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Topics - ericalynne

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Tropical Vegetables and Other Edibles / Not forming "beans" - Moringa
« on: March 07, 2023, 08:17:58 AM »
I have five very healthy moringa trees at least 10 years old each. Two are cuttings from the Kampong. Three are from seeds sold by ECHO.

They flower like crazy. Lots and lots of blooms. There are polinatotrs on the blooms, steadily.

But I will only get a very few of the "beans." This happens every year.

I am growing them for the beans as a fresh vegetable. Does anyone have any ideas of how to increase bean production?

Thank you.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Pomegranates
« on: October 12, 2020, 09:46:22 AM »
Is anyone in the southern half of Florida state growing Pomegranates?

I have found only two nurseries offering it. Excalibur has Indian Red only. Florida Hill Nursery sells a dwarf Red Lady they say is self-fertile.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


Tropical Vegetables and Other Edibles / Tropical Mushroom Cultivation
« on: October 16, 2017, 08:07:53 AM »
I have 20 acres of downed trees, many of them oaks; it occurred to me that perhaps I could get some benefit out of Irma by cultivating edible mushrooms. I have done some googling. According to various sources, shiitake (Lentinula edodes.)  is actually from southeast Asia and there are warm weather strains. Also there is a warm species of Pleurotis pulmonarius that will grow on sweet bay, which is the other downed tree in abundance on my property.

I am wondering if anyone on this forum has been growing mushrooms in a tropical or subtropical environment?


I have lots of curry leaf fruits ripe on the tree right now. If anyone wants some, please PM me.
Venus, FL 9b

southern end of 9b in south Florida:

Is anyone growing garlic or walking onions successfully in 9b or warmer? I have tried a couple of times, but had very little success. I am wondering if I should keep trying or give up. I see Territorial Seeds has two garlic varieties from Viet Nam and wonder if those might be more tropical. When I grew the walking onions, they all died in the summer.

If anyone is growing these successfully, please share your story.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Mango Fertilizing During Fruiting
« on: May 29, 2016, 08:49:49 AM »
I apologize if this information is to be found elsewhere in the forum. I did do a search and did not come up with an answer.

I have six trees: Angie, Maha, Jean Ellen, Keitt, Pickering and a Carrie seedling (now grown.)

My trees are mature, but not stately mature, more like young adult mature, but flowering and fruiting well. Fruit are about 3/4 final size. Should I fertilize the trees now to keep the trees strong while putting on the final fruiting effort? Or perhaps just with K? (My soils are extremely poor, sandy, alkaline and empty of nutrients. In the color test kits, there is no color in any category.)


I was lucky enough to be in Costa Rica with some free days to do some botanizing and at least three of the locations would be of some interest to the tropical fruit growers and so here goes:

Forum member Peter of Finca la Isla has a phenomenal grove of tropical fruits and is a proponent of permaculture which also interests me. I took a tour with his son, Kiawe, who looks to be assuming the mantle of the next generation of tropical fruit growers. Hurray! If I remember  correctly, Peter bought this property, which was an old cacao plantation, about 25 years ago. The land has a large ridge, a steep slope of secondary forest and a flatter area near the bottom. By leaving the slope with its native vegetation, all the rain that passes through it drips down onto the bottom, bringing with it all the nutrients of the slope. As a result, no fertilizer is needed for the trees at the base of the slope. In comparison, a neighbor spends $8000/year on fertilizer and gets about the same results in terms of production. Although there are cacao trees at the bottom, they are subject to molds. The main cacao orchard is at the top of the ridge, where the breezes keep the fungal infections down, so they do not have to be sprayed. The ground level of the bottom area is left wild and tree falls are left to rot in place. It does not look like an orchard. They have lots of mangosteens which are sold locally. Jakfruit, breadfruit, maracuya…take a look at the website for a complete list. After the tour, I sampled some of the fruit and visited with Peter who was busy making chocolate.

Tasting Table at Finca la Isla

Peter Kling

I went to CATIE which is a tropical fruit research station in Turrialba. Due to a mixup, I ended up at the wrong end of the gardens and walked in from the back. I missed a formal tour, but I walked for hours in the misty rain through acres and acres of cacao trees. They have hundreds of different varieties/species of cacao. Some of them have spectacular flowers.

Cacao flowers

Also cacao flowers of a different species

Pueblo Yorkin is a settlement of indigenous BriBri that is reached by dugout canoe or a two hour walk through the forest. A generation ago, realizing that their men were dying young, poisoned by the pesticides in the banana groves, one woman put her mind to developing another way for her people to work and survive. They now give chocolate tours of their village, culture and chocolate making. I will post information on the chocolate making in the off-topic section, if I can find it.

