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Topics - brian

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / marcotting vs rooting question
« on: February 21, 2024, 06:31:21 PM »
I had never attempted air-layering / marcotting before, but I have done cleft grafting and rooting many times.  I was reading about marcotting and watching some videos and it seems odd to me that the leaves on the selected branch are left on.  I always remove all or nearly all leaves when rooting of grafting to keep them from drying out. 

After the bark (w/ phloem) is removed, isn't marcotting functionally the same as rooting?  Or is the wood (xylem) still transporting water into the branch and is this the reason marcotting is superior to cutting the limb off entirely and rooting it? 

I just attempted this on my ice cream bean tree and I must admit I feel like the girdled branch is going to just wilt completely by tomorrow because these things are so thirsty.  I can't imagine it is uptaking any significant amount of moisture from the peat bag/wrapping.

Sorry if this seems like such a basic question but I found a million guides on grafting but none went into any detail about *why* it is done this way.

I have always avoided the skin when eating annonas, but I noticed with my recent Geffner atemoya that the skin is very fine and has no off taste at all, and so I just at it.  And it was very good, I couldn't even notice the difference, it is like eating guava skin.  I even went back and ate the leftover skins I had avoided earlier they tasted very good!  I am now thinking I will eat these like apples and not even bother cutting them up. 

Is the same for cherimoyas?  I know soursop and sugar apples have a more aggressive skin.

My only loquat is Christmas and it always blooms a ton, is very healthy, yet produces fewer than three fruits per crop for the past couple years.  While reading about it on this forum I have found a number of comments describing the same behavior.  Should I just give up on it?  Or try a cross-pollinator?  Now that the recent blooms are falling off on mine I have only spotted one fruitlet so far with hundreds of blooms.  Now, mine is in a greenhouse with no pollinating insects so that could certainly be a factor, but it has bloomed outside the greenhouse also and same result.

Here are some of the anecdotes I gathered, though there were an equal number of posters saying good things about the variety:

Loquats are very cold tolerant. I had a Christmas in the ground that survived subzero fahrenheit for multiple nights in a row. It'd flowered every year but could not hold fruit so I chopped it. I have a bunch of seedlings growing in the same spot right now from fruits I'd purchased over the Summer. They have already endured low 30s so far with absolutely no problem.

I have a Christmas, and it flowers profusely but has not set fruit in 3 years. The first year it was in a container and it had lots albeit small fruit but now it blooms and the blooms die. I don't know if it needs cross pollination or if it's self compatible or if I need more bees. It's a cute little tree but I don't plant for ornamental value.

Mine is only a couple years old but same story - it has flowered profusely twice now and not set a single fruit. It's in a full sun spot so not sure what the story is. Both of us in Coral Springs too.

Kaz and some others have many varieties of loquat and didn't mention any issues with fruit set.  I wonder if Christmas simply needs a cross pollinator to be productive?   Not sure if SirGraftalot, gnappi and savemejebus have other types nearby.

Citrus General Discussion / bonsai kumquat has a nice crop
« on: December 24, 2023, 04:34:52 PM »
I pulled this down from hanging up from my greenhouse ceiling to pick the fruit today and it looked nice enough to take a picture.   I have had good luck with kumquats in small containers like this.  Nordmann/Nagami seems to have the best type to do it because of the small leaves, fruit, and short node length.  I am trying it with a few others but they aren't as far along.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / uvaria chamae / bush banana - first flowering
« on: December 17, 2023, 04:42:39 PM »
I noticed this has two flower buds today.  I am not certain that this is actually uvaria chamae as the "uvaria rufa" seeds I got from the same seller (Tradewinds) at the same time turned out to be cattley guava.  It does look right for uvaria genus, though.  Once the flowers open it should be a bit more clear.  I have read that they are very fragrant but I don't smell anything yet.

The tree itself is nearly 2yo from seed, not super healthy but it is doing okay.  I think I am giving it too much water for its slow growth rate.  I'm not sure if it should really be holding fruit at all, I will probably cut any fruit off this time if it forms.

In February of this year I ordered a bunch of random seeds from Bellamy.  I was poking around my greenhouse today and noticed that one of these had flowers and fruitlets forming, only nine months after planting thje seed.

I hope Kameron won't mind me posting his description here, from
"Fruta do Mistério - Fruit of Mystery
Seeds were imported directly from Brazil. This is thought to be Syzygium sp but it is not for certain. It is a small dense bush, that always stays small. Due to its size, it can stay in a container long term, or maybe even used for bonsai. The plant fruits abundantly, and several times a year. This plant like well-draining soil and lots of sun. The fruits are said to be good and eaten out of hand and are very sweet. Each fruit contains only one seed. Collectors in Brazil have reported that their seedlings are starting to produce after only 2-3 years from seed!"

his photo:

These particular ones were pre-germinated and most of them sprouted and survived.  I don't remember if I tossed the excess or if I have a few more floating around my greenhouse somewhere.  I guess it is possible there's another one flowering in my greenhouse and some flies cross-pollinated, but most likely these are just easily self-fruitful.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / sc4001992 Betty#1 fig trial updates
« on: October 24, 2023, 07:19:27 PM »
from this thread in the Buy/Sell section:

Anybody's cuttings sprout yet?

