Description: The soursop tree is low-branching and bushy but slender because of its upturned limbs, and reaches a height of 25 or 30 ft. The fruit is more or less oval or heart-shaped. The size ranges from 4 to 12 in (10-30 cm) long and up to 6 in (15 cm) in width, and the weight may be up to 10. (4.5 kg). The fruit is leathery-appearing but tender, inedible, bitter skin. The tips break off easily when the fruit is fully ripe. The skin is dark-green in the immature fruit, becoming slightly yellowish-green before the mature fruit is soft to the touch. Its inner surface is cream-colored and granular and separates easily from the mass of snow-white, fibrous, juicy segments—much like flakes of raw fish—surrounding the central, soft-pithy core. In aroma, the pulp is somewhat pineapple-like, but its musky, subacid to acid flavor is unique.
Climate: The soursop is truly tropical. Young trees in exposed places in south Florida are killed by only a few degrees of frost. In Key West, where the tropical breadfruit thrives, the soursop is perfectly at home. In Puerto Rico, the tree is said to prefer an altitude between 800 and 1,000 ft (244300 m), with moderate humidity, plenty of sun and shelter from strong winds.
Soil: Best growth is achieved in deep, rich, well-drained, semi-dry soil, but the soursop tree can be and is commonly grown in acid and sandy soil, and in the porous, limestone of South Florida and the Bahama Islands.
Propagation: The soursop is usually grown from seeds.
Culture: The tree grows rapidly and begins to bear in 3 to 5 years.
Season: The soursop tends to flower and fruit more or less continuously, but in every growing area there is a principal season of ripening. In Puerto Rico, this is from March to June or September; in Queensland, it begins in April; in southern India, Mexico and Florida, it extends from June to September; in the Bahamas, it continues through October. In Hawaii, the early crop occurs from January to April; midseason crop, June to August, with peak in July; and there is a late crop in October or November.
Harvesting: The fruit is picked when full grown and still firm but slightly yellow-green. If allowed to soften on the tree, it will fall and crush. It is easily bruised and punctured and must be handled with care. Firm fruits are held a few days at room temperature. When eating ripe, they are soft enough to yield to the slight pressure of one's thumb. Having reached this stage, the fruit can be held 2 or 3 days longer in a refrigerator. The skin will blacken and become unsightly while the flesh is still unspoiled and usable.
Yield: The soursop, unfortunately, is a shy-bearer, the usual crop being 12 to 20 or 24 fruits per tree.
Comments: Beyond its usefulness as food soursop contains natural compounds with medicinal properties, making it potentially beneficial for your health.