Finicky vs. Robust

serge94501August 3, 2014

What has been your most finicky tree and what has been your most robust?

For me, the most difficult varietal has been the variagated eureka (pink lemonade) tree.

The best grower under all conditions has been the Kaffir Lime.

(Actually, the Yuzu has been the best but it's next to a 1,000 gal water tank that keeps it warm at night - not fair).

Your couple?

This post was edited by serge94501 on Sun, Aug 3, 14 at 15:29

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evdesert 9B Indio, CA

I have a semi dwarf eureka lemon that never really produced, grew or did much of anything, in all fairness I think I overwatered it when I first planted it and it probably caught a disease or fungus. I am going to replace it with a Meyer lemon this spring. My key lime trees have done the best, they are constantly covered in fruit and put out growth flushes several times a year. My rio red grapefruit is a slow grower, I get a couple growth flushes per year and the fruit is getting better every year, it's very sensitive to the chlorine that my water district uses during the summers here in the desert. The gold nugget and tango mandarin trees I planted earlier this year seem to be doing well they have had 2 growth flushes since February. The bearss lime tree I planted in February has put out some fantastic fruit that was on the tree when I bought it but was only just ripe a couple weeks ago. My variegated pink eureka lemon is very sensitive to the sun here in the desert, half of the tree got fried until I covered it with some burlap, I'm beginning to wonder if I should've planted one out here in our intense sun but it's starting to push some new growth since being protected, just hope that's not something I will have to do every year. The cara cara navel I planted earlier this year is doing very well, no flowering yet but tons of new healthy green growth all over it. So that's what's working for me out in the desert, hope it was helpful.
Evan

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 1:45PM
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johnmerr(11)

Most finicky? Meyer lemon in a container. Most robust? Meyer lemon in the field. The most constantly productive? Kumquats and Calamondin; but that is in the ground and in the tropics.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 2:12PM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

Serg..SAME here..Variegated lemon..What a pain the the but..I just threw my last one out..It always struggles..I am not about to keep it at a constant room temp and lot's of sun when it does not exsist..That it..

My MOST robust I would say is also my Kaffir...It grows like a weed, with or without heat sun or food..lol

MIke

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 3:09PM
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johnmerr(11)

IMHO the variegated lemon is more of an affectation than a productive tree; they don't do well even when planted in the field in California. If you want a Eureka, get a Eureka.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 3:23PM
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serge94501

Welp, that settles it. In a world of finite container space, the variegated lemon will get squeezed out.

Meanwhile...variegated calamondin is going gangbusters. yay!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 3:31PM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

Serg .l.ololol..That's just too funny..That is exactly what I did..And I'm about to do the same for others if we can't shake off this cold weather and I have to bring them in a couple of months early...

John...Exactly...

MIke

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 3:47PM
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Steve, Micro (6B ground, 5B roof)

Finicky --- all 3 of my seed grow kumquat trees are just south of worthless.

My seed grown Poncirus trifoliata grows like a weed. It only grows 5 month out or a year and out does my Seed grown sweetlee tangerine trees that grow all 12 months a year.

Steve

This post was edited by poncirusguy on Mon, Aug 4, 14 at 15:03

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 4:57PM
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subtropix

Kumquats are definitely NOT finicky, if there is a problem with them, something is fundamentally wrong in their cultivation. Post a pic if possible.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 5:40PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Variegated Pink Lemon (as John says, it really is just a novelty tree). Most vigorous, Santa Teresa Femminello. Grows like a WEED. Most prolific? Meyer lemon. Way WAY too much fruit for one tree. Ridiculous amount of fruit. I feel like the more I pick, the more it produces. It is impossible to over fertilize this tree.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 6:51PM
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BarbJP CA 15-16/9B

Most Finicky;
I'm also going with Meyer lemon in a container. Before I knew to fertilize them more than my other citrus, they were always more pale and got various minor deficiencies. Put on a decent crop of lemons, but took so long to recover.

I was surprised as we had a old Meyer in the ground at our old house and it was pretty much a cast-iron plant, tons of fruit, nice green leaves. And it was shoved up under the house eaves with Bermuda grass all around it,(except where the canopy shaded out the grass.) Maybe it got more fertilizer from over spill when we fed the grass, but that's all it got and only water from the lawn sprinklers. It's still there, pumping out lemons all year long.