While hauling all the trees into the greenhouse for the winter I noticed two fruitlets on one, a lemon drop / garcinia intermedia.  I never noticed the flowers, all my garcinias are crammed together in a blob underneath larger trees.  The tree is about 5ft tall not including the container, and not all that bushy.  I expected it would need to grow a bit more before setting fruit.

I hope it reaches maturity, I have been looking forward to trying the non-mangostana garcinias.

Sorry for the bad pictures, today is a long busy day.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / trees that suffer injury below 45F / 7C?
« on: September 19, 2023, 10:30:42 PM »
Can anyone think of any fruit trees discussed here that could be injured from brief exposure to temps 40-45F (4.5-7.2C)?

I am starting to bring my most cold sensitive plants into the greenhouse as lows are now in the 40s.

I'm aware of mangosteen and cherapu, durian, plus the various soapberries that are known to be completely intolerant of cold.  I believe the other garcinias commonly available are fine until 30s.   Any artocarpus this sensitive?  Syzgiums?  Pouterias?

The only thing questionable I could think of that I actually have outside right now is spanish lime and malay apple, which I just brought in.  The "ultra tropicals" I have never leave the greenhouse. 

Edit- cacao too

Tropical Fruit Discussion / WSJ article about durian growing in China
« on: September 15, 2023, 08:43:03 PM »
Not often that tropical fruit growing makes mainstream news, but Wall Street Journal just posted an article about Chinese durian growers: 

(the original link is but it is paywalled)

I was always interested in this fruit but had never seen it available for sale.  I bought a grafted hermaphrodite tree but it is painfully slow growing, and I'm not confident it will ever make it to fruiting.  The other day I noticed Lara Farms is selling the fruit so I ordered a box, and it just arrived today.  They seem very fresh.

It tastes nice.  As described, there is little flesh but what there is is juicy and sweet, and adheres to the large seed.  The taste reminds me more of soursop than citrus lime, and the experience of trying to get the flesh off the seed was much like eating soursop for me. 

If you bite into the fruit with the skin on there is a slight pressure inside that easily splits the skin like an egg and it comes right off.  I would say eating a bowlful of them is about the same effort as eating cherries, maybe a little more work.

I'm really happy I got to try them.  They seem like they would be a nice novelty tree to grow, especially if a single hermaphrodite tree can fruit in a container at a reasonably small size (no idea if this is actually possible).  I don't think I would bother trying to grow a big tree with a large amount of them, though. 

they still have more if anyone is interested, $9/lb for 5lbs:

I've been growing one of these in a container for 3-4 years now and it only sets a few fruit per year despite many flushes of flowers, including when it is outdoors with full access to pollinating insects.  Does anybody else have same issue?  Or, is anybody growing multiple and getting really good fruit set?

I was hoping to keep this long term as a novelty, but it barely makes any fruit.  If it really benefits from cross-pollination I might try doing another double-planting in same pot like I did with pitangatuba.

I got one of these plants as a small seedling (or it might have been a rooted cutting) around this time in 2021.  I put it in a container in my greenhouse and over the winter its roots had broken through the pot down into the ground and it started growing rapidly.  In spring it had started vining, climbing up my greenhouse wall.  It started flowering around this time, too, and set at couple of fruit clusters.  By mid spring I had pulled all the container plants out of my greenhouse but I left this one as it was creating some shade in the greenhouse which was nice in the hot sun.  In summer I found the fruits from earlier had dried out and become "nuts".  I opened them up, the nuts are shaped flying saucer candy.  I roasted them a bit in the oven and they taste nice.  Not quite as good as true peanuts, but I would definitely eat a bag of them if available. 

Over the summer the vine has become massive and covered a third of the greenhouse wall.  It grows like wild grape.  It put out thousands and thousands of flowers but almost no fruit set.  I assume because there are few pollinating insects in my greenhouse, I'm not sure if it would also benefit from cross-pollination. 

It seems like a good crop if you have the right environment and land.  I have read that farmers let it grow and mostly ignore it, and then come back later and cut the whole thing down and harvest thousands of dried pods at once.  Definitely not a good fit for a northern greenhouse, though.  It was getting big enough to crowd out my other trees and not producing food, and not terribly attractive looking.  I cut it all out and only found a few more pods on the entire thing. 

I had planted a cutting in spring and it seems to root easily, btw. 

this image was right when it started climbing, it was ten times this size by the time I cut it down a few months later

fresh green nuts

dried edible nuts

I cut it all out

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Wildlands' Eugenia spp. 'Orange' fruited
« on: August 10, 2023, 05:54:48 PM »
I bought a pair of these in March 2022 as small seedlings from Wildlands Nursery which I know is owned by an active TFF forum member here.  I assume it was originally sourced from South America somewhere.

I got back from a two week vacation and was shuffling plants around and saw a bright orange fruit on one of them!  The plant is still in a half gallon pot and only a little over a foot tall.

And the fruit is excellent!  Looks real pretty, too.  I have only tasted a small number of COTRG and Savannah Cherry but this easily beats them.  I think it is better than red and black Surinam also... but I want to try more of these fruits before I get too excited. 

