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Messages - MarkoS

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Just getting my sprinklers running again so I'm hoping for a fruit-full year.  My macadamia trees are starting to flower for the first time ever, so I'm watching them closely.  This evening I spotted 3 spotted oleander caterpillar moths climbing all over the flowers.  I could not tell if they were actually feeding on the pollen. 

From what I could find, the spotted oleander caterpillar moth (Empyreuma pugione) mostly likes oleander trees.  They are actually from the Caribbean and have only been in Florida since the 1970's.   They're about an inch long and look more like a wasp.  They're black with little white spots and orange wings.  I find no references with Macadamia trees. (Linked below)

Any one else have experience with them on macadamia trees?  It's a tall tree so I'm not too nervous about much damage especially as most of what I read folks aren't concerned with the oleander trees.  From what I found only bees, wasps, and beetles are listed as pollinators.

I've actually got all three.  Dana White, Beaumont, and Arkin Papershell.  I planted the Papershell last year and the Dana Whilte to years ago.  The Beaumont's been in the ground for five years without a significant nutting.  I found one nut in the middle of the tree but within a few days it was gone.  Probably one of the many squirrels. 

I've never noticed any flowers except on the Dana White.  But as I only saw four flower stalks I cut them to focus on tree growth rather than the one or two nuts.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / When do South Florida Macadamia Flower?
« on: April 24, 2014, 02:36:18 PM »
I have a five year old macadamia tree purchased from cutting that has only produced five nuts in the last year.  It was already over 15 feet tall so I cut it back to a "manageable" height.  Another tree that I planted five feet away two years ago already had flowers in late March.  I'm still waiting for the older larger tree to flower.  Did I miss the "flowering" window?  I monitor the tree regularly and have yet to see the small white flowers I'm expecting.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Should I Remove First Year Immature Fruit?
« on: April 24, 2014, 02:33:02 PM »
I once read an article in the local paper that talked about removing the first year's immature fruits from a citrus plant.  The idea being that removing those first fruits allows the plant's energy to go into new branches, leaves, and root system rather than the energy hungry fruit.  I did that with the one fruit that formed the first year and last year I have four and a much larger tree.  Not the impressive growth I expected but "something."

Does this make sense?
Should I do it with others?
Any difference between fruit and berry trees?

I've got a finger lime that "may" fruit this year (just flowered) but the idea of all that time for one fruit rather than growth is leaving me questioning my logic.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: What pod tastes like licorice?
« on: June 13, 2013, 07:04:58 AM »
Thanks all.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / What pod tastes like licorice?
« on: June 12, 2013, 10:06:41 PM »
It's happened.  My neighborhood thinks of me as "the fruit guy".  And I was put on my first mission, to identify this tree growing in a neighbors yard.  It has lots of yellow flowers that become hard long pods about 8" long but 1/2 in thick.  The insides once you crack the hard shell tastes like licorice.  They neighbor said who he bought it from would eat the insides of the pods regularly.  Any thoughts?

WikiFruit / Who's follow WikiFruit discussions
« on: May 13, 2013, 09:38:05 PM »
Thought I'd have a quick role call.

WikiFruit / Re: Link
« on: May 11, 2013, 06:30:03 AM »
I've set up an entry called NewFruitEntry that should be the template for all new fruits. 

The editing is rather odd for WikiFruit to some but it is the same as on WikiPedia.  The main thing that text formatting is done using string codes.  For example:

''your text'' - the double ' makes italic
'''your text''' - the triple ' makes it bold
== is a second level heading
=== is a third level heading

There's a lot more out there but I think for now that's probably a good start.

We are currently trying/ planning to use the Wikimedia Commons for images (  This is the easiest place for us to store them.  Please note that images placed there can be used by any other wiki in the world too.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Identifying pitaya (dragon fruit)
« on: May 10, 2013, 02:27:14 PM »
Thanks.  This was a cutting that I think almost died off.  So your point about young seedlings is probably what is happening here.

