Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Pear Tree Won't Hold Its Fruit

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Pear Tree Won't Hold Its Fruit

Article excerpt

Byline: BECKY WERN

Q: I have a pear three that has flowered twice but never holds the fruit. I have citrus trees that set fruit just fine, so I'm sure I have pollinators. What do you think is the problem?

Some of the pear varieties need a second variety nearby so that they are cross-pollinated. Since you don't know for sure what kind you have, it's going to be chancy to choose a tree that will cross-pollinate yours. Hood, Florida Home, and Pineapple are all good varieties.

Pear trees also have to be more than 3 or 4 years old to be mature enough to hold the fruit after pollination. Yours may be on the edge of that maturity level.

Q: Can I grow roses in containers?

Many roses can be grown in containers. The containers must be large enough to provide plenty of root room. A 15-inch pot is considered the minimum size that is acceptable. The big old varieties don't do very well, nor do climbing roses. However, many of the hybrid teas and most of the smaller antique roses, Bermuda mystery roses and noisettes do well. Look for roses that are estimated to mature at about 4 feet tall or shorter. Obviously, miniature roses would do well.

Roses are heavy feeders, so container-grown plants need a compost-rich soil mix, with some rotted cow manure added. They will also need to be fertilized regularly. Remember than containers leach out fertilizer elements more rapidly than the surface soils.

At this time of the year, we get some very warm, dry stretches. During these times, plants in containers dry out rapidly. Depending on the pot size and soil mixture, they may need watering twice a day. Feel the soil 1 inch below the surface. If it is dry, the plant needs more water.

Roses in containers will use up the space and organic nutrients in their container within two years, so they must be repotted, or transferred to the ground after two years. …

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