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What's the sweetest orange cultivar?

Posted by newgen 9 Central California (My Page) on
Wed, May 2, 12 at 16:03

The "navel" oranges that are all over southern CA supermarkets are pretty good, but not as sweet as those labeled "Texas sweet oranges". Not sure I can obtain the "Texas" type, due to CA restriction. What else is out there that are sweet?
Thanks,


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: What's the sweetest orange cultivar?

Cara Cara hands down for a navel.

Patty S.


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RE: What's the sweetest orange cultivar?

I like mandarins. Well, I like all citrus but I have had some pretty sweet mandarins. But I have only tried a few different oranges so my vote is kind of swayed hehehe. I had a sweet navel once but I dont know what kind it was so I bought a "Lanes Late" navel. The first two oranges it produced were semi sweet. But then again the tree was only less than 2 years old with ALOT of problems. I would think Pattys advice would be enough considering how many trees she has..lol


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RE: What's the sweetest orange cultivar?

  • Posted by newgen 9 Central California (My Page) on
    Wed, May 2, 12 at 22:23

Patty,
I read some good things about Cara Cara, so last month I got some from Costco, very disappointed in the not-so-sweet flavor. Must be because Costco fruits, like most supermarkets, are picked way early and allowed to ripen in storage.

blazeaglory,
I like mandarins, too. I have a Darcy and a Murcott.

I have dug 10 holes in my backyard, just waiting to plant some hardy fruit trees there. Citrus will be represented, as they're grown commercially around my area. I'll probably add a couple of Snow Queen nectarines as well. This area of my yard is south facing, will get full, hot sun all day, not for the finicky, sensitive trees.

Thanks,


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RE: What's the sweetest orange cultivar?

Uh Oh. Be careful what you say about the "finicky" trees. You'll have the villagers out with pitch forks and torches after you...lol :-)


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RE: What's the sweetest orange cultivar?

Blazeaglory,

Don't be so sensitive about the remarks here. You were right to warn the newby about Meyers being finicky; but in truth when you understand them they are not so much so.

I on the other hand, as many who are Meyer lovers are quick to defend them. It is an industrial bias on my part; more of a love affair bias with those who have become Meyer fans.

Feel free to continue to call Meyers "finicky"; for the beginner, they definitely are.


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RE: What's the sweetest orange cultivar?

Lol are you still talking about meyers? Man you are in LOVE.

Get over it. They are finicky. Plain and simple. Thats all i said. Dare I say ....over rated???? OMG delete delete delete...just kidding:-)

And you think Im the one who is sensitive? Who is in every thread defending the mighty meyer when even the slightest whisper of "finicky" is mentioned? I like you because you love lemon trees so much. Im beginning to respect you more and more every day for your valiant defense of the humble meyer lemon (not that its been around for 60 years or anything)

I think we can all agree that meyers are like the over sensitive child that we all love so much but requires just that little bit of extra attention that we dont mind giving. But god forbid any neighbor or person say the slightest remark about our little finicky child...lol

Whoah, I think I became possessed for a minute because I dont remember writing that!

Its all in good fun John:-) We all love the meyer(Yes it was even my first (and semi favorite) tree) I can still remember the first moment I laid eyes on her. All stems and no leaves. She was marked down %75 but I didnt mind, saved me some money. I tended to her for 1.5 years and she rewarded me with green glorious leaves and marble sized fruit. But alas! A cold front! She yellowed and dropped fruit and the green that I had grown to love had gone and left me...But today she showed me some green. New growth green. She melted cold my heart but I wont tell her that.


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RE: What's the sweetest orange cultivar?

  • Posted by newgen 9 Central California (My Page) on
    Thu, May 3, 12 at 1:05

Oh now I get it, didn't know where that "finicky" thing was coming from. I think I saw it mentioned on another thread. No worries. I have am improved Meyer, it's been growing great, I planted it just for fun, not intending or expecting to keep it around, but it's been giving me lots of lemons every year, going on 3 years now. 100F or 30F here in Bakersfield, doesn't faze it a bit. In my experience, it's not at all "finicky" or "sensitive", extremely hardy and vigorous.


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RE: What's the sweetest orange cultivar?

Maybe you have a grapefruit confused with a meyer...lol


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RE: What's the sweetest orange cultivar?

  • Posted by TimSF CA Z8B/Sunset17 (My Page) on
    Thu, May 3, 12 at 10:28

WOW blaze, you must truly have been traumatized by your initial negative experience with the Meyer! (OMG, did I just say that? DELETE, DELETE, DELETE. J.K.!!! :-)).

In all seriousness, like John and a few others on this forum, I (fortunately) have not had any growing issues with any of my 3 in-ground and 1 potted Meyers (and I consider myself a beginner!). Why no issues for me? Climate/regional characteristics, media, feeding/watering regimen, all/some of it, none of it?... You/the reader decide(s). The great thing about this forum is just that. It is a forum where ALL are encouraged to post their experiences and the reader is free to decide for him/herself. And if my opinion/experience is different from yours, so what? The more data the better for everyone, I say, woundn't you agree?

Now back to topic:
newgen, I would have to agree with Patty here and say that my favorite of the oranges currently is the Cara Cara (and I love the cool pink flesh color!). And like you, I too have experienced disappointing flavors depending on the source. My best guess is that this is due to where they're grown and fruit under-/just right-/over- ripeness. Regarding other citrus, my other favorite for sweetness is the Gold Nugget mandarin.