And thanks for the identification advice.  Looks like I'll be out there when they finally flower to take several measurements.  If the neighbor's didn't think I was crazy, they will now.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Identifying pitaya (dragon fruit)
« on: May 10, 2013, 10:04:26 AM »
About two years ago after a trip to Hong Kong I became a fan of pitaya.  Soon there after I probably had "sucker" written on my face as every garden sale I went to I would buy every $2 piece of pitaya/ dragon fruit I saw.  Out of four plants, in 3 years I only saw one flower and that became a fruit.  I never got to eat it as it went bad before I realized it.  So I finally did research.  So now I have a collection of several dragon fruit cultivars and a few Peruvian Apple Cacti in my collection.  So now to my question.

This year looks to be a great year.  Several of my dragon fruits are touching the top of my fence and even hanging over.  A sign of good fruit, I'm told.  I even have several I bought in October that are now halfway up the fence.  But while cleaning up some weeds and mulch I found this oddball pitaya I picked up at some garden club sale that doesn't look like anything else I have growing.

First of the cactus is much more flexible than all the other dragon fruits in my yard.  It's a thin cactus not even an inch wide.  It also has only four ribs and they form a perfect cross.  There are no spines to speak of.  Instead it has what I would call hairs 1/4 inch long, 5 from each point where the spike would be.  It's only a foot long right now but I swear it's grown that in the last month.

I know it's hard to identify now, but what should I be looking for to identify what it is?  Is it the fruit that really defines it or the flower?  Is there something else?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Lychee thieves got me last nite.
« on: May 05, 2013, 07:03:34 PM »
Well if you don't want to bother the neighbor with a light, there is a motion sensor that you can attach to a garden hose.  That way you can soak the culprit.
Just do a search for "Scarecrow Motion Activated Sprinkler".

My guess ... 31.5 pounds

Thanks for sharing with us.

Thanks "Greenhaven" and Oscar for the diagnosis. 

It looks like here in Florida there's less concern.  A Master Gardner's post, "Fungicide application is often not necessary as the disease is seasonal and quickly passes."  But I'm going to hunt down a proper fungicide for "rust disease".  If for nothing else but to protect all the different jaboticaba's I have in the yard.

So first off, I get the impression that rose apples are not supper topics.  But they are a nice hedge with the neighbor.  My real fear is that this hedge is attached to my tropical orchard. 

So let me jump back last fall.  The seven rose apple trees had grown to heights of over 20 feet and were leaning over huge portions of mine and my neighbors yard.  He/ we thought it would be a good idea to make them manageable and trimmed them back to 12 feet.  We got new growth within a few weeks.

Now just this week I noticed a huge color shift in the trees.  Upon closer inspection, it looks like the new growth has yellow spotty leaves.  The older leaves are find with a few spots.  In fact I think I remember those spots from years before.  Any idea what this could be? (Note I'm in Martin County.)

Is it a disease or fungus?  Could it simply be shock and lack of nutrients?  Any thoughts on how to recover?  Do I need to worry about my other plants?  I see no signs of similar issues on them.

Thanks in advance.

Here I was about to suggest a topic that maybe we should start our own Wiki(pedia) for tropical fruit.  Wikipedia is nice but it doesn't focus on growing and fruit.  There's a lot that I'm learning from everyone and I hate to ask questions before I research them.  That said, WOW.  Looks like the administrators already started that.  I found a discussion from January 2012 about  I then went there and found the wikifruit. 

I saw it was empty but is it ready for prime time?  Can we start adding to it?  Has anyone thought of a format?  Some ideas that come to mind are: Description, native range, planted range, potted range, edible parts, uses, irrigation, fertilizer, sun requirements, chilling requirements.

I like doing the research on my plants before I try to get them.  This would be a great starting point. 

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: zabala fruit
« on: April 24, 2013, 07:08:49 PM »
I've only read about them and been wondering the same thing.

