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Topics - Daintree

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I have some potted citrus that apparently have varying degrees of magnesium deficiency (according to the pattern of the chlorosis and age of leaves affected).
Can I foliar spray with epsom salt?  Or is there another foliar spray that would work better/faster? I want to green them up fast.
Or should I just treat the soil with epsom salt, or something else??  I have a dozen different types of citrus trees, all in pots.



Tropical Fruit Discussion / Do fig trees require a dormant period?
« on: October 24, 2016, 03:49:10 PM »
So, I have a 5 year old Peter's Honey fig tree in a 25 gallon container.
Every fall, it drops it's leaves, and I bring it into the "citrus" side of my greenhouse for the winter.  Then in the spring, it wakes up and I put it back outside again.  The citrus house never freezes, but the temps drop tot he 40's at night during the winter, and in the 50's to 60's during the day.

However, this fall when I moved it inside (we have had two light freezes already, so the leaves dropped), it has decided to put on a flush of new leaves, and I have baby figs coming on.

Does it HAVE to have a dormant period?  I don't want to kill it, but I also don't want to move it outside again if I don't have to, since it is heavy and I have to tip it through the door.  Looking online, it says it is good for zones 6-10, needs 0-150 hours of chill time (like THAT'S a big help...), and mature trees are hardy to 15 degrees. We go below 15 degrees routinely.

Anyone have any suggestions?



Tropical Fruit Discussion / Fruity birds
« on: September 19, 2016, 01:23:47 PM »
I've heard about owners looking like their pets, but not quite sure what it means when pets start looking like fruit...

I have been thinking about getting a nursery license (I am in Idaho), because someone suggested that I can buy my supplies cheaper by buying at wholesale prices.  Anyone know how that works?  I usually buy things online, except for my fertilizer and potting soil, which I buy locally.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / 3-sided vs 4-sided dragon fruit
« on: August 02, 2016, 03:59:45 PM »
So, I have some dragon fruit plants that I have grown from seed. 
I bought the fruits in different areas of the world at farmer's markets.  Both dark red flesh and very tasty, so I brought some seeds home.
All the plants from one fruit are 4-sided, and all the plants from the other are 3-sided.
Any idea why?  I am guessing different varieties?  All my other dragon fruit have always been 3-sided.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / What to do with extra trees?
« on: July 23, 2016, 12:15:22 PM »
So, my greenhouse is bursting.  Partly because I keep getting new trees, but mostly because everything I plant seems to grow! I don't have the heart to chop them up, I have advertised them locally but no takers, and they are in 3+ gallon pots so they cost a lot to ship.
Any ideas for what to do with my extra "kids"?  What do you all do with spares?  Noni, cacao, etc. afraid to get rid of any Marula until they bloom so I know what sex they are.
Wish I lived closer to a tropical area where I could drive them to new homes! Enlarged the greenhouse twice, and now no more yard space... ???

Would shredded cedar bark in my pots help keep insects away? Do any harm to the trees? Mostly annonas, papaya, kukui, cacao, coffee, Marula, ice cream bean and various citrus. 
My main pests are mealy bugs and earwigs.


I have a 3 yr old Rollina deliciosa in a 25 gallon pot.  It lives in my greenhouse along with all my other tropicals and is in part shade.  It continuously sheds leaves (maybe three leaves a day).  The leaves start turning yellow then drop within a day.  Also, it puts out a lot of branches that live for a few months, then turn brown and die.  It immediately puts out another branch directly below the dead branch.  When the day length gets short, it will shed almost all of its leaves at once, so I try to keep it under lights in the winter.

But overall, it looks quite healthy - dozens of healthy green branches and hundreds of leaves.  It is always putting on new leaves.  Maybe 5% of the leaves drop, but it looks like a lot when see them on the floor.

It gets a balanced fertilizer and weekly water, although it seems to be one of my "thirstier" plants, in that the potting soil does dry out rather quickly.  I have given it iron with now obvious changes.

Any ideas about what could be going on with it?



So, I have this stuff growing in most of my pots.  Don't know what it is, as it hitch-hiked in with something a while ago.  It does not vine or spread by runners, so I don't think it is a syngonium, even though that is what the leaves look like. It never gets any taller than about 6-8 inches, and grows from a bulb that looks just like a rat turd.  Now it is blooming, with a nice-smelling, velvety purple/black spathe-like thing.
Any ideas?

