How to Grow Soursop (Guyabano)

Guayabano, guyabano or soursop in English (Anona muricata Linn.) is a small tree about 5 to 7 meters in height. The leaves are alternate, oval in shape, pointed at both ends, smooth and shining, 7 to 20 centimeters long and with petioles about 5 millimeters long. The flowers are large, yellowish or greenish yellow and solitary. There are six large, fleshy or leathery petals in two series. They are heart-shaped, with pointed tip, and up to 5 centimeters in length and 3 centimeters in breadth. In the center of the flower is a cone-shaped mass of many carpels which will form the fruit, and below this are very numerous stamens.

A native of tropical America, was introduced into the Philippines at an early date and is now cultivated in all parts of the Archipelago.

Guyabano is a green, soft spine, pea-shaped fruit with a sweet-sour flavor. It weighs about two to five kilos. The skin is thin and its flesh is a white, soft fibrous pulp which has a very agreeable flavor but rather sour. Its mature, green fruit is used as vegetable and made into sweet meats, while the ripe fruit is eaten raw or for dessert.

A lot of concoctions can be made into guyabano like delicious sherbets, ice drops and fruit drinks. An assortment of punch and cocktail drinks can be made by mixing the nectar with wine rum or cola drinks or buko (fresh coconut) juice and ice.

There are two strains of guyabano: the sweet and the ordinary. Both have the same botanic description. The former, however, tastes sweeter than the ordinary. Belonging to the family Anonaceae, other familiar fruits beside guyabano are atis (Anona Squamosa or sugar apple), anonas (Anona reticulata or custard apple), and atemoya (Anona).

Nutritive Mineral Content of Guyabano

Guyabano fruit is an excellent source of vitamins B and C. However, it is deficient in Vitamin A, calcium and phosphorous. Below is the mineral content analyses of the fruit:

  • Moisture
  • Ash
  • Phosphorous(P20)
  • Calcium (CaO)
  • Iron (Fe2O2)
  • Proteins

Soil and Climate

The plant grows in any kind of soil, but a fairly deep, friable soil of volcanic origin is conducive to growth & fruiting. It thrives very well from sea level up to 500 meters above sea level. It is best to plant them at the start of the rainy season.

Method of Propagation

  • Grafting
  • cutting
  • marcotting
  • budding


  1. Refers to time from field setting to first harvest. Asexually propagated plants generally mature about twice earlier than plants grown from seeds.
  2. Computed on the bases of distance of planting given for each crop.

Fertilization Guide

Age of Plant Recommended Rate of
N-P-K (kg/hectare)
Method of Application
Planning time 250-300 gms. Complete
fertilizer (14-14-14)
or (12-24-12)
Apply 3 inches below the roots
and 5 inches to side of seedling
at planting. 8 cm. below roots
and 10 cm. to the side.
Planning time
(1-3 years)
300-500 gms. of complete
fertilizer (1414-14) or
(12-24-12) plus 200-300 gms.
Urea (45-0-0)
Mix and apply in two equal doses
by digging along periphery of
the tree. 1st application- start
of rainy season. 2nd application
– end of rainy season.
Bearing trees 0.5-3 kg. complete
fertilizer plus 200-
300 gms. muriate of
potash (0-0-60)
– same as above –

Disease Control

Anthracnose is the most common disease of guyabano, cause by a fungus and transmitted by means of wind-splashed rain and contact with infected fruits. Spray flowers and developing fruits with any following:

  • Benlate at 2-4 grams per gallon of water
  • Manzate at 6-8 grams per gallon of water
  • Shell Copper Fungicide at 14-1 grams per gallon of water.

Pink disease is caused by a fungus and infective material is the common mode of transmission.

Symptoms: appearance of cracks on trunks or branches and secretions of gums; affected area covered with a thick mass of pink mycelia during the rainy season; drying of mycelia during dry weather with color changing to dirty white or gray eventually leading to die-back condition.


  1. Prune and burn infected branches and twigs.
  2. Disinfect by spraying with copper fungicide or lime-sulfur mixture
  3. Keep orchard clean of any source of infections.


Fruits are mature when they become dark and shiny green with recurved spines set far apart and the skin appearing to burst with pressure from within. Ripe fruits are light yellow and soft.

Medicinal Value

The guyabano fruit is use as a cure for cough, scurvy and fever. It contains Vitamin A, calcium, phosphorous and rich with vitamin B and C. It also contains 11.62 percent sugar, mostly glucose and fructose. The green fruits and seeds can induce vomiting, remedy dysentery and arrest secretion or bleeding.

The sap of the young leaves may be applied directly on pimples to induce suppuration. The sap is also considered parasitical. An alcoholic extract of the leaves, when distilled with steam, yields a small amount of essential oil. The portion of alcoholic extract which is soluble in water contains a large amount of potassium chloride together with dextrose tannins, amorphous products, and a small amount of an alkaloid substance which could not be crystallized. The leaves and roots also cure colic and convulsions.



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