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Messages - KarenRei

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 62
1
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Garcinia hombroniana question
« on: January 15, 2019, 05:33:50 PM »
If you're thinking about cutting it down anyway, you could always try blasting it with ever-increasing (up to ridiculous levels) of plant hormones that can affect sex expression, such as GA3.  I mean, what's the worst that could happen - you might kill it?  ;)

2
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Raising soil pH in a calcifuge plant?
« on: January 15, 2019, 05:31:06 PM »
If your container is anaerobic the container could be forming acetic acid from fermentation. You may be able to smell that and alleviating the drainage issue might stop the problem. So, it may just be the conditions of low oxygen. Perhaps charcoal or something neutral to promote drainage?

Droseras like constantly waterlogged soil.  They're supposed to be left in a pan of water.

I haven't noticed a smell, but I'll check.
Well, maybe just a flush and water change will dilute it.

Yeah, I'd been leaving the water standing.  Should probably change it every time I refill the tray, that should probably slowly leach the acids away.

3
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Raising soil pH in a calcifuge plant?
« on: January 15, 2019, 08:58:11 AM »
If your container is anaerobic the container could be forming acetic acid from fermentation. You may be able to smell that and alleviating the drainage issue might stop the problem. So, it may just be the conditions of low oxygen. Perhaps charcoal or something neutral to promote drainage?

Droseras like constantly waterlogged soil.  They're supposed to be left in a pan of water.

I haven't noticed a smell, but I'll check.

4
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Fruit identification
« on: January 15, 2019, 07:51:01 AM »
Monstera do climb! A friend of mine has a Monstera which has climbed up a tree over 40 feet. But the one in the photo is not Monstera.

Agreed, my Monstera tries to climb on everything around my place.  Loves to break things, since it's so strong and heavy  :  they're not the most adept climbers, but they definitely go "up" where they can.

As for cycads (I can't see the picture here to confirm the ID): all parts of them are poisonous.  Even with Cycas revoluta, which is traditionally used to make a type of "sago" flour from the pith (not to be confused with true sago palms), you have to leach the starch carefully to render it edible, and even then it's considered to present a serious health risk.

5
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Raising soil pH in a calcifuge plant?
« on: January 15, 2019, 07:43:37 AM »
So, there's only a couple non-fruiting plants among my tropicals, and one of them is a drosera (sundew), which helps ensure that flying pests don't get out of control. The other evening I was doing my periodic pH measurements and I got to the drosera (a relatively recent acquisition, never-before measured), and the results were so off the chart that I actually went back and recalibrated my pH meter. Its soil was pH=3,1!  Lowest measurement I've ever seen - that's like soda.  Droseras certainly tolerate acidic soils, but they generally prefer at least pH=5,5 from what I've read, and too low pH hinders their growth rate.

I was going to just lime it, but then I ran into another tidbit: apparently most droseras are calcifuges. They hate calcium.  And they generally prefer nutrient-poor soils in general. Well, that leaves me in a conundrum: how do you raise the soil pH if the plant hates calcium, and most nutrients in general?  Is my best bet just transplanting into new medium?  Or should I just let it be, since it's seemingly healthy?

6
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Greetings from Ecuador
« on: December 21, 2018, 02:57:21 PM »
Wow, that's an amazing opportunity - congrats!

7
Yeay, they were really lucky - that CargoLifter structure is amazing!

8
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Pachira variety?
« on: December 19, 2018, 08:44:28 PM »
You shouldn't eat them raw like he's doing in the video; some people do, and a little bit isn't going to hurt you, but they contain cyclopropenoic fatty acids (CFPAs), which are carcinogenic and have other adverse health effects.  On the other hand, high-temperature cooking, such as roasting or frying, denatures CFPAs (starts at 170-180C, but hotter is better).  Low-temperature cooking methods, such as boiling, aren't hot enough.  I've never had a chance to try them, but I've heard that roasted they taste like chestnuts.

I have a P. aquatica (origin: Jim West) at work right now that's acting as our office Christmas tree.  The poor thing is too tall for the building so I've had to bend the top horizontal  ;)  I hesitate to trim it because I've never seen it grow new branches on old wood; I've been contemplating grafting it back smaller the next time it looks ready to do a new flush.

