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Topics - Epicatt2

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Here in Tampa (9b) we are forecast to have a low of 37ºF on SAT morning after Xmas.

Wondering who has had experience with low temps with the following several tropical fruit trees:

~ Meiogyne cylindrgcarpa (Fingersop)  -  1 ft tall n 1 gal pot
~ Murraya koenigii (Curryleaf)  - 14" tall in 1 gal pot
~ Rollinia deliciosa (Biribá)  -  1 in 7-gal pot @ 5 ft tall w/ 1-1/2 dia trunk; 2 others in 1 gal pots 18" tall w/ 3/16" stems
~ Pouteria viridis (Green sapote) - 4 of 'em in 1 gal pots about 10" to 12" in tall

Not real sure about the above so am asking, in Y'all's experience should these make it thru 37ºF without any damage or should they be brought inside?

Will move the abius and P. tomentosa inside as well as my Eugenia stipatata which all have withstood as low as 41ºF and 45º, too, several times.

All the citrus and mangos will stay outside this time 'round, including Eugenias candolleana, calycina, selloi, plus one large fruiting sized Pitangtuba.  Not so sure about the Pitombas, which are still small 8" to 10" tall-but-sturdy seedlings.

How about an ilama, a 'Gefner' and sugar apple  (all in 5 gal.)?  Stay out or go inside at 37º?

This is my first year of really testing for cold tolerances in a number of things which I did not have last year at this time.

Fingers X-ed!

Paul M.

I have four seedling cambucás (Plinia edulis) in one gallon pots and they make nice new leaves but then later after they are mature for about a month the leaves very slowly start to die back at the edges.

They have been fertilized occasionally, but at 1/4-strength with water-soluble fertilizer.

What does this leaf-burn sound like? (Sorry but have no photos.)  Is it that they are over sensitive to solute in the water?  Do they need to be flushed with water more?  Would they maybe benefit from being put into into an extra deep pot to offer more root run?  Or what . . .  ?

Any advice or help would be welcome.


Paul M.

Here in Tampa I have up-'til-now left all my tropical fruit outside.  A few are in the ground but most things are in pots, and not yet large enough to plant out. The temperature in my yard this season so far has dropped overnight on several occasions into the 50s, and the upper-40s but finally dropped to the low-40s on Nov 30th. This has served as a cold-tolerance test for me and I'm sharing it with folks on here.

Up 'til Nov 30th's very chilly drop, everything was fine out-of-doors without evidencing any effects from the overnight temperatures. But there was some reaction from a few things on Nov 30th when overnight my thermometer registered a low of 40 or 41ºF.  Here's a rundown of the things that were affected in some way or other:

Showing some damage was a seedling Musa 'Kokopo' with a new leaf just expanding which got 'burnt' just along the edges of its newly unrolling leaf's margins.  (A seedling Musa 'Veinte Cohol' right next to it was unfazed.)  They were both sitting under a pergola covered with Petrea volubilis (sandpaper vine) providing decent protection over the top of the pergola.  (BTW the Petrea is starting to cover itself with dozens of spikes of its purple flowers, which normally it does in March.)

A Dwarf Ylang-Ylang and an Ylang-Ylang Vine (= 2 different species) both got a little wilty at 41ºF. but have now recovered.  They were under the canopy provided by a Blood Banana (Red) leaf, which itself was unaffected.

One Annona salzmannii (Beach Sugar Apple) seedling lost an expanding new leaf and it, and a second one, showed some stress and spots of partial leaf death. They both had droopy, stressed-looking leaves but now seem to be recovering.  I'll definitely move them in next time it turns this cold.

Eugenia stipitata (Araça-boi) in a 7 gallon pot had a flush of new, bronzy leaves all over it and several flower buds.  It has been fine up 'til Monday's 41ºF. when the whole plant looked wilty.  But in the following two days it seems to have recovered and its leaves are turgid again.  I'll protect this one if it's going to get down near 41ºF. again.

A number of Abiu seedlings (5) were under the pergola and seemed to be OK, being surrounded by other vegetation plus with the pergola's Petrea vine covering.  But three Abius that I recently sprouted from seed (from another TFF Member six weeks ago) were on my front porch which faces north. Those wound up with slightly flaccid leaves.  Their leaves have recovered since Monday.  They will get moved in if it is to get any colder than 45F. again here.

