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Annona cherimoia x squamosa
Diary Of Atemoya Bonsai

In our area, we don't have the humidity needed to help the custard apples or sugar apples pollinate, but we can grow atemoyas. Atemoyas are crosses between custard apples and sugar apples and must be purchased as a grafted tree in order to be sure you are getting an atemoya.

I lucked into a reasonably priced Phet Pak Chong grafted tree and snagged it up.  PhetPakchong is the hybrid between (Cherimoya X Sugar apple 'Nang Krang') X Sugar apple 'Nang Kiew #102.  This variety does not require help with pollination by hand, but would produce more if we also had the Lisa variety.

Instead of getting two trees, we may go with grafting Lisa scions on the atemoya when time appropriate.

Container gardening rules is the planter must be 18 or more inches in diameter and 20 inches deep.  The soil must be allowed to dry at the top two inches before watering again. They can be grown in up to 30% shade.

Lets Get Growin

SUN: Full sun 
WATER: Water Regularly initially, then it can take some drought due to deep roots.
SOIL PH: 6.0-8.0
FERTILIZER: Frequent applications of small amounts of nitrogen containing fertilizer and watering during the growing season when there are prolonged dry periods is recommended. After the third year, trees will begin to bear fruit and the strategy is to reduce the number of applications of nitrogen containing fertilizer. Minor element sprays to the foliage should contain magnesium, zinc, and manganese (some also contain boron, molybdenum and iron). Foliar sprays are most efficient from April to September.

Phet Pakchong Atemoya

2017, October 29 and 1221 Days To Fresh Fruit

All the leaves are getting darker, but some yellowing with dark veins seems to be getting started.  Added some azalea mix this morning to help reduce the PH and see if that helps the tree at all.

Good thing is Phet is branching and looks pretty happy so far.  Not much else to report at this time.

2017, June 10 and 1362 Days To Fresh Fruit

Phet Pakchong Atemoya

Not a lot of change since the last photo, but it looks like Phet is starting to get some adult type leaves.  They are larger and more pointed.  I still am very happy with the subtle swaying look of the trunk and look forward to that shape continuing on as the tree grows.

The summer heat is coming on and I am contemplating putting Phet in a wider nursery pot that is about the same depth to help keep the rootball a little cooler.  Maybe add some clover seeds again.  The clover kind of died off last time for unknown reasons.  I'm not sure if atemoya puts out anything that prevents other plants from growing around it, but it would be good to know.  A plants ability to suppress other plants is called allelopathy, and a good starter list is here: 

I didn't see atemoya on the list of trees, but the list is quite small.  I'm pretty sure that is not a comprehensive list.  

Phet Pakchong Atemoya

2017, May 13 and 1390 Days To Fresh Fruit

Well, we got a total fake out over here.  I don't know what happened with the 'flower blossoms'.  I think they were just leaf buds.

The leaves are small in comparison to atemoya leaves I've seen on the net.  The coloring is a nice tart looking bright green.  So, no fruit buds and no fruit in the near future as I can tell.  But the tree is pleasing looking and hooked over at the tip again.

The leaves and all look much better than they did when they arrived and immediately dropped off.  All in all, Phet seems to be doing really well.  We did give it a dose of mykos, some clover companion seeds and some new soil to grow in.  The clovers don't seem to be doing much.  Time will tell with the mykos when it comes time to re-pot it to a larger planter.

2017, May 1 - Flower Buds And 1403 Days To Fresh Fruit
Atemoya Blossom And Leaves

The atemoya has been doing really well.  It even appears to be getting a couple of flower buds in among the leaf buds.  

This leaves me to question just how long it will actually be before we could get fruits.   We've been having a bit of luck with the grafted trees being mature enough to bloom in our tropical collection.

The trunk seems too delicate for fruit bearing this year. The fruits are usually quite heavy from what I've read so I will be more inclined to clip off the flower buds rather than let them bear fruit this year.

Phet Pakchong Atemoya

2017, April 27 - Straightening Up And 1407 Days To Fresh Fruit

Atemoya seems to be ditching the hook and going straight.  The leaf sprouts are still protruding like little horns at the main stem.  The last little dent is getting a new leaf bud and the old last leaf curled up and is turning brown.

Atemoya is set in the shade house where it will get
Phet Pakchong Atemoya
the most light throughout the day.  There is a bit of a curve to the trunk, which is an attractive feature for bonsai styling.

Not that we are really committed to bonsai styling because we want a large, productive bonsai type of tree.

Phet Pakchong Atemoya 

2017, April 25 - Another Macro and 1409 Days To Fresh Fruit

The atemoya is doing well. The leaf buds are forming where there were hollow dents when it arrived.

There isn't much else going on at this time, but it looks promising to have some new growth.  This isn't the only atemoya growing in Phoenix, there is a Gefner that has been around for a bit.

It doesn't seem to be phased much with the sunlight in our area.

Phet Pakchong Atemoya

2017, April 23 - Macro Shots and 1411 Days To Fresh Fruit

We took a couple of pictures with the macro lens.  We wanted a close look at the graft and the new leaf to make sure everything is growing well.

The leaf is still hanging over like an umbrella hook.  It could be the result of being bowed over during shipment and not being flexible to spring back.

The graft looks pretty solid, even though the parafilm is still on the tree.  I checked and there is no reason for removing parafilm or grafting tape even if the graft looks solid.
Phet Pakchong Atemoya Graft
The parafilm will eventually degrade on its own so we're all set here.

For atemoya trees, they must always be grafted to get an atemoya.  The atemoya plant was the result of a cross between a cherimoya and sugar apple, which are different types of trees in the same family that each contribute different attributes that make the atemoya a desirable tree to grow in our area over one of the other two contributing plants.

It seems to be doing well in the treepot so far and will end up getting moved to a larger pot the next go round.  It is estimated the trees produce fruit two to four years after planting.

2017, April 22 - Plant Arrived
Phet Pakchong Atemoya

The plant arrived today.  Packed with some soil and all the leaves dropped off during transit.  It has one little new leaf left at the top, which hopefully will be enough to see it through the transition.

It is under 30% shade, planted in a deep tree planter with mykos and a deep layer of mulch. Well watered and in good company with the other tropicals.

It could be two to four years before getting fruit from this tree if it survives our climate.

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