A guy came around the office today with a pollution meter because he'd been getting some complaints about air quality near where he was. Near his desk he measured some pretty bad conditions (esp. VOCs), and he was going around to different places in the building measuring air quality to compare it to.  He put it between my P. aquatica and the guanabana next to it (yes, I have a weird choice in "office plants"  ;)  ), and it measured the cleanest air in the building.  While I'm not fully convinced that the plants themselves are the reason, he left convinced that he needs to get some trees for his area   ;)

(Actually, come to think about it, the plants could partly be the reason for the better air quality, if only for the fact that humidity levels in the building are horribly low, except near my desk due to the plants... and water vapour creates free hydroxyl ions which decompose VOCs, if I remember the process correctly...)

9
For growing? Generally no. Most plants love 24/7 light (although not all).

For flowering / fruiting?  Some plants rely on lighting clues, yes - there are both long-day plants (need long days to bloom), short-day plants (need long nights to bloom), and day-neutral plants (don't care).  :)  And of the short-day plants, some of them can have flowering induced in other ways.  We're also looking at the possibility of having retractable blackout screens for the windows (actually, not for that reason, but just the opposite - to reduce light pollution in the winter).  But really, seasonality is the whole point.  We want the place to be a new experience every month, every year, as different plants go in and out of season, some new plants reach maturity, some become too old and are removed and replaced (or simply prove unpopular or unadaptable to our climate), etc.  We'll be inducing artificial seasons by adjusting the watering levels and humidity to mimic natural cycles in their native habitats.

As of our last discussions, we want to have the main dome be a Mediterranean climate with a small desert area. The second largest dome would be ultratropical. There's also going to be a smaller "farm lab" for a variety of uses, including raising new plants, quarantine, experimental agriculture, and educational purposes (we want to have lots of things that are both fun and educational for children on the site - both for families and for school trips).

Oh man, the fun is really going to start when it comes time to picking specifically what plant goes where and sourcing them.  :)  I spent months building up my database to get ready for the day that that process starts!  And then when they start arriving, it'll be like Christmas every day.

(talking to self) "Come on, Karen, keep your excitement in check... there's still no guarantees..."

10
Yeay!  It's been a tough road and took a lot longer than expected, but Hjrds pulled it off - the Biodome got final approval from the planning committee!  Plenty more still to do before there's even the possibility of starting construction, but wow, what a Christmas gift!!!

Can you imagine this thing full of exotic fruit plants, with 24/7 sun in the summer and nearly a megawatt of supplemental lighting in the winter? Mixed in with terraces and restaurants and cafs and workplaces and spa services etc etc etc?  :)



Best. Christmas Present. Ever.  If it wasn't for that whole pesky "food and shelter cost money" thing I'd volunteer to work there for free, lol  ;)

11
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: strawberries and blueberries
« on: November 16, 2018, 03:49:04 AM »
How to i get my strawbs and blueberries to grow big berries please?......just not happening for me .....its bloody hot now in perth 33C.....i have been using seaweed and fish but i wonder if there is anything to help boost the fruit size....i could thin the blueberries out a bit but the strawbs are proving more difficult....any ideas please?

Do you know what the nitrogen form is in your seaweed and fish fert?  Blueberries can only uptake ammoniacal nitrogen; they cannot use nitrate to any significant extent, and it can even be harmful. They also need acidic soil to perform well (ammonia-based ferts often happen to lower soil pH, doing double-duty in this regard.

Blueberries are not heavy feeders.

12
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Eggs deposited in bark...
« on: November 16, 2018, 03:38:03 AM »
I don't recognize those eggs (hard to see in the picture), but I would kill them without hesitation.  It's always a safer bet if you don't recognize the species.  It also doesn't show any of the classic signs of predator eggs.  For example, many predator larvae are cannibalistic, so the eggs are laid singly instead of in clusters. Sometimes, like with lacewings, they'll be laid out on long strands so as to put them out of reach of their siblings, or other unusual self-defensive mechanisms.

Not always, though, mind you - there are lots of exceptions (including most notably ladybug eggs). But if you don't recognize them... I'd kill them.  Why take the risk?  Generally pests lay their eggs on the material that they plan to eat.

