Tropical fruits on the east coast

So far I’ve had much worse luck grafting loquat than anything else I’ve done. Only two out of seven total attempts in the last couple years, and the two successes were the same variety (of course). But I think I’ve mostly tried too early in spring/late winter, since that’s when most people offer scions, or the times I’ve done it later they were old cuttings that sat too long in the fridge.

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I’d guess the latter was the issue, scions sat too long. Just graft em and cover them for a bit, I’m sure you’ll get em to take this time :+1:t3:

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Gone, Something beheaded it.

What was its crime

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I made an interesting observation that, while not strictly about a tropical fruit, should still be relevant for people zone pushing subtropical and tropical plants.

Despite being non-native, oily, aromatic, and having no close relatives in the region, all things which tend to mean much reduced pest pressure, today I found that my Eucalyptus camphora is host to a surprising number of insects.

Not pictured, but there was a small bag worm feeding on it, and some leaves have grasshopper damage.

There were a few spittle bugs on it. It’s hard to say if they were feeding on it or the grass nearby and just using the eucalyptus for cover.

I’ve noticed a lot of planthopper nymphs feeding on it.

And probably in the greatest numbers were glassy winged sharpshooters. I’ve read some things that suggest Eucalyptus can be infected by Xylella, so that’s a bit concerning. Time will tell.

Now, this isn’t to say the tree is doing poorly or even sustaining much pest damage. It is by far the fastest growing tree I’ve ever seen, and the birds and whatnot keep the pet pressure low enough that overall the tree seems pretty much unaffected. What struck me most was just the fact that there are pests. Of all the plants I can grow, I’d have expected Eucalyptus to be the one guaranteed to be pest free. But no.

So even the most extreme zone pushed fruit tree is not guaranteed to be carefree, no spray, etc. Pests, in particular generalist pests, don’t know when something is supposed to be pest free. Again, it’s not like the tree is suffering much, but I really would have thought this plant would be completely untouched–and yet what I’ve found is that its hosting more insects than most of my native trees!

Beautiful plant. Crazy that it’s all of like three years old or so.


Yeah isn’t it mostly toxic too? That’s why koalas are such right little pricks apparently because they are constantly poisoning themselves and in a limbo of detox

Yes. It varies by species, but all Eucalypts are poisonous. Some, like silver dollar eucalyptus, are quite toxic, others less so (it’s a huge genus, 700+ species!). This particular euc is actually the one that koalas typically eat. It does smell like eucalyptus, but it’s not quite like the essential oil (which I think is usually E. globulus), more “camphor” like, hence the species name. To me, it smells a lot like Hobby Lobby. One of my others, which I don’t know is going to be cold hardy or not, is E. elata. It’s lovely. It smells like eucalyptus, lemon basil, and most dominantly, like spearmint. The group of eucalyptus it is in are often referred to as “peppermints” in Australia. I really hope it, or one of the other peppermints, ends up being hardy. They smell so freaking good. I’ve got elata seedlings and am germinating some other peppermint called Eucalyptus radiata. E. camphora has proven very hardy, and I’ll be testing E. gunnii, E. neglecta, E. dalrympleana, and E. perriniana. At some point I’ll try to get ahold of E. nova-angelica, E. rubida, E. pulverulenta, E. paucifera, E. nicholii, and E. elliptica, and perhaps some others. Not that I have room for all of these, some of which are like 150 ft monsters in habit. But that’s a problem for future me, and future me owns a chainsaw.

Anyway, the main constituent of “eucalyptus essential oil”* is cineole, is safe enough in lose doses that it is added to things like mouthwash, some candies, and is even present in a lot of Australian wines. But pure cineole, such as in eucalyptus essential oil, is fairly dangerous. It’ll cause rashes, headache, gastric distress, vomiting, and when ingested often ends up flowing into the lungs rather than the stomach because of its viscosity, where is can cause some pretty severe respiratory distress.

I use “eucalyptus essential oil” in quotation marks because eucalyptus essential oil can be dramatically different things depending on the species. There are aforementioned peppermints and E. camphora, which don’t smell like “eucalyptus oil” ie cineole, there is E. citriodora, which has more citronellal in it than actual citronella essential oil, there is E. staigeriana, which contains large amounts of citral and smells strongly of lemon and rosemary, E. dives is the main source of piperitone and also contains a lot of phellandrenes etc.


I actually don’t think mouthwash of almost any variety is safe, with or without eucalyptus oil. A lot of studies lately showing daily use of mouthwash causes diabetes, something about killing the bacteria that create nitric oxide, which is vital in preventing diabetes.

Really cool you know a lot about that genus and all I know is that koalas eat one of them haha


Hybrid passion fruit.


My first pinkpop holding


My 2 passiflora edulis probably won’t fruit or flower this year. Its been so hot and dry.

My poro poro (passiflora pinnatistipula) has always had these white leaves, so I have hesistated to move it into the sun directly (its in a semi-transparent greenhouse). Its clearly missing something, but I’m not sure what it is.

My peanut butter seedling died, I think too much water and/or fungus gnats. Likely I won’t retry that again, it was such a tender plant for me always trying to die. Maybe I’ll get a larger one next year if I’m determined to try it

I always think iron deficiency with that coloration but hard to imagine a plant that small is suffering much from lack of iron. The new leaf looks a little better? So could be just old growth? Good luck I’m very new to passiflora, but all the ones I have are growing like a weed (1 tetraploid seedling, 1 Marjorie Sherwin, Pink pop, passiflora mollissima, and purple posum) with the exception of the posum going slowly but it was teeny tiny and I put it right in the sun.

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It might be a pH issue. If that species requires an unusually low or high pH and isn’t getting it, it could have strange nutrient deficiencies.


The “Vivaldi cattle guavas” germinated well

Unfortunately of all my guava seeds they are the only ones to germinate yet and by far the least amount of time in dirt


I’ve given it a small amount of epsom salt, it didn’t seem to help or hurt it. Its probably about 6 inches tall and it just keeps pushing straight up. The leaves open up as the pale white green color, and then fall off after about 2 or 3 more leaves grow. I gave it some fertilzer, and that new growth does look greener (and it had some buds lower down on the vine starting to pop out). That picture is about a week old as I’ve been out of town, hoping when I get back today those new leaves will be more developed (and hopefully green).

I didn’t think about that because it was in potting mix. I can give it a check. Thanks!

Thats a shame. My two are living in near drought conditions. One of them aborted its flowers before I left. Could be because its a young tree, but its probably because of the heat unfortunately. At least its putting new growth out like crazy, so I know its healthy.

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That particular species is from a region that is montane and seasonally dry, so I wonder if it actually needs a high pH or limestone substrate? I have no idea, just taking a wild guess. I’d try searching in Spanish, ideally with a VPN set to Peru or something, for growing conditions for that species.


I repotted it. It had almost no root structure at all. Those good looking leaves came out whitish like the rest.
I planted deeper in some new soil, hopefully to promote some new root growth.

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Not tropical but got this beauty in today

Arbutus Unedo


Arbutus unedo is an extremely popular ornamental yard tree here in Seattle, and I find the fruit mostly palatable, sometimes even pretty good. Anyone with an aversion to mush or grit should skip it probably. When it’s dead ripe, the flavor is mild but sweet and has the consistency of a slightly watery overripe banana. The seeds are small and gritty, kinda like poppy seeds but a little smaller and a bit harder. I guess more like tropical guava seeds but smaller and less hard? I posted some photos here last year: