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Topics - CeeJey

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This thing started flowering at six months in the middle of winter outdoors, is now nine months old and is flowering again... this is relatively odd, right? This seems like a mutant.

And of course it lost the tag, so I'm not sure what kind it is (I think either a wild Hawaiian, some Brazilian variety from Marcos, or a Green Apple from Green Planet, I was growing seeds of all those around the same time). Guess I'll find out sooner rather than later at the rate this thing is trying to produce...

Hey gang, I have a question for canistel owners. Anyone have one in part shade that bears fruit? I've had a grafted Fairchild for several years on my back patio in an large air-root pot, I'm thinking about transferring it to the ground and am trying to select a location. It hasn't flowered yet (it's about four feet tall) although it's never shown much stress from the temperature fluctuations out here, it's been in part shade since the day I got it. It might be able to handle some more sun given that it has the "shiny green" leaves that tend to handle our sun better.

I don't know anyone who has a fruiting one (or even anyone else that has a live one, although I'm sure there's somebody) out here in the Phoenix area, and normal protocol is "morning sun/ afternoon shade" for just about every subtropical fruit tree.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Green Sapote best light/sun conditions?
« on: November 04, 2023, 06:25:43 PM »
Hey all,

I've had a green sapote seedling survive its first awful summer out here in Phoenix under 50% shade cloth in a pot (did pretty well actually, kept growing steadily), and I'm thinking about where to plant it for long term. My thought is to plant it in a moderately shady space and let it go get the sun when it is ready similar to some other plants that start out as under story in their original habitat, but I wanted some other opinions since I have little experience with this one. It's kind of rare so I don't want to put it in a place that is going to burn in the summer once it gets too large to effectively use shade cloth but I also don't want to stunt it's growth too much. The one mamey that I had was surprisingly sun tolerant before it died of general nutrient pissiness but that's my only point of reference.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Phoenix End of Summer Outdoor Jabo Report
« on: September 13, 2023, 06:03:56 PM »
Hey all, so despite the absolutely brutal heat this summer (we had a record-breaking 31 straight days above 110, smashing the previous record of 18 days), I persisted in an experiment to see how various potted jaboticaba (some of them barely 8-12 months old) would handle the summer heat. Please note that I am not an expert (those of you who ARE experts already know that), I'm relatively new to growing plinia and that I probably could have done even better if I had been able to focus entirely on these guys and not have to spread time over the other plants.

All plants were initially acclimated in May-June (100+ temps) in full shade and, if showing no signs of stress, were migrated to 30%-50% dappled shade. All plants were on drip irrigation of twice-daily 15-20 minutes drip (this was a little high but I was trying to be on the safer side), with our crappy crappy hard city water. Feeding was more inconsistent than I would have liked; I used to a combination of various fertilizers but mostly either Tony's Magic Mix or 420 Rejuvenate along with worm casings plus the occasional worm compost tea from the local worm farm. They received two foilar feeds over four months. I also tried out a local product from the worm farm made of diluted fermented soldier fly larvae, which sounds gross but gave a massive benefit to some other plants in terms of heat tolerance (was game-changing for getting things established this year). Almost everything was in a 50/50 peat/pearlite mix. TLDR: They got some food, they got copious daily crappy salty water.

Anyway, on to the Jabo pictures taken today.  The stuff that did better:

Otto Anderson:

These handled the heat better than almost any other variety except for the INTA (and maybe the AxP, needs more testing). They pushed slow new growth through the heat, didn't defoliate, and despite the usual salt burn on old leaves didn't show a huge reaction to the tap water.


My surviving seedling from five seeds I got from Marcos and holy crap did this one ever love the heat. It had really struggled inside (in the picture, that nub of growth off to the right was 8 months of pre-summer growth) but as soon as it was outside it took off like a rocket and kept growing through the major heat. I'm going to have to keep an eye on this one when it gets cold to see if it's hardy to all seasons or just tropical.


The sabaras just kind of plugged along and then started doing well after it cooled off to the mid-100s. They put on some decent growth in the less-hot periods, didn't defoliate or burn much, they were troopers. Interestingly, they did better with our water when it was stupid hot than they did indoors in the cool for some reason (something that was also true for the INTA).

Frankie's Dwarf (sabara/red-descendant probably from Frankie's nursery in Oahu):

I got these from Shiloh last year and, despite being somewhat slow growing inside, they managed to outpace some of the reds in the heat on account of not defoliating. These guys are little tanks.

