How to Succeed at Growing Starfruit in Your Backyard

More gardeners than ever are interested in trying exotic fruits in their home gardens. If you want to try carom growing, it's an exciting and delicious option to add to your backyard.

Have you never tried a star fruit before? You are missing out on a delicious delicacy! Starfruits are fleshy with an edible, waxy, yellow rind; the seeds are also edible.

When ripe, these fruits are sweet and full of vitamins and look like stars when cut. This is how the fruit got its name. Read on to find out how to grow this peculiar fruit in your garden.

Starfruit tree information

The starfruit trees, Averrhoa carambola L, originate from Southeast Asia but were introduced to Florida more than 100 years ago. Some of the older varieties are acidic, but the newer hybrids and cultivars are known to be sweeter and more attractive for fresh consumption. These new cultivars come from Thailand, Taiwan, Florida, Hawaii, and Malaysia.

Starfruit trees, also known as carambola or just starfruit, belong to tropical and subtropical regions. They are perennials, but if grown in colder regions, they lose some or all of their leaves in late winter and early spring.

Expect these trees to grow 20 to 20 feet tall if not pruned, so you need plenty of room to grow them. They offer plenty of shade under a thick, branched canopy.

If you want to grow starfruit trees, you must live in USDA zones 10-11; they only grow in the states and countries of the southeast and southwest. However, it does not tolerate salt or higher pH soils, so make sure it is suitable for your region.

When to plant starfruit

These trees grow in places where frost is rare, but the best time to plant a starfruit tree is in early spring to ensure it has time to settle down before the hot summer months.

Where to plant starfruit trees

These exotic fruit trees should be planted in full sunlight, away from other trees, buildings, or structures. They must be planted in well-drained soil; standing water kills these trees. It is also beneficial if the trees are protected from the wind.

Soil preparation for starfruit trees

Making sure your trees have the proper soil is vital if you want to grow star fruit. Compost is often mixed into the soil during planting to ensure the tree has the nutrients it needs to grow.

Knowing the pH range of your soil is important, so request a test at your local county extension office or purchase a soil pH test online. Star fruit trees do not tolerate soils with pH because they are prone to chlorosis, which is the yellowing of plant tissue, in alkaline or calcareous soils.

These trees prefer slightly acidic soils. If you need to correct the soil, sphagnum peat moss increases the acidity of the soil, along with wood ash. Aim for a range between 4.5 and 7 for optimal growth.

Cultivation of starfruit from seed

If you are trying to grow starfruit from seed, be sure to provide enough heat. They need warm soil to germinate, so it is best to use a heating mat.

You should keep the young trees in containers for a while before transplanting them into the ground. It takes up to three years before a seed-grown starfruit tree is ready to be transplanted.

Graft or buy from a local nursery

The second option when growing starfruit trees is to graft from an existing tree. It is possible to graft a branch on another stock; This is the technique used to grow nursery seedlings. However, this is best left to the professionals.

Instead of grafting a tree, it is better to purchase a potted tree from a nursery if you don't want to start a tree from seed.

Plant a starfruit tree outside

When the plant is two to four feet tall, it is time to plant outside. Prepare the soil in advance, making sure it is loose so the roots can grow freely. Remove large rocks and plant the tree to the same depth it was in the pot. It should not be planted deeper.

Dampen deeply to help the roots settle into the soil.

We hope you enjoy this video about how to grow starfruit from seed:

Source: Tropical Feelings

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