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Haitian Purple Star Apple (Cainito) Seeds - 3 Pack

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Chrysophyllum cainito

The Haitian Purple variety of Star Apple or as it is famously known as Milk Fruit is super special plant to grow in your garden. The purple skinned fruit has a super sweet, purplish white, juicy flesh on the inside, and when cut in half resembles the shape of a star! The taste of the fruit is similar to a grape and persimmon, and similar taste again to the Abiu fruit.

This beautiful shade tree has glossy dark green leaves with a silky bronze color underneath. Star Apple is a favorite in the Caribbean and Central America as well as Southeast Asia. The fruit has a mild grape-like flavor, and is best eaten fresh.

Full-grown trees can reach 25 feet or higher. With proper pruning, they can be trained to grow a bit smaller. The canopy is round and dense, making it an excellent source of shade. In late summer and autumn, it produces cone-shaped clusters of purplish-white flowers. The harvest is ready by late winter or early spring. These trees are self-fertile.

How to Get Started?

All seeds need water, oxygen, and proper temperature in order to germinate. Some seeds require proper light also. Some germinate better in full light while others require darkness to germinate. When a seed is exposed to proper conditions, water and oxygen are taken in through the seed coat. The ideal soil temperature for germinating seeds is between 20 and 30 degrees Celsius. Once the seeds germinate, the soil temperature needs to be cooler than the optimum germination temperature to support the growth of seedlings. 

Star Apple seeds are large seeds and protected in a hard shell. The seeds need to be warm up under the sun or under the light for 15-30 minutes until it is at room temperature. Using a small home cheese grater, scarify the top or smallest side of the seeds before soaking in a warm water for up to 24 hours. They should be planted flat or at an angle and fully covered with a good soil mix. The mix needs to be well drained, with at least 50% perlite or coarse sand, and should be maintained uniformly moist but not waterlogged. Coco peat is another option for a good seed sowing media. We also found covering the seeds in a moist sphagnum moss and kept in a snap lock bag to be successful in germination this type of seeds.  Alternatively use a high-quality seed raising mix and add some light sand or topsoil. Use water misting to keep the soil moist. Another method is by placing seeds in seed growing sponges and keep them in a resealable bag and spray with water often. It may take up to 90 days for seeds to germinate, some species of plant may take even longer.

Using a heat mat will certainly increase seed germination rates but not necessary. Sometimes seeds turn to dormancy during the colder season and will sprout as soon as the first signs of spring occur. Always soak your seeds for up to 24 hours prior to planting. Apply some light fungicide solution on the seeds, pat them dry prior to sowing to avoid mould growing on seeds. Do not soak the seeds for more than 24 hours for the soft shell or skinned on seeds whilst soaking for 48 hours for a hard-shell seed is quite acceptable. Small seeds usually germinate better with some light whilst bigger seeds need to be slightly above the surface. Do not sow seeds too deep unless its hard-shelled seed. If the seeds are sown too deep, they need extra energy to get to the surface for light.

Once germination occurs, gives plenty of light, remove any cover and never miss any watering so the top of soil is always moist. If the seedlings receive plenty of heat and sun, they may need watering once a day or every second day. Usually, seedlings can be transferred to another size pot once there are 2 leaves showing.  The ideal size of pot is three times the size of root ball. Prepare a good quality potting mix in advance before repotting the plant. The next repotting should only be after 6-8 months once the seedlings are more established. Try not to transplant any subtropical fruit trees directly into the ground until they pass their first winter at the minimum. 

Star Apple preferred a well-draining and very rich soil. They do not like heavy wind or drought and does not cope well with frost or freezing temperature. Full or partial shade is alright, however young seedlings would not survive a direct sun light. Keeping the plant warm between 21-29 degrees Celsius is ideal, or they are happy in a greenhouse or growing indoors at room temperature. Plants will grow to the size of the pot, and minimal watering and fertilizing is required around winter and more often around the spring till the end of summer. Subtropical plants usually prefer well composted animal manure as fertiliser. However, an alternate feed with general fertiliser is acceptable and some seaweed or worm juice every 2 to 4 weeks during growth time will see them growing strong and healthy. Never used sheep pellets for pot plants - especially for subtropical fruit plants.

Keep subtropical plants in the warmest area indoors or in a greenhouse/polytunnel for their first 1-2 years or longer and slowly introduce to a shaded outdoor area when the weather is good. Keep young seedlings protected from frost and strong wind.  If you have a greenhouse, it could be planted permanently in the ground when the seedling is big enough for transplanting.

Good luck and happy growing!

Disclaimer:

This is generic advice only and your results may vary. 
Laws around the purchase and use of plant seeds vary from country to country. Please be aware that germination of some seeds may be considered illegal in some countries whilst it is perfectly acceptable in another. We ask that all visitors to this website understand their national laws before ordering. We expect that you will act lawfully in your country of origin and ExoticaNZ - Plant Enthusiasts cannot be held responsible if you do not. 

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