AxP (white/red cross from Hawaii):

These initially went dormant in the heat (no new growth but didn't lose any foilage either) but have since pushed new growth once the temps wound down below consistent 110s. I think these may be good candidates for heat like the the otto andersons and sabaras/frankies but we'll see. They certainly are doing better than the white jaboticaba.

Red Hybrids:

Almost every small red hybrid did the same thing when exposed to the high temps: initially pushed new growth, then dropped most or all of their leaves, then slowly and painfully recovered and pushed more growth over the next month or two. They've all mostly recovered but some of them look ratty as hell. The larger, older red hybrids took it better; I know from experience that the bigger ones (1-2+ feet tall) do okay out here in the heat in shade but this was my first time trying a bunch of them at once.

Taiwan varieties (T11, T13):

These have been slow growers inside and out, but are actually doing better outside with less signs of salt stress on the new growth. I think these have the potential to do well here given that they were so young and yet had no leaf loss/ major stress.

Honey Drip:

I only had one of these, but the one that I had, did well. Took the heat okay, put on some growth in the cooler days, didn't defoliate.

Stuff that did not so well:


Whites took the heat fine BUT they hate our salty water something fierce so basically showed neither growth nor defoliation and just kind of sat there looking sad all summer, except for one that died from what I think was salt accumulation and not the heat specifically. I think if I had a better water source for these they would do just fine in the heat. Whitex crosses seem to do better (see AxP, Taiwanese varieties). Also, they may still adapt.

Campo Ramon:

I only had one that I moved outside, so it may not be a good test, but the Campo Ramon didn't last long in the 110+ before I had to move it back inside (defoliated and did not push new growth, etc.) However as soon as it was back inside it flushed new growth, so I may try again when it is larger and has a bigger rootball.


Grimals all threw a fit when moved into the heat. I'm not actually sure if this was the heat or just what grimals do in response to LITERALLY ANY CHANGE in their environment, but almost all of them lost some number of leaves and put on no or minimal growth, and one died. However, instead of moving them back inside like my single campo ramon, I moved them into full shade on the north side of the house surrounded by potted hibiscus (coolest place in the yard) and they survived and started flushing new growth once it cooled down.

Red Lantern:

This was inconclusive since I only had one of these and it was the only thing I didn't personally start from seed (I got this one from Bellamy's a while back); it hasn't been super happy inside but started to perk up outside in the 90-104 range but struggled past 110 or so. I moved it back inside through the worst of the summer and have since put it back outside; we'll see how it does.

Stuff that either up and died or almost did so:


This was a bit of a bummer, but almost all of the restinga tested completely defoliated and (unlike the reds) did not recover. I moved two back inside and they are slowly putting out a few leaves of new growth on the main stem but may still be goners. If they survive they might just be houseplants again, we'll see.

Conclusions: Vigor matters but not as much as ancestry; the reds were far and away more vigorous (and recovered from initial defoliation relatively rapidly in most cases) but some varieties were clearly more heat-resistant from the get-go. If I were trying to grow a less-crazy amount of these trees I would probably focus on the otto andersons, sabara derivatives and reds; I'd also try and get them up to a foot or so before moving them into the 105+ hellhole. Suprisingly (and happily) almost every variety except for the white jaboticaba got used to the salty garbage hose water when they absolutely had to to survive. They're still showing some signs of salt burn depending on the variety but also still pushing new growth.

Also, what kills and damages these guys is usually not the high day temps as long as they have some shade, but the unrelenting night temperatures above 95+. They can take high day temps if the nights allow them to recover. The day temps have continued to be 105+ on and off for weeks, but the night temperatures cooled back down a tiny amount, and everything started pushing more growth again. Also I think they would have done better if the pots were on grass instead of patio/pool deck due to less reflected heat but I had what space I had.

For my next dumb trick, I'm going to try to grow and fruit some in the ground under a moringa canopy. I'll also be testing yellows, vexators, peruviana and a couple of others I started over the last six months. I may try out some simple hydroponic setups next year as well.

Also, if anyone is interested in another write-up, I can do a follow-up about survival for other eugenias/plinias/myrciara (Rainforest plum did well in part shade, cambuca did okay, mulchi did not enjoy the heat at all, etc.)

Hey all, so I got a bunch of vexators started this spring and they're doing fantastic overall, WAY healthier (less salt/ph sensitive) all around than most of the true jaboticaba I have, but I'm wondering how they stack up cold-wise. Slightly larger plinia and eugenia seem to do fine out here in the winter with some slight cold protection (they just go part dormant and get the red leaves) but I don't have experience yet with vexators.

