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Author Topic: Toughest (Most Insect-Resistant, Disease-Resistant) Citrus  (Read 7736 times)

johnb51

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Toughest (Most Insect-Resistant, Disease-Resistant) Citrus
« on: June 02, 2012, 09:59:54 PM »
Nowadays citrus in FL is very challenging to grow with one disease after another making its appearance.  I made the mistake of planting a tangerine, and already it's being attacked by numerous insects--the only tree in my yard, out of 16 various new trees, that's not thriving.  What should I have planted instead?  What citrus variety is the toughest and requires the least spraying?  I like sweet, as opposed to tart.
John

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Re: Toughest (Most Insect-Resistant, Disease-Resistant) Citrus
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2012, 10:41:09 PM »
My only producer is a kumquat, meiwa i think.  I have a five year old honeybell tangelo that gives me a few fruit too.  However, birds scar the fruits so I have to pick them early before they start to rot. Citrus is a big disappointment for me.  I planted a pomelo last year in hopes the leaf miners would not affect it as badly as the others. It is just as bad.  I am not willing to use systemic pesticides.  Key lime and meyers lemon do ok but you are not looking for tart.  I will probably rip them out for things that cannot be purchased at the supermarket.
Brandon

Jsvand5

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Re: Toughest (Most Insect-Resistant, Disease-Resistant) Citrus
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2012, 10:50:34 PM »
Citrus is a waste of space IMO. Store bought is just as goo in most cases. I am down to a couple of Page oranges and a Pomello. Only keeping those because the Page are tough to find in stores except at a local Farmers market once in a while and the Pomello's are kind of expensive. Everything else I just buy. My citrus actually does great up here in Ocala with no care. The only issue I have is with leafminers but they are pretty harmless.

If I was down in your area I would just plant another mango, jack, avocado, or some other tropical instead of bothering with citrus.

bsbullie

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Re: Toughest (Most Insect-Resistant, Disease-Resistant) Citrus
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2012, 11:03:26 PM »
The best citrus for immunity from pests are the variegated varieties, Centennial Kumquat, Variegated Pink Lemon and Variegated Red Navel.  The Centennial Kumquat is a heavy producer and the Variegated Pink Lemon is also a consistent producer.  I do not have any proven info on the Variegated Red Navel. 

It is the fact the plants are variegated that keeps the pests away.  This is also true of the Variegated Guava.
- Rob

johnb51

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Re: Toughest (Most Insect-Resistant, Disease-Resistant) Citrus
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2012, 11:04:41 PM »
"Citrus in Florida."  It so hard for an old-timer to remove that image from his mind! :'(  Just one tree would satisfy me.
John

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Re: Toughest (Most Insect-Resistant, Disease-Resistant) Citrus
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2012, 11:15:33 PM »
The best citrus for immunity from pests are the variegated varieties, Centennial Kumquat, Variegated Pink Lemon and Variegated Red Navel.  The Centennial Kumquat is a heavy producer and the Variegated Pink Lemon is also a consistent producer.  I do not have any proven info on the Variegated Red Navel. 

It is the fact the plants are variegated that keeps the pests away.  This is also true of the Variegated Guava.

Do you know why the variegation keeps pests away? What pests specifically?
Oscar

bsbullie

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Re: Toughest (Most Insect-Resistant, Disease-Resistant) Citrus
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2012, 11:26:59 PM »
The best citrus for immunity from pests are the variegated varieties, Centennial Kumquat, Variegated Pink Lemon and Variegated Red Navel.  The Centennial Kumquat is a heavy producer and the Variegated Pink Lemon is also a consistent producer.  I do not have any proven info on the Variegated Red Navel. 

It is the fact the plants are variegated that keeps the pests away.  This is also true of the Variegated Guava.

Do you know why the variegation keeps pests away? What pests specifically?
Unfortunately I don't know the reason why, maybe the white pigment, don't know.  On citrus, it keeps the leaf miner away specifically (as this is the most common attacker of citrus in Florida)...as a matter of fact it seems to keep all leaf attacking pests away.  On the guava, again the leaves seem to be free from attack and most important, it keeps the fruit borers away.
- Rob

fyliu

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Re: Toughest (Most Insect-Resistant, Disease-Resistant) Citrus
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2012, 02:46:51 AM »
Pummelo was pretty much bulletproof until HLB. For years I had only 2 pummelo trees and a meiwa kumquat and I couldn't relate when other people kept talking about their leaf miners. Now that I have mandarins I finally see them: leaf miners, swallowtail butterfly caterpillars that look like bird poop and pop out funny orange antlers when I squeeze them.
The thick skin of the pummelo also allows it keep well. I harvest everything on the same day but it takes me sometimes 4 months to finish all of them.

mikesid

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Re: Toughest (Most Insect-Resistant, Disease-Resistant) Citrus
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2012, 08:18:57 AM »
The best citrus for immunity from pests are the variegated varieties, Centennial Kumquat, Variegated Pink Lemon and Variegated Red Navel.  The Centennial Kumquat is a heavy producer and the Variegated Pink Lemon is also a consistent producer.  I do not have any proven info on the Variegated Red Navel. 

