Horticulture Guruji


Fruit Science

Chikoo / Sapodilla plum / Bully 

B.N. – Manilkara achras / Achras zapota

Family – Sapotaceae

Origin – Tropical America (Mexico)

Ch. No. – 2n = 26

Fruit type – Berry

Inflorescence – Solitary (cymose)

Edible Part – Mesocarp

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Important Point

  • Sapota is climacteric fruit.
  • Heterostyly (pin type) present in sapota.
  • Fruits bear terminally in the leaf axil.
  • Sapota flowers are protogynous in nature.
  • Maximum area and production MH and maximum productivity TN.
  • India is the largest producer of sapota in the world.
  • Sapota is an anemophilous crop (wind-pollinated).
  • First introduced in Maharashtra in 1898 in a village called Gholwadi.
  • Milky white latex obtained from immature fruits and bark which solidifies when exposed to air is used to make chickles. Chickles are used in the manufacture of chewing gum, statuettes, etc.
  • Flowers and fruits drop due to temperatures above 430 C in summer.
  • Fruit is a good source of digestible sugars (12-18%).
  • The most accepted and commercial method of propagation is inarching using Rayan as the rootstock.
  • Softwood grafting using Rayan as rootstock is the best method of propagation which is 93% successful.
  • The central leader system is used without support
  • Ethephon (1000ppm) can be used at 20-250c for uniform and rapid ripening of Sapota fruits
  • The fruits are dipped in GA-300ppm + Bavisten 1000ppm solution before packing to extend their life and avoid loss in storage.


  • Kirti Bharti – Thick-skinned, popular in Andhra Pradesh
  • Cricket ball- Famous in Andhra Pradesh
  • Kalipatti – Popular in Maharashtra
  • Murrabba – Popular in Maharashtra
  • Co-2 – Clonal selection from Baramasi
  • P K M – 1 dwarf variety, a clonal selection from Guthi
  • Guthi
  • Calcutta special round
  • Oval
  • Baramasi
  • Chhatri
  • Pala
  • Pilli Patti – suitable for high-density planting.
  • Bangalore


Co – 1 – Cricket ball x Oval

PKM – 3 Kalipatti x Cricket ball

DSH – 1 – Kalipatti x Cricket ball

DSH – 2 – Kalipatti x Cricket ball

Co – 3 Cricket ball x vavivalsa, suitable for high-density planting.


  • Humid tropical climate (ie high humidity, high rainfall, and mild winters)
  • It is grown at an altitude of about 500 meters above sea level.
  • Temperatures above 430 C cause flower and fruit drop during summer.
  • The suitable temperature is between 11 to 340


  • Loam soil of coastal regions, red lateritic soils of heavy rainfall areas, medium black soil of western ghat.
  • Well-drained but low in calcium.


Sapota commercially propagated by inarching and air-layering.


  • Khirni / Rayan (Manilkara hexandra)
  • Adam’s Apple (Manilkara kauki)
  • Mahua (Madhuca latifolia)
  • Mee tree (Bassia longifolia)


  • During summer, pits of 60 to 100 cm3 size are dug.
  • Planting is done at a distance of 8×8 to 10×10 m.
  • The best time for planting is the onset of the monsoon.

Manure and fertilizer

  • Application of farmyard manure is done pre or post-monsoon.
  • N, P2O5, and K2O are applied twice a year.
  • The first half dose at the beginning of the monsoon (June-July) and the remaining half dose at the end of the monsoon (Sept-Oct)



P2O5 (gm/tree)

K2O (gm/tree)

FYM (Kg/tree)

1-3 year





4-6 year





7-10 year





11 & Above






  • Irrigation should be done at an interval of 10 to 15 days.
  • Lack of proper moisture in the soil causes flower and fruit drop.

Interculture and Intercropping

  • Shallow hoeing from time to time is very beneficial.
  • During the initial growth phase of 4 to 5 years, vegetable crops especially leguminous crops can be taken.

Training and Pruning

  • Young plants can be supported so that they can grow upright.
  • Only old trees are lightly pruned to remove crisscrossed branches, dead and diseased twigs.

Flowering & Fruiting

Sapota flowers throughout the year with the main two flowering seasons i.e. July to November and again in Feb. – March.


The maturity of sapota fruits can be judged by the following points-

  • Fruits change to dull orange or potato colour.
  • A yellow streak appears in the fruit on scratching. It is green in immature fruit.
  • The skin become smooth free from brown scaly matter.
  • The content of milky latex is reduced, and it becomes watery.
  • Spine-like stigma at the tip of fruit fall or drops off easily when touched.


  • The yield of sapota tree increases till the age of 30 years 2000 to 3000 fruits can be obtained at this age.
  • In the 7th year, about 100 fruits would have been produced which are considered economic.

Insect pests

  1. Stem borer (Indarbela tetraonis)

The grub of this tiny beetle pierces the bark of the stem of the sapota.


  • Kill the insect by inserting a hard wire into the tunnel.
  • Close the hole with a cotton dipped in kerosene.


  1. Mealy bug (Phenacoccus icerjoides)

The sap is sucked from the tender parts of the plant.


  • Spray Dimethoate @ 30ml in 18 litters of water.
  • Try to keep the sapota plantation free from red ants.


  1. Fruit borer (Virachola isocrates)

Fruit and sometimes buds are attacked by borers which can be easily detected by looking at the latex or later crystallizing latex. These pests attack flower buds and young leaves.


  • Spray 0.05% Malathion.
  • Spray 0.01% fenvalerate, 0.01% fenthion.


  1. Leaf Spot (Phaeophleo spora indica)

The fungus causes dark brown, closely spaced spots on the leaves. The spots coalesce and form large irregular white spots. Eventually, the leaves drop, the disease is more severe during the rainy season.


  • Spraying of Diathane Z-78 @ 0.2% at 30 days interval.
  • Grow resistant varieties. Like Co-1 and cricket ball.


  1. Sooty Mould (Capnodium sp.)

The fungal disease develops on honeydew-like excreta by scale insects and mealybugs.


  • Spray Zineb at 40gm in 18 litters of water.
  • Spray starch solution (100 grams in 18 liters of water).


  1. Flattening of branches (Botryodiplodia theobromae)

The affected branches produce small, dry, and shriveled fruits. And these branches produce leaves of normal growth during the summer months.


  • Phytosanitary measures are beneficial.


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