I'll probably keep these guys inside while they're little, assuming we ever actually get winter out here in Phoenix, but anybody with any big ones know how they compare to say red hybrid jaboticaba when it comes to cold?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / What's going on with this theobroma?
« on: May 15, 2023, 02:20:49 PM »
Hey gang, I'm still learning to grow theobroma and I was wondering if anyone experienced is sure what's going on with this guy. Leaf edges and tops are browning slightly, slight yellowing. One of the new leaves just dropped off. Plant is in well-draining moist slightly acidic soil, very mild very infrequent fertilizer (I'm afraid of salt burn), neutral ph water. Plant has a mix of indirect natural light and indirect full spectrum grow light.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / What's wrong with this rollinia?
« on: February 19, 2023, 12:52:26 PM »
Hey all, a couple of my annonas have been struck by some kind of ailment/ deficiency and I was wondering if anyone has a clue what's going on. Symptoms include dieback and discoloration on the leaves plus some tip browning, and some of the newer leaves are the wrong shape. The worst affected is my rollinia which is a couple of months old; it was growing like a weed prior to this. Problems started right after a mealy bug infestation that it really reacted badly to.

It's in well-draining soil on a very mild fruit-tree fertilizer; in the pic it is under grow lights but I usually have it in filtered sun, waiting for the weather to warm back up. The discoloration reminds me of some issues my wax jambu were having that someone said was manganese deficiency but there's so much going on with the thing that I wanted to check in and see what people here thought. Might be a goner but it would be nice if I could save it.

Hey all,

So my Mom just moved to Redondo Beach area and has a back yard that is mostly paved (rental, so no digging up the pavement). She's asked for my help setting up a container garden with some tropicals (fruiting particularly, but also ornamental), which I'm going to do.

The thing is, I don't have any experience growing in the LA microclimates, including Redondo. So I figured that I would ask the brain trust for some recommendations as part of my research. Anybody grow in that area? I'm looking particularly at things which might do well in full sun there (the shade is somewhat limited) and that don't have super-specialized requirements (regularly feeding is fine, I'm setting her up with customizable irrigation). She's also relatively close to the beach.

Any input would be appreciated, thanks!

Okay, so grimals are often mentioned as being particularly salt/ph tolerant for jaboticaba, but so far out of my seedlings, my restinga seedlings seem to be thriving the most in the local less-than-ideal conditions. I haven't seen this mentioned anywhere; anybody else have similar experience with restinga?

EDIT: Some of the black pearls also doing better than the grimals; although oddly the winner for "most tolerant plinia" award in this house goes to the mulchi and giant mulchi I bought on a whim. Slow growing but not a hint of salt burn so far.

So I was looking for a completely unrelated research paper and stumbled down a bizarre rabbit hole that I was unaware of and wanted to share. Apparently there are multiple unrelated studies showing an increase in seed germination and in some cases seedling vigor by exposing them to magnetic fields of varying strength as a pre-treatment:

Magnetic field exposure used to increase germination and vigor/ root development of mung beans (with pictures):

Magnetic field treatment increasing wheat seed germination rates:

MF Treatment improving cabbage germination rates and vigor:

A larger overview of MF treatment on plants in general:

I haven't had a chance to dig into this to look for further details/ bad science yet, but it's interesting that there's a body of research from multiple researchers showing some effect. Needs more study/ replication.

Also REALLY interesting was this paper showing that tomato seed orientation towards a magnetic field, and the strength of that magnetic field, was more consequential to seed germination rates than humidity:

What this all suggests to me, as a layman, is that this is an unexplored and possibly large factor in some seed-sprouting quirks.

Anyway. I'd take all this with a grain of salt; I'm sharing this since it's interesting and related the hobby but probably beyond most peoples' inclination and ability to mess around with. Don't go do something dumb with electro-magnets trying to get illama or something to sprout, please.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Brown spots w/ yellow halos on green sapote?
« on: October 09, 2022, 08:16:30 AM »
Hey all,

I have a young grafted green sapote that's developed some brown spots with yellow halos on some of the leaves. I'm guessing that this is either bacterial or fungal but wanted to check in with the folks here in case someone recognized it or had treatment tips, before I tried something to treat it. Pics below, thanks in advance for any advice.

I've heard some conflicting information on this one. I was looking to plant a yellow and a red this year, but accidentally managed to purchase what I think are two yellows (one is slightly red-tinged but it never goes full red like some of the pictures that I've seen before the fruit splits). My question is, does it matter? Do the red and yellow varieties taste any different to anyone who has had both?

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