It is the fact the plants are variegated that keeps the pests away.  This is also true of the Variegated Guava.

Interesting, I had a Variegated Eureka Pink Lemon and never had  bug problem but just thought I was lucky..My only citrus now is a regular Eureka Lemon which has leaf miners....I also refuse to use systemics on anything..I may start looking into variegated options....Oh, if they only made a variegated lychee my trees wouldn't look like swiss cheese!!!

fyliu

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Re: Toughest (Most Insect-Resistant, Disease-Resistant) Citrus
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2012, 12:44:11 PM »
Maybe the mutation also took out a gene that marks the plant as citrus, at least for the bugs.

CoPlantNut

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Re: Toughest (Most Insect-Resistant, Disease-Resistant) Citrus
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2012, 12:55:55 PM »
The best citrus for immunity from pests are the variegated varieties, Centennial Kumquat, Variegated Pink Lemon and Variegated Red Navel.  The Centennial Kumquat is a heavy producer and the Variegated Pink Lemon is also a consistent producer.  I do not have any proven info on the Variegated Red Navel. 

It is the fact the plants are variegated that keeps the pests away.  This is also true of the Variegated Guava.


Do you know why the variegation keeps pests away? What pests specifically?


Many plants have actually evolved with variegated leaves in the wild (Calathea species, for example) and given that the non-green leaf areas aren't making the plant any food, there must be some reason why variegation is being selected for in the gene pool.

There have been some studies trying to figure out what advantage variegation gives plants, and they have found that insects and herbivores seem to prefer non-variegated plants.  Here's one such study:

http://labs.eeb.utoronto.ca/stinchcombe/pdf/Campitelli_CJB.pdf

It seems that insects and herbivores may be viewing the variegated leaves as being damaged (or already occupied by leaf minors, for example) and therefore less desirable than a juicy all-green leaf nearby.

   Kevin

fyliu

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Re: Toughest (Most Insect-Resistant, Disease-Resistant) Citrus
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2012, 01:59:06 PM »
The best citrus for immunity from pests are the variegated varieties, Centennial Kumquat, Variegated Pink Lemon and Variegated Red Navel.  The Centennial Kumquat is a heavy producer and the Variegated Pink Lemon is also a consistent producer.  I do not have any proven info on the Variegated Red Navel. 

It is the fact the plants are variegated that keeps the pests away.  This is also true of the Variegated Guava.


Do you know why the variegation keeps pests away? What pests specifically?


Many plants have actually evolved with variegated leaves in the wild (Calathea species, for example) and given that the non-green leaf areas aren't making the plant any food, there must be some reason why variegation is being selected for in the gene pool.

There have been some studies trying to figure out what advantage variegation gives plants, and they have found that insects and herbivores seem to prefer non-variegated plants.  Here's one such study:

http://labs.eeb.utoronto.ca/stinchcombe/pdf/Campitelli_CJB.pdf

It seems that insects and herbivores may be viewing the variegated leaves as being damaged (or already occupied by leaf minors, for example) and therefore less desirable than a juicy all-green leaf nearby.

   Kevin


Sounds like the researchers were trying to figure out why this plant goes through a variegated-leaves phase in its lifecycle. I wonder if the small variegated leaves fall off soon after the big leaves emerge.

Central Floridave

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Re: Toughest (Most Insect-Resistant, Disease-Resistant) Citrus
« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2012, 03:21:24 PM »
I have no problem growing citrus in Florida.  To me it is an easy grower.    the only thing that took out the majority of my citrus was Tropical Storm Fay's  24" of rain in 24 hours.  That was ~7 years ago and I have since restocked.   Citrus of course do not tolerate flooding and my yard was under water for 3 days.

Of course there is leaf minor, but if you keep the tree vigor up it grows out of it.   You also have to keep an eye on aphids when the tree is  young but that is easy to counteract by squashing with fingers.  I never water my citrus once established.  I do mulch and fertilize mid-Febuary.   I never use pesticide or any other sprays (too lazy).   

The best producers for me has been Orlando Tangelo, Dancy Tangerine, and moro blood orange.

my current list of trees that are mostly small are: honey bell tangelo, orlando tangelo, murcott honey tangerine, ponkan mandarin, ortanique orange, page, red naval, persian lime, clementine, and dancy tangerine. 

I once had a sunburst tangerine and it did succumb to insects.  citrus rust mites seemed to overcome that one and my refusal to use pesticide probably didn't help it.  Sunburst is a great tasting one though. 

