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What's in Bