From Sour to Sweet?

Indian River County is well known as one of Florida’s top 10 citrus producing areas. From November to June, it’s quite common to see huge open-air citrus haulers roll by with ripe fruit, bound for local packinghouses and processing plants.

I, too, have a citrus tree, a Honeybell that SHOULD produce a tasty, sweet grapefruit/tangerine hybrid, but right now it functions strictly as a “squat” for wayward  guests:

mockingbird nest

The mockingbirds built this nest last year; I saw them fly in earlier today and eyeball the new, Spanish arrival,

Spanish Moss

"The name is Moss...Spanish Moss" 😉

who seems none-too-pleased to be sharing his host with THIS resource drain:

Tillandsia Fasciculata

Hey! I was here first!!

Poor tree…I think I heard it cry for help:

HoneyBell Citrus Tree

"Save me!!!!! Please!!!"

In truth, this Honeybell’s problems preceded my arrival at small house, but as I’ve ignored it over the past two years, the situation worsened.  In addition to the greasy spot fungus, it developed black spot, a disease that appeared for the first time in Florida during 2010. Thankfully, both can be managed by applying copper fungicide and horticultural sprays, but not just yet.  Currently, the tree is setting new blooms that will open continuously over the next few weeks, and research suggests treating fungi 4 weeks after petal-drop.

Right now though, I CAN start fertilizing with 8-8-8 and then repeat the application in May/June.  I’ve also ordered a product called Keyplex, to add some much needed micronutrients to the tree’s diet; as with humans, nutritionally sound trees are more resistant to infection.

I can’t say for certain if all (or even any) of these measures will turn such a sad and sour story into something sweet, but I’m hopeful.  🙂     Last fall, I thought this Home Depot half dead orchid would never make it, and look at it today:

Purple Speckled Phalaenopsis

Until next time……….

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12 thoughts on “From Sour to Sweet?

  1. I don’t think much citrus grows in Maryland, but you are making me hungry for local fresh fruits come summer! One of the great things about visiting Florida is the freshly squeezed orange juice at breakfast.

    Somewhat off subject, but this also makes me remember fresh mangoes picked from the trees in Honduras….

  2. We have an orange tree, a tangerine tree, and a pear tree here in our yard. I’ve read in a few blogs that pear trees don’t do well in Florida, but maybe I’m so far up north that it could be considered south Georgia (??), who knows. Our tree does just fine!

  3. I’ve never heard of a Honeybell. It sounds like it’d be a tasty sensation. Your little tree sure has a lot of guests in it and growing on it. Bless it’s little citrus heart. Your orchids are lovely. I wish you luck and success with your Honeybell tree. 🙂

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