A number of Garcinia livingstonei (Imbu) seedlings about 10-inches tall were fine except one or two which had small, newly-expanding leaves which got 'burnt' by the cold.  Otherwise they were unfazed.

Other Annonaceæ (A. squamosa, A. diversifolia), a Rollinia deliciosa, and an Atemoya 'Gefner' are all showing some yellowing of their leaves and some leaf drop, but that is expected at this time of year.  The Rollinia and Atemoya leaves are all looking somewhat droopy.  Guess they are now starting their seasonal shutdown for this cool time.  And Meiogyne clindrocarpa (Fingersop) sat exposed in a one gallon pot, showed no ill-effects and remained looking as happy as ever, which is great to know!

Three mangoes in 7 gallon pots at about 4 to 5 feet tall were completely unaffected, as was everything else that was left outside, including among others, Achiote, Canistel, Guava, CotRG, Grumichama, Jaboticaba 'Sabará'; several each Pitangatubas, Pitombas, E. calycinas, and Rainforest Plums; Pouteria  viridis and P. lucuma, several White Sapotes, and of course various citrus.

Passiflora eduliis fma. flavicarpa and P. edulis v. edulis, both climbing exposed along a chainlink fence, remained unaffected at 41ºF., Halla-Loo!

I share this narrative about my collection and how various things reacted to or remained unfazed by the recent coldsnap, hoping that it might be useful to some newer TFF Members who may be trying to decide what will grow and survive the cold weather that we experience here in Tampa, zone 9b.  BTW, I'm located in Seminole Heights on top of a broad hill about three miles north of Tampa Bay which seems to avoid being a colder spot. 

My intention in creating a food/fruit forest has been to choose primarily semi-tropical species which can take the amount of cold that we normally expect in zone 9b but of course we all know that there are certain things that we just cannot seem to live without but which are a bit less cold-tolerant, so some of those get added to our collections anyway.  (Hey, don't blame me for zone pushing a little!)



Paul M.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / An IMBE inquiry – cold tolerance?
« on: November 28, 2020, 01:35:57 PM »
Imbe – Garcina livingstonei– and its cold tolerance was discussed on here recently.

I have several seedlings that I got early last year.  They were potted up right away together 3 seedlings ea. to a 5 gallon pot in a 1:1:1 mix of builders sand:milled sphagnum:leaf mold. Then they sat for nine months(!) and did absolutely nothing.  But now they've all started to grow and are about 10 inches tall. (Only two of them didn't make it, out of ten.)

They are reported to be good in zone 9b with the cold we usually get here but my question is: When would it be safe to plant them out in the yard?  Does 10 inches tall seem big enough for them to survive a frost or very light freeze if we were to get one this winter? Or do I need to wait 'til they're larger?

Hoping that someone who is growing this species will have some experiences –aside from the flavor– to offer up about when it would be safe to plant these seedlings out in the ground.  Will they take full sun, or will they want to be shaded until they get established?  They seem quite sturdy even at this small size.


Paul M.

I've been reading about the self-incompatibility of Passiflora edulis f. flavicarpa and am unclear about an aspect of this taxon's pollination requirements.

Does it require pollnation by a different species of passiflora or would pollination by different individuals of Passiflora edulis f. flavicarpa  be successful?

If Passiflora edulis f. flavicarpa does require a different species for pollination success are there limits to which species it is compatible with?  For instance, I have vines of volunteers of Florida's native P. suberosa in my yard which has very small flowers.  Would pollen from that native species be compatible with Passiflora edulis f. flavicarpa to produce fruit?  Or will a larger flowered passiflora be necessary?  (I'm assuming that the bees in my yard will visit both species.)

I've searched for a couple hours but did not find anything particularly illuminating online!  [ sigh ]

Any advice appreciated.

Paul M.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Luc's Garcinia - cold tolerances . . .
« on: November 14, 2020, 02:11:57 AM »
A number of Forums Members have discussed growing Luc's Garcinias on the Forums for a few years now.

What has been your experience with them vs cold weather in, say, zone 9b?

