the seedling in a free draining fertile soil.

Sapota Seedling grown from seed
Grown Sapota Seedling

You may be wondering to know how long will it take a sapodilla tree from seed to bear fruits. The sapodilla trees grown from seeds can take 5 to 8 years to bear fruit after planting.

The fruits require about 4 months to be ready for harvest after the flowers are pollinated.

Chiku Tree grown from a seed from a chiku
Chiku Tree grown from a seed from a chiku, Age 8 Months

Video on How To Grow Sapodilla/Sapota/Chiku Tree from Seed

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