Six on Saturday – Ahead of Fred

Tropical Storm Fred is passing by the penisula of Florida this Saturday. Feeling the onslaught of tropical humidity in the air, I spent some time Friday planting a few things in the garden, checking on the edibles and pruning a bit to keep the inevitable gusty wind and rain at bay.

This is a Cuban or Catalina Avocado tree. The avocados are the size of footballs. A friend grew this from seed and brought the seedling to me in 2016. The tree is 12 – 14 feet tall and will hopefully bear fruit next year. To my knowledge, this is the only avocado that is true to seed (most are grafted). I pruned the Passionfruit vine out, it aggressively tries to climb the Avocado any chance it gets – the vine is on the left side of the tree.

The progress on the Papaya beheaded this spring. I am still not sure what will happen here. The trunk sealed itself and put out three new shoots – they don’t seem big enough to support the four pound Papayas.

Chaya (Cnidoscolus aconitifolius) or Tree Spinach. This is a tropical vegetable common in Central America, the leaves are cooked like spinach. A friend gave me cuttings two years ago, it is about six feet tall. The flowers are highly attractive to butterflies. I haven’t eaten any of this – it is toxic unless cooked properly.

Another tropical edible, the Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa). This is an edible Hibiscus, usually grown for the flower calyx that tastes like cranberries. The foliage can be eaten as well, new growth is like Arugula and the older leaves maybe be cooked as greens. These won’t flower for another month or so, but I should try the greens. I have eaten the new growth in salad (it’s good) but haven’t cooked any.

New to the garden, a Parrotflower (Heliconia psittacorum ‘ Choconiana’). These are short lived in my garden; they tend to spread wildly and then expire. I enjoy these cut, they are a long lasting tropical flower. And I will buy another one or two after a few years.

The Heliconias were planted beneath two Firebush (Hamelia patens) with a Martin Neoregelia Bromeliad and Alligator Lilies (Hymenocallis latifolia).

That’s it for this week. To see more of Six on Saturday from around the world, follow the link and check it out.

Happy Gardening!! I’ve just noticed Tropical Storm Fred is being followed by Grace. Well, no need for irrigation!


17 comments on “Six on Saturday – Ahead of Fred

  1. fredgardener says:

    Hi, I learned 2 days ago that a namesake is coming to you to create damage …. good luck anyway. Regarding Roselle I told you that I tried to grow it from seeds. I have a well established plant of 30cm in pot but for a week, the leaves are drooping and soft. Too much watering? Is it more of a shade plant or a plant in full sun?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Eliza Waters says:

    Glad Fred wasn’t too bad, and hopefully, Grace will be the same. I’m envious of your tropical fruit trees. I love papaya and avocado and imagine the taste of homegrown is superior to anything one can buy in a store.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Chloris says:

    The papaya has lovely foliage as does the spinach, they would have a place in my garden just for the leaves. An edible hibiscus? This is new to me, it seems a shame to eat it. All these tropical stormms must be scary.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The foliage is pretty, though Papayas are a bit weird once they get big. The Hibiscus is good for sustenance in tropical climates and it doesn’t flower long, like okra. The storms are rarely scary, when they are it’s terrifying.


  4. tonytomeo says:

    Common avocados are also grafted (with adult stems) so that they can bloom and produce fruit sooner, and develop lower branches. Seedlings are juvenile for several years, so try to grow very tall without branching, and take longer to mature and bloom. Some of the best avocado trees that I know of grew from seed, but one never really knows what the fruit will be like until it actually happens.
    There is a heliconia here that I know nothing about. I took it from an abandoned cabin, where it had survived frost for years.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Cathy says:

    I look forward to a post about that avocado plant producing a huge fruit for you….do they taste just like normal sized avocado? Your foliage is all very pretty.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Karen says:

    Thankfully we have lucked out with the storms, we got very little rain from Fred. More like our daily tropical downpours…the didn’t last long. Your garden looks like it is growing by leaps and bounds.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Nate says:

    Rain bands from Fred blew through western North Carolina last Tuesday. I was lucky. It only dumped 3.5″ of much needed rain in my yard. I’m sure glad it wasn’t a hurricane.

    Liked by 1 person

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