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Messages - Epicatt2

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Any Ant help plead!
« on: May 19, 2024, 05:18:16 PM »
I’m suffering from tons of ants everywhere. Most importantly they are in my pots. How do I safely remove them. I’ve tried drenching the pots, using borax solution and others but they seem to be invincible. Some are in my in ground rootmaker pots so I can’t move them either(I hear moving the pots to different location will make them move due to temp change)

What’s the best and safest way to remove them? I don’t want to spray harsh chemicals👍

Remember that ants travel by following scent trails that they leave so they can return to food sources or go back to the nest.  So by interrupting or obliterating those scent trails with a strong odor that can also act as a repellent, you can make the area undesirable for the ants.

Rue herb tea (Ruta graveolens) could work by drenching with it the areas around the plants or in the pots themselves, and there are other smelly herbs like some of the mints (mint family), etc., could work, too.  You may want to experiment to see whic ones work best for your particular ant problem.

Failing the above, and if the ants are farming scales or aphids on your plants, a problem I used to have, the only thing that worked for me was using Imidacloprid and spreading the granules around the base out to the dripline of the affected plants and watering it in.  Imidacloprid is systemic and got rid of the scales and aphids the ants were farming so the ants moved on.  The Imidacloprid here in Florida lasted about two months during our rainy season before I needed to reapply it again.

Unfortunately Imidacloprid seems to affect bee populations, so applying it before the plants have flowered or after flowering is finished when the plants are already setting fruit can successfully control the ants without impacting the bee population.
Good Luck! — HTH

Paul M.

I have found frozen whole (though a bit small) durians in Tampa at a downtown oriental grocery.

Someone suggested that I try one of the smaller cut up frozen packages first to see if I liked it.

Sounds like a good suggestion to me, i case I don't care for it.

Just FWIW . . .

Paul M.

Thanks Daintree and canito.  I'm giving it plenty of water, as I described previously and they're growing apace with lots of flowers now. 

Hoping to have a good first crop, but am unsure how long it is usually to go from flowers to ripe fruits.

Any observations?

Paul M.

My Physalis peruviana are full of flowers but have not yet begun developing fruit.
That will be very soon Im sure since the first of the flowers have begun to open.

I have been told not to fertilize these plants or they'll just grow and grow and not
set any fruit.

Still is there anything to feed (very lightly) to these plants to gently encourage the
continued blooming and setting of fruit during the hotter months here in Florida 9b?

They are in a five gallon pot with a 1.5 inch deep saucer under it that I need to keep
filling every other day to keep these water-pumps-of-plants from wilting.

I'm guessing that someone on here will have a useful suggestion or two. . . .


Paul M.


Sorry, only have these last ones, they are not recent cut, just keep in cool refrig so it won't help you.

I will need to try some rootings. I haven't had time to try it myself yet.


As of this week one of the two cuttings has one root started plus one bud developing and starting to lengthen, but hasn't produced any leaves yet..

The other cutting I again had to trim off the bottom at an angle with a sharp knife and although it has no roots, there are tiny buds just starting to show at the old leaf nodes.  So this second one may start producing a shoot or two and maybe even a root before long.

The water has been changed about every other day, using filtered (PŪR) tapwater just to keep it as fresh as possible.

Fingers X-ed!

Paul M.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Moving to Panama
« on: May 10, 2024, 11:51:20 AM »

That's exactly what I do Paul, and that rain comes in really handy in dry spells. Matter of fact I need to add a couple more 55 gal barrels to my setup which is simply a 10' gutter attached to one side of my shed. Surprising how fast a couple of good showers can fill up one of those barrels.

Sounds good, Calusa.

So how do you kill or at least keep the mosquito larvæ out of your collected barrel(s) of water?

Paul M.

So, are there any particular feijoa cultivars that will grow well hare in Florida 9b's
typical summer sauna –AND which also will produce decent tasting fruit?

I had little success trying to grow some in Tampa.  I haven't fully given up yet but
by the same token I'm not overly encouraged to try again any time soon.

Suggestions welcome . . .


Paul M.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Physalis peruviana blooming, whoopee!
« on: May 10, 2024, 02:14:20 AM »
Got a couple Physalis peruviana (Goldenberry) from a TFF member about six weeks ago.  They were planted out immediately into a five gallon pot with a 4 ft tall tomato cage.  That seemed too tall so I replaced it two weeks later with a three ft cage, since these plantlets were only about 8 inches tall then.

Now six weeks later the plants are six inches above the tomato age, which surprises me more than I thought it would since the original plantlets were comparatively so short.

