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Topics - Epicatt2

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Tropical Fruit Discussion / Feijoa hardiness in Concord, NC , , , , ?
« on: November 13, 2023, 12:00:58 PM »
I'm wanting to gift a friend in Concord, NC (zone 7b) a couple of early cropping feijoa cultivars for her yard. 

I would prefer to get a couple of New Zealand cultivars, ones which would be more cold tolerant since Concord, in zone7b, is close to the top end of their hardiness range.

Wanting ideally self-fertile cultivars, but with two cultivars planted near eaach other that's not necesary.

Any suggestions for early season ripening NZ cultivars that may be more cold tolerant?

All suggestions welcomed as well as for US sourcing!  (I've searched a bit online already w/o real success.)

Paul M.
Tampa, FL

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Overwintering Eugenia stipitatum in FL 9b . . .
« on: November 08, 2023, 07:21:15 PM »
Just replaced my deceased araça-boi (E. stipitatum) which died after this past spring's cold temps in Tampa.

The new one is small but healthy (about 12-in tall) and has gone into a 2 gal pot beause I understand that this species is a fast grower.

Apart from protecting this one from the cool weather, is it going to want any kind of dry-off during DEC or JAN?

Any suggestions welcome.


Paul M.

Wanting to find sources to buy Asimina triloba grafted named cultivar saplings.

Not having any luck googling this info so am hoping that some of our TFF members might know some places they could share on here.

Fingers X-ed!  & TIA

Paul M.

I'm sorely tempted to try a clone of Asimina triloba hoping to discover one that requires minimal chilling hours which might set fruit here in Tampa (9b).

I suspect that there are a few TFF members in 9b who've tried growing A. triloba and maybe someone has found a cultivar that has set fruit for them in central Florida.

Fingers X-ed!

Paul M.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Pawpaws (fruit) for sale and/or to ship . . . .
« on: September 27, 2023, 04:11:19 AM »
[Sorry I should have posted this on the Buy, Sell, Trade forum –PM]

Pawpaw season is starting up and I'm wondering whether there are others who have or
will have pawpaws to sell, besides the one or two TFF members who earlier on here
mentioned that they have pawpaw fruits for sale to ship.

I'd like to try some of the different named varieties of pawpaw since it is unlikely that I
could ever grow Asimina triloba here in Tampa (9b) and get it to set fruit.


Paul M.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Banana cultivar availability . . . . ?
« on: September 21, 2023, 04:43:42 PM »
Just was looking for a couple banana cultivars on Going Bananas of Homestead's website and noticed that they no longer do any mailouts of product.  Apparently they are only cash & carry now.

So where should one look for a decent selection of banana cultivars here in Florida that do ship?  Or is it mostly a scatter-shot effort?

Ssuggestions welcomed . . . .


Paul M.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Article Re-Post on COFFEE research . . .
« on: September 17, 2023, 08:45:27 PM »

Gentle TFF Members,

Coffee is a tropical crop/product and so of interest to some of us TTF members on here who grow it.  That coffee may soon be going provide us with certain unexpected medical benefits should make this article from the Tico Times, a Costa Rican online newspaper, very interesting to some of our TFF members.  So despite it being not directly on-topic to TFF, I have included it here below for those who may be interested.     –Paul M.
-  -  -  -  -

Beyond the Bean: Costa Rica’s Coffee Antibiotic Breakthrough

Researchers from the University of Costa Rica (UCR) have shed light on an unexpected potential of a coffee by-product, coffee mucilage.

Historically overlooked, this substance has demonstrated significant antimicrobial properties, building on the already known ability of certain coffee components to inhibit bacterial growth.  [ snip ]

[The rest of this Tico Times article is available at the link below for anyone interested in it.]

Comments, anyone?

Found this blurb in the "Tico Times", a Costarrican Online Newspaper and thought that it might be of interest on some level to our TFF members:

The Del Monte Zero pineapple, grown exclusively in Costa Rica by Fresh Del Monte has become a finalist in the New Launch category of the 2023 World Sustainability Awards, to take place this coming October in Amsterdam. This category highlights innovative products or services unveiled in the past year that have an instantaneous positive societal effect.

What makes Del Monte’s Zero unique? “This pineapple is the world’s first to achieve carbon neutral certification,” noted Michael Calderon, a Del Monte spokesman. “The accolade signifies a harmonious equilibrium between emitted greenhouse gases and proactive endeavors, and constant monitoring of our transportation fleet’s emissions to minimize the carbon footprint”. Other areas contributing to the nomination showed the company has curtailed greenhouse gases by a whopping 22.64%, purchased six new fuel-efficient transportation vessels and initiated renewable solar and wind energy installations in California and Costa Rica."

(Source: TicoTimes)

¡Pura Vida!

Paul M.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Kent mango with green skin . . . .
« on: August 16, 2023, 02:20:09 AM »
I recently wrote that I bought two mangoes from a Publix here in Tampa.  The stickers code them to Kent.

