J A Dodson Citrus & Tropicals, Logo
Phone Icon (727) 544-0869
Blog by Jeff


Growing Tips

Bougainvillea Oranges Blueberries

Click on the respective picture for information on: Bougainvilleas, Citrus, or Blueberries and Fruits of Florida


How to Keep Your Bougainvillea Pretty and Blooming

Beautiful Bougainvillea

Bougainvilleas like full sun but can tolerate some shade.

They like to be moderately watered, too much water is probably one of the chief reasons for lack of bloom. Be sure that the soil is a well draining soil (sand rather than clay).  You make need to adjust your irrigation so that they receive less water than the sod, etc.

When fertilizing, look for low nitrogen mixes. You an use a balanced mix like a 6-6-6 or an 8-8-8.  There are blooming fertilizers such as a 2-10-10 that are good.  (Our current favorite is a Helena 8-18-14 mix or the Bougain fertilizer).  Bougies sometimes enjoy a feeding of minors such as ironite or milogranite.

Planting Bougainvillea

We suggest that you consider planting bougainvilleas (specially 7 gallon and 15 gallon) "in the pot."  Leave the plant in the container and cut off the bottom of the pot.  This provides protection for the delicate root system and allows the roots to escape as the plant grows.  For aesthetics you may also need to remove the top lip of the pot.

Our customers have found this to be beneficial.  It protects the plants from transplant shock initially.  In the long run it seems to cause the plant to bloom better by "stressing" it (by having the root ball somewhat constricted).


Blueberries

• Best in full sun
• Space blueberry bushes about 3 feet apart
• New bushes will produce fruit in the second year
• Add fertilizer for acid-loving plants once a month from bud break until the first cold
• Keep a thick layer of mulch around the blueberry
• Average harvest is 5 weeks
• Water after planting and as necessary to promote root growth (approx. 1" a week)
• Does best in containers
• One plant will produce berries, but two plants are highly recommended
• Prefers acid soil/ plant in pine bark fines and peat moss mix
• Well drained soil

Delicious Blueberries

Variety Citrus

Citrus

Planting

Container - Use a 15 gallon clay pot (18" diameter) or larger because this size can counterbalance your tree when it's heavily laden with fruit! It will be to your advantage to place the pot on caster wheels in order to move your tree. Brush some of the original soil away from the top of the plant's root ball. Plant the tree in the center of the pot to a height at which the top of the root ball is even with the new soil level. Citrus are very susceptible to developing root rot if there is too much soil banked around the trunk of the tree.

Ground

Sunlight

If indoors, your tree should be near a window (preferably south-facing window) that receives as much sun as possible.  Supplemental grow lights are a good investment.  If practical, move the tree outdoors in the warm months to soak up as much sunlight and humidity as possible.

Temperature

Citrus actively grow between 50 and 100 degree weather with 75 to 90 degrees being optimum. 

Water

Citrus trees love humidity but hate wet roots.  Make sure the soil around your tree dries out between waterings.  If planted indoors, a pan filled with gravel and water placed under your container can provide a source of humidity, as well as, daily water bottle spritzing.

Fertilizer

Indoor Trees:  Use a 20-20-20 water soluble fertilizer with minor elements once a month.  Follow the package directions based on your pot size.  Once a year, spread dolomite over the soil to maintain a pH of  6.0-6.5 (follow the package directions based on your tree and pot size).


Avocado

Avocados are classified into three races: West Indian (W), Guatemalan (G), or Mexican (M).

• West Indian types - Fruit is large with glossy, smooth green skin. Low oil content. Ripens in Summer and Fall. Does well in humid, tropical climates. Cold-hardy to low 30's.
• Guatemalan types - Fruit is medium-sized with pebbly black skin. Ripens in Winter and Spring. High oil content. Cold hardy to high 20's.
• Mexican types - Fruit is small with thin skins that can be green or black. High oil content. Leaves have an anise-like scent and are used in cooking. Cold-hardy to low 20's.

Avocados are self-fertile. To increase fruit production, Type A avocados are planted with Type B avocados. Type A flowers open as female flowers in the morning, closing later in the day. The next day, the flowers reopen in the afternoon as male flowers. Whereas, Type B flowers open as female in the afternoon, closing later in the day. The next morning, the flowers reopen as male flowers.

A 5-gallon size grafted avocado may produce 2-3 fruit. A 15-gallon size grafted avocado will produce a 6-12 fruit.


Apple Varieties

ANNA - Red-blushed fruit 2 to 2 1/2" resembling a Red Delicious but tasting more like a Gala. Ripens late June-early July. Most widely planted low-chill apple in Florida. Partially self-fertile; recommend pollinator.

DORSETT GOLDEN - Yellow fruit with pink blush 2 to 2 1/2"; similar in color and flavor to Golden Delicious. Ripens mid June-mid July. Use Anna or Tropic Sweet for cross pollination.

TROPIC SWEET - Release from the University of Florida. Low acid, sweeter fruit that has a firmer texture than Anna. Although blooms same time as Anna, Tropic Sweet matures a week earlier. Gold skin with a red blush; slightly smaller and firmer than Anna. Ripens late June. Use Anna or Dorsett Golden for cross-pollination.

EIN SHEMER - Fruit is yellow and slightly larger than Anna. Sweet flavor. Fruit does not store well.

Planting Recommendations:

Plant in well-drained soil. Container-grown trees can be planted year-round. Dig a hole large enough so roots are not crowded nor bent. Extra long and broken roots should be trimmed. Plant tree the same depth as it is in the container. Place small amounts of soil into the hole. Water in the soil around the roots. Continue until the hole is filled up. Make a soil bank around the outer edge of the hole for holding water. Water the tree until the ring is filled with water allowing the soil to settle. Use a LIQUID fertilizer that has been diluted to 1/4 of normal strength to help fill the water basin around the tree. Do not use any other fertilizer when planting. The first time to fertilize will be in January and again in June. Use 10-10-10 or any balanced fertilizer. Nitrogen is the most important nutrient to apples.


How to Grow Your Own Persimmons

Where to Grow Japanese Astringent Persimmons Planting Guidelines
Care Requirements for Persimmons Harvesting

General contractors, home builders, and more ∨

Hire a decorator to find that sofas and a coffee table for your living room.
Search for a fun counter stool, clock, sectional and storage dresser to spice up your basement.


More Pruning Tips