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Messages - RS

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My favorite things that I'm growing now

1. Mango
2. Figs
3. Jaboticaba
4. Loquat
5. Persimmon

I don't bother growing the tropical peaches, none of the low chill stone fruits taste anywhere near how good the regular ones I could grow living in California are. I sure miss real peaches.

I thought the same about tropical peaches until trying Florida Glo white peaches this spring. Excellent! The flavor may have been influenced by the colder winter though, looking forward to trying them again next spring.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Question on Miracle Fruit Tree
« on: July 25, 2023, 07:32:41 AM »
My understanding is you can root cuttings (source:, though I haven't tried this.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Wow, that's a big Jaboticaba tree!
« on: May 30, 2023, 04:52:32 PM »
Neat picture. I knew they got big in Brazil, but thought they'd stay smaller in FL. This one in FL though is huge, should've planted mine somewhere else! There was a recent YouTube video about this sabara jabo, they think it's about 70 years old,

Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Re: pitomba
« on: May 11, 2023, 07:53:04 AM »
Hi, do you ever sell the fruit? I'd love to be able to try these sometime (and your other orange fruit). USPS shipping usually takes only a day or two within FL when I've bought plants before locally. Thank you!

Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Re: FREE: Fruiting Sabara scions
« on: April 29, 2023, 12:26:16 PM »

Looks like Planting Justice also offers Kanko but currently out of stock, plus they serve a great purpose:

Glad you mentioned this, I ordered a Strawberry, Avri, and Japanese raisin tree. Good luck with your search!

Fuyu is flowering here, yes they typically flower after the new spring growth flush.

Ichi-ki-kei-jiro is still half dormant, seems unusually late this year. I don't know about Chocolate, but would probably give it more time. You can always test by bending a small branch or scratching the bark. If it's flexible or green underneath, you should be fine.

Thank you so much for the extras!! Hoping they all take.

They fruit in clumps in the ground here too. There's about 8 fruit in approx 8'x8' area. They also came through 3 consecutive nights of freezing temps in upper 20's/low 30's in Dec, and weren't set back too much. Good luck with your greenhouse growing!


Around here, they can fruit prolifically in the ground in part shade. I haven't noticed as many fruit on the ones growing vertically up trees, but they're mostly grown as ornamental landscape plants, rather than for fruit production.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Loquat ripening in February ?
« on: February 05, 2023, 05:06:24 PM »
A few Gold Nugget have ripened here. Most were set back by the Dec freeze.

Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Re: Various seedling jaboticaba for sale
« on: February 05, 2023, 12:26:46 PM »
Sent you a PM. Thanks!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: 2023 Mango Season
« on: February 05, 2023, 08:52:45 AM »

Rosigold is way ahead of the game. Luckily didn't get affected by the cold spells. Hopefully we're done with cold this season.

yoski this looks great. Did you protect it during the Dec freeze/do you find this variety fairly easy to grow?

Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Re: WTB: Peluche Loquat
« on: January 29, 2023, 05:39:26 PM »
I have shippable size and scions available for reasonable price.

Do you by chance still have any scions available? Thank you!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Jabuticaba soil mixes used
« on: January 26, 2023, 07:35:06 AM »
you harvest them when you can twist it off right?

You can twist them off too early if it's an astringent type and they haven't softened enough. At least with mine, they should be slightly soft before picking for best flavor. They'll also soften after picking but the flavor isn't as good in my opinion. Curious about others experiences...

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Jabuticaba soil mixes used
« on: January 26, 2023, 07:24:05 AM »
Also when do I eat it?

I ate my scarlettes when they were red, heavy, chunky, juicy and big.  ;D  For black varieties, it should be totally black, I guess...
I was tempted to wait till it fell off the tree. Would it be spoiled by then?

I wouldn't wait! They may go bad.

What's the variety? If it's an astringent type (e.g. Sabara, Grimal, coronata, grandiflora) then you need to wait until it's deep color and slightly soft, otherwise it'll taste awful.

If it's a non-astringent variety (e.g. red jabo, trunciflora, phitrantha, anomaly) then should be fine to eat early.

Flying Fox Fruits had a youtube video about this that was really helpful to understand. I'd been harvesting Sabara too early and they were nasty. With Sabara, it needs to be almost black and have some give (not hard).

Too bad you couldn't have a Mammee Apple, RS! What did you think of Noni?

Hard to say which was better, the smell or taste of ripe noni! I had noni juice years ago and the fresh flavor wasn't entirely a surprise; just a bit more pungent than the juice.

