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Messages - 1rainman

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We get massive rain in south Florida. Citrus grows fine. Juicier oranges but ugly due to fungus. Though if the water stands you may need to raise them on higher ground. If you are tropical you can grow sweeter varieties like Valencia or pineapple orange. They are very cold sensitive and hard to grow most places. Key lime too.

Grapefruit and pomelo are the hardiest citrus that is edible. Oranges or tangerines crossed with grapefruit are always good choices tangelos and such.

Massive rain doesn't bother them but you'll have black fungus and stuff on leaves which won't kill the plant but it should be removed it blocks light and such. But citrus don't grow well in standing water. They need good drainage and high ground in places with a lot of rain. Those some citrus can get much wetter than others. Poncirus, sour orange, stuff typically used for root stock.

Other than hlb there's not many fungus or disease issues. Citrus grows in wet and dry areas. Cold sensitivity is the only big issue I have seen. They are relatively easy to grow from seed. I mean they will typically grow wild in most places if it's warm enough but they are much stronger from seed than grafted. But usually the sweeter the orange the more cold sensitive so in the tropics you can grow better quality citrus not available in most places.

Sugar bell is not nearly as vigorous or disease resistant as poncirus, sour orange or a hybrid like swingle.

The only thing special about cactus dirt is it has sand in it, which sand is everywhere in Florida. Usually citrus when planted don't grow much. They put out roots and get established. After a year or two they should grow fairly fast. Though they need compost, fertilizer, water when there's a dry spell. If totally neglected they usually grow slow here unless from seed or a poncirus or sour orange seems a lot healthier and more vigorous than others.

My dad planted sugar bell and two others at the same time. The sugar bell is the largest and the others look diseased already. Sugar bell is healthy though it has lighter leaves than most citrus. So if the others are out growing sugar bell that is weird.

Cold Hardy Citrus / Re: Hybrid Nin-Kat-MandarinXPoncirus
« on: May 29, 2023, 10:59:15 AM »

No, never been there. Never been to the US either.Why?
Our professional base ball tea, The Cincinnati reds, referred to them as being in Zinzinnati.  Our city is of German heritage and misspelling it with Z's is supposed to give it a German twist.  With your name of Zitrus.... I though you may be from Cincinnati.
In June I will visit the US and Canada for the first time in my life.

You are brave to visit a third world country like the USA.

There's a lot of variation in how dry we get in dry season or when the dry or rainy season starts or ends. I have seen "dry" seasons in Florida with normal amounts of rain not a lot but something normal for other regions and green grass. I have also seen dry seasons with months of no rain, dead plants and forest fires as a result.

As a whole I don't see much difference. Maybe slightly more rain than before but not much. High temperatures in summer have not changed because in Florida once it gets hot and humid enough it rains which puts a cap on high temps. They usually hover around 95 before raining. If there's not enough moisture in the air I have seen it 130 around concrete areas but the 90s was the hottest summers.

Winter has been a lot warmer. We used to get three or four hard freezes in a year. Night temps in the 20s in south Florida. Teens are rare but not unheard of them quickly warming above freezing during the day. The news would report orange farmers are preparing for the freeze. Well we haven't had a hard freeze in six or seven years. Lowest it got was 33 with a slight 32 degree freeze down the street this year and last. And that only happened once. Don't know if we are just in a warm cycle or if it's more permanent. The late 90s were record highs then around 2010 record lows now we are warm again. Though record lows are usually connected to a major volcano somewhere blocking out sun but the sun itself flares up hotter and colder in cycles. I personally believe the massive development replacing woods with hot asphalt and roofs is heating Florida along with a one or two degree global warming addition. We are definitely way above historical norms. But the ebb and flow in Florida is normal. In the 1930s or something they grew pineapple in punta Gorda. Not a single freeze in about ten years. Then some cold winters wiped them out and they no longer have pineapple farms in Florida. But the tropical vegetation like coconuts and mangos seem to be creeping further north.

Meyer does great on its own roots and is a good size for containers. Limes are one of the most difficult citrus to get fruit and most are very cold sensitive. There's two different meyer lemons. All of them are improved Meyers but the regular meyer is basically dwarf or semi dwarf. It gets 10 or 12 feet max. There's a smaller dwarf meyer that on its own roots maxes out around six feet. It's the smallest citrus and best container citrus. Though it does grow as a bush and will get very wide and has some thorns not a lot but some. So it's better on its own roots due to small size.

First of all it's a small tree in the photos which is too small to produce much fruit. But that's how all citrus is especially meyer. Meyer loses a lot of fruit but it blooms year round. Plus you put it into a new environment which causes stress so it needs time to settle in. My meyer would be covered in flowers and small fruit but very few of them make it to maturity but it's still the best container citrus. Once it gets good size you get more fruit

The desert lime will go into dormancy. It needs to be dormant for good cold hardiness. Restricting water helps induce dormancy along with cooler temps. It's not that cold tolerant when not dormant though more than a typical citrus. That's the main thing though it can go dormant like poncirus. But it has a really deep root system for the desert so probably won't do well long term in pots hence the need to cross it with other stuff. Maybe flying dragon.

Meyer does really well in pots so maybe meyer x desert lime would be good to start crossing with. Though I want the orange cross I'll plant it outside in Florida.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Sea weed
« on: May 24, 2023, 06:32:19 PM »
I thought seaweed was a super food. It's commonly eaten in Asia. I like seaweed soup. I don't know which ones are edible and which aren't. Then there's the algae super food you can buy capsules of it. It actually absorbs heavy metals when you eat it then you poop out some of the toxic metals. Seawater itself is really good fertilizer if you dilute it enough. The salts and everything has a lot of micro nutrients (only a small amount needed but often lacking in places). I thought arsenic is naturally occurring in low doses in a lot of things too.