13
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Will Garcinia Cambogia grow in Florida?
« on: November 05, 2018, 07:52:31 PM »
Garcinia gummi-gutta (aka "Garcinia cambogia"... very obsolete name) is generally one of the poorer rated species in the genus for eating out of hand.  It's only about 3C hardier than G. mangostana

 If cold hardiness is the name of the game, the one to really keep an eye out for is Garcinia esculenta. Anyone ever tried it?  It's native to the southeast foothills of the Himalayas at 1300-1700 meters (southwestern border of China). GIS climate data records say that the average (not minimum, but average) January daily low there is -4,1C.  :)  I think that might be somewhat of an overestimate (Lijiang records just to the east show that their average January daily low is around freezing, with a record low of -6,1C), but... it can definitely take the cold  :)  If anyone is looking for finding new species for zone pushing, the Three Parallel Rivers area of China is argued to be the most biodiverse (species per unit area) temperate location on Earth.

14
Seeds arrived today.  Customs never even sent me a letter; that was nice of them  ;)  Since these aren't ultratropicals, the time it took them to get here shouldn't be a problem; the P. guineense and P. guineense x grandifolium are in germination containers, and the A. araucana are soaking in water for a day with plans to plant directly in sandy / gravely soil.  If you have any specific tips you feel like sending my way, just let me know  :)

15
Seeds received.  I requested them moist because our customs doesn't ever seem care if things sprout in transit, but things can get stuck in holding for quite a while  85% of the seeds arrived germinated - some so big I'm surprised they hadn't fruited, lol  ;)  10+cm roots on some of them.  Great germination rate already, and thanks for packaging them well, maryoto!  :)

If you have any tips for any of them, feel free to send them my way (A. anisophyllus, A. nanceifolius, A. sericicarpus, B. macrocarpa, G. duclis, M. casturi, W. angustifolia, W. sp. "Tampirik")  :)

16
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Questions about Ice Cream Bean
« on: October 30, 2018, 03:34:29 PM »
Yeah, I noticed that when compiling data for a lot of species - often you'd find that most people in one region may say that a particular fruit isn't that good, while people from a different region would insist that it's great.  I think people often underestimate the impact of climate not just on whether a plant survives / thrives, but on fruit quality.

17
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Questions about Ice Cream Bean
« on: October 28, 2018, 04:04:17 PM »
A while back I searched through the history of this board gathering up various people's reviews of Inga species, and the biggest conclusion was that people's opinions differ.  ;)  For example, many found I. edulis the best or one of the best, but Oscar didn't agree. Overall, there was roughly about equal support for the best being I. cinnamomea, I. edulis, I. feuilleei, I. laurina, I. spectabilis, and I. striata. Due to the high level of disagreement, I strongly suspect that progeny is important.  I. vulpina was ranked well but on average not as highly as the others.

One interesting one I never saw any ratings on was I.fastuosa. I know Oscar is/was growing it.

Here's quotes(mostly but not exclusively from this forum) about each one:

I. cinnamomea:
""nice cinnamon taste""
""Pennington calls this one of the best tasting ingas. I have a couple trees but not fruiting yet, but getting close, i hope!"" ""Yes Oscar, this is one of the best flavored Ingas,  may be the best, and probably the one with more flesh to eat. I really like it.""
""Cinnammomea is often rated as one of the better tasting ones. The ones i've had so far on the cinnamomea the pulp clings to the seed. In other ingas the pulp is non cling.""
""My favorite inga is the cinnamomea, pulpy, very sweet, and more damage flies resistant ""
""heavily scented flowers""

I. edulis:
""That is one of the most mislabeled trees I have seen. Every Inga tree is generically slapped with the edulis tag it seems"" [Florida]
""The Inga edulis seems to be a weak grower from me. The Inga vera is a beast."" [Florida]
Rusty's Market (strala, kannski Cairns) - ""Inga edulis well over 5 ft and very thick but still young and firm"" ""Oscar's beans look so much smaller""
""Oscar: ""I like spectabilis most just because of mere quantity, they are huge pods with very big chunks around each seed, second would be feuillei, and third would be edulis""
""So which of the three taste the best and sweetest?"" ""Out of the ones I have tasted, Inga edulis is my favorite. The pods are super long and the pulp is very moist and sweet.""
""I've barely had my ice cream bean for a year and it's already over 6 ft.""
""According to Ducke (1949:33) there are two varieties of Inga edulis in existence, parvifolia and typica. The second variety, which is the one described here is the real ""inga-cipo"", with relatively large flowers and very long, thick fruits, which apparently only occur near settlements where it is intensively cultivated. It is one of the most popular fruit trees in the entire region
Frbelgir: a 100sm. ""Best forms are in S. America"""

