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Messages - Daintree

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Pink splotches on young cacao leaves
« on: July 23, 2022, 09:09:18 AM »
Almost all of the time, the problem is cultural, not a disease.  They definitely need more light. Light through a window isn't enough. Mine like a four ft, four bulb led shop light. The more they can photosynthesize, the better they can recover from stress.  Also, if it IS a disease, you can remove the affected leaves and see if that takes care of the problem.  That was why I was asking how many leaves they had.

Good luck!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Pink splotches on young cacao leaves
« on: July 22, 2022, 10:45:18 PM »
So, I haven't seen these on my cacao, but a couple questions - how big are the plants, how many leaves?
What is their culture? Planting medium, sun exposure, inside or in a tent etc? Other plants affected?

Cheers, Carolyn

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Help me understand plant feeding
« on: July 12, 2022, 09:28:57 AM »
No, you don't need to foliar feed these micronutrients. Chelated micronutrients were invented because many of these nutrients only work within a very limited pH range of soil or soilless medium. Chelation protects the nutrients against pH damage and lets them be available to the plants across a broader range of pH.

The more important thing to me is organic (for example, manure) vs synthetic (chemically manufactured nitrogen source). Now, discussing this is like talking about religion or politics - people tend to have strong opinions. This is my take on it, after decades of growing happy, healthy plants. You can take it or leave it.

I go with synthetic fertilizers (good old Miracle Grow, at half the recommended rate, every time I water) for all my peat-based potted plants. Organic fertilizers need to be broken down by soil microbes before becoming available to plants. This takes time, months to years, AND if you are using a soilless potting medium like I do, it is hard to get flourishing microbial life to begin with.

However, in my garden, in the ground, with dirt and worms and things, where I can plan a year ahead, I prefer organic fertilizers.  I still tend to get pre-mixed stuff (I like Dr. Earth) rather than try to balance manure, compost, blood meal, guano, bone meal, etc into something my plants need.  I only add a single product if I can see a difficiency. There are probably recipes for complete organic fertilizers, but it can take months to see results from what you add (the stuff has to travel through the gut of microbes first...), so it is almost impossible to tell which thing you added had what effect.

Did that help, or confuse you more?



I have some dumb questions.  Are these mosquito larvae bad for plants?  How do they negatively affect plants?  If these tiny mosquito babies show up in rain barrel water, is the water no good then?
Not dumb at all!
The mosquito larvae don't hurt the plants, but they hatch into disease-carrying mosquitoes that suck our blood before all the water can be used.

Depending on how rare, Montoso Gardens always comes through for me.  He also has neighbors in the business, and I know when I ordered some Herrania seeds he once ran next door for some!
You can always contact them and tell them what you are looking for and they may be able to lay hands on some.


It may be a cheesy tourist attraction, but I really love Robert Is Here.  I bought a bunch of miracle fruit bushes at half the price of other places and they were great plants.  They have lots of fruit to sample, too.
I just really admire someone who started out selling fruit at the age of 6 and is still going strong 60 years later.


Coffee loves shade?  I have always had mine in full sun and they look very happy.

I agree cacao and garcinias seem to like shade.

Probably depends on where you are. I am in high desert at almost 3,000 ft and not a single cloud all summer long.  You could probably ROAST coffee in the sun here in the summer  :P

My best performing shade-lovers are cacao and coffee.  You could plant some vanilla vines and let them go up the bigger trees. 


Go for the mosquito granules in your water that you water the plants with.  When you buy it, make sure you get bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti), NOT Btk (kurstaki). If it says it if for mosquitoes your good to go.

Kurstaki only kills caterpillars.  Israelensis kills the larva of mosquitoes and fungus gnats.  TOTALLY harmless to all plants including my orchids.  We have West Nile virus here, and some of my birds that live in the greenhouse got it about a dozen years back.  Since then I am on a mosquito rampage.  Zero tolerance.

You need to put the Bti (I use the granules and put them in a little tulle bag that I buy from the party store) into your plant watering source at least 24 hours before you use the water.  You can't actually see the Bti, the bits you see are corn cob or sawdust that has been impregnated with the bacteria.  I use the bag to keep the corncob bits from going through my sump pump when I water.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Where are these pest coming from?
« on: June 04, 2022, 09:39:07 AM »
They look like Garden Millipedes. They are fairly harmless to plants.  They feed on decaying matter.  Only time that plants may be injured is in the case of extreme dryness, when they may feed on roots.

I'd just let them be.  If they bother you, you could scoop them out of the pot and dump them in the compost pile.

I have lots of them in my greenhouse and they never bother anything.

My Chinese Painted Quail love to eat them.  Funny though, when I move a pot and the quail all come running, they only ever want whichever millipede the OTHER quail has! They will chase each other around, shredding one bug as they battle for it, while the other bugs escape unharmed.  Bird brains!


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Tomatoes reseeding in zone 6-7
« on: May 28, 2022, 01:34:18 PM »
That is the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. It is on an island in Norway. 
There was a higher amount of water than expected that got into the vault in 2016 but the seeds were not damaged.  It spooked authorities enough that they did some re-designing. 

It holds something like a million different crops. Pretty cool!

Too bad most of my favorites are recalcitrant, and can't be represented there...


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Anybody using Glee potting mix?
« on: May 24, 2022, 03:32:12 PM »
I think the thing about this, and similar products is that it uses a realtively new product called HydraFiber.  It is made from southern white pine, and once processed, it looks sort of like fiberglass insulation.  It is supossed to make potting mixes better.  Havent tried it but it looks interesting!