I get plants to grow like crazy usually just with good soil and a little fertilizer that you mix with water.

In Florida there's so much fertilizer running into lake okochobee and waterways we have massive algae blooms not all the time but pretty often that used to be super rare 30 years ago.

And also the sewage is a super fertilizer a lot of sewage from boats and stuff goes into the harbor.

Maybe the website instead had a typo.

I would take the best poncirus hybrid then cross it with an eremoorange or erenolemon. But not rootstock. They have the one poncirus x orange that is an edible f1 hybrid. Then there's the complex hybrids that are edible the FL whatever the number. The erenolemon or orange cross could significantly reduce the undesirable poncirus oils without having much impact on cold tolerance. Of course the key would be selective breeding finding the best seeds.

Wouldn't citrus glauca be better for hybridizing? It goes into dormancy. Tolerates temps below zero fahrenheit. Salt tolerant, drought tolerant, hlb tolerant. It's cold tolerance isn't as high but it's close to poncirus. But the fruit is actually edible. And there are hybrids with oranges and lemons out there. It's also relatively small in size. The only negative is fruits fall off the tree pretty soon after ripening.

Hopefully I'll get some eremoorange and erenolemon seeds. I mainly want disease resistant stuff.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Unknown citrus pest
« on: May 23, 2023, 09:01:04 PM »
It does look like spider mites though I can't be sure. Almost everything I grow indoors gets spider mites other than typical houseplants. Outside no spider mites. The best thing to prevent them is take it outside and blast the whole plant with a house or if you can't do the put it in the bath tub and give it a good shower. Or set outside during a rain storm. Which is good for the plant not even considering spider mites. The outside sun and wind also reduce them but mainly water blasts. Neem oil will get rid of basically any insect so I would do neem oil when you have an infestation then to prevent one give the plant a shower occasionally. Especially the undersides of the leaves.

It won't ship to Florida. I can only have seeds shipped.

Citrus General Discussion / Re: Unknown citrus pest
« on: May 22, 2023, 07:17:56 PM »
Can't tell from the photo. I had tiny almost invisible slugs on my container citrus in Ohio. They were eating the sap. I sprayed the whole plant with neem oil and the dirt, trunk leaves etc and got rid of them. Prior to that I tried different stuff that didn't work. The neem oil sticks and stays on the plant until it's washed off and didn't hurt the plant though after about a week I started hosing it down because it's not good for the plant to have that coating on it's leaves.

Could be something else in your case but neem oil will kill just about any small insect. Could be spider mites if it's indoors.

If you get any hybrids worth eating then hook me up

In Florida where the sun is intense basically everything grows better with full or partial shade not just citrus. In the north the opposite is usually true you want full sun because the sun is weaker far north. My citrus and bananas did better in Ohio in the summer with longer days and weaker light compared to Florida but they took a beating in the winter even with a grow light though low humidity was a factor.

Small citrus could benefit from shade but a large one shades itself. They grow with no stress in full sun especially from seed. And a lot of seed grown ones turn into tall shade trees. The smaller size is usually from rooted cuttings or grafted on semi dwarf root stock. Most citrus will get around 20 feet. Not the tallest in the forest but up there reaching the around the top of the canopy. The smaller ones in the forest will grow tall and skinny to reach the light too.

Grapes are the same. In Europe you want full sun but in Florida they do better in partial shade.

I need it. Send me the meyer x desert lime.

Swingle is a great root stock in Florida. Could probably produce edible fruit if crossed again it's not too bad but not good enough to eat. I'd like something 1/8 poncirus or something so it might be edible but may have hlb tolerance.

Used to be oranges and citrus everywhere. Impossible to find now. That's why I'm interested in things like the desert lime x meyer with high hlb tolerance.

What's wrong with swingle or Dunstan? Dunstan is probably the most edible of the cold hardy citrus. I'm more interested in hlb tolerance though. Swingle has really good cold tolerance and almost edible fruit.

Perlite is good in any soil mix keeps the soil light but tends to float to the top. Sand is heavier is the only disadvantage of sand but both should help keep the ph closer to neutral and aid drainage.

Do you have perlite in your compost mix? Admittedly it serves a similar function as sand. But citrus grows well in normal potting soil that is a mix of compost and perlite.

Sand is useful especially when you live in Florida and it's free. But it isn't necessary except on cactus and pineapples they seem to really do better with sand. Almost everything does well in normal potting soil unless it's something that needs alkaline soil. Certain grapes are the only thing that doesn't like the acidity but even a lot of grapes do well in it.

The perlite helps lessen the acidity and get air/drainage.

Never tried coffee grounds on citrus but most plants grow like crazy with them. I'd say the sand and bark is a bigger issue. With sand they will stop growing mostly due to lack of nutrients. I don't know if it's microbes or what but most plants live mulch but mulch slows citrus growth too.

Junk dirt. When you plant almost anything dig a big hole fill it with potting soil. Mix a little of the existing sand into the mix. Or use perlite and peat for potting soil.

Citrus don't like mulch either. It won't kill them but they don't do well with it so those bark chunks are not good either. I will say sugar bell leaves seem to be a little lighter than other citrus though.

Citrus like sandy soil but the Florida dirt being pure sand is junk unless a lot of compost is added.

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