How to Grow Custard Apple From Cuttings: Sugar Apple Propagation From Cuttings

Read below to know how to grow a custard apple tree from cuttings. Custard apples, also known as sugar apples or Annona squamosa can be easily propagated from cuttings. In this guide, I will explore the step-by-step process of propagating custard apple from cuttings. I have used the following procedure to grow custard apple tree from cuttings, although I have grown it from seeds quite easily in Australia (grow sugar apple from seeds).

How to Propagate Sugar Apple From Cuttings

Can you grow a sugar apple tree from cuttings? A sugar apple tree is best propagated from cuttings in soil. You can start planting and growing sugar apple cuttings in late winter or early spring, this is the best time to propagate sugar apple tree when the plant begins to produce new growth. However, it was found that semi-hardwood cuttings are rooted successfully if plant during dormant period [1].

Steps for Rooting Sugar Apple Cuttings

Sugar apple from cutting
Sugar Apple Tree

Growing a sugar apple tree from cuttings should start with taking healthy stem cuttings.

Taking Sugar Apple Cuttings For Propagation

The first step to propagate custard apple is to take correct cuttings. First select a correct custard apple stem and take cuttings.

Before taking cuttings, disinfect the cutter with alcohol or bleach solution.

Cut the stem using a clean and sharp cutter or shears.

Selecting the Parent Tree

Take cuttings from a healthy custard apple tree that is free from any disease, and produces high-quality fruits. This ensures that the cuttings produce cloned robust plants that will grow fruits quite early.

Type of sugar apple stems Suitable for Rooting

Select a semi-hardwood stem on a healthy sugar apple tree. To select a right stem, just bend it. If the stem bends but does not break, it is too soft and not good for propagation. If it does not bend then it is too hard, whereas if it bends easily and breaks, it’s just right for taking a cutting.

Remove the lower leaves from the cuttings, and cut the top leaves into half. This minimizes moisture loss and encourages energy to be directed towards root development.

Cutting Preparation

  1. Using clean and sharp pruning shears, take pencil thick 8cm long cuttings from healthy branches. Ensure each cutting has at least a few nodes, which are the points where leaves attach to the stem.
  2. Wrap the cuttings in a damp paper and seal in a polythene bag while you take them to your home or prepare for other things.

Propagate Custard Apple Cutting in Water

Can custard apple cuttings be rooted in water?

Placing custard apple cuttings directly into water will not grow roots. However, you can dip the cuttings in water till you prepare for other things for propagation.

Growing Sugar Apple Tree from Cuttings in Soil

  1. To root custard apple cuttings in soil, take a small pot which has drainage holes at its bottom to drain excess water.
  2. Rooting medium: Fill the pot with rooting medium. Fill the pot with seed-raising soil or prepare your own rooting medium by mixing some coarse river sand in potting soil to make it free-draining. Do not mix any manure as there are no roots on the cuttings.
  3. Water the pot thorough to ensure that soil is wet at all the points. Keep the pot in shade for an half an hour to drain excess water.
  4. Planting the Cuttings
    1. Slightly scrap 1 inch of the outer bark of the cutting and apply rooting hormone to promote roots. You can use a chemical rooting hormone or use aloe vera gel instead. Aloe Vera gel is a natural rooting hormone.
    2. Make a hole in the soil by a stick and insert thre cutting in the hole, do not push the cutting in the hole. Ensure that at least 2 buds are in the soil and at least one bud is exposed outside the soil. Firm the soil around the base of the cutting. Similarly you can plant 3-4 cuttings in the same pot.
    3. Do not water again, because the soil is already moist and excessive water will rot the cuttings.
    4. Enclose the pot in a Ziploc bag or in a polythene bag to create a humid environment. This encourages moisture retention and supports successful root development. 
  5. Place the bag at a warm and bright location, away from direct sun light. if outside temperature is below 20°C (68°F), place the pot indoors.
  6. Open the bag every week and mist the cuttings or add a few drops of water on the soil if it looks dry. Close the bag again.
  7. Rooting: You may see new growth in 8 to 16 weeks depending on quality of cuttings and the temperature. The cuttings will feel resistive by slight tuck if roots have developed. Be patient and resist the urge to disturb the cuttings during this critical phase. You can even see roots coming out from bottom holes of the pot.
  8. Leave the pot with rooted cuttings in partial shade for 3-4 weeks.
  9. Transplanting: Once the cuttings have developed a healthy root system, transplant them into larger pots (how to grow custard apple in pots) or directly into the garden in sunny location. Ensure proper care, including watering and fertilization, to promote vigorous growth.

When the Sugar apple tree grown from cutting will produce fruit?

The custard apple tree propagated from a cutting will produce fruits in about 2 years.

Video on Growing Cystard Apple from Cuttings

how to grow custard apple from seeds YouTube


1. Jahnabi Hazarika, DN Hazarika, Priyanka Boruah, Mauranjan Roy and Sahinur Ahmed, Standardization of propagation method of Custard Apple (Annona reticulata) by stem cuttings, The Pharma Innovation Journal 2022; 11(3): 1742-1746.