I. feiuilleei:
Actually like ice cream, according to Weird Fruit Explorer, though I. edulis said to be somewhat of a better fruit. Vs. I. vulpina: ""Feuillei is more vigorous.""
""Inga feuillei grows like weeds in a large pot for me. My seed-grown trees are less than 1 year in age and are 6+ ft tall.""
Oscar: ""I like spectabilis most just because of mere quantity, they are huge pods with very big chunks around each seed, second would be feuillei, and third would be edulis""
""The largest of the two is around 1.5 years from seed at 7ft. I have them growing in 18"" pots.""
""It has grown more than 2m in a 3l pot, now is in the ground, and more than 3m and branching nicely. It is +- 18 months.""
Frbelgir: ""long"""

I. laurina:
"""What kind of Inga could this be ? Small , 10 to 12 cm , very juice and great flavor . Huge producer"" ... ""I was really thrilled when I tasted this one , far superior in taste than all the others I have tasted so far ."" ... ""Has been identified as Inga laurina.""

I. paterno:
"""it is tedious and you don't get a lot of flesh for the effort. ""
Cotyledons ""blanched, then salted and used in salads or desserts"""

I. spectabilis:
Not as good according to Weird Fruit Explorer (vs. I. edulis: ""a little dry, a little mealy... maybe a little weaker, and not as sweet... Inferior.  Sorry, Colombia...."")
But according to Oscar: ""I am growing ... edulis, vulpina, gauchil, fastuosa, cinnamomea, feuillei, spectabilis. ... Right now i'm kind of especially fond of spectabilis, mostly because it is very large and has lots of good pulp. ...  I like spectabilis most just because of mere quantity, they are huge pods with very big chunks around each seed, second would be feuillei, and third would be edulis ... taste is really great""
"" 2-3 years old now but I only planted it in the ground about 9 months ago.  It's probably 3.5 feet tall, but it's quite wide -- maybe 5 feet in diameter.""
""Natural tendency of this tree is to form big umbrella shape. Just keep shortening the shoots that go horizontally, and eventually you will get upward growth"" ""Branches from fairly low down""
Frbelgir: 30-70x8x3sm ""usually containing only scant pulp"" (ha? Svo hva um I. spectabilis hj Oscari?)"

I. striata:
Said to possibly be a subspecies of I. edulis, but: ""That is definitely not Inga edulis, nothing like it. It's probably not feuillei either""
Frbelgir: 18x3sm. ""The flowers of this tree are about the size of apples. The leaves are dark green and at biggest the size of a small mountain papaya.""
Rjmasbrag, meira vanilla-brag en E. edulis en ekki eins stt.
""I personally like this ice cream bean the best out of every ice cream bean I have eaten. The pulp was a lot less fibrous than the common ice cream bean, melting in the mouth like a sugar cube.""
""Early bearing"" ir ekki precocious, heldur er uppskerutminn nv-feb heldur en mar-jl."

I. vulpina:
"""Feuillei is more vigorous.""
""The Inga vulpina is a lot slower grower (3-4x) than all the other species of inga i have, probably because vulpina is considered dwarf compered to other species.""
""pods are very small compared to other species.""
Frbelgir: a 6x3sm."

Hmm, I know I had come across some taste reviews of I. vulpina but I must not have recorded them...

18
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Dogs eating jaboticaba!
« on: October 21, 2018, 03:09:53 PM »
I keep my parrot out of my plant room, but he's dug up planted seeds out of pots on the warming mat in my living room  :   Likes to eat the dirt, too, for some reason.