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: are Bael seeds recalcitrant?
« on: May 18, 2022, 11:53:08 AM »
Yep, got back yeaterday. Hopefully they sprout.  The bael was tasty, but oh my gosh it was the atickiest thing I have ever touched! Literally EVERYTHING stuck to my fingers and wouldnt rub off.  Fruiting right now we ate mamey, lots of lychee (my favorite fruit) but we had to fight off two Chinese ladies who were shaking the trees and scooping up everything off the ground.  There was some sort of annona, I forget which, and heaps of miracle berries. Oh, and bilimbi.  It was really fun. I loved identifying fruit I have never seen in person.  Made me feel smart!
I take my seed collecting kit with me everywhere.  A new addition to it will be wet wipes...

Fun trip overall, but Florida is so crowded.  We bought a thrift store suitcase, checked all our clothes and brought back two carryon suitcases crammed with cuttings, trees in one gallon pots, orchids, etc.  The security guy at the airport jokingly asked my husband to blink twice if he was being forced to "carry" against his will.


How fun! I guess that makes me a fruity grandma???


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: June FL Trip
« on: May 14, 2022, 08:16:50 PM »
We have been in Florida on vacation for two weeks, and just did our plant shopping today.
Flying home tomorrow.
Had to buy a thrift store suitcase to check all our possessions so we can get the darned trees in our carry-ons!
I do love Robert Is Here, just for the ambiance.  Plus, the exotic fruit milkshakes keep my hubby happy while our rental car veers into every nursery within twenty miles of Homestead...


I'd prune just a couple branches back once you can put it outside or give it more light, and if it pushes new growth then prune a couple more branches.  It may not have enough reserves for a hard pruning. And as far as indoor light, you can make up for lower intensity with more hours. So try leaving the light on for maybe 18 hours and see if you get results.  it wouldnt hurt to throw some Osmocote Plus in there also.
Be careful when you put it out. Make sure the night temps are over 50, or it just isn't going to grow.

Good luck!


My first thought is not enough light or heat.
What you are calling "sub branches" are actually leaves.  They have compoiund leaves about a foot long, with leaflets arranged down the sides.  So it is normal to drop the whole leaf (what appears to be an entire branch).  It is scraggly in its growth, which probably means not nearly enough light. What strength of light do you have on it and for how long? You dont really need a plant light, just MORE light. Lots more light.  For my full sun trees in my greenhouse, I may have four, 4 ft, 2 bulb LED or fluorescent lights, kept about a foot above the top of the tree. And thats in a greenhouse, not in a house window.

They also like lots of heat.  If it is outdoors in summer and your nighttime temps drop to in the 50s or 60s, it will be hard to get good growth.

You can get a phone app called Photone that measures your current light and tells you how much light it is getting (in PPFD and DLI. Lumen measurements are fairly useless for plants). Virtually no light that is useable by plants gets through a glass window. Visible light, yes, but not what plants need.

From experience, it is really hard to grow full sun trees indoors.

Where in Oregon are you? Build a greenhouse! It's lots of fun  ;D

Carolyn (Boise Idaho)

Tropical Fruit Discussion / are Bael seeds recalcitrant?
« on: May 08, 2022, 06:21:41 PM »
Just got some bael tree seeds from a fallen fruit at the fruit and spice park.  We still have a week left of our vacation. Can thes dry out or should I store them wet until I get home to Idaho?


I feel your pain, Ryan!
Everyone laughed when I got hooked on tropical fruit trees. Boise Idaho is zone 6, so a greenhouse was the only way to go.  I struggle getting things to fruit, and cant put anything in the ground due to cold clay soils and huge tree roots under my greenhouse.

I like to think my trees have it pretty good compared to Florida or the tropics - I can give them the weather they need, and avoid the hurricanes, etc. And greenhouses, as a hobby, are way cheaper than other things, like horses.

So hang in there!


I always thpught they tasted more like pineapple, but yeah, I'll close my eyes and call them mangoes! ;D

Whoa whoa whoa!  Hold on a minute!  You are telling me that Florida squirrels eat mangoes, but not tomatoes????
In Idaho, I have not lost a single mango to squirrels, but they love to dig up my tomato plants to bury their stupid peanuts!

Oh wait... maybe its because my mangoes are in the greenhouse with the door shut...
How about someone invents a mango-flavored tomato????????


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Misting System Recommendation
« on: April 18, 2022, 05:56:00 PM »
I have always just used the patio misters that hook straight to the hose faucet. Heaps of pressure. I have about 60 mister heads in the greenhouse and it just runs off the hose. You can usually string a whole bunch of the patio misters together and not lose pressure. I only keep the outside faucet turned on at 1/4 of a turn.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Heat mat experiences
« on: April 18, 2022, 04:45:43 PM »
I use the cheap ones with no controllers all the time in my greenhouse and have never had any problem with them. I set plant trays with ridged bottoms right on top of the mats, put my little pots in the trays, and put a cover on them at night, take the cover off during the day. Been using them for years and haven't killed anything. And I do germinate cacao seeds that way.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Misting System Recommendation
« on: April 18, 2022, 04:40:42 PM »
I would not mist with softened water. It has too much sodium, which may get into the soil in the pots. Your outdoor faucet shouldn't have softened water (kills gardens), so I would hook a timer up to the outdoor faucet and then hook the misters right to that.  What I do to prevent my misters from getting clogged is to use a descaler. It keeps them from getting plugged and doesnt use salt. The descaler I use is an in-line kind, like used in the line before water heaters. You could put it between the faucet and timer. Or just clean the nozzles regularly with a needle...


Thanks all!


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