Black Sapote Tree Care

Black Sapote tree fruit
Black Sapote tree fruit
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Champion of the Underdog » Tropical Gardening » Black Sapote Tree Care

The Black Sapote Tree 

Black Sapote tree care will deliver you a tropical fruit often referred to as the ‘chocolate pudding fruit’. Indeed good care can ensure a healthy crop.

The Black Sapote tree originated in Mexico, then spread to Central America, Cuba and the Philippines. This tropical evergreen can grow up to 12 metres tall in outdoor tropical climates. It is cultivated in many tropical countries as a crop.

There are many improved varieties now available. The most popular varieties (cultivars) and their characteristics are:
Bernicker – Prolific fruiting with medium to large fruit.
Mossman – Large round fruit with high pulp content.
Maher – Large, flattened fruit with few seeds.
Ricks Late – Produces heavy, late crops of quality fruit.
Superb – A North Queensland variety that has large quantities of small fruits (sometimes completely seedless).

Black Sapote Tree Growing Conditions

The black sapote tree can fruit all year around in the tropics. Consequently, there is no problem planting your Black Sapote seedling direct into the ground. That is what it wants!

Black Sapote Tree Sapling
Black Sapote Tree Sapling

Trees can grow in a range of soil types but really love moist sandy loam.

Make sure your location drains well and is not too swampy. However, if this is a problem, you could use soil to build a mound to plant the tree in, guaranteeing drainage.

Locate the tree in full sun, away from other trees or buildings.

Black Sapote Tree Propagation

Time needed: 3 minutes.

How to Grow Black Sapote from Seed

  1. Remove seeds

    Cut a ripe fruit in half and remove seeds. Make sure you desire the fruit and the tree that the seeds come from.

  2. Clean Seeds

    Rinse seeds and leave them in a bowl for 24 hours. Then rinse again to remove any remaining coating.

  3. Prepare

    Fill a standard pot with potting mix and water the potting mix.

  4. Sow

    Make a hole 5cm deep. Drop in the seed and cover with potting mix.

  5. Germination

    Leave the pot in a sunny location and water regularly. Do not overdo it, as your seed will rot if your medium is permanently soggy.

  6. Transplant

    After a month or two transplant your seedling into a new pot or to your preferred location in the garden (see below).

Can you grow black sapote from cuttings?

Yes this has been done, but it is very difficult. The black sapote does not root well from cuttings. We recommend you avoid this strategy.

Black Sapote Tree Care


Black sapote is not a ‘hungry’ fruit tree. We apply an organic fertiliser just once each year, during the dry season.


It is a well-branched tree and does not need regular cutting. However, pruning is often done to keep the tree manageable in a suburban environment or to achieve better penetration of sunlight across the branches.

Growing in a pot

If you grow a back sapote in a pot, it is likely to grow quickly. Consequently, within a few years it will need a much bigger pot, or a permanent home outside a pot, if you want it to continue to grow and increase fruit production.


Water them regularly throughout the dry season. However, during the ‘wet’ they will be fine without any additional water.

Pests and Diseases of the Black Sapote

Black sapote tree care includes looking out for pests and disease. Apart from scale, it has very few pests or diseases. Mealybugs, whitefly and aphids can also be a problem, but the Black Sapote is fairly pest resistant. However, regular application of ‘white oil’ can help address these pests. White oil is an effective organic pesticide that you can make at home.

Eating The Fruit

The best thing about the black sapote tree is the fruit. It is a tropical fruit often referred to as the chocolate pudding fruit. Indeed it is delicious to eat and has many health benefits.

The fruit can be eaten fresh, but peel off the skin before consuming. It can also make a delicious ice cream. It is also used in mousses, cakes and cheesecakes.

Health Benefits

There are many health benefits of eating black sapote. Accordingly it helps strengthening the immune system, improving digestion, promoting weight loss and improving your cardiovascular health.

Weight Loss

Carotenoids and catechins in the fruit work to turn fat into energy. As black sapote is a complex carbohydrate, it provides long-term satiety due to the fact it takes longer time to digest. As a result, this makes it a good weight loss food.


Black Sapote has a large amount of dietary fibre. As a result, it helps with digestion and regularity. In addition, it also assists with the peristaltic movement of the intestine.

Immune System

The fruit is loaded with vitamin C. This is proven to strengthen immunity to help the body in fight toxins and diseases.


The fruit of the black sapote tree is high in anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants help to fight free radicals or bad cells in the body.

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By Rob Pyne

Quadriplegic, Former MP, Councillor & Political Campaigner: Rob is an Eco Socialist who shares ways to survive & fight capitalism. #socialism #championoftheunderdog Occupation: Online Editor Employer: Champion of the Underdog! Book: Struggle and Resistance in the Far North

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