Citrus General Discussion / Can I eat my bergamot orange?
« on: March 06, 2016, 04:21:47 PM »
So, I have what was labelled as a bergamot orange tree.  I just harvested the first fruit.  Orange-sized and round with an orange skin. 
I cut it open and the flesh is very pale yellow.  I tasted the fruit, and it is not bitter.  It is somewhere between an orange and a lemon.

I have read that "too much" is "toxic".  How much is too much, and what problems does it cause?
How many can I eat before I get sick, or will I even get sick? It is pretty juicy and really tasty! I really want to eat it, or squeeze some juice into my tonic water!



My sister and I built this in my greenhouse, "Daintree", over a couple of weekends as a place for my Bourkes to nest. 
We used a cool local product called KirtBag that turns mortar into a putty-like substance that allowed us to shape this hollow "dead snag".  Not perfect, but the birds seem to love it, and have stopped ripping the guts out of my vanilla "moss pole" (you can sort of see it in the background of the first picture - I had to build a cage around it…).  We numbered the nest boxes "2B', "not 2B", and "9 3/4".
Most of the weight is in the bottom third, to keep it steady, but Lord help us if we ever have to move it - it weighs 350 pounds!


Tropical Fruit Discussion / where did my vinegar go???
« on: December 09, 2015, 08:48:15 AM »
I have a 150 gallon pond in my greenhouse that I heat (aquarium heater) and use as a watering source for my tropicals.  I have a fountain pump in it, but no filter.  No fish or anything in it either.
I am trying out a hydroponics kit I just got, and it says the water pH should be way lower than what I have (my pH 7.6 and it says to use 5.5 to 6.5).
So… I added white vinegar to the water.  Day before yesterday, I kept adding and testing, adding and testing, and it took 3 cups of white vinegar (cooking strength, NOT horticultural vinegar) to get the pH to 6.8.
I thought well, that is good enough.
But I went out just now to get everything going, and my pond pH is back up to 7.6!
What the heck?  Where did my vinegar go???

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Help with plant ID, please!
« on: November 28, 2015, 07:13:25 PM »
Hi folks!
My friend went to Indonesia last winter and I sent him with a copy of my USDA permit so he could mail me some seeds.  He managed to misidentify most of them (which is weird, since they mostly came from fruits he was eating or nuts he gathered with a friend…).
Anyway, this one was supposed to be ginkgo, but it sure doesn't match any pictures I have seen of ginkgo!
At this point, he has no idea what it could have been, since it has been almost a year.
The leaves are stiff, and snap cleanly if accidentally broken.  The stems are sturdy, and the veins on the backs of the leaves are red.
Any help would be great!!


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Minimum temps for marula seedlings?
« on: September 05, 2015, 04:14:42 PM »
Does anybody know the minimum temps for marula? I need to figure out whether they can stay in my citrus house over the winter, which gets down to the low 40's, and sometimes just above freezing, or whether they should go into the tropical house (50 degrees plus).  They are only about 2 ft tall.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Forest House Cameroon
« on: July 06, 2015, 09:20:20 AM »
Just wanted to put in a good word for Forest House Cameroon.
I just received my second batch of seeds from them.  Both packages arrived in good shape and in a timely manner. The entire process is very fast and easy.
I pay via Paypal and e-mail them a copy of my USDA permit, a seed list (the one the USDA wants, where you list the genus and species, who collected it and where…) AND a scanned copy of the shipping label.  They do charge $1 to print the label in color, but it is well worth the price.  They slap the label on the front of the package, fill out the seed list and drop it in the mail.
The seeds are usually gathered from the wild, so I love the challenge of trying to grow things that are not really known in cultivation.  The first batch of seeds are seedlings now, and the second batch is sprouting. 
Once "the nursery" is cleared out, I will be ordering more!


I have a large variety of tropicals in my greenhouse, and now that the greenhouse is larger, I find that I can set up zones for plants with different needs - water, temperature etc.
I am having a LOT of trouble finding information concerning photoperiodism for specific plants.
I am guessing that a lot of tropical plants, being from places where days and nights are fairly equal year-round, are either day neutral, or want 12/12. 
But it would be REALLY nice if I knew which plants preferred what (not just long short, but the critical # of hours), in order to get as many blooming plants as possible.
Is there a reliable resource for this info? Wikipedia just isn't panning out…

Here are some of the ones that I am trying to sort out -
Assorted annonas
Miracle Fruit
Ice cream bean


Citrus General Discussion / Oro blanco very shy to bloom
« on: May 08, 2015, 09:38:12 AM »
I have 9 different types of citrus trees in my greenhouse.
They all bloom and put on fruit like crazy, except my oro blanco grapefruit.
I have had it for a year, and it just sits there, acting all green and leafy.
They are all in the same location and get fed and watered the same.
Does the oro blanco need something different?