Grinding dried cacao beans in Yorkin

The overarching theme here is sustainability. Peter has put more than 25 years into developing a sustainable commercial orchards and products. CATIE maintains a living data bank of genetic material. Yorkin BriBri are carving out a sustainable lifestyle for their people, with their three goals: Protect the forest, Protect the people, Protect our culture.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Guava y guayaba
« on: February 22, 2016, 09:10:50 PM »
I am in Costa Rica now. When I ask in Spanish if guayaba is the same as guava, everyone tells me they are different fruits. But when I look them up, they seem to be the same.

Can any of our Latin American members help me out?



Tropical Fruit Discussion / Please help identify this fruit.
« on: January 06, 2016, 06:55:01 PM »
This is fruiting in a yard in Labelle, Florida. A woman from Puerto Rico told me it is edible, but she didn't know the name. Does anyone recognize this?


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Costa Rica Visit
« on: January 06, 2016, 06:46:41 PM »
I am going to Costa Rica from the last week in February through the first week of March. I will be staying south of San Jose in the Tres Rios area. I have read of some tropical fruit gardens in that area, but now when I look for them on google, I can't find what I once saw.

I am thinking of taking a day or two to go to visit the Stibrawpa project on the Caribbean coast where the indigenous BriBri people have, among other things, a working cacao grove and make chocolate on site. Has anyone been there?

Does anyone have any suggestions of gardens or tropical fruit orchards in the Tres Rios area?

Thank you,

I am making a trip through southeast Florida on Thursday, Friday, Saturday this weekend roughly: Clewiston, Coral Gables, Fort Lauderdale. On the way back, I could go as far north as West Palm Beach.

Does anyone know if there are any mango fruit available now for sale?

Venus, zone 9b

Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Garcinia Trees for Sale
« on: October 25, 2015, 07:11:20 PM »
I really don't want to sell these, but it is really too cold here for Garcinias and I have to focus on fruits that will actually produce something.

One 15 year old charichuela in a 25 gallon pot. It is taller than me by several feet and has been cut down annually to fit into the greenhouse.  It flowers profusely. It has fruited only once. It is from a seed from Bill Whitman's tree in Bal Harbor. I think this is G. madruno, but I am not sure.

Four Garcinia gardneriana, also from seeds from Whitman's. These are the same age as the charichuela, but are slower growing and smaller. According to Whitman, this is dioecious which is why I have four.

I posted pics of these trees several years ago on this forum with a subject something like: Three garcinias and a jak, but I can't seem to locate it. If someone with better search skills can find it and post a link that would be great. I think there was also a discussion about which garcinias they actually are.

I live in a remote area of Venus, Florida and you would have to pick these up. They are too large to ship. I don't want to price them out of range, but these are 15 year old trees and in good condition. I just saw a mango in a 25 gallon pot for $450. If you have any interest, PM me.

If Oscar or Rob or anyone has an idea on price, please feel free to post.

Venus, FL
zone 9b

Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / White Jade Pineapple
« on: August 24, 2015, 07:47:30 PM »
FYI for those in southwest Florida: ECHO has about 10 very nice large white jade pineapple plants for $15 each. They also have a nice selection of low chill blueberry plants, among other things.

They are also having a plant sale on 10/3 with free workshops. I have attended some of their workshops and they have been useful and interesting.

Venus zone 9b

I am head for Orlando on Thursday. Does anyone know of a fruit stand or orchard selling good mangos?
Thanks, Erica

Tropical Fruit Discussion / pH testing
« on: July 26, 2015, 08:48:05 PM »
Having done some general googling on the subject, it seems like all the home test kits are unreliable. Can anyone recommend a good pH meter for soil? I will be using it on potting mix for blueberries. I know the county extension will do it, but I want to be able to check frequently.  I am willing to spend, say $100 for one that is reliable, but not hundreds of $.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Venus, FL
Zone 9b

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Citrus Greening, what are YOU doing
« on: February 15, 2015, 07:33:15 AM »
I tried this in the citrus forum with minimal response. I know many of us who grow other tropicals, also have some citrus. I have read conflicting advice by googling. I am wondering if others are destroying trees, or just making do with what they have.

I have a dancy tangerine that is obviously seriously infected with classic symptoms, including bitter fruit. Also a couple of lemon and a couple of orange trees that look like they probably have early stages. Then I have a finger lime, kept in a separate location that does not seem to be infected at all. It is still in a large pot.

