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Topics - Heinrich

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Citrus General Discussion / Pomelos
« on: November 30, 2020, 04:53:48 PM »
Last week, before the first severe frost, my citrus trees were moved to the winter habitat. On this occasion, I harvested two pomelo fruits. A red pomelo and a white pomelo. Less than 2 meters or 6 feet high, each tree produced a single fruit. Now, the red pomelo served as desert at Sunday dinner. An excellent fruit. Juicy, slightly sweet and pleasantly acidic. Besides, surprisingly crisp. A feature, I didn´t expect in a citrus fruit. Taste wise, the closest similar fruit, known to me, is maybe Oroblanco (Sweetie).

Red pomelo on the left.

Citrus General Discussion / Jackson grapefruit
« on: September 08, 2019, 12:25:12 PM »
Last summer (2018), I found a Jackson grapefruit in the supermarket. The fruit contained one seed and tasted pleasant and sweet. This single seed gave two seedlings. Last year, both plantlets were thornless. However, since this summer, one of the plantlets develops thorns.

Citrus General Discussion / Citrus IBERO
« on: August 15, 2019, 06:52:26 AM »
There was already an inconclusive discussion about Citrus maxima Ibero in the French citrus forum.

Since 3 years, I grow a plant, labeled as Pomelo Ibero, and it is in flower now. Propagated by Eugen Schleipfer. All he knows, it came from a citrus trading company, called IBERO. It is either a citron or a pomelo X citron cross. Anybody knows more about this plant?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Achacha from Guatemala
« on: June 24, 2019, 04:18:03 PM »
Recently found in the supermarket.
Price per unit (fruit): 80 Eurocent (0.8 €).
The taste: Pleasantly aromatic and sweet.
The disappointment: Not much to eat. Even very little in fruits containing two large seeds.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Slow growing plants
« on: May 29, 2019, 10:17:06 AM »
Growing plants from seeds, often, there are some plants, which grow faster than other plants. Also, sometimes there are plants which grow exceptionally slow. Previously, I thought these slow growing plants are somehow a special form and gave extra care. However, perhaps, the only exceptional feature of these particular plants is the slow growth rate. Did you experience the same? Did you coddle such a plant for many years? Was it worthwhile? Does grafting normalize the growth rate?

Plinia pithrantha ESALQ. The fastest and the slowest plant (10 cm square pot). Germinated in January 2016.

Citrus General Discussion / Eremomandarine
« on: May 05, 2019, 04:52:46 AM »
As announced in the untraceable Eremolemon thread, here are pics of my flowering Eremomandarine. The flowers are small and the plant has a few fine prickles.
According to
Eremomandarine is not the same as Eremocitrus X Shekwasha.

Temperate Fruit Discussion / Arrayán, Luma apiculata
« on: December 08, 2018, 10:30:33 AM »
Luma apiculata is one of the Chilean Myrtaceae, which is planted worldwide, in many similar climates. This is because of its beauty as a tree and also for its edible fruits. Moreover, it can take some cold and is hardy to USDA Zone 9.

My container grown Arrayán flowered profusely in July, and nearly every flower set fruit. Despite, we had an unusually warm and long summer, the fruits are still not ripe yet. The fruits are slightly soft. However, ripe fruits should be black, not white.

The plant is still outside. Several slight night frosts in November, around -3° C (27°F), did not harm the plant, nor the fruits. If the nights become colder as -6°C (21°F), I will put the plant in the garage. If the day max temperatures will stay prolonged below -6°C (21°F), the plant will be moved in the basement. Because the basement is too dark and too warm, the plant will be moved outside, or in the garage, again, as soon as the weather allows. This worked in the last years. The last winters, the plant spent around a few days, up to two weeks, in the basement. About two or three times, during a winter.

Usually, Arrayán ripen in autumn. However, in the web, one can find pictures of ripe fruits and flowers on the same plant. Therefore, I hope the fruits will ripen in spring. I have picked one fruit. At the first glance, the taste was very pleasant. However, a fraction of a second later, almost simultaneously, the fruit was extremely bitter. Definitely unripe and unpalatable.

Flame grapefruits were bought at a local supermarket, imported from U.S.A. From these fruits, I grow two seedling plants. Both plants produced a single flower bud, this spring.  Possibly, because of unfavorable conditions, one of the buds aborted. The other plant is flowering now, with a very pleasantly scented flower.

Citrus General Discussion / My Marumi kumquat tastes so good.
« on: April 28, 2018, 03:03:41 AM »
My Marumi kumquat is fruiting now and the fruits taste so good. The fruits are juicy and the larger fruits measure up to 35 mm. Most are seedless.  I am not a fan of store bought Nagami kumquats and my expectations have been rather low. How good it tastes is all the more surprising. The plant bears around 30 fruits. Many are still unripe. The plant was inside a cold house during winter and there was not much growth and fruit development, from November until February. Now, it bears flowers and fruits in all stages, at the same time. I need more of these fruits.

Temperate Fruit Discussion / Ugni molinae - autumn crop.
« on: September 24, 2017, 04:10:14 AM »
This year, my two mature Ugni molinae plants did give me a nice and plentiful crop. Both plants are about the same age and size. This gave the opportunity to compare these two varieties. The broad-leaved Ugni on the left and the Ugni Elite on the right side.

Previously, I have called the left plant also large-leaved Ugni. However, I prefer the term “broad-leaved”, because the leaves are not so much larger, but considerably broader, compared to some other varieties. The plants grow in roughly 14 liter (3 gallon) pots in a sand/peat mix.
The broad-leaved Ugni gave 110 fruits, weighing altogether 52 g. Ugni Elite gave 256 fruits, weighing altogether 94 g. The average weight of one fruit compares to 0.47 g for the broad-leaved Ugni and 0.37 g for the Ugni Elite.

Bearing so small fruits, Ugni molinae is not a species for commercial fruit production, but is charming with taste and specialness. As regards taste, I prefer Ugni Elite, which is sweeter.
This was the first year, which did give a reasonable harvest. Enough, to share the fruits with my wife. Never seen any Ugni before, she asked: “Where did you get these cowberries from?” I responded:  “That aren´t cowberries. Just taste”. Interesting her comments:  “Mmmh, so good.” And after a while. “These berries remind a bit of rose pepper” (Schinus terebinthifolia, Schinus molle) “and also a bit of juniper berry” (Juniperus communis).

In June 2015, two of my citrus seedlings flowered at an age of about 18 months. As I returned from holiday, a seedling of a Star Ruby grapefruit surprised me with a beautiful flower. A second seedling, seeds from Ortanique, and the same age, was already finished.

Star Ruby grapefruit and Ortanique tangor

Star Ruby grapefruit

Ortanique tangor

During my next visit to Eugen Schleipfer, our local and well-reputed citrus grower, I mentioned this flowering. He showed me a large grapefruit tree and told me, freely translated from German:  “This grapefruit tree flowered at a very early age, but never again since then. Don´t expect your seedlings to flower again, within the next 10 years.” Well, none of them flowered in 2016 and there are no flower buds in 2017.

Now, this year, a third citrus seedling is flowering for me. I like to eat Sweetie grapefruits, when available during autumn and winter.  Most fruits are seedless, but some of the fruits can have a few, more or less developed seeds. I remember, finding an exceptionally large seed and decided to grow it.  This was around November 2015. Now, this seedling tree surprised me with even two flowers. This photo is from today. The flowers soon will be open. The plant shows some nitrogen deficiency and was only recently fertilized.

Growing citrus from seeds can be very rewarding. Some grapefruit and Ortanique can flower at a quite young age. Are there similar observations with other citrus seedlings as well?