They look interesting so I've been trying to get seeds.  Hirt's Garden had them last year but now I can't find them from anyone.

That's what I was looking for.  I just purchased a mellon tree (cudrania tricuspidata) which requires both male and female.  The recommendation according to the grower from California Rare Fruit Club, was to plant a male and female within a foot of each other and prune appropriately.  I was wondering for dooryard if one root stock with male and female scion would be enough.

Please share your results once you've tried it.

Just using sapote as an example of another cocktail tree.  As I'm sure you know here in Florida, the big box stores all carry cocktail citrus trees.  I like the mammy sapote, so I was thinking a fun project with be abui, canistel, green, mammy, ross, sapodilla, and mirical fruit (all family Sapotaceae).  Granted some may call this a "franken-tree".  So reality struck and hence the idea for a dooryard "cocktail" creating one root system for a tree with both male and female branches.

So is a "cocktail" with male and female scion possible?  For example one that comes to mind right now is a mellon tree (cudrania tricuspidata).    I'm relatively new to "rare" fruits but I'm sure there are other trees out there.  I know kiwi berry (actinidia arguta) require both but I doubt that I could graft male and female to a single root stock of that plant.

So my question is, are male and female scion cocktails possible?

I attended a workshop Adam did on grafting and it has by brain on overdrive with ideas.  I like the idea of "cocktail" trees.  I'm thinking a sapote cocktail tree is in my future.  But that has me thinking, can you graft "cocktail" mail and female scion to one rootstock? 

I know that there is usually a ratio of 1 male to >1 female tree, but I think that only falls into the world of commercial growers.  For those of us home enthusiasts, my thinking is that a single tree would be "fine".  The advantages of cocktail trees as I've heard them are different varieties or even different seasons on a single tree.  But what about being able to have one root stock support a required dioecious (right term?) tree?

Has anyone tried or is currently doing this?

I think you're right, the jaboticaba was on those published internet lists for being cauliflorous.  Which is why those lists amuse me now that I'm seeing some of the varieties being grown.

I have to add a picture of the Theobrama bicolor here for others.  I really like the texture of the fruit's skin.  It looks like the egg from a space alien.  I've been tempted to grow cacao, but now I think I may need to rethink this.

Theobrama bicolor (Pataxte Cacao)

mod edit: Removed hot linked image.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Favorite Banana Variety?
« on: October 25, 2012, 09:52:37 AM »
My all time has to be the Fe'i also (fehi).  Not sure of the variety.  Then again it may have been the setting. 

While traveling with friends in Tahiti we picked up some deep red fe'i bananas at the central market.  We were told to bake them (unpeeled) and have them as deserts.  The insides orange and one of the sweetest bananas I ever tasted.

I understand that they fruit grows upright, so very ornamental.  While it's been attempted, I've been told the fe'i do not grow in Florida.  Unless someone here ...

Sometimes the fruits mentioned here catch my attention once I see them for the first time.  I seen the articles posted on the net that talks about the most exotic looking fruits.  The list is rather tame compared to what I've now seen through this forum.  Take for instance "The other miracle fruit - Katemfe".  What do you think is the most unique looking fruits, vegetables, and nuts?  I'll start with the list with those I've seen in top ten lists.  Then add a few I've found here and elsewhere.  I looking for those edibles that become the conversation piece in any tropical fruit garden.  Of course pictures are a must on this one.

-- Top 10 Lists --
Dragon Fruit


Bitter Mellon

Kiwano (African Cucumber)

Star Fruit




Budah's Hand Citrus




-- Other Oddities --
Monkey Pot Nut



*** mod edit:  removed the hot linked images ***

Where did you get the Accelerator pots from?  Will be interested in seeing your results as I expect to have to re-pot a cambuca and white and red jaboitcaba's next year.  (Thanks again.)

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Davidson's Plum
« on: October 19, 2012, 08:18:56 AM »
Thomas -

Have you found a source for Davidson's Plums here in the US?  I've been looking with no luck.

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