How large do they seem to need to get before they start to show some cold tolerance?

I have several Luc's that I'd lke to plant out but they are only about a foot tall with ten or so pairs of leaves and they are in 1 gallon pots with the roots just now starting to creep out thru the drainage holes of their pots.  So I think that they are maybe about ready to plant out but I'm not sure.  (Anyway, surely by next March.)

If planted out now I figure that if need be I can cover them well if we get some cold weather and they should make it thru a couple degrees of a light freeze if it is brief.

Suggestions?  Advice?


Paul M.
PS — I also have G. intermedia and G. brasiiensis that are about the same height as the Luc's and in 1 gallon pots.

This is one aggressive Passiflora species!  Was purchased on Feb 2 in a 2-inch pot that had three small seedlngs in it.

In April they were big enough that they needed to go into a larger pot so the three vines went together into a 3 gallon pot.

When they started makng tendrils in June they were plunged, with them still in the pot, a third of the way into the soil next to an eight-foot long section of chainlink fence.  Earth was built up  four inches deep around the exposed bottom part of the plunged pot and held in place with a circular concrete  border.  The vines were threaded thru the chainilnk of the fence section. Once the vines had grabbed onto the fencing they were pinched back so they would branch.  They were watered enough to keep them from wilting but not fertilized. And they took off growing!

By the middle of October the vines had grown to the length of the fencing with several terminal ends hanging loose in the air looking for more fence.  Now I'm kinda glad I isolated these vines on a free standing section of fencing.

Then by November 6th there were buds all over the vines and yesterday (11/10) there were eight or more flowers open.  Now let's see if it will set any fruit, which if it does may not be ripe before the cooler weather sets in here.

So I am wondering if I should expect these vines to even set any fruit so soon after their first flowering.  There are three of them together from seed to offer cross-pollnation.  Should that do it?


Paul M.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Sprouting Abius . . .
« on: October 29, 2020, 09:51:49 PM »
Received abiu seeds from Vernmented (Thanx, Josh!) about ten days ago.  Planted them right away in a 5-gal. black nursery pot that had been cut down to half-tall.

Planted five seeds in the pot and covered them with about one inch of potting soil (using my 1:1:1 recipe), then watered the soil lightly and left the pot alone in a warm, mostly shaded area.

One seed germinated 7 days ago and is already about 4-inches tall.  Two more poked up about three days ago and they are both now about 3-inches tall.  The other two seeds have not yet made their appearance.  (Fingers X-ed!)

The soil in the pot is only about six or seven inches deep so I am wondering how soon I will need to move up these recently germinated seedlngs into larger pots because I recently read on TFF that abius grow rather fast and therefore need space for their roots.  So how soon would a move be recommended and into how large a pot on the first move up?

Suggestions?  Advice?


Paul M.

Sterilizing seeds using H2O2

What concentration of H2O2 should be used in water to sterilize tropical fruit seeds before planting them?

Usually we don't need a great amount of water for soaking seeds, so is it drops per cup?  How many?

Is it a different amount (less or more) of peroxide recommended for seeds of different tropical fruits?

And also, how long should/can the seeds stay in the solution?

As a partial example, I have the following seeds that I will be wanting to plant soon: abiu; bael fruit; ilama; sugar apple & a couple other annona species; etc.

Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.


Paul M.

Has anyone in an urban situation had problems growing or fruiting any of your tropical fruit trees due to a street light or other ongoing light intrusion overnight that shines in/on your yard or growing area?

In your experience do any particular species of your fruit trees seem to be noticeably affected by lights shining on them all night long?

Just got curious after thinking about this situation which probably happens a lot to many of us who are growing tropical fruit trees in our urban yards.

Paul M.

Quote from: CTMIAMI
. . . . most of the so called cold hardy avocados are not really that good.


You got me to wondering with your remark above.

If, as you say, cold hardy avocados are not the tastiest, which of the cold hardy cultivars would you recommend as being the more tasty selections.

BTW the one I have is a 'Mexicola Grande' and it is about twelve feet tall now after being close to three years in the ground.

It bloomed profusely last year and set one fruit which fell off after it got ripe and we did not notice it 'til it was on the ground too long.  This season it bloomed well again but set no fruit.  I have read that this is a type A avocado and thus self-fertile, so where was the fruit?