Forgot to include the fresh bread at Annaberg ruins was coconut bread and a delicious mango tea was also served. Would love to go back sometime.

Quick recap for future reference and in case helpful for others visiting USVI National Park.

- Annaberg ruins tropical fruit garden (weekdays 10 am - 2 pm): got to taste in-season fruits, fresh sugarcane, pink guava, coconut, gooseberry and pomegranate. The gardener, Charles Jackson, was wonderful,  Historical bread baking with free samples also here,

- Fruit stand in front of Connections, Cruz Bay: tried soursop, sour tamarind (incorrectly sold as sweet tamarind) and starfruit. Imported mango, papaya, bananas. Ridiculously high prices (buy at grocery store instead).

- Coral Bay organic farm: no fresh fruit (starfruit and papayas just ended) but worth checking what's in season.

- Susannaberg ruins: numerous fruiting soursop trees, small banana orchard.

- Cinnamon bay ruins: no fruit this time of year, but mammee apple, mango, cocao, bay rum, calabash grow on-site with tree placards on the nature trail.

Also tried sea grapes for first time (huge seed, tasted similar to raisins) and fresh noni fruit :) These were plentiful along roadsides and beaches.

Timbogrow I relocated my 3.5' tall in-ground nelita to a pot in mid December before the last freeze and it's been growing happily since. Gave it a bit of hollytone fertilizer and it has new fresh growth. Debating keeping it in a pot but if they survive 14 then should be good to pop back in the ground.

The garnets look beautiful! Hope to add one here in the spring.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Where to find tropical fruit in St John USVI
« on: January 15, 2023, 05:22:12 AM »
Wanted to check if anyone has recommended markets or farm stands for local fruit in St John?

We found the woman setup in front of Connections at Cruz Bay (soursop and tamarind this time of year), and Coral Bay organic farm (had no fruit). The grocery stores seem to have imported fruit.

Thanks in advance!

Edit: also found the tropical fruit garden at Annaberg sugar mill ruins

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Anyone Growing Tea?
« on: December 31, 2022, 03:11:58 PM »
Iíve never processed my own yaupon holly because of its Latin name and minimal research. Someone show me the way

So there's lots of variation in how it can be prepared, some people use just the leaves (it's pretty easy to strip off the leaves), some use the leaves plus small twigs.

Can be fresh/green, roasted, or blended. One roasted recipe is here:

I've only made it from my yard once (still have a lot of tea from yaupon teahouse). Used a 1940 recipe for half green leaves and half lightly roasted, put in the oven at 250 for about 10 minutes. It can be fun to experiment!

Citrus Buy, Sell, & Trade / Re: Japanese citrus growers?
« on: December 31, 2022, 02:54:40 PM »
Thank you, that's helpful that it's just explaining the CFIA ARS import requirements for fruit (I have family in Canada). I'd found those USDA restrictions for FL and wasn't sure if there might be alternatives.

The orchard I inquired with specializes in buntan and konatsu. Will probably have to make a trip to Japan one day to try these.

Best of luck with your search!

Citrus Buy, Sell, & Trade / Re: Japanese citrus growers?
« on: December 31, 2022, 09:07:45 AM »
caladri do you mind sharing which growers in Okinawa you've ordered from previously? I inquired with one orchard but they said they can't ship internationally to US or Canada because of quarantine requirements.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Anyone Growing Tea?
« on: December 31, 2022, 09:02:27 AM »
Yaupon holly makes great tea and grows well here in central FL: 
The scientific name, ilex vomitoria, is unfortunate.

Yaupon teahouse sells several different blends if anyone wants to try first. I grow nana variety for this purpose. It's native, cold/drought tolerant and easy to grow.

Also curious about your candle-heater setup Gulfgardener.

Great to hear about the jabos, avocados, citrus and papaya seedling that made it! 850FL if you develop a more comprehensive list, that'd be helpful. I'm leaning towards more cold hardy plants in future, e.g. loquat, mulberry, persimmons, Chinese jujube, (others?).

Passionflower leaves are now starting to show some damage here. South pineapple patch also now has some leaf damage (north, west and east patches are still fine, go figure).

I spoke too soon about the PB fruit, it's now dropping some leaves, but has never had so much ripe fruit as after the freeze. All the seedlings underneath are fine. With moringa too, the young growth is mostly fine while the older died.

Green starfruit (Kari) I picked before the freeze have mostly ripened. Sabara fruit are now only about 3/4" instead of twice that size pre-freeze.

Some pics of freeze damaged bananas, papaya, starfruit, passionflower and monstera:

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