Tropical Fruit Discussion / I.D. this S. African seedling please!
« on: May 03, 2015, 10:21:50 PM »
So, a while back I bought some seeds from Stuart Daly in South Africa.
Some of them never sprouted (I thought...), so I threw the potting mix back into the "hopper".  Then lo and behold, I got a seedling!!!
But... I don't know what it is!
It SHOULD be strychnos pungent, strychnos spinosa, or dialium schlechteri.




Does anyone have any kava seedlings for sale?


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Jakfruit with weird leaves
« on: November 14, 2014, 02:23:16 PM »
Ok, so I have several jakfruit that I grew from seed. 
The current batch all came from the same delicious, crunchy fruit.  They all have normal-looking leaves, except for this one.
It seems perfectly healthy other than the leave shape. 

Is it a new or known variation? 
A virus? 

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Cold and snowing at my greenhouse!
« on: November 14, 2014, 01:46:58 PM »
Brrr... it has been snowing all day.  We have about 9 inches so far (really weird for us.  We are high desert, and get COLD in the winter, but only about 20 inches of snow all winter, usually).  Supposed to get down to 14 degrees the next two nights, then down to 7!

This is what it looks like outside right now.  I have shoveled twice!

I love it when the sign to the greenhouse gets covered in snow...

My 5 gallon HD bucket makes the perfect mouse trap.  They jump in to get the spent birdseed, then can't get out.  I usually turn them loose in the park, but this little guy is just going to have to hang out until the snow melts!  I gave him a little rag with water on it (I know, I'm nuts...).

My pond is now heated with two big aquarium heaters (thanks to forum member ideas!).  The birds love to shower under the fountain, and it helps warm the tropical house.

The birds are enjoying their breakfast while it snows outside!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Jumanji-style bindweed
« on: August 10, 2014, 11:27:17 AM »
Ok, this isn't a fruit... but...
A bindweed suddenly appeared out of a light socket in our sunroom the other day! This is an INTERIOR wall, the socket is more than 8 feet from the edge of the house, and there is no crawlspace.  We took the socket apart, and it did not originate there.  We managed to pull about 3 feet of (pale and desperate-looking) stem out of the depths of the wall before it broke.
Creepy.  Literally!

I have some solanum scabrum seeds (a type of garden huckleberry).  The line is originally from Cameroon, but the plants these seeds are from were grown in Maryland...
I also have some Santa Claus melon seeds, some moringa seeds, and two varieties of dong qua winter melon (round and a really big long one).
I am looking for egusi seeds to plant.  All the ones that I can get here at the world market are already dried or roasted.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / mushroom eradication ideas, anyone?
« on: July 09, 2014, 07:24:58 PM »
So, I seem to be growing, for the second year, a REALLY healthy, LARGE (like, pounds...) crop of non-poisonous but bad tasting mushrooms in my greenhouse.  The spores rode in last year on a load of bark.  Aargh!  I have the name of what they are written down somewhere, the local mushroom club came out last fall to ID them for me because I was worried about my birds.

I have tried Physan, which is the only thing labeled to kill mushrooms, and it hasn't made a dent.  I pick them daily and throw them away. 
I can't keep the floor dry because we flood irrigate, and it just comes in with no stopping.

I don't think I can physically dig up the floor without killing myself trying - it is about 6 inches deep with packed, composted bark, and some of the pots I would have to move are huge.  Then there is the expense of replacing the bark...

I am trying REALLY hard to not resorting to permanently sterilizing the floor with vinegar because I don't know if it will work on mushrooms, I have a fair number of feral yams and other vines that I don't want to kill, plus, I am thinking that if mushrooms like my greenhouse so much, I should try my hand at morels!

My latest technique is pouring boiling water on the areas where I know there are spores.
Any other ideas???????

This probably isn't a fruit, but I got some seeds from it while in South Africa.
Anyone know what it is?  Supposedly from Madagascar?

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