I'm planting the seed.

I bought it here, more detailed descriotion on the page:

I was surprised to find a bunch of flowers on my seedling Ross Sapote today.  I bought this as as a 9waters starter seedling almost exactly four years ago, and I had neglected it somewhat.  I was thinking it would take 7+ years to fruit and I had already bought a grafted Ross to replace it this year so I paid it little attention.  It was showing some kind of leaf discoloration I never looked into, I had cut off a bunch of limbs to attempt grafting lucuma onto it (no luck), and it was almost girdled by its own plant label I didn't expand with growth.

I really like my Bruce Canistel and everybody says Ross is better than other Canistels. 

Tropical Fruit Discussion / cheena vs jackfruit identification
« on: July 02, 2023, 05:35:42 PM »
Two of my artocarpus trees have lost their labels.  One must be a Cheena and the other a Red Morning.  Can anybody confirm that the lobed leaves are certain to mean this one is the Cheena?  I don't recall plain jackfruit trees having lobed leaves, but I can't remember.

I have had this grafted hermaphrodite spanish lime for a couple years and it has never really thrived, growing slowly and dying back without much net gain.  Also, all leaves show this brown crust over time to varying degrees.  It doesn't seem to match the pattern of sunburn as it seems to happen sparsely across all leaves and even when in mostly shade.  I took a macro picture and it isn't any kind of scale insects.  Any idea what this might be?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Guava rooting attempt w/ nurse leaf
« on: June 17, 2023, 04:44:20 PM »
Someone had posted some time ago about having greatly improved rooting results for difficult-to-root (or graft? marcott?  I forget) plants by leaving a single leaf on the scion and rigging it up to be perpetually immersed in water.  The explanation given was that the leaf would absorb the water and transport it to the rest of the plant... which doesn't sound logical to me but I am no botanist.  Anyway I figured I would give it a try as I have a guava I would like to propagate that makes lots of root suckers but they are rarely in a position where I can remove them along with functional roots.  I tried following the example as I recall it, I'll report back if I have any success. 

The guava cutting has a bit of underground root attached, but no actual visible root hairs at all.  I dipped it in rooting hormone and put it in the small black pot in soil, and left one leaf immersed in a cup of water next to it.  After taking the photo I covered the water cup so it doesn't evaporate too quickly.

I have a container ice cream bean that has flowered bunch of times over the past year or two but never set fruit.  Today I noticed this growth... is this the start of a fruit pod?  I see a bit of black on them so even they are fruitlets they might drop quickly.

I only have one mature inga so there is no cross pollination.  I started lazily hand-pollinating this spring by simply running my finger across all the flowers when I saw them, as the bees didn't seem interested in the inga flowers.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Abiu aggressive repotting
« on: May 12, 2023, 04:10:44 PM »
Somebody mentioned in another thread that abiu may be sensitive to root disturbance.  I guess I am testing that theory, as I just subjected my container abiu to the usual 20gal root-pruning.  Previously I was up-potting it and not root pruning, but this is as large of a container as I am willing to go so this is its future long term. 

I pulled it out of the pot, cut off a few inches of the root ball all around with a saw, including all the circling roots hugging the edge.  Added soil to fill the gap and put it back.  Little to no top pruning this year as it isn't too tall or wide yet. 

Time will tell if it does okay or not... I'll report back how it goes.   

before root pruning:

soil & roots removed:

current state:

I never tried these until now, got about six of them this year.  They are slightly sweet, no sour and no off tastes.  Flesh texture and ratio is much like surinam cherry.  One thing I dislike about surinam cherry is that scale insects like to gather in the folds and dimple at the bottom, but savannah cherry doesn't really have any place for them to hide. 

Could be a little sweeter, hoping with time it makes some sweeter fruit.  The ones riped to dark purple/black are definitely better than the red, the lighter ones are very bland

This should put out a flower pretty soon, right?  And do I cut off all the pups except one?   

It is in a 20gal container, and is about 10ft tall

Tropical Fruit Discussion / no longer active?
« on: May 03, 2023, 01:30:55 PM »
I haven't seen anything change to "Available" status in months and haven't seen any posts from Oscar in a while.

I know people there were some complaints here, but he sometimes had things you couldn't find anywhere else.  It seems that many things are still listed as available, but nothing new.  Maybe he was importing the others and no longer is?  And the available stuff is local? 

Tropical Fruit Discussion / leaf spot disease on ilama
« on: May 02, 2023, 12:16:04 PM »
My ilama scion seems to have a bacterial or fungal disease causing warty spots on the leaves.  Any idea what this might be and how to treat it?  I would hate to lose this scion and successful graft.  The rootstock trees (cherimoya) have no symptoms, nor any of my other annonas. 

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Should I thin white sapote fruits?
« on: April 26, 2023, 07:59:36 PM »
It seems like my suebell is holding fruit for the first time this year.  Not sure how big these fruit get nor if they self-shed the excess reliably.  Should I reduce these fruit clusters down to one or two fruit each?  Or just leave it alone.   It seems like too much for a container tree

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