One is greenish-yellow  (mostly yellow) with a nice red blush on its cheek.  Ther other is mostly with a dark green skin and a slight red blush.  Both are hard but just starting to soften, but only very slightly.  And both are heavy weighting about two pounds each.

Oddly the dark green skinned one has more mango odor thatn the greenish-yellow one.

Is it possible that the one with the dark green skin could ripen and be edible ahead of the greenish-yellow one?

They both still need a few more days to soften up a bit more, but to know if they are ripe should I go more on softness or on smell?

Advice welcomed . . . . .


Paul M.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Garcinias in shade.... Eugenias, too???
« on: August 12, 2023, 08:51:32 AM »
The Garcinias I know from here in Brazil are all shade loving forest species. They actually grow taller in extremely shaded conditions and less in full sun. They rise from he forest floor across a decade or so before fruiting. My false mangosteen and true mangosteen seem to act the same and it’s all a similar climate (equatorial pluvial forest). This is a feature of the garcinias because you can plant them together with other big trees and they’ll happily grow.

The recent thread mentioning that Garcinias tend to like some shade is interesting and illuminating (no pun intended).

This has prompted me to wonder whether much the same may apply to certain Eugenia species, and if so which ones in particular.

I'm sure that there are TFF members growing various Eugenia species who can comment on whether they seem to do better when provided more shade, or.....?

Some shade is surely inportant for many tropicals, especially with the intense heat and strong sun that so many of us have been experiencing this season.  [whew!]

Comments invited!

Paul M.
Tampa — 9b

My 'Mexicola Grande' has been in the ground now for five years and seems healthy and is pushing 20' tall now.

Last spring (of '22) I pruned the top out of it to keep it smaller for easier picking, shortenng it to about 8' to10' tall.  But it has already jumped back up and needs to be pruned and shaped again.

So how late –it's the start of August at this writing– can I prune this avocado without interrupting the bloom cycle for next season ('24)?  I want to bring it back down to 8' to 10' again for easier picking.

Suggestions welcomed . . .


Paul M.
Tampa — 9b

Tropical Fruit Discussion / NDM vs NDM#4
« on: July 26, 2023, 03:54:43 AM »
Are 'Nam Doc Mai' and 'Nam Doc Mai #4' the same or are they different?

If different then how, exactly?  And how does one know the difference?  Are there visible ways to tell?

I'm still mostly novice with mangoes so help is appreciated . . . .


Paul M.
Tampa — 9b

Just potted up the several pineapple crowns/cultivars that I received from one of our kind TFF members.

Now how are they best treated 'til they become reasonably well extablished in the (recommended) potting mix?  They have been immobilized with bamboo sticks so that the roots can get a good foothold.  I am starting them in one gallon pots and will move them to two gallons when a good root system is established.

I'm guessing 50% sun/shade 'til they have a good root system put down and they can them be moved to brighter light.

Or should they get bright sunlight right away to begin with??


Paul M.
Tampa — 9b

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Tape Types for use grafting . . . .
« on: July 20, 2023, 05:47:24 PM »
A friend says that she is using black plastic electrician's tape as she is starting experimenting with graftng some mangoes.

That prompts me to ask what options/materials/tapes are availabe and/or are appropriate for securing grafted material together?

I also noticed on another post today someone asking about when to remove aluminum foil from a graft unon area. So how useful s aluminum foil for wrapping/securing a graft?  Is there any sort of galvanic reaction that a grafted plant might react negatively to?

Has anyone tried using Florist Tape to secure grafts?  That is a waxed crepe paper tape that is stretchy and used to wrap corsages together with.  Would that be useful for grafting?

What other materials are suitable for grafting?

Enquiring minds and all that rot . . . .

Paul M.

I recently had a BIG mat of bananas cut down (it was supposed to be 'Double Mahoi', but now not sure if that's what it actually is) which had grown to comprise about a dozen pseudostems most of which had not bloomed.  I had my lawn guy cut them into 18-inch pieces and toss them into my flowerbeds to rot down.

Well today some three weeks later, my lawn man discovered that the bottommost part of one of those cut-down sections had pushed out a flower bud!  I never imagined this could happen so I asked him to take some pix of it.  Just look at this:

Anway we were both surprised that there was so much will-to-live remaining in that cut section of banana stalk. I wouldn't have guessed that such a thing could happen from these cut up sections of banana pseudostems!

Anyone else ever have this happen?


Paul M.

Since we've just been going on about fast-growing mangoes I thought I'd ask about what are our members' favorite condo, dwarf, or semi-dwarf mango cultivars for Florda 9b might be.

I'm currently growing:


'Beverly' was like 8ft tall in a 7gal pot and suddenly just up and died for no reason that I could tell.  Oddly my 'Fairchild', in a 5gal pot and six feet tall, died back too, but is still alive above the graft union and has sprouted a few new leaves so it may recover.

Now I am wondering what other dwarf of semi-dwarf mango cultivars you would suggest.  I'm open to suggestions or recommendations.