They have never been fertilized (I was warned not to or they'd just grow and grow and never flower) but the pot finally had to have a large saucer placed under it since these plants are truly water-pumps and will drink up the water in the dish in a mere two-day's time and then they'll last for one more day before going into a major wilt.  (Adding the saucer and not allowing it to remain empty for more then one day has kept the sulky wilt from reocurring.)

And most amazing to me is that there are sudenly now flower buds all over these plants.  (It is also amazing that the little flower bus look so much like tomato flower buds.)  I was told that these were precocious but I'm still surprised at their rampant growth!  I hope that this fruit's flavor holds up to expectations.

Plants are sitting on the edge of my front porch where they get morning sun up 'til about 10 a.m.  Is that enough or do they want more hours of sun?

Anyway, I'm hoping that they'll set some fruit soon.

Foingers X-ed!

Paul M.

Quick update on rooting the cuttings.

I have feeback from a few people that have been trying to root the cuttings of this Big Yellow passion fruit.

1. Don't root in water, most have died.
2. Plant in a pot, solil mixt (some perlite, or catcus mix), bottom heat if you have it.

A few people have said their cuttings have started to show signs of growth.

Let me know if anyone else has success with the Dennis Big Yellow passion fruit cuttings.


Did you get any reports of success with rooting 'Dennis' cuttings using Rootone or other rooting agents?

To bring you up to speed, I put mine in water and have changed the water regularly but had to tirim the
tops back where they'd started turning brown.  Put some powdered Banrot on the cut end and now they're
staying green. But there is no evidence though of any root growth starting so far.  [ sigh ]

I believe they suffered heat stress in transit across country to Florida because all the sprouts at the nodes
had turned black and dried up.  There are new  small green buds starting at the nodes, but they don't seem
to be very vigorous. 

I'd like to to get a couple more from you to try, when available.  If it is possible to send via FedEx-ing them
overnight next time I believe that would avoid the stress.


Paul M.

Thanks for that info, guys.

Much appreciated!

Paul M.

Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Re: cedar bay cherry
« on: May 05, 2024, 03:28:48 AM »
The four seedlings that I got from members on here are still small but are growing.  Not
growing rampantly but growing slowly and steadily.  I'd eventually like to make a hedge
with them.

I'm guessing they won't be large enough to fruit 'til they're maybe taller than 12 inches,
which should be maybe by the end of this growing season.

Does this sound about right?  Lemme noe . . . .

Paul M.

Got to wondering recently whether there might be some jackfruit varieties that stay dwarfed
or which can be kept as a smaller tree.

There must be a few varieties that fall into this category.

And then of those which are smaller, which variety has the best flavor profile and also the
lowest latex content when ripe?

The last quality for any of these above described small-treed varieties is whether they will
be cold tolerant enough to survive in Tampa, FL.

All suggestions welcomed!

Paul M.

Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Re: Pineapple Nanas Paun Giant
« on: May 03, 2024, 01:45:56 AM »
When you have more of these available, Brad, I'd also like to be put on the list for one (1) slip.

Paul M.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Any guava masters out there?
« on: April 28, 2024, 05:16:46 PM »
[smnip] I REALLY am liking guineense and its variants and think it's a superior tasting guava to
guajava as it has a nice balance of sour, sweet, and complex. It is definitely worth seeking it out.


Now you've got me interested in this species cuz I'm having problems getting P. guayava to
make flowers or fruit.

Do you know of any likely sources for P. guineense seedlings?  Or, if only seed is generally
available, how long from germinating 'til they get to fruiting size?

Suggestions welcome . . .

Paul M.

As the title says, does anyone have one for sale or know where I can buy one? Much appreciated

Alex,  Lara Farms stocks that variety but it looks like they're out of stock, right now.

I'd suggest that you contact them and try to get put on a waiting list.


Paul M.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Carolyn's greenhouse tour
« on: April 27, 2024, 04:22:07 PM »
Yeah, when I win the lottery I am buying a place with geothermal heat. One of the big nurseries here uses that and their heating bill is zero. Still, I can cram a LOT of plants in my 700 square feet!

Wow, very nice and enjoyable tour, Carolyn.  I'm jealous cuz my g'house here in Tampa is only 240 sq ft.  And your g'house at 700 sq ft, is larger than my own house, itself, which is only about 620 sq ft!

Nice to see how many things you are growing and I'm pleased to say that as you wrapped up the tour you showed your baelfruit which allowed me to ID two baelfruit seedlings that I had left unlabeled and afterwards had forgotten what they were, thanx!  Has yours ever bloomed?