I worry about him.  Every so often he gets into something that I have to spend half an hour googling whether it would be toxic. E.g. believe it or not there's no website that answers the simple question, "Are santol seeds toxic to amazon parrots?"  ;)

19
This type should fit your needs. I don't have them but join bananas.org and someone will sell them.

http://www.banana-plants.com/Dwarf-Red.html


Yeah, I grow those.  Beyond the fruit, while the leaves are pretty normal, the stems are pretty.  I could donate a couple pups for free if you were in Iceland at some point, lol   ;)

20
Cassabanana isn't even close to being related to bananas; it's a member of the cucumber family.  Wouldn't personally call it "cherry red" either.

21
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: What does a pawpaw taste like?
« on: October 17, 2018, 08:58:34 AM »
Until the drought killed my paw paw we had great crops every year from one tree.  It was a Corwin Davis seedling.  We rarely get below 26-28 degrees in the winter.  We are in the CA cool coast and our summer temperatures are usually in the 40s at night and a high in the mid 70s during the day, fog morning and night.  Don't think that it is accurate to say that the paw paw requires high temperatures to ripen, certainly its relative the cherimoya doesn't.  Cherimoyas are quite happy here, as was the paw paw.  Now most citrus does have difficulty ripening to full sweetness here.

One way to find out....ignore the naysayers and plant it. 

I do have sprouts coming up from the paw paw and will encourage them and increase the water.  It was a flavorable fruit and appreciated by most who tried it.

Summer heat hours info is straight from KSU. Personal correspondence. Posted in the temperate fruit forum.  Same basic story here: https://www.sfgate.com/homeandgarden/goldengategardener/article/San-Francisco-climate-not-the-best-for-pawpaw-3178485.php

Summer heat hours is not so much an issue of whether you can get fruit off of them, as the fruit quality.

I know nothing about how Corwin Davis fits into the chill/heat spectrum. The least heat-requiring cultivars are Pennsylvania Golden and KSU-Benson. But in San Diego, I expect the challenge to be about chill hours.

But sure, if you have land to experiment, nothing wrong with that  :)

22
Temperate Fruit Discussion / Re: Annonaceae that are temperate
« on: October 17, 2018, 07:06:31 AM »
Nice to hear about Annona stenophylla cold hardiness. I have a few seedlings they are being planted out in zone 10a. Should have to worry about the a rare frost event.

I wouldn't call being native to an area with an average winter low of 8,7C cold hardy, but yeah, as far as annonas go, it's native to climates that are on the colder end of the spectrum.  It's not native to as high altitudes as cherimoya (500-1700m vs. 700-2400m) but it's less equatorial and more continental. Its range is densest in highlands in southeast Angola / far east Namibia / northern Botswana / southwestern Zambia, and these areas do get the occasional frost.

23
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: What does a pawpaw taste like?
« on: October 17, 2018, 06:50:56 AM »
Indeed - needs both chill and summer heat.  It's the latter that prevents me from growing them here.  They're quite temperature-hardy, but even the least heat-demanding cultivars can be hard to ripen in for the example the Pacific Northwest due to heat requirements.

Pawpaws are adapted to continental climates, where it gets both cold and hot.  That said, there are California pawpaw growers (for example, Lagier Ranch in the San Joaquin Valley), although I've never heard of any growing as far south as San Diego.  You can always contact KSU (the foremost experts in pawpaws) and ask.  But I imagine chill will be a big problem (in the SF area, both chill and heat can be problems, depending on the location and cultivar)

24
Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Bellucia sp. pollination
« on: October 16, 2018, 11:09:46 PM »
Yep.  Ran into this a while back while working on my database:

http://www.scielo.br/pdf/aa/v16/1809-4392-aa-16-0197.pdf

Whoever chose to use that font in a scholarly paper deserves to be lashed, but apart from that, it's a good read.  The incompatibility is gametophytic rather than the flowers being protogynous or protoandrous, so you can't artifiicially cheat the timing. And there's no apomixis or parthenocarpy.

Note that you can make fruit with few (but viable) seeds by crosspollinating B. grossularioides and B. dichotoma.  There appear to be natural hybrids like this in the wild.  May be a desirable characteristic.

25
Temperate Fruit Discussion / Re: Annonaceae that are temperate
« on: October 16, 2018, 05:27:58 PM »
You'll have to look outside of annonaceae, unfortunately!  But feel free to assign me any database tasks you might have  :)

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