Hi, I need some expert advice. Is this still a good time to graft citrus in zone 8b? Heat has reached the 90’s already but I really want to try a few more grafts. Whatcha think?
Here are my tips for citrus based on my 2 year experience. Last year success rate was terrible but this year is decent so far.
Most important variable for citrus grafting is whether rootstock is flushing growth. Others are optional
Graft as soon as you get the budwood. The fresher the better. Fruitmentor’s videos say not to cover the buds with parafilm. That’s dries out the scion more quickly. I’m yet to find one species that wouldn’t push through the parafilm. So, cover the entire scion.
I think buddy tape makes a difference over parafilm but I am not 100% confident if that’s indeed the case. I’ll continue with it even though it is more expensive.
Anything above 85F, cover the scion with aluminum foil for a couple of weeks. I do open and check once in a while as earwigs tend to nest there. I remove them after two weeks even with 90s forecast.
I see marked difference with bark or W/T Vs clefts. I guess with clefts (my default for other species) there is limited cambium contact compared to other two, so less successful. I usually add a t-bud as a backup but their success is always correlated with the main graft, so not really a backup.
As I said, none of these are confirmed by controlled experiments. This is my intuition based on 25-30 grafts and CCPP $$$ after two years
Any additional thoughts or advice here? I just setup an account with CCPP and have 3 days to order before their next shipment. Thanks
I don’t bud in the hot summer. I bud in April-May and Sept 15-Oct 15 here near Houston.
Thanks. I was on your site this morning. Guess I will plan to wait a bit. It’s 95/96 here
IMHO best time to bud is the fall and leave wrapped over the winter. When you force the bud in the spring you are 4 weeks ahead.
Can you further explain “wrapped” please?
I’m planning to use Buddy Tape. Also have different widths/thicknesses of green tape. Wrap in foil through winter?
I’ll dig through your site more as well.
Seems like sound advice here. Will do more grafting in late sept! Thx