BTW, if you were to win the lottery you wouldn't need geothermal heating cuz you could buy yourself a small farm of 2 or 3 hectares in Central America –Costa Rica perhaps– and grow scads of exotic things out-of-doors, with their maximun height not limited, like now, to the top of your g'house!


Paul M.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Pollinating sugar apple buds
« on: April 27, 2024, 03:12:20 PM »
Do you have any recommendations or any citrus in general will do?

Most any sort of citrus fruit seems to work:  Oranges, tangerines, lemons, limes, even grapefruit.

And using a piece of fallen fruit that has started to soften and decompose is even better, especially if it is showing a bit of blue mold on the skin or if it has a tiny hole where those little brown beetles are already inside the fruit eating.

¡Buena suerte!

Paul M.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Pollinating sugar apple buds
« on: April 27, 2024, 10:30:41 AM »
Suggestion:  Put a piece of citrus on the ground or in the pot near the base of your sugar apple tree.  As the fruit rots it attracts tiny brown beetles and those same little beetles will be attracted to the sugar apple's flowers, effecting pollination.  Easy Peazy!


Paul M.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Moving to Panama
« on: April 26, 2024, 02:02:23 AM »
Some would say they'd be better off staying where they are and waiting for the climate to change there. I mean it's only a matter of a few years, some dried up creek beds, leaves turning brown, precipitation "not what is used to be" and some other foreboding signs of doom.

So Calusa, are you suggesting that it might be wise to clean out the rain gutters (or install some) and use them to collect water in a large catchment tank during the rainy eason for use later on during the dry season? 

Catchment is what used to be done decades ago here in some areas of Tampa.  (I recall seeing at least one still active catchment system here in Old Seminole Heights about six blocks from me.)

Paul M.

Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Re: Whole sale nursery
« on: April 24, 2024, 06:46:25 PM »
Zills is wholesale only. you can buy mango fruit from them during the season though. Although they do pick them early as seen on numerous threads.
And just about everyone else does both.

Thanx for this info, Jabo.  ¡Muy amable!

Cheers . . .

Paul M.

Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Re: Whole sale nursery
« on: April 24, 2024, 12:33:32 PM »
Just wanting to learn which of these nurseries mentioned/linked in this thread might be wholesale/retail?

Enquiring minds and all that rot . . .


Pau M.

Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Re: Flowering Vanilla Orchid
« on: April 23, 2024, 01:47:12 AM »
That will be a challenge for someone to remove. Such a delicate plant

To remove the vine may take a while to do without damaging the root system or stressing the vine.

One way would be to wet the roots 'til they turn green, showing that they have abosrbed the water.

Once wet like that, gently roll a root side to side, but gently, 'til it comes loose from the substrate that it's
affixed to.  The object is to save as much of the root system without bruising, breaking, or damaging them.
The roots can be quite brittle so it is important to take time to loosen them slowly and gently while they
are still green with water which does make them slightly less brittle.

Another way to remove the dampened roots is to use a very thin bladed, clean knife and gently slide it
under the roots holding the blade as parallel as possible against the substrate to help loosen the roots
from the substrate.

You will want to work on one root at a time.  This is, true, very time consuming but it is important not
to stress the plant by damaging the roots because this tropical vine needs its root system intact to grow
and thrive in its new situation and it doesn't replace its roots quickly if they are damaged.


Paul M.

Tropical Fruit Buy, Sell & Trade / Re: Flowering Vanilla Orchid
« on: April 21, 2024, 01:05:21 PM »
Hand pollinating of Vanilla is tricky because there is a flap covering the stigmatic cavity which must be lifted up so the pollinia can be inserted. This requires a toothpick and some manual dexterity to succeed with.  The natural pollinator however successfully accomplishes this pollinating feat because it is configured to fit under the column lifting the stigmatic cover and inserting the pollinia as it searches for nectar.

As to getting a Vanilla vine to bloom....  As long as your vanilla vine is growing upwards along a support it generally won't flower.  But when it reaches the top of whatever support it is climbing on and exceeds the support so the that vine begins to hang sideways in the air or even droop a bit then that causes the vine to produce hormones and auxins which make the vine initiate inflorescences and flower buds.


Paul M.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Imbe
« on: April 20, 2024, 08:25:14 PM »
Please refer to this dicussion about sexing Imbes (Garcinia livingstonei):


Paul M.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: new mango growing technique from india
« on: April 20, 2024, 08:19:40 PM »
i have seen these, this is one of the fakest "hacks" on the internet. it is sad how many people fall for it

Well, even if it was a hack, at least it was curious and entertaining.

Paul M.

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