The cultivated variety of the sapote is the ‘White Sapote’ – Casimiroa edulis, which is a tree, native to central Mexico.
So why would you want to grow one? For the fruit of course! The flesh has a smooth texture like custard and a sweet delicious flavour reminiscent of peach or banana with a bit of vanilla. The seeds are said to have narcotic properties as well. Eating the fruit can cause drowsiness, so better not snack and drive. White sapotes bear within 10 years from seed, or 2 – 8 years from graft.
You can grow them wherever oranges can be grown. They don’t seem to like it too hot in summer or too humid either. They can withstand frost to -5°C when they are a bit older, otherwise they are quite forgiving but brittle in the wind. In general they are quite pretty evergreen trees growing rapidly 5-15 meters tall preferably in a sunny position. They prefer a well-drained soil with a pH between 5.5 and 7.5, but the tree will grow in almost any soil as long as it is well-drained. White sapote trees are drought tolerant but produce better fruit with regular, deep watering. Deep watering is also necessary to keep greedy roots deep in the ground. Shallow watering can encourage surface roots that will break pavement or ruin lawns. When you plant them make sure to pinch out the terminal bud to encourage branching, otherwise they like to grow straight up.