Again, the dancy tangerine and orlando tangelo has been the best for me.    I'm also all about carefree plants.  the less maintenance the better.   So, if anyone else can suggest citrus variety, please add to the list as I really like growing them as they can be kept small and hedged as desired. 

zands

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Re: Toughest (Most Insect-Resistant, Disease-Resistant) Citrus
« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2012, 03:41:24 PM »
I have no problem growing citrus in Florida.  To me it is an easy grower.    the only thing that took out the majority of my citrus was Tropical Storm Fay's  24" of rain in 24 hours.  That was ~7 years ago and I have since restocked.   Citrus of course do not tolerate flooding and my yard was under water for 3 days.

Of course there is leaf minor, but if you keep the tree vigor up it grows out of it.   You also have to keep an eye on aphids when the tree is  young but that is easy to counteract by squashing with fingers.  I never water my citrus once established.  I do mulch and fertilize mid-Febuary.   I never use pesticide or any other sprays (too lazy).   

The best producers for me has been Orlando Tangelo, Dancy Tangerine, and moro blood orange.

my current list of trees that are mostly small are: honey bell tangelo, orlando tangelo, murcott honey tangerine, ponkan mandarin, ortanique orange, page, red naval, persian lime, clementine, and dancy tangerine. 

I once had a sunburst tangerine and it did succumb to insects.  citrus rust mites seemed to overcome that one and my refusal to use pesticide probably didn't help it.  Sunburst is a great tasting one though. 

Again, the dancy tangerine and orlando tangelo has been the best for me.    I'm also all about carefree plants.  the less maintenance the better.   So, if anyone else can suggest citrus variety, please add to the list as I really like growing them as they can be kept small and hedged as desired.

My Dancy is very tough and survived a lot. It is growing green and so is my murcott. My Sunburst is having problems so my experience is similar to yours. I have to think that limes and lemons are stronger than the larger, sweeter citrus fruits. Pummelos look tough.

bsbullie

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Re: Toughest (Most Insect-Resistant, Disease-Resistant) Citrus
« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2012, 03:56:37 PM »
I have no problem growing citrus in Florida.  To me it is an easy grower.    the only thing that took out the majority of my citrus was Tropical Storm Fay's  24" of rain in 24 hours.  That was ~7 years ago and I have since restocked.   Citrus of course do not tolerate flooding and my yard was under water for 3 days.

Of course there is leaf minor, but if you keep the tree vigor up it grows out of it.   You also have to keep an eye on aphids when the tree is  young but that is easy to counteract by squashing with fingers.  I never water my citrus once established.  I do mulch and fertilize mid-Febuary.   I never use pesticide or any other sprays (too lazy).   

The best producers for me has been Orlando Tangelo, Dancy Tangerine, and moro blood orange.

my current list of trees that are mostly small are: honey bell tangelo, orlando tangelo, murcott honey tangerine, ponkan mandarin, ortanique orange, page, red naval, persian lime, clementine, and dancy tangerine. 

I once had a sunburst tangerine and it did succumb to insects.  citrus rust mites seemed to overcome that one and my refusal to use pesticide probably didn't help it.  Sunburst is a great tasting one though. 

Again, the dancy tangerine and orlando tangelo has been the best for me.    I'm also all about carefree plants.  the less maintenance the better.   So, if anyone else can suggest citrus variety, please add to the list as I really like growing them as they can be kept small and hedged as desired.
King Mandarin, Meyer Lemon, Red Lime, Centemmial Kumquat
- Rob

natsgarden123

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Re: Toughest (Most Insect-Resistant, Disease-Resistant) Citrus
« Reply #15 on: June 06, 2012, 04:21:24 PM »
The best citrus for immunity from pests are the variegated varieties, Centennial Kumquat, Variegated Pink Lemon and Variegated Red Navel.  The Centennial Kumquat is a heavy producer and the Variegated Pink Lemon is also a consistent producer.  I do not have any proven info on the Variegated Red Navel. 

It is the fact the plants are variegated that keeps the pests away.  This is also true of the Variegated Guava.

Interesting, I had a Variegated Eureka Pink Lemon and never had  bug problem but just thought I was lucky..My only citrus now is a regular Eureka Lemon which has leaf miners....I also refuse to use systemics on anything..I may start looking into variegated options....Oh, if they only made a variegated lychee my trees wouldn't look like swiss cheese!!!

Variegated Eureka Lemon is really tough-never had any problems with it
it  even gone run over by a truck and it wasn't damaged! Scratched the truck-it has big thorns.

nullzero

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Re: Toughest (Most Insect-Resistant, Disease-Resistant) Citrus
« Reply #16 on: June 06, 2012, 04:25:02 PM »
Australian finger lime is resistant to leaf miners, they don't touch it at all.
Grow mainly fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

 

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