I may have figured out how to delay the flowering of the Flavorella plumcot and would like to confirm if someone else has noticed the same. I need to repeat this.
Flavorella plumcot is one of my favorite stone fruits but it is very problematic to have production that even Andy Marianni took out his commercial plantings of it. The main problem is that it blooms too early, very early in fact that it always blooms when we have weeks of rains in late winter, around Mid to Late February. It blooms early because of its low chill requirement and some also suggested that the very cold temperature doesn’t help in pollination as the pollen tubules are slower to grow and the fact that the pistil of Flavorella is longer than most plums and apricots.
So the fruit set is always very poor. Most years, it doesn’t bear fruits at all. But when it bears fruits, you won’t be disappointed. It is like the Santa Rosa Plum with a yellow skin, and much better tasting.
So I’ve been grafting it on various rootstocks and stone fruits to see if I can delay it’s flowering to much later past the rainy season of California. And this year, it may have paid off, the most promising is a graft on a Babcock White Peach. It has bloomed at a week later than the peach, like blooming along with my cherries. It seems that grafting a low chill cultivar on a compatible higher chill cultivar will delay the bloom of the former when slightly more distantly related.
And it created a minor problem, the usual pollenizer which is Royal Rosa has bloomed already. So I might graft the Royal Rosa to the peach or to the Flavorella plumcot itself. I need to repeat the graft on other peaches. Grafting it on to the plums or plum rootstocks makes it bloom at the usual time, very early.
Are those pics of fruit you’ve grown? They look very nice. What kind of flavor do they have? Are they like a pluot, which to me is more plum tasting than apricot. Any tangy-ness, or is it mostly just sweet?
I grew them on our rental property. It taste sweet on the outside and becoming tart towards the pit. Not as runny as Santa Rosa with texture of very juicy apricot. Perfect balance of sweetness and zest for me.
That is great if it is working for you, but I’m surprised. Most of the grafts I have on many of my trees are just from wood I took off my own trees and grafted onto others to help with pollination and/or just for grafting practice and fun. So I have the original tree onsite and many grafts of my different trees on other trees, making it easy to observe the bloom times of the whole tree and compare it to the bloom times of the grafts of that tree that live on other trees. What I’ve seen in every single case- dozens of them in total- is that the grafts and the mother tree they come from both bloom at exactly the same time-not even a days difference. That involves several pluot trees and pluot grafts on plums, peach, and other pluot trees, and well as many other fruits. So I haven’t experienced a graft blooming a day or a week later than the mother tree it came from. But I don’t have Flavorella so it could be different. But I most definitely have the problem of my pluots blooming to early and getting hit by frost, so I’m happy to hear you think you are onto something. Keep us posted, and good luck! BTW, those flavorella look incredible!!! Nice fruit for sure.
I have Flavorella grafted to a pluot and a plum and those bloomed at the same time, very early as usual. The same Flavorella from that pluot, I grafted to the high chill peach, it bloomed about 3-4 weeks later. Flavorella bloom dates aren’t affected when grafted on various plums, pluot and plumcots … and so I tried it on a more distantly related one, for the first time, the peach. It had unexpected vigorous growth and delayed bloom.
I’ve fruited Flavorella about 10 yrs in my greenhouse. It’s a very difficult variety even inside with no wind, freezes, or pests. It drops a day or two before being fully ripe. Most yrs it’s just tart. If you can get the brix above 22 it’s a good tasting fruit. But for me it never comes close to the rich flavor of a high brix nectarine.
Anyone outside of CA or the best spots in AZ should forget about this fruit. I’d much rather grow Tasty Rich aprium which was Flavorella pollination partner. It’s a better piece of fruit and easier to grow, consistent cropper in a freeze free environment and doesn’t drop.
Tasty Rich in GH ripe in April, my earliest tree fruit.
I’ve long known about your greenhouse and all your amazing success, but somehow these photos and the dates you gave all just really brought to mind how amazing your set up really is. Also, makes me want to ad Tasty Rich to my orchard. Like most of my apricots, plumcots and extremely early plums, I probably would lose most crops, but on the good years it sounds like it would be worth it! Anyway, just wanted to say how much I enjoy reading about and seeing what you do with your greenhouse set up. If I ever have a long lost rich relative leave me a small fortune I’m going to build a greenhouse like yours!
I have been reading some of the olds threads when I saw this photo of your Tasty Rich, which begs me to ask you about thinning your cots; what is a good spacing? I thought that for cots a 4-6” spacing is desirable, in this photo you clearly have much less spacing than that… Is Tasty Rich a special case?
No special case. That’s much more fruit than normal. But it’s just one small section of the tree. Other areas had less. I try to judge by leaf to fruit ratio. And have at times left too much fruit resulting in lower brix.
Hi Joe, how has your success with Flavorella been since? Are you still seeing delayed bloom times on the Babcock graft? I am very interested in growing Flavorella, mostly because I love how it tastes. IMO it’s amazing. Just not sure if it’s worth it due to late freezes in my area. Anyway, I’d love to hear an update. Thanks for sharing earlier.