How to Grow Star Fruit in Containers

How to Grow Star Fruit in Containers


Hi, my name is Byron Martin, here at Logee’s, and today, we’re going to be talking
about Star Fruit, or the Carambola. Carambolas and star fruit are probably some
of the heaviest-fruiting tropicals that that we have in our collection, and they’re
grown throughout the tropics they really are sensitive to frost. They only go up to the
warmer side of zone 9, which would be just a little bit of freezing, at times,
such as South Florida, or Southern California. They can be grown in
containers, and the issue that we found with growing them as potted plants, is
some varieties really don’t perform very well or produce very well in containers.
And there are quite a few cultivars, really selected for the sugar content, and
the flavor of the fruit. Some of the standard varieties that we tried do
fruit in containers, but they don’t fruit very heavily. So, in our work, we’ve selected
two varieties: one is Maher Dwarf, and the other one is this variety called, which
is in front of me, here, is called Dwarf Hawaiian. And both of these are very
productive as container plants. And, the interesting thing is that, a plant
like this, which is probably going on six or seven years old, has been living in
this pot for six or seven years. And simply, every year it goes through its
fruiting cycle, producing fruit, and we simply do a little bit of light pruning
on it, to contain it. You can see the productivity of this plant is immense. As far as culture goes, their root
systems are pretty strong; we don’t really have too many problems with
root rot. And they’re pretty much resistant to insects, with the exception
of spider mite, which you can get on the foliage under high heat and dry
conditions. Generally, a little bit of cold water sprayed daily on the leaves will correct the problem, or you can use neem oil for that. As far as fruit production goes, in the
tropical areas, they will fruit throughout the year. Generally, there’s three
cycles. Here, in New England, we fruit once. And, we usually have– although flowers form, and,
here’s a young plant that we have, here, with the blooms on it. You can see,
they’re actually quite pretty; they’re pink flowers. You can see; this is our
Maher dwarf, but, you can see how much flower production there is all along these
stems– and the flowers often come off of the old wood. You can see this one, here,
emerging off of some wood that’s at least a year old. This is going to actually grow, there is
quite a bit of vigor in this– there’s some new growth coming on the top, here.
And a plant like this– although it will slow down during the wintertime, in the
North, here– will quickly take over in the springtime. There’ll be a flush of growth,
and this– a little plant like this, of this particular cultivar Maher dwarf, could hold
several fruit by the time we get into– or even more– by the time we get into next
summer. So, they’re quite quick-growing, and quite
easy to fruit; these two cultivars, Dwarf Hawaiin and Maher dwarf. Well thank you for watching. There’s a
little bit of information on growing the Star Fruit, or Carambola, as a container
plant. If you’d like more information, you can visit us at Logees.com