Santal Fruit – Common fruit in the markets throughout Indonesia and the Philippines!!
Sweet santol is a common santol grown to bear fruits which is sweet in taste.
Santol also referred to as Kechapi, Lolly Fruit, is an ornamental evergreen tree belonging to Mahogany family Meliaceae. Known scientifically as Sandoricum koetjape, the plant goes by several other common names including Kechapi, Lolly Fruit, Santol, Sentol, Wild Mangosteen, Red santol, cotton fruit, sandal, sentul, Sayai and Visayan. The plant is native to Indochina and Peninsular Malaysia, and has been introduced into India, Borneo, Indonesia, Mauritius, the Andaman Islands, and the Philippines where it has become naturalized. It has also been introduced into China, Taiwan, Australia and into a few locations in Central America and Southern Florida. It is usually cultivated in Asian countries and its fruits are abundant in local markets during the season. It is a round, juicy fruit as big as a big apple in sized.
The santol is reproduced by seeds, air-layering, inarching, or by budding onto self rootstocks. Santol Trees can be grown in all 50 states simply by bringing indoors before temps drop below 40 degrees and providing lots of light. Most tropical fruit trees like Santol Trees are very fast growing and easier to maintain than domestic fruit trees. A well draining soil is of primary importance as Santol Trees roots do not like to be wet and will rot if allowed to sit in water for extended periods. A mixture of soil, sand and perlite is highly recommended for proper drainage. Santol Trees prefer bright light and direct sun. If possible 12 hours of bright sun light is best for growth and fruit production though we have gotten remarkable results growing these trees in 30% shade year round.
MAINTENANCE OF PLANTATION
When watering Santol Trees make sure to lightly soak the soil and then do not water again until the top 2 inches are dry. Depending on light conditions, location and foliage watering may be required weekly or daily. Be sure to not over water, mucky soil will almost always cause decay and ultimately kill the tree. It is recommended that you fertilize at the same time as you water using a time released fertilizer 8-3-9 or similar to help your Santol Trees grow and produce a substantial crop. These trees are moderate feeders and may require multiple feeding during the growing season. It is important to follow the fertilizers labeled instructions as to not burn or kill the tree.
The Caribbean fruit fly (Anastrepha suspensa) causes freckle-like blemishes on the surface of the fruit but cannot penetrate the rind.
HARVEST YOUR ICE CREAM BEANS
Trees bear fruit within 5-7 years is sexually propagated and in a much shorter time if asexually propagated. They flower between February to March and the fruits can be harvested by June to October. Fully ripe fruits are yellow to golden brown. They should be allowed to fully ripen on the tree. While full no formal yield record is available, the Yellow variety may produce up to 2,400 fruits.
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