Citrus General Discussion / Citrus seedlings, some odd observations.
« on: April 26, 2017, 10:31:26 AM »
Since winter 2013/14, I raise citrus seedlings of store bought citrus fruits. Here, I want to report about some odd observations, which often didn´t give plants. Usually, I put the seeds in a sand and peat filled pot, bag the pot and put it on a warm place with some light. Raising citrus seedlings plants is an easy task, but sometimes, unexpected facts result in failure.
Germinating seeds are very sensitive to environmental stress and pathogens. If the first and only growing point, the meristem of the shoot between the cotyledons, becomes hurt, there is no other meristem to continue the development.

2 cotyledons of a Meiwa Kumquat seed. Two and a half years old. It gets regularly watered, still alive, but unable to grow. Chances are small, it will ever become a tree.

This winter, I bought some exceptionally large Nagami Kumquats. So, I decided to raise the seeds. Six, out of ten seedlings, showed white leaves with only traces of chlorophyll. These plants are unable to photosynthesize and will die off, sooner or later. I wonder, if these Nagami Kumquats fruits have been treated in some way?

For unknown reason, some seedlings have a big problem to get the first leaves out of the seed coat. It can take a long time for the leaves to emerge and sometimes such seedlings fall prey to rot.
A Nagami kumquat seedling finally came out of the seed coat.

A 3 years old tangor, raised from a seed of Afourer/ Nadarcott. This tree shows a nice curved bump on the base of the stem, telling about its early days, struggling with seed coat.

Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Psidium seeds
« on: December 23, 2016, 11:25:23 AM »
Recently, I asked Miguel to send some Psidium seeds, and this is what I have got. The different seed shapes and sizes are so distinctive.

Thank you, Miguel, and all of you, who distribute seeds. Thank you, for sharing your seeds, knowledge and pleasure.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / 56 Tamarillos. Will I miss the relish?
« on: November 03, 2016, 04:21:22 PM »
Seeds of a store bought Tamarillo were germinated in February 2014. In spring, eight plantlets were planted in ground in the garden. In autumn, after the first frost damaged the leaves, the plants were pulled out of the soil and the defoliated stems with a few roots only, were placed close together in a single pot with peat. During the winter in a frost free greenhouse, one of the plants developed some stem rot and the lesion was cut out. This top cutting was easy to root in spring and resulted a ninth plant. End of March, the stems were planted in individual pots and fertilized. Again in May, the plants were planted in ground in the garden. First flowering plants could be observed in August 2015. After the frost destroyed leaves and flowers in autumn, the stems were overwintered again. In March, this year, stems were potted and fertilized and new leaves and flowers appeared in April. Soon after, the plants were planted in the garden. Due to the cold weather in spring, it took until June for fruits to develop. Since August, all new shoots and flowers were removed to focus the plants on fruit ripening. Two of the nine plants stayed fruitless. Now, seven Tamarillo plants (including the two clonal plants) bear together fifty-six well developed fruits.
What shall I do? Ice and snow are only a few days ahead and the fruits would need four more weeks of nice and warm weather to ripen. I am not prepared, to singly pot the plants and grow them in the greenhouse. That would give me greenhouse grown Tamarillos. That´s not what I want. I would prefer Tamarillos grown in my own garden. The final goal is to be independent of a greenhouse. It should be possible to overwinter the stems even behind a windowsill in a cool room, or similar. Potting and fertilizing in spring, doesn´t need a greenhouse either.
Tamarillos are subtropical plants of higher altitudes and like to grow in mild and warm weather. The leaves are fairly frost tender, but stems not so much. A second important feature is the shallow root system. Stems can be pulled out of the soil, without much roots, and handled like cuttings during the winter. Without leaves, the plants are not prone to pests. In spring, soon new leaves and a root system develop. With summers a while longer and frost a little later, Tamarillos can be successfully grown in a temperate garden. To breed for a more precocious variety, would be a further goal.

Tamarillos in my garden. Some exposed leaves are already frost burned.

Ripening would need a little more nice and warm weather.

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