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RE: orange blossoms

Thanks for the info Jim-  I never knew that Meyer lemon was really a cross-
not wonder it makes such fantastic lemonade when picked fresh and ripe from
the tree!


-----Original Message-----
From: owner-gardenchat@hort.net [mailto:owner-gardenchat@hort.net]On
Behalf Of james singer
Sent: Thursday, January 08, 2004 2:39 PM
To: gardenchat@hort.net
Subject: Re: [CHAT] orange blossoms

It's a difficult [not stupid] question to answer, Kitty. Take the
Valencia orange, for example. The Valencia is the most "popular" orange
in the world. It is the orange that produces about 90 percent of the
world's orange juice. Like most oranges, it produces only one crop in
12 months, but at this time of year, the tree may have both this year's
crop, which can be harvested any time between christmas and, say,
easter, and next year's crop of marble-sized fruit.

On the other hand, many lemons and limes, will flower and fruit year
around. The Eureka lemon, which is one of the two or three major market
lemons, flowers and fruits year around. It is also very finicky about
temperature, tolerating neither heat nor cool. It won't grow here in
Florida. Most production is on the Oxnard Plain, south of Santa
Barbara, California, right along the Pacific.

The only lemon that does well in Florida is the Improved Meyer, which
[as most know] is a lemon-mandarin hybrid, and not a true lemon. It is
reported to have its lemon parent's year-round flowering and fruiting
habit, but mine is more like the once-a-year mandarin parent [a
mandarin is that loose rind fruit usually called "tangerine" or

I think my Key Lime has an interesting bloom-fruit cycle. It starts
blooming in mid summer. The fruit mature quickly, and if you keep
picking them, the bush [my pruning preference] keeps blooming and
setting fruit--apparently until it overwhelms me and I quit picking.

My "Honeybell" Mineola tangelo [tangelo is a hybrid of mandarin and
grapefruit] sets one crop a year and does not seem to bloom until the
current crop has been picked. I think this is the best of all citrus to
be eaten out of hand. Easy to peel, with the fantastic sweetness of the
mandarin, and the tartness of the grapefruit.

There is another tangelo, the Orlando, which is juicier and seedier
than the Mineola. It is used mainly for juice, which is quite good but
probably not available north of Florida.

On Thursday, January 8, 2004, at 02:54 PM, kmrsy@comcast.net wrote:

> Noreen - you mention citrus.
> I have a really stupid question to ask you and Jim and anyone else who
> might know.
> I think I read that some citrus trees crop more than once a year. Do
> oranges set fruit more than once a year? If so, do they have blossoms
> at
> the very same time that they have a big beautiful orange ready for
> picking?
> Kitty
>> Kitty, don't' have to dig anything here at all since the ground
>> doesn't
>> freeze. Do not have a problem here with pots freezing and breaking
>> here at all
>> either...not even the water garden containers.   The plants that I do
>> bring in
>> are
>> all in pots.  Many are succulents (caudiforms, bonsai), Plumerias,
>> and such
>> that do not tolerate being wet or in some cases having moisture at
>> all during
>> winter  (dormancy).  They will rot very quickly.  These are usually
>> plants that
>> one would grow in heated green houses in northern states, with the
>> same
>> principles applying to refraining from watering during dormancy.
>> Learned the
>> hard
>> way.   Other plants I either cover or bring in during an actual
>> freeze are
>> young tropicals in containers that have not really had a chance to
>> become
>> established.  When I first get a plant I tend to be a bit more
>> protective, but
>> once it
>> becomes established I find that I no longer need to feel that way.
>> Now, mind
>> you, if we were ever to get a serious cold snap (down to the low 20's
>> or
>> below) then I would probably protect a lot more than I have in past
>> years.
>> We've had some dips in the past month down to the mid 30's, but yet
>> Hibiscus,
>> Bougainvillas, Aristolochia vine, Roses, Phillipine violets, all the
>> Salvias,
>>  a few orchids, some bromeliads, and a few others are continuing to
>> bloom.
>> For the most part, I've found the plants do better when they are left
>> outside.
>> For instance, by not taking in or protecting the citrus, I have a
>> better crop.
>>  Before I would take in the young citrus which bloomed all winter
>> then, but
>> ended up not setting much fruit.....probably due to not having the
>> pollination
>> inside the garage or house.    On the flip side, the Nectarine
>> doesn't produce
>> as well since it hasn't gotten the low chill hours it requires,
>> although this
>> variety was created by Texas A&M for this area.
>> I've never noticed any of the containers having problems in the
>> summer months
>> with air circulation....plastic or otherwise.  I do have to leave the
>> saucers
>> off of some plants so they do not sit in water during our soaking
>> rains, but
>> otherwise have not had a problem.  Many of the plants that I've kept
>> in
>> containers is largely due to the fact that I'd like to keep them to a
>> certain
>> size,
>> and so that I can move things around.....as in the citrus, shrub
>> bougainvillas, etc.  Otherwise they could easily be put in the
>> ground.  When my
>> dream of
>> acreage comes true, maybe then.....HA! I wish.
>> Noreen
>> zone 9
>> Texas Gulf Coast
>>  In a message dated 1/8/2004 11:03:09 AM Central Standard Time,
>> gardenchat-owner@hort.net writes:
>> Noreen,
>> When you refer to plants you take in, are these already in pots or are
>> they in the ground and you've previously dug up & potted to take in?
>> If you're concerned about cold and they are in pots, you could wrap
>> the
>> pots with a bit of insulation. If in the ground, you could add a
>> winter
>> mulch.
>> I bet you're right about not wanting to be soggy. But would plastic
>> heat
>> up too much under summer sunshine, not allow air circulation? Perhaps
>> a
>> few perforations wouldn't hurt. I know nothing about Plumerias, just
>> guessing. Here, when I want to avoid sogginess, I use a rose cone
>> which
>> insulates but does allow for air circulation. Burlap works too, or
>> netting that encloses leaves stuffed around the plant.
>> I'm not suggesting that zone 5 tactics would necessarily work in Zone
>> 9,
>> but possibly some of the reasons behind these tactics would have
>> something in common with your situation. I agree, there comes a time
>> when hauling things in and out just gets to be too much.
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Island Jim
Southwest Florida
Zone 10

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