Do I:

1) Tear out all the citrus (except the finger lime)
2) Remove the Dancy and keep everything else
3) Keep everything and do a lot of foliar spraying to keep them as healthy as possible.

There are commercial orange orchards about 2 miles away. There are woods and cow pasture in between. If I cleared it all out, would I be likely to be reinfected from the orchard? There are also scattered "wild" citrus throughout the woods that surrounds our land and is between us and the citrus orchard.

If I buy new citrus tress, are they certified as greening free? Anyway to tell that early on?

Venus, zone 9b

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Fresh Mango Fruit in Orlando?
« on: August 11, 2014, 08:34:29 PM »
I will be in Orlando on Wednesday. Is there any place to buy fresh local fruit?

I am going to be in Palm Bay Tues/Wed this week and was wondering if there is any person or place still selling fresh mangoes there. If so, how do I find them?

Thank you,

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Mango Workshop Fruit and Spice Park
« on: June 28, 2014, 08:34:22 PM »
About 80 people took part in the Mango Workshop at the Fruit and Spice Park, taught by Chris Rollins. After the talk, the highlight was the display of at least 200 varieties of mangoes (and probably more) for us to admire and then taste. Here are a few things that I learned:

Lemon Meringue mango was really first called Po Pyu Kalay, and it really does taste like sweet creamy lemon. Chris said Maurice Kong brought this back from Burma.

Coconut Cream mango really does taste like coconut cream.

Bombay mango is freestone.

Chris suggested Florigon, Fairchild and Carrie for good disease resistance, and Early Gold for an early mango. (In Florida.)

I have some photos, but have not been able to upload them. I will post if I can figure out why it isn't working.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Yellowing on Mango and Peach
« on: December 22, 2013, 08:32:22 PM »
My Angie mango has been looking peaked all summer and recently it has gotten worse. It has plenty of rain during the summer. I have not fertilized it at all this past year

On my low chill peaches (don't remember the variety name), I am getting tiny yellow dots that look like paint spatter and then they spread and eventually the entire leaf turns yellow and dies.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Erica, zone 9b

Tropical Fruit Discussion / My First Charichuela Fruit
« on: November 06, 2013, 06:59:46 PM »
I was pruning the charichuela tree this morning and found this single fruit. It is the first fruit from this tree. Sorry the picture is a lousy, but I don't have good technical skills.

This has been growing in a pot for 8 + years, flowering for at least five, but has never set fruit before. In Naples, I brought the tree inside the house during freezes. Here in zone 9, it spends the winter in a greenhouse with heat on freezing nights.

This has made my day. Incidentally, I have recently been thinking I should get rid of it because it has never fruited!


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Kent Mangoes at Whole Foods in Naples
« on: February 22, 2013, 07:09:51 PM »
Organic, from Peru, $2.50 each. Bought two.  Flavor is very good especially since I have not had a fresh mango since last summer.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Alligator Pears
« on: November 17, 2012, 10:29:25 AM »
Some friends have the type of avocado known locally (Florida) as alligator pear. It has lighter skin, reportedly a little less rich, and much larger than avocados I have seen. Does anyone know if this is also persea americana? Or if it is a different species. Is it worth growing from seed. I know that "regular" avocados are not. A google search did not reveal this information to me.

I was given a couple this week and one is already sprouting. I am wondering whether to grow it or put it in the compost pile.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / 3 Garcinias and a Jak
« on: October 23, 2012, 07:37:45 PM »
This is my first attempt at posting photos, so I apologize in advance for quality, technique, mistakes, etc.
Charichuela from from from Bill Whitman's tree. I think this is G. madruno, but feel free to correct. This blooms prolifically but has not set fruit.

G. gardeneriana, again from Whitman. I have four of these, so hoping to get both genders.

G. livingstonei, one generation from Fruit and Spice Park. I had three in Naples, two females and one male, but they did not survive the move to Venus. This is one of their offspring. I have three so hopefully will get some fruit.

This is a seedling from a Mia 1 jakfruit. It has borne male flowers for two years. I am hopeful eventually to get some fruit.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Phytophthora root rot in avocados
« on: August 14, 2012, 09:01:24 PM »
I lost two grated young avocados this year to what I think was phytophthora root rot. I set one out last year and it did well, but this spring it never flushed out and the leaves slowly curled up and fell off and the tree is clearly dead at this point. The other one I put out this sprint and it flushed and then slowly died back. I have googled photos and it does look like root rot. Googled information says there is not much to do about root rot in avocados. I have two more trees to put out and don't want to lose them too. Does anyone have any experience with this?


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