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Author Topic: how to get carambola to bloom and fruit?  (Read 6219 times)

Charlie23

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how to get carambola to bloom and fruit?
« on: April 13, 2012, 11:38:49 AM »
my 2 yr old potted star fruit tree rarely bloomed, and when it did, either the flowers just eventually died or developed small fruit but dropped off the tree.  The leaves and overall health of the tree seem fine.  Lack of pollination maybe?  More fertilizing?  Stop pruning for awhile?
Any idea or tips?

lkailburn

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Re: how to get carambola to bloom and fruit?
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2012, 11:41:53 AM »
Which variety is it? It might just be a little too young. I think 2-3yr old is the earliest for most varieties but that depends on their growing conditions

-Luke

EDIT: i should say i'm new to carambola ownership. There are others on here with MUCH more experience

CoPlantNut

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Re: how to get carambola to bloom and fruit?
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2012, 12:41:44 PM »
If you're getting small fruits to form (even though they fall off) you're not having a problem with pollination.

In my experience, minor or tip pruning doesn't cause fruit drop, but if conditions change too quickly, such as the plant getting a little too dry or suddenly getting more sun, the fruit may abort.  Wind and hail can also knock fruit off. 

Carambola leaves tend to turn yellow if it isn't getting enough fertilizer so if the leaves are nice and green I wouldn't think it is lack of fertilizer, but with most plants over-fertilizing (especially with nitrogen) can cause fruit drop if you're encouraging too much growth.

If none of these apply, chances are the plant just isn't big / old enough yet to bear fruit, but carambolas seem pretty precocious in general; I've gotten them to fruit when 2-3 years old from a seed before.

   Kevin

fruitlovers

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Re: how to get carambola to bloom and fruit?
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2012, 07:40:23 PM »
Early fruit drop is a sign of stress. But stress can be caused by a lot of things, like not enough water or fert. Also too much wind can stress out starfruit trees. I would also reduce or discontinue pruning until it starts fruiting normally. But as other already said it might just be a case of tree being too young and aborting the fruits.
Oscar

emegar

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Re: how to get carambola to bloom and fruit?
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2012, 03:15:03 PM »
On this topic, perhaps someone can offer me some advice on resuscitating my ailing carambola.  Last summer I bought a Sri Kembangan that was about 4-5' tall in a 5 gal pot.  I initially put it in a large, ~20 gal container, in full sun where it suffered.  Then I moved it to an in-ground spot in full sun where it suffered some more, and finally to a raised bed in my garden, also in full sun, where it continues to suffer.  I know, more or less, what I've done wrong: it was far too exposed to sun and heat last summer, and later, in the winter, it was stripped bare by our Santa Ana winds.  It suffered some dieback of its smaller limbs, but is now pushing new gowth. 

I hate to beat up its roots further by transplanting it yet another time, but I'm pretty sure it will never have a shot at doing well unless I put it back in a container and move it to a much more sheltered position, on the west side of my house, between the house and a 6' cinder block wall.  It will receive only about 2-3 hours of direct sun there, at least until it grows taller than the wall.  Here are my questions:

- Should I move the plant to the above mentioned location?
- If so, should I put it back into a large container, rather than putting it in the ground there?
- If I put it in a container, what soil mix would you recommend for carambolas?

Thanks to anyone who can advise me.

James
James

CoPlantNut

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Re: how to get carambola to bloom and fruit?
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2012, 03:34:49 PM »
If it isn't doing well where it is in the ground now, I would suggest putting it back in a container.  You can move the container wherever you want to find the conditions the carambola likes, and then plant it in the ground later if you want to and know it likes the spot.

My experience in Colorado is that starfruit don't mind full sun or heat if watered well (we get high-90's for a couple months and sometimes even a week of low-100's temps here) but they despise dry wind.

My experience with the 'Sri Kembangan' variety is that it is self-incompatible  (http://tropicalfruitforum.com/index.php?topic=599.0) and you may need another carambola variety (with long styles) to get it to set fruit even if it is happy.

As for soil mix, something acidic would be best; I have mine planted in a Turface and pine bark mix with some peat moss and they seem to like it.

   Kevin

mikesid

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Re: how to get carambola to bloom and fruit?
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2012, 06:37:20 PM »
I noticed my carambola did the best when my sprinkler broke and it would flood my plant every couple days. Keep it well watered. I would even try one of those gator bags...I also girdled my carambola a couple times in off-season to get it to bloom and fruit.

Guanabanus

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Re: how to get carambola to bloom and fruit?
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2012, 11:34:40 AM »
Drought defintely stops production.

Make sure your fertilization program contains adequate amounts of Calcium, Zinc, and Boron, for seed development.  When a plant has high enough concentrations of these for healthy-looking leaves, but not enough for seed filling, then it is time to abort small fruits--- this is a plant-kingdom general rule.
Har

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Re: how to get carambola to bloom and fruit?
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2012, 12:47:03 PM »
Carambola hates prevailing wind, probably even more so than lychee. Not sure how well they deal with dry air.

On this topic, perhaps someone can offer me some advice on resuscitating my ailing carambola.  Last summer I bought a Sri Kembangan that was about 4-5' tall in a 5 gal pot.  I initially put it in a large, ~20 gal container, in full sun where it suffered.  Then I moved it to an in-ground spot in full sun where it suffered some more, and finally to a raised bed in my garden, also in full sun, where it continues to suffer.  I know, more or less, what I've done wrong: it was far too exposed to sun and heat last summer, and later, in the winter, it was stripped bare by our Santa Ana winds.  It suffered some dieback of its smaller limbs, but is now pushing new gowth. 

I hate to beat up its roots further by transplanting it yet another time, but I'm pretty sure it will never have a shot at doing well unless I put it back in a container and move it to a much more sheltered position, on the west side of my house, between the house and a 6' cinder block wall.  It will receive only about 2-3 hours of direct sun there, at least until it grows taller than the wall.  Here are my questions:

- Should I move the plant to the above mentioned location?
- If so, should I put it back into a large container, rather than putting it in the ground there?
- If I put it in a container, what soil mix would you recommend for carambolas?

Thanks to anyone who can advise me.

James
Jeff  :-)

 

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