Srikaya (Latin: Annona squamosa), is a plant belonging to the genus Annona which originates from tropical areas.
Srikaya fruit is round with many-eyed skin (similar to soursop). The flesh is white.
Includes semi-evergreen shrubs or deciduous trees reaching 8 m in height. The leaves are alternate, simple, lanceolate, 7–12 cm long, and 3–4 cm wide. The flowers appear in bunches of 3-4, each flower 2-3 cm wide, with six petals/petals, yellow-green with purple spots at the base.
The fruit is usually round or similar to a pine cone, 6–10 cm in diameter, with bumpy, scaly skin. The flesh is white, resembles and tastes like podeng.
Srikaya deserves to be called a special fruit. Every part of the plant has infinite benefits. From vitamin C which fights free radicals, vitamin A which maintains skin and eye function, to potassium and magnesium which keep the heart beating healthy.
How to Cultivate Red Srikaya
In order for cultivating Red Srikaya to bear fruit quickly and produce abundant quality harvests, of course you have to prepare good seeds and planting media, as well as proper maintenance. Srikaya plants can live optimally just as well if planted in pots or directly in the planting area.
Srikaya Planting Media
The planting medium referred to here is processed soil that contains the best nutrients to meet the nutritional needs of plants. 3 ingredients for making a good planting medium include:
Sandy soil for better water flow.
Husk charcoal, which is leftover from farmers’ rice harvests. Currently, husk charcoal is sold in agricultural shops.
Compost or manure. Compost is also widely available at your local farm shop. To increase your knowledge about compost, please read the article How to make your own compost.
These three ingredients are mixed evenly in a ratio of 1:1:1, adjust according to your needs. For a pot with a diameter of 60 cm, you need at least 15 kg of processed soil. After mixing evenly, let it sit for a few days (2-3 days) before using it for planting, so that the microbes in the soil adapt well as a source of organic nutrients.
How to Plant Srikaya
If planting directly in the ground, plow the soil first to clear the land of pests, such as rocks and other weeds. Plow the land using a hoe, and then make beds with a planting distance of 3×3 meters.
The best planting time for cultivating Red Srikaya is at the beginning of the rainy season. However, if an irrigation system is available, the planting period can be at any time. Before planting Srikaya seeds, cut the tip of the roots to stimulate the release of lateral roots, so that the Srikaya tree grows optimally and bears fruit more quickly.
How to Maintain Srikaya and Advanced Fertilization
Several steps for maintaining Srikaya planting include:
Insert stakes (wooden blades) around the plant to support the fruit and protect the plant.
Weed or clean weeds around the plants, by pulling them out.
Water the Srikaya plant twice a day every morning and evening, avoiding standing water.
Prune branches that are too low after planting reaches 3 weeks, so that the main stem is well nourished.
Srikaya plants really need potassium and zinc, so further fertilization is needed. The first fertilization after the plant is 6 months old, uses 227 grams of NPK per tree.
At 1 year of age, increase fertilizer to 450 grams per plant, using NPK, which is widely available in agricultural stores.
At the age of 2 years, apply 1 kg of NPK fertilizer per plant.