Maybe it needs a vecino to encourage it to set more fruit.  Anyway, still curious to know y'all's thoughts on cold hardy avocado cultivars.


Paul M.

Just snagged two more Annona species and am wondering if there's anyone here in zone 9b who's growing them successfully. Mine are both in 1 gallon pots right now but could be moved up to larger ones soon.

One is Annona montana, the mountain soursop.

The other is (supposedly) an A. squamosa type called 'Costa Rica Golden Sugar Apple' or the 'Pineapple Annona'.

Maybe TFF menber Zoli in Costa Rica knows something about this CR Golden Sugar Apple.

I keep hearing that both these species are generally mediocre tasting but that once in a while one may run across an okay tasting one. Perhaps this could have to do with the sort of culture that they are given which might make the occasional individual better tasting than others.


Paul M.

Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / WTB: Sapodilla 'Butterscotch' . . . .
« on: October 07, 2020, 03:50:10 AM »
Anyone on here know who maybe has got this cultivar for sale right now?

Would like to find something maybe 2 to 3 years old.

Would hope for a seller in the west central Florida area, but not limited to there.


Paul M.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Abiu seeds - Just planted . . .
« on: October 03, 2020, 03:30:18 AM »
Gentle TFF Members,

I understand that Abiu seeds are very shortlived and need to be planted immediately, about two inches deep.

But how should the seeds be oriented in the soil? 


Vertically with one end up; which end?

I'm sure someone on here will know.


Paul M.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Should I be shaping my 3 mangoes in 7 gal pots?
« on: September 25, 2020, 10:06:39 AM »

Sorry for all the QQs but please bear with me; I'm just now starting with a few mangoes.

So... Just got to wondering if it would be unproductive (or not) to start prunng/shaping my 3 mangoes which are all in 7 galllon pots right now.

I have 'Irwin', 'IceCream', and 'Beverly' and the first two are about four to five feet tall in their pots.  The 'Beverly' just arrived (in a 3 gal pot) and was potted up into a 7 gal just this week, but it is about six feet tall without any branching.

The 'Ice Cream' was already pruned when received and had made four or five branches from the top which are now about 10 inches long.  Those side branches could/should prolly be thinned to 3 or 4  and clipped soon to promote further branching.

But how to treat the other two is my question.  Should the 'Beverly' be cut back to three or four feet tall once it has a few weeks to establish in its new 7 gal pot?  Or would cutting it back now help to encourage new root growth?

The 'Irwin' has made one 'branch' from where it had already been pruned when received.  That single branch is about one foot tall now.  Should that be cut back to that previous pruning to try to get the main axis to make more than one branch?

Sorry for all the questions but, as I said, I'm new with mangoes and just learning the ropes with them.  I understand that if they are going to be kept dwarfed (or 'condoed', as it were) then they need to be pruned and shaped to be wider than tall, for the most part.

And how long should they stay in the 7 gal pots?  Would they be better in 10 gals, eventually?

Looking forward to suggestions or advice for how/when to proceed.


Paul M.
Tampa, FL
Zone 9b

Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / deleted
« on: September 25, 2020, 10:04:42 AM »

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Feijoa: Chilling hours required to fruit?
« on: September 23, 2020, 11:19:18 PM »
I am wondering if there's anyone in this group might be growing and successfully fruiting Feijoa in Zone 9b.

I've now started to hear that the feijoa (pineapple guava) Acca sellowiana actually needs a few chiliing hours to be able to successfully set fruit, but am not sure how many hours would be required nor how cold. 

It also may be possible that there are some particular cultivars of this species which require no chilling hours to fruit.  So, have any of the members in Zone 9b had regular success fruiting this species?  Any particular cultivar(s) of it?

I have wanted to grow this species here in Tampa but if it going to need more chilling hours than we get in Tampa then I will choose something else. 

Fingers X-ed!

Paul M.

With all the discussion on here  about (certain) mangoes having polyembryonic seeds I am now wondering what other tropical fruit tree species might have polyembryonic seeds.

How about Pouterias, in particular P. viridis?

Does this happen with Annonas?

Or with other commonly-grown tropical fruit species? Is there a list of these somewhere?

Paul M.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / ADVICE: Can I prune my 'Mexicola Grande' now?
« on: September 10, 2020, 11:20:27 PM »
Gentle TFF Members,

Can I prune my 'Mexicola Grande' now, in September?

It has been in the ground for 3-1/2 years and has gone from 3 feet to now about 16 feet tall, maybe a bit taller.  I had intended to keep it pruned it down to about eight to ten feet tall and allow it to spread horizontally for ease of harvesting (a la Dr. Campbell), but it's gotten away from me.

It may be too late in the year now to prune it so far back, but if I don't it will just be that much taller by this coming spring.  Can I do it now or should I wait 'til after the next blooming season?

It bloomed profusely in Spring 2018 but only set one fruit.  This past Spring 2019 it did not bloom at all. It receives citrus fertilizer about every 3 to 4 months.

So what do the avocado mavens on TFF recommend, please?

Comments, suggestions please.


Paul M.

Wondering if there are any dwarf or semi-dwarf varieties of things like rose apple, etc. that are cold hardy in zone 9b.

I don't have space for a full sized tree, but would like to try one if it can be maintained smaller.

Would prefer something 10 to 12 ft tall that is not also full of spines.

Any suggestions welcome.

Paul M.

I've noticed that some photos and texts show two types of fruit on pitangatuba (Eugenia selloi) different plants.  One has spherical fruit and the other has oval shaped fruit. The oval one is purportedly less tart than the spherical one. 

In addition, there seem to be two types of leaves on these two 'races', if indeed that's what they are. One has glossy/shiney leaves with a crinkly surface and the other's leaves have a smooth matte finish, but I don't know which is which since I have plants with both types of leaves but which are all too small to fruit yet.

Does anyone on here have any further information which could corroborate that there may be two distinct races of pitangatuba based upon the descriptions I posted above? This would help in making a decision for which to choose when purchasing this species.

Just curious . . .

Paul M.

Anyone on here able to point me to someone who is currently selling either citron or preferably Etrog trees?

Would like one to be able to grow the fruit to use to perfume the house with.

So far my onlne searches have netted nothing.


Paul M.

Have seen it discussed on here that mature mangoes don't benefit from fertilizers containing a lot of nitrogen since doing that encourages vegetative/leaf growth instead of fruiting.

And it was also mentioned that when these trees are very small one can get away with giving them some nitrogen to sort of jump-start them.

So . . .  Up 'til how old or how tall can/should you give young mango trees any nitrogen?

Enquiring minds and all that rot . . .

Paul M.

Wondering whether there are any nurseries in Florida selling native Florida Asimina species.  I've been looking for some but without any luck so far.

I'm interested in trying a couple of those species which can produce small but edible fruit here in zone 9b. 

These native Asimina species, some of which range well into the south areas of Florida do produce edible fruit contrasted with Asimna triloba the (typical northern pawpaw) which is reported to be reluctant to regularly set any fruit here in 9b because we don't have enough chilling hours for it.

I'm hoping someone here on the Forums may know someplace that's offering them.

Fingers X-ed!

Paul M.

Citrus General Discussion / Giant Finger Lime QQs . . .
« on: July 25, 2020, 03:08:54 PM »
I bought a Giant Fingerlime from Briteleaf about a year ago and when I asked about it they explained that it is a sport from a regular green fingerlime that was stock which originally came from Gainesville as a green fingerlime.  Gainseville's stock unbeknownst to them had mutated so they had been selling it as the regular green fingerlme without realizing it had sported. None of  their cuttings had fruited yet so they did not know there was a difference.  Gainesville destroyed all the sported stock once they realized it was not the regular fingerlime any longer.

But Briteleaf kept theirs and, at first  thinking that it was probably an unknown hybrid of something crossed with a green fingerlime, marketed it as a 'giant fingerliime'.  Of course we now know that is was a sport.

The fruit on mine looks like little pointy-ended footballs but I haven't learned how to know when the fruit are ripe and ready to pick because they remain quite hard.

So at last my question:
Is anyone here on the TFF growing this (Briteleaf) Giant Fingerlime and has figured out how to know when the fruit is ripe?


Paul M.

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