Tim


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RE: What's the sweetest orange cultivar?

I like the Cara Cara; have 3 at my lemon farm.

Tim and Newgen... the big difference with your Meyers is they are in the ground. Planted in ground they are much less sensitive; and grown in the field as a crop they are actually quite simple to grow.

Back to the Cara Cara for the OP... look for it on Macrophylla or Carrizo root, if you can find it; you will get fruit faster and probably sweeter than on a dwarf root.


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RE: What's the sweetest orange cultivar?

  • Posted by newgen 9 Central California (My Page) on
    Thu, May 3, 12 at 12:57

Thanks Johnmerr, I will look for Cara Cara on the rootstocks you mentioned.

Tim: Did you get Gold Nugget mandarin at a private nursery, or big box stores? Thanks,


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RE: What's the sweetest orange cultivar?

Same with my Meyer lemon. It is my most reliable tree. When I bought my house back in 2006, nearly all the citrus were in serious trouble. Lack of water and fertilizer mainly, and a lot of critter damage (rabbits eating at the bark, snails, roof rats gnawing the fruits and tender branches). The only tree really in good shape was the Meyer lemon. It is hugely prodigious for me here in N. San Diego county coastal area. I have Meyer lemons coming out my eyeballs. Fortunately, I love them. They make the best EVER lemonade, Limoncello (new batches will be forthcoming, and I WILL share my recipes with folks. John M., still waiting for your prized recipe!!). If you get this on standard rootstock, beware! It will become a monster here in this area, lol! Not that this is a bad thing, and that's what pruners are for. :-) I find my Meyer lemon tree to be on par with all my orange trees - pretty much carefree and no problems at all. Conversely, anything with pumello in the genetic lineup struggles here. True grapefruits are no problem - both my Rio Reds are doing very well in fact. But my Valentine, Oro Blanco, Melogold, Tahitian and Mato Buntan pumellos as well as my Chironja Orangelo and Ortanique Tangor and are all struggling with prolonged chlorosis. I think it's due to their original history of being much more tropical than sub-tropical citrus. And I am decidedly not in a tropical growing zone.

Patty S.


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RE: What's the sweetest orange cultivar?

  • Posted by TimSF CA Z8B/Sunset17 (My Page) on
    Thu, May 3, 12 at 15:09

Newgen, I was quite lucky and bought the last Gold Nugget it seems from my local Lowe's at the time for about $23. I know that Four Winds Growers carry them so, at worst, you can order directly from them. Best.

Tim


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RE: What's the sweetest orange cultivar?

I planted a Red Navel(Cara-Cara) this year too. I am with you. I have bought Cara Caras and have been disappointed so I am hoping they are better right off the tree.

My Myers is a real solider too producing nearly 300 lemons at an average weight of nearly 1/2 pound each. The record for my tree is just over 3/4 pound for one lemon. Meyer's makes the best lemonade in the world.


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RE: What's the sweetest orange cultivar?

I bought a Gold Nugget at 4 Winds a couple of years ago, very nice
tree.

Um, my new Meyer is defoliating as we speak, but no problem, I expected it! Lol, I'll just say Meyer Lemons can be finicky in zone 6b in containers... I'll be closely watching my variegated lemon ( arrived last night), and will compare how they acclimate...


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RE: What's the sweetest orange cultivar?

Uh oh...lol

Yes my meyer grows itself as well. It does not like the cold though. I was serious when I said I bought her with all stems and no leaves. Some of my trees (including my meyer)were bought discounted. They defoliated and got marked down to $6. My meyer soon began to grow many green leaves. But every time cold weather persists, the babe doth protest.


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RE: What's the sweetest orange cultivar?

The "Texas Sweet oranges" if low in seeds, are probably Marrs. If they are very seedy, then they are probably pineapples. It is my understanding that "Louisiana Sweets" are also pineapples.

I was once on a dove hunting trip with a long past friend and citrus buyer. We were on his brothers place near Donna, TX as he pointed out the adjacent grove as the place of the original Marrs orange. Marrs is a bud sport (mutant) of a navel. Some Marrs oranges are reverting back to navels.

Before you run out and buy a Marrs tree, be aware of the fact that the sweetness of Lower Rio Grande Valley citrus is due to the combination of local climate and the sour orange rootstock. On the upper Texas Coast, the Republic of Texas orange is sweetest I have seen. Those trees have been growing on the Caldwell Ranch in Brazoria county since before the Civil War. The oranges slightly resemble Parson Brown.

Some tan-tangelos such as Page and Fairchild are sold as oranges. I have heard reports of Fairchild with 28% sugar. Last year my Pages were sweeter than my Fairchilds. The acid in tan-tangelos is higher than than round oranges so the sugar/acid balance gives a greater combo than pure Mandarins or pure round oranges. Ponkan (Chinese Honey Mandarin) is sometimes an exception to this general rule. You will find that growing citrus is similar to grapes. Some vintages are much better than others. Always plant what does best in your area.

Larry


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RE: What's the sweetest orange cultivar?

Ive bought the navel oranges newgen mentioned. I nearly ate an entire 2lb bag, they were so darn sweet! For me its a toss up really, sometimes the orange is super sweet....sometimes its a bit bitter.


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