Saw this article today in the Tico Times, a Costarrican online newspaper, and although it's sligtly off-topic I believe that it should be of interest to TFF members since there has been previous discussion about pink pineapples on the list:

Costa Rican Authorities Crack Down on Illegal Pink Pineapple Cultivation

Paul M.

Are there any of our TFF members growing Garcinia prainiana successfully in 9b?

I would like to try it and although it is very cold sensitive it can be kept small, about six feet tall and in a pot so that it can be brought in during cooler times, but still will fruit at that small size, at least so as the various reports online that I have read indicate.

Have looked for plants online but every place seems out-of-stock at this writing.  (Would rather have an established 2- to 3-yo plant than seeds.)

Would very much welcome some feedback from any of our members who've had success growing this in central Florida.  (I'm reasonably sure that someone here must have!)  If it looks doable in 9b then I will make an extensive search for a plant.


Paul M.

 . . . . or are they actually different species?

They look very much the same but one (which one?) has an elongated fruit and the other's fruit is more round.

Some (the elongated ones?) are sweeter and others (the rounded ones?) are more sour.

Are there enough structural differences in the plants / leaves / flowers / fruit / etc. to warrant considering these to be two separate species?

Was hoping that some of our TFF members who are growing this/these variants might weigh in with their sage observations.

Paul M.

Looking for a reasonably priced ($12 or under), rooted 'flavicarpa' as a companion/pollinator for my existing 'flavicarpa'.

Something in a one gallon pot and about 10-inches tall would be OK.

Even cuttings might be OK if they would survive being mailed during 90º weather.

PM me, please.

Paul M.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay . . . .
« on: May 17, 2023, 01:00:17 AM »
 . . . I'm chortling in my joy — cuz my biribá is blooming, for the first time with perhaps a dozen flowers that have just opened on it!!!

My biribá (Rollinia deliciosa) is closing on five years old, is about six feet tall with a 2-inch diameter trunk, so for a first-bloom event I am holding out the hope that it may set and hold at least one or two fruit this first time 'round.

Fingers X-ed!

Paul M.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Just tasted my first pitangatubas . . .
« on: May 04, 2023, 02:13:23 AM »
My oldest pitangatuba, obtained from Adam S. three years ago, has finally set some fruit.  Here in Tampa this past week we had some windy weather and several ripe fruit blew off the bush.

I found them on the ground next to the bush late the next day; there were three.  One was small with no seed and fairly fibrous.  The middlesized one was yellow just verging onto orange and was probably on the overripe side.  The third one was large, about 1-in. in diameter.  These were round and not the elongated fruits sometimes seen.

They were not particularly sour, but had enough sweetness to balance the sourness, and a nice aromatic flavor and aftertaste which only vaguely suggested the flavor of pitangas.  I will have to try a few more to have a better idea for how to describe the flavor, but I found it to be pleasant.  It seems like allowing the fruits to ripen for a day after picking them (or having had them fall of into your hand when you touch them) lets them get a little sweeter.

Now I have two big seeds to plant.  Can anyone please advise me how long pitangatuba seeds are viable after being removed from the fruit?  Do they need to be kept damp?


Paul M.

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Another 'Pickering' problem . . .
« on: April 08, 2023, 01:29:08 PM »
I bought a 'Pickering' grafted in a 1 gallon pot last October (2022) from an established nursery in south Florida.  It reacted to the late December cold snap here in Tampa by gradually dropping all its leaves and then slowly dying back to the understock.  There has been no further activity from this one, not even from the understock which is still green.

So I went ahead and ordered another 'Pickering' from the same nursery, also in a 1 gallon pot.  It came in late February, looks perfectly healthy, but is just sitting, inactive, hasn't made any effort at flushing new leaves now since I received it.  I has been very sparingly watered and only once fertilized with a tiny splash of very weak diluted Jack's fertilizer. It gets full sun for half a day.

Any thoughts about this particular mango cultivar and why it continues sitting inactive for me? 

Any suggestions welcomed!

Paul M.

After reading several of the Kwai Muk threads plus the most recent one wondering about varieties of Kwai Muk (Artocarpus parvus) and at least one comment about the flavor of the fruits from different individuals, I'm prompted to ask if anything is known about whether culture and/or feeding of this species affects the fruits' flavor.  And even possibly the climate or soil in which the tree is being grown . . .  Or could it even be simply how ripe the fruit is when consumed?

This may be a longshot bevy of questions but still, someone may know something since there are now more folks trying to grow this species.

Just curious . . . .

Paul M.

Is anyone on the TFF here growing this batwing leafed, yellow flowered passion vine?

My vine grew well all summer and I was hoping to get it to set some fruit because I am curious to taste it since I can find no reports on the flavor of the smallish fruits.  So far no fruit set.

But now the leaves are getting a yellowish cast to them and I'm not sure why exactly.  It may be a deficiency or possibly it wants more fertilizer.  It gets watered regullarly and receives half a day's sun, then shade in the afternoon.

I'm hoping that one of our TTF members maybe can offer me some suggestions for how they are succeeding with this fairly recently discovered species.

Any & all suggestions welcomed....


Paul M.

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