Thinning Fruit from Young Citrus Trees |Daphne Richards |Central Texas Gardener

Thinning Fruit from Young Citrus Trees |Daphne Richards |Central Texas Gardener


– Our question this week is about young orange
trees. Should you remove some of the fruit? Brooke’s orange tree is about two years old,
and was given to her by a friend, who’d grown it in a container. Brooke planted the tree in the ground in March,
and it started to produce fruit. Because the tree was so small, she removed
four oranges from the top branch in late summer. Well Brooke, removing the fruit from young
trees is indeed a good practice. Young trees have fewer leaves to photosynthesize,
and will be better off long-term, if they’re allowed to focus on their own growth and development,
before expending precious resources on the next potential generation. Also, the fruit can become very heavy, putting
a strain on thin, underdeveloped branches. But, leaving a few fruits won’t completely
decimate the tree, so it’s really a judgment call. I’m not sure which cultivar this is, but most
citrus are not frost-tolerant, so you should be prepared to protect this tree, since it’s
in the ground, from any temperatures in the 40’s or below. Cover with a sheet or blanket overnight, if
there’s any threat of frost, removing the next day, if the temps are warm enough, so
that the plant can breathe, and get some air circulation. And sometimes, we just have to stop and share
the viewer photos. Travis Bowers sent us this picture of a beautiful
canna that his mom, Evelyn McMurrey, is growing in Burnet. In Jarrell, Gretchen grabbed this fabulous
shot of a Gulf Fritillary butterfly as it emerged from the chrysalis. Keisha and David, in College Station, captured
this gorgeous image of a hummingbird sipping nectar on a Black & Blue salvia. A cultivar of Salvia Guaranitica. This salvia is listed as perennial, but it’s
hardy to zone 7, so it may be deciduous in many southern gardens. To freshen for new growth, simply remove brown
stalks at the base in late winter. Hummingbirds love to shower, too, so Anna’s
solar fountain in a birdbath is a neighborhood hit. Robert’s native rock rose, Pavonia lasiopetala,
is attracting hummingbirds, along with butterflies and moths. In late spring, just before new growth emerges,
trim these plants back to promote lush growth next year. After each bloom cycle, trim back slightly
to encourage more blooms, and to keep the plant from producing seeds, which will begin
to pop up all over your garden, if allowed to drop to the ground. Birds of all kinds, including cardinals, appreciate
Brandon’s small container pond. Birds, like all wildlife, are attracted to
the sound of water. Brandon’s even growing waterlilies, where
dragonflies can perch. And Charles lucked into a daylily that bloomed
in August. That’s the great thing about daylilies, they’re
cultivars that bloom at different times of the year, including re-bloomers. We’d love to hear from you. Visit centraltexasgardener.org to send us
your questions, pictures, and videos.

Randy Schultz

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