Thursday, May 3, 2012

Orange Frost Frenzy!

What plant are these folks converging on?  What's so special it needed to be roped off?  Are these people in danger?


   
Actually, it's the newly available 'Orange Frost' citrus tree.  Certain to be a hit here in San Antonio because it is cold hardy, self pollinating, seedless, and bears sweet fruit.  Other hardy citrus plants are too tangy or slightly bitter and often full of seeds, so this is a huge breakthrough.   It's not scheduled to hit garden centers for two more years, but these were available this week only at the Texas State Master Gardener's plant sale associated with their annual conference held this year in San Antonio.

This is the Orange Frost tree I selected and it already has fruit set so we may get fruit this year.


See those cute little fruits!


I also picked up this Euphorbia 'Rudolph', a cold hardy variety with foliage that turns red in cool weather, and Euphorbia Breathless 'Blush' with a rosy tint to the foliage and flowers.  These euphorbias have been available for a while, but I had not seen them locally.


This SmokeTree which has been on my list for a while


For those who have not seen one, here's a Smoke Tree in bloom on this website.

I also brought home dahlberg daisy for the cactus patch, a sun coleus for my container garden, and a copper plant.  A good find was the John Fanick's Phlox in the center.  A plant with a nice local connection, it was discovered growing here in San Antonio and named for a local nurseryman.


A fun item from the vendor's market were these Texas shaped native plant markers.  Darla Horner Menking, a master gardener from Killeen, came up with this idea and had them manufactured.   She's now making the rounds to sell at garden shows.  At only a $1.25 each, I couldn't resist picking up a few for my favorite Texas native plants.


Darla doesn't have a website yet, but you can contact her at Suebizcreations@yahoo.com.

Plant sales are always fun for me and this was even more so since I was able to pick up a few plants from my list and also see some new varieties.  I will report back on the Orange Frost fruit when they mature.

19 comments:

  1. Very cool find! You are going to have so much fun with this plant.
    I liked all your selections.

    It's funny, but that last photo took me for a loop because I read it too fast and thought it said state snakes! LOL
    David

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    1. Try repeating that fast three times! Our one existing citrus tree dies back too often and, even though it bloomed this year, has failed to set fruit again.

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  2. Looks like you picked up some great plants. I've never heard of "Orange Frost" citrus tree. Looking forward on your follow up posts of this tree. It sounds like a winner.

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    1. The 'Orange Frost' is a new intro to the market. The grower must have had our exact requirements in mind here.

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  3. Soooooooooo......awesome awesome awesome. One. Orange Frost....finally a citrus for Texas!!! One that will handle the cold. I'm excited for you! And Two. I hope you love your Smoke Tree. I have one(Purple Smoke Tree) in Tucson and it makes me very very happy. This looked like a great time with some great purchases. Take a picture of those Oranges when they happen....I've never heard of this variety before and I know Texas has had issues with Citrus due to the extreme freezes from last year etc. Congrats:)

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    1. Thank you Chris, we are excited about this special intro tree.

      The smoke tree was labeled just that "Smoke Tree" so I don't know if it's purple or not. These plants were provided by the growers to the Texas Master Gardeners especially for their event so the label was basically a single sign on the display. No complaints here though.

      I'll definitely follow the progress.

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    2. The Smoke tree is great. I am shocked that it does well in our areas because it grows up in Wisconsin and doesn't mind the freezes. I thought our heat and lack of moisture would prevent the smoke tree from growing....BUT it actually has done quite well:) It's a lot of fun and adds some punch to the landscape.

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  4. Very interesting,sounds like they come highly recommended. Is Calvin Finch still around? He used to be the Bexar Co. Extension agent and then he went to work for SAWS.

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    1. Calvin Finch does a radio show on Saturdays. He's still with SAWS and works with the public on water conservation issues. I spotted him giving tours of Watersaver Lane at the SA Botanical Gardens/SAWS open house day last year.

      http://www.plantanswers.com/calvin_finch.htm

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  5. Love those plant stakes! Sorry to not have been able to make the conference. Glad you had so much fun. I saw the smoke tree recently and was charmed by it. Unfortunately, I don't have room for one right now. Looking forward to hearing of your experiences with it.

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    1. I'll definitely write about the tree in the future.

      When Darla gets a page set up I'll share it so we can find her again. I might end up giving my stakes as gifts and will need more!

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  6. You made a good haul. Especially the orange tree.
    Mr. P got a tangerine tree the other day. It'll have to come inside for the winter. We'll see how it goes. One that can live outside in the cold, would be great. Keep us posted how it works out.

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    1. Thank you and I definitely will keep posting on it.

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  7. Nice haul! That Cotinus is a looker.

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    1. Thanks, I always enjoy a good plant sale. The deer nibble a few leaves last night so it might have to go in the fenced garden.

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  8. FYI... as I understand this variety (or perhaps typical of all orange trees), the first two years of fruit need to be picked off and not allowed to mature. The third year the orange tree will then provide LOTS of fruit.

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    1. The staff at the sale was well trained and assisted me in selecting a tree with fruit to ensure I would have fruit this year.

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  9. Replies
    1. We harvested two nice oranges the first year and has produced blooms but no fruit since. So far the plant looks good and is putting out new growth so we will know soon if there will be any fruit this year. It usually takes a few years to get established.

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