The ones in my containers are doing well now that I re-potted with a gritty mix and fertilize a lot more.

Most Robust;
without doubt it's a tie between the Thai lime and the Yuzu limes. Both limes grow happily in their pots, no worries, they fruit often and the leaves are always green and lush.

Well, except in winter for the Yuzu, maybe this is why they are so frost hardy, but they will lose their leaves at the lowest frost point, yet put out new ones very quickly, withing a few weeks or so after.
I've read of others who've noticed this quirk with this variety. Both of mine do it, and are in different parts of the yard.

We had a week of temps down into the 20*F last December, very unusual for us. I pulled all my citrus under the covered patio and wrapped them in soft gauzy material to protect them. They all lived but had varying degrees of branch tip frost burn.

The one Yuzu I put undercover dropped it's leaves but had no frost burn anywhere. The other I forgot about and it weathered the cold out in the open, but same results, dropped leaves, no tip burn, and both recovered more quickly than the others.

Cast iron Yuzu! lol!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 8:24PM
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RyanLo(NC 7B)

Finiky:

Tarocco - has a splitting issue for me I always get fruit but normally about a third to a half split, Normally its the first to show a micro issue

Variegated eureka - low production, It will bear but a limited amount. Agree with you guys who have posted about it being mostly a show piece

Page and ponkan I guess colud be in this category because the alternate bearing tendencies

Robust:

Moro - always rock solid production and quality, almost never to show a deficiency.

Meyer? for me its a champ. Never an issue and consistent production and quality. Unfortunately for me I prefer a real lemon to meyer. every year they are consumed though :)

Satsumas - are easy and productive always good quality fruit. (I have 5 different types, all fall in this category)

Nippon - easy and heavy production summer flowers are a bonus some years

Lisbon - easy and always flowering if not holding enough fruit.

Meiwa - the tree is determined to fruit a ridiculous amount every year.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 10:06PM
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Steve, Micro (6B ground, 5B roof)

please note that these trees are on their own roots from seed.

Meiwa is 28 months old.

The bottomless can holds a seed grown poncirus trifoliata and has been lined up to do a bend graft. The trees with the hand drawn White "+" are grapefruit for bend grafting meiwa. The persulane ground cover is grown in separate container to much the soil for meiwa.

Steve

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 11:34PM
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Steve, Micro (6B ground, 5B roof)

This is my 29 month old P.T. that grows like a weed 5 months out of a year. I grew this for meiwa grafting root stock. All 20+ grafts have failed and I have decided that grafting was not the way to go but to chose something other than kumquats.

Steve

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 11:40PM
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Steve, Micro (6B ground, 5B roof)

My 19 month old sweetlee tangerine tree from seed.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2014 at 11:42PM
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molewacker z9b Napa CA (No.SFBay)(9b Danville E(SF)Bay CA)

My grapefruits and specifically Oro Blanco have been the most finicky. I have a tough time getting them to take up nutrition.
The lemons including the PinkV have all been robust growers,,,, but not robust in the sense of survival. All lemons have gotten badly damaged the past two winters. [i guess they don't like 18F-22F nights over a week+].
So for robust i say Page or Tango.
Here is the Tango:

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 11:58AM
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BarbJP CA 15-16/9B

Yeah Becauseican, that was a crazy week last winter!! I didn't lose any citrus, but some got a lot of frost burn on the branch tips.

But I did lose about 4 hibiscus. Here's to a warmer, and definitely wetter winter this year!!

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 2:38PM
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Steve, Micro (6B ground, 5B roof)

Just one look at your tango tells me how you got your pen name, Becauseican

Steve

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 3:47PM
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molewacker z9b Napa CA (No.SFBay)(9b Danville E(SF)Bay CA)

Thank you Steve! You always amaze with what you do with citrus in your zip code!
Barb, yeah, i sure wish i could roll back to that freeze last December. Coincided perfectly with a "must go" long trip and so i could not protect anything.

