Cultivation and Uses
USDA hardiness zones: 9-12. Young trees are hardy only to 32°F.
Cold hardiness gradually improves with age, and very old trees may withstand 20°F, although small
branches and leaves will be killed.
Chill hours: None.
Heat tolerant: All day part shade and extra water are needed
Sun: Full sun to part shade. Intolerant of full shade.
Drought tolerant: Yes, especially in winter.
Water after becoming established: At least weekly in hot weather,
every two weeks in spring and fall. The roots are intolerant of flooding.
Soil: Well drained, low to high in organic content, moderately
salt tolerant, pH 5.6-7.8 (acidic to slightly alkaline).
Fertilize: Apply an organic fertilizer every two months during
the growing season. Feed citrus micronutrients twice during the growing season.
Mulch: Provide a 2-6" layer of organic material, keeping it 8-12"
from the trunk, to reduce moisture loss.
Spacing: 20-25' between trees, 25' from any structure.
Planting: This tree cannot be grown in a container.
First Year Care: Water twice a week in high temperatures.
Protect from freezing during the first 3 years. Do not prune the first 2 years to speed growth.
Prune: Remove grass and weeds around the seedling for the first
three years to avoid competition.
Litter: Leaves during leaf-changeover.
Propagation: Air layers grafted onto rootstock. The seed cannot
be dried or frozen, must be used soon after harvest, and do not grow true to the parent.
Uses: Edible fruit, ornamental, shade. Seeds within the fruit
can be roasted and then ground into flour or eaten whole.
The natural northern range for this tree is the north coast of Mexico's Gulf of California.
Other common names are quenepa
, in Mexico and Puerto Rico; mamoncillo
in Cuba, Costa Rica, Honduras, Colombia, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama, and
Venezuela; and guineps
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