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Messages - Daintree

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I use a mixture of 2/3 raised bed potting mix, and 1/3 perlite and mine do great in it.  Then just don't over-water them.  I also cover the surface of the pot with small chunk bark as a water-breaker so the perlite doesn't all drift to the surface.


I have had this happen with other hard seeds. Do not try to pull it off, you will just rip the cotyledons apart.
What I do is take a pair pliers and VERY gently and slowly, squeeze the seed until I hear a "crunch".
Then just leave it.  Just makes it easier for the plant to fight its way out.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: $2500 for seedlings
« on: October 02, 2023, 09:17:49 AM »
I should try that! I have some dandelions I could sell -
genuine Taraxacum! Health benefits too many to list!
Only $300 each, shipping included!

By the way, my greenhouse is its own country - The Commonwealth of North Daintree
Its motto is "Taraxacum in perpetuum"

Carolyn  ;D

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: What's going on with my Bael Fruit tree?
« on: October 02, 2023, 09:10:32 AM »
My guess would be the soil is too wet and the roots suffocated. I had two bael seedlings, and this is what the one I killed looked like.  Even as seedlings, they don't need a lot of water. Probably too late for it, but you can try replacing the soil with a better draining mix.
If the soil isn't too wet, then I have no idea what's up with it...


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Are there any other fruits worth growing?
« on: October 02, 2023, 09:04:34 AM »
SF Bay, I want to see some pics of your place!


Sorry, just pushing this to the top again.

Not having any luck identifying this past possibly Heliconia latispatha, probably some sort of hybrid. FloridaManDan, I have looked everywhere for something with similar colors, to no avail. Do you know of a nursery that could help?

I am thinking that because the flower is not fully erupted, ID is more difficult.
I have reached out to the Master Gardener office in the area, and they are leaning towards strelitzia, which given these colors, is impossible.

I sure would like one for my greenhouse!


So, you are worried about low humidity, because then the plants lose moisture more quickly. Right?

We are in the high desert, and sometimes there is not a cloud all summer. When the exhaust fans kick on, any humidity gain in the greenhouse is sucked out in seconds. I used to try and monitor humidity directly, but it varied so wildly from location to location (depending on shade, plant density, etc) I just gave up.

Now I just use the "plant happiness equation" - Plant looks happy? Humidity ok. Plant looks stressed/wilted/crispy-edged/soil drying too quickly? Boost the humidity.
Very unscientific, but way better than chasing electronic readings all over the place.

I have noticed over the years, as my trees mature, the canopy gets more dense, more plant matter in general, that this contributes a LOT to the overall balance of things out there.

In the summer, I have misters that are set to come on at certain times, usually during the day when I know the exhaust fans will be running.
I also use foggers.  I did have two - one in the tropical house and one in the orangerie.  The two are separated by a door that remains open so the parrots can move about freely.

I found that the orangerie plants do fine with much lower humidity, so both foggers are now in the tropical area and this is working great.  They run for one hour, off for two hours, 24/7.
I do not use shade cloth anymore. I switched to shade paint and really like it.
I do also get out there with the hose when it is really hot, and everyone gets a bath.  As soon as the birds hear the hose, they all line up for a shower.

In the winter, once I fire up the two gas wall furnaces, I turn the misters off. The furnaces produce a huge amount of water vapor.  I still keep the fogger going.

Like I said, very unscientific, but it works for me.  Less technical monitoring, and more direct observation.


Hi Guys,
Ok, I am counting on all you South Florida folks to help me with this! When we were in the keys, I came across a very small plant, 18" high, that has leaves and flowers like bird of paradise, but the colors!!! Never seen this before! I have been trying to locate some, but none match these colors!
Please someone, what is this called? And where can I get it?

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Backyard Fruit Trees
« on: September 24, 2023, 02:14:10 AM »
Awesome yard! Glad you found found us!


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: What is your favourite tropical fruit?
« on: September 23, 2023, 01:15:40 PM »
There are many that I love, but if push comes to shove it will be lychee.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: The Best Cinnamon Species
« on: September 17, 2023, 02:42:03 PM »
I have a cinnamon zeylanicum. I don't use the bark but i like to chew on the twigs when I prune, I make tea out of the leaves, and I love to eat the berries.


Well, you can tell from the responses that it is a hearty "Yes" to your question!
I do everything I can to boost germination - soaking, H2O2, heat, humidity. I find this especially important because if I have been fruit hunting at fruit stands, and only aquired a couple fruits, I may have limited seed supply.

Happy germinating!

Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Fruit trees reliable in containers / pots?
« on: September 11, 2023, 11:53:54 AM »
I'm so sorry to hear about your service animal. That can feel like losing part of your own body.
A couple of thoughts -
1. I would go with something pretty, bushy, and easy to manage, such as gin berry (glycosmis pentaphylla). Unusual, beautiful, takes well to pruning, does great in a pot and grows well from seed. I have them coming up all over my greenhouse just from eating the berries and spitting the seeds out on the floor.
2. Remember, even if a plant fails, her ashes are still in the potting soil, ready to give nutrtion to whatever else you plant in there.

If you want some gin berry seeds to start, I have tons! Just let me know and I can mail you some when I get home on the 26th.


You can do bottomless rootmakers like Mark and I.
Works really well as it's no dig either. Now maybe the maple roots will grow up though like mentioned. Could you take out the maple trees?
I have some decent sized trees about 20' from the greenhouse and I plant to cut them out this winter cause of shade issues.
Yeah, the maple tree is 70 years old, shades the greenhouse in our hot cloudless summers, and houses all sorts of wildlife.  We did cut down 3 fir trees to put in the greenhouse, so I just don't have the heart to kill "Mabel". When the arborist says she's on the way out then we'll do it.
And yes, I guess the roots would grow up into any raised beds, and probably rootmaker pots, although the pots are a good option.  There is about 6 inches of bark on the floor that has been decomposing over the years, and I noticed Mabel's roots have come up through that.
Heavy sigh.


If you can find a reasonably priced 8-10mm polycarbonate panel they are quite sturdy and won't rot.   

I am curious why you want to switch from containers to raised beds.  I find containers really convenient to be able to inspect plant roots and change soil.

I just thought it would look prettier, plus as I get older, it is harder to repot the bigger trees when they need it.

I am on vacation and just went to Kew Gardens. Loved the palm house, and am toying with getting rid of the pots in my greenhouse,
Because of massive maple tree roots under the greenhouse, I can't even dig down a few inches. But I'm thinking of very large raised beds, maybe 15" high, and letting the trees in the greenhouse dig down into native soil and wiggle trhough the maple roots.
Any ideas for thin, sturdy raised bed walls? 4" wide cinderblocks and anchor them? Wood that won't rot or poison my plants? Thin poured concrete walls?


I have grown these for years in my greenhouse, and even sold some seeds here on the forum a few years ago.  I forget where I got the original seeds - I should keep better records!
I love them, and you are right, they fruit quite young.  I have several seedlings goong right now in addition to my mother plant.

Cheers, Carolyn

Yes, all my citrus are in pots. For a 25 gallon pot I use 2ml of the concentrate in a few cups of water. I water normally first, wait a few days then dose with the drench. Now, we don't have ACPs here, but do have other psyllids, plus various other pests. I have also had good luck with a spray of LUCID in addition to the LADA. Both are made my Rotam. The LUCID has the advantage of being a good miticide too, and I have problems with spider mites sometimes.


A double whammy of cyfluthrin spray and systemic imidicloprid is the most effective treatment. I have not had good luck with the Bayer imidicloprid product, so I use LADA drench. Super concentrated. For the cyfluthrin, I use Bayer Tempo.
Good luck!


Sort of... I grow mine in a greenhouse all year. 

Before I had the greenhouse I kept my trees in a sunroom, and the papaya only did well with a LOT of light - four 4ft shop lights about a foot above the leaves.

Otherwise the leaves got smaller and smaller until they were just little nubs.  They did recover when I put them outside, but it was a long recovery.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: tree labeling
« on: August 25, 2023, 11:09:22 PM »
I just use white plastic "T stake" plant markers and write on them with a paint pen. On one side I print the common name, on the other I put the botanical name. 

Each plant also has an aluminum tag with a code that includes year, plant #, material type (seed, plant, cutting etc), source (collected in the wild, fruit stand, nursery etc), and its assigned acession number. Abbreviations, of course, and those soft tags you engrave with a ballpoint pen.

I have about 150 trees.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Re: Cone-tainers question
« on: August 25, 2023, 10:43:37 PM »
I have used similar things when I got a bunch of  "tree tubes".
They help make nice deep roots, but then I still have to pot them up into bigger containers, and they spend so little time in the tubes, that I wouldn't say they saved me any space.

If you are starting hundreds of things at once, then they would save you space and "tippage" compared to the 3" wide by 7" deep pots that I use now. But I am never starting more than a dozen or two seeds at once, so the rack took up just as much space as 30 tall pots.


His website looks like it is down right now. I'd try again tomorrow.
Because my trees are in pots, I use strictly synthetic, to feed the trees directly. I do have a fairly high organic content to my potting soil, but if a tree needs some nutrients, I don't want to wait months or years after adding organic fertilizers, since they must be broken down first by soil microbes.


Tropical Fruit Discussion / Aframomum (grains of paradise) doesn't bloom
« on: August 19, 2023, 09:53:18 AM »
I have several healthy aframomum plants that have never bloomed. Any idea how to make them bloom?
They are in pots in the shade, in my greenhouse.


As a side question, ive red that sintetic fertilizers do not promote biodiversity in soil,  do they only not promote or also inhibit soil biome?
There is a great website by Robert Pavlis called Garden Myths where he studies and clarifies/debunks a lot of gardening lore. In one, he addresses synthetic fertilizers, and it turns out that the soil microbes are just as non-picky as plants - they will eat anything, organic or synthetic. Soil with lots of organic matter had the highest microbial and fungal diversity, followed by soil receiving synthetic fertilizer, followed last by soil with no amendments.


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