I had to dig up my OroBlanco in Napa as it was killed to 1" above the graft (its growing super in a pot now). The PinkL was killed down to about the same height (1" above graft) and now it has fought back and just about 5 ft. tall already! Interestingly, in Danville my OroB was fine and it was the PinkL that was killed complete. The TahitianP, and Bearss lime were dug up and only the TP coming back i a pot. The Bearss is now Volk-in-a-pot.
Bottom line, with all that freeze damage, the only ones that came back strong AND with fruit are the Tango and Page. As i think about it more, I will give the Page top honors because it did not have the luxury of protection close to the house.
Here is a pic of my Page just after the 10 night freeze period:

- George

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 7:44PM
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molewacker z9b Napa CA (No.SFBay)(9b Danville E(SF)Bay CA)

And here is the Page just the other week:

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 7:49PM
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Steve, Micro (6B ground, 5B roof)

Thanks George

After doing a year's research I decided on Meiwa kumquat as the tree fruit of choice and bought the PT seeds an 1/4 bushel of meiwa fruits from from Florida Kumquat growers inc. This was the final picture that kicked me into gear.

Now I have my hopes on meyer lemon trees as a realistic choice.

Steve

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 10:34PM
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axier - Z10, Basque Country (Spain)

Be careful with kumquats, at least Meiwa and Nagami. I had both, and never flowered, they are hardy but need tons of sun and heat for flowering.
I live in zone 9, many years with no frosts, but spring and summers are mild.
Although they take long for ripening, lemons, mandarines and navel oranges produce decently here, but not kumquats.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 4:33AM
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molewacker z9b Napa CA (No.SFBay)(9b Danville E(SF)Bay CA)

Very nice Meiwa Steve! I tried - - - i had a Meiwa for 2 years in the store bought black pot - - - awaiting just the right location to plant it. So i did. Unfortunately that was 2 weeks before the freeze of last December. It was killed complete.

During the 2 years it was awaiting planting, i found that it did not like extreme heat (south side of building) but it did push a few fruits... not too bad.

I still think the location fits real well for it... but my timing stunk. Maybe i will try again soon.

- George!

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 11:54AM
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Steve, Micro (6B ground, 5B roof)

Hi George

The meiwa in the picture is not my tree. It is the picture I saw on an internet story on exotic citrus and how easy they are to grow. I ran out and bought my seeds and joined the garden web and went to work.

There is a reason meiwa kumquats are 3 times the price of other citrus. I tell others not to go with meiwa kumquats. They are just not worth the trouble.

Steve

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 2:40PM
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molewacker z9b Napa CA (No.SFBay)(9b Danville E(SF)Bay CA)

Aha, thanks - i misunderstood.
Well now - this would be a challenge indeed. It is a good looking shrub though.

I can grab another Meiwa (I think on C-35) and try again. If it can get close to the size as the one in the picture it would be rather nice in the spot chosen.
- George

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 2:57PM
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molewacker z9b Napa CA (No.SFBay)(9b Danville E(SF)Bay CA)

deleted duplicate post

This post was edited by Becauseican on Fri, Aug 8, 14 at 15:04

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 2:59PM
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BarbJP CA 15-16/9B

Steve,
Sorry you're not having good luck with your kumquats. I guess this is the main reason kumquats are so often grafted instead of seed grown. Long time until flowers!

I would bet the one in the picture that inspired you is a grafted tree. I'm curious why you never got a grafted kumquat?

I think Key Limes are pretty quick to fruit from seed, I've read anywhere from 3 to 5 years. Maybe that's a quicker way fruit from seed.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2014 at 4:51PM
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RyanLo(NC 7B)

That image Steve posted is most likely a calamondin its defiantly not a Meiwa.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 10:42AM
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Steve, Micro (6B ground, 5B roof)

That picture sure fooled me.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 4:48PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Ryan, why do you think it's a Calamondin? Leaves and fruit look a lot like my Meiwas. Growth habit does not, but then, this tree has been pruned, clearly.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 4:56PM
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RyanLo(NC 7B)

Patty, leaves are too rounded and not pointed like meiwa, fruit is too large and not round enough, fruit has a dimple at the blossom end, much too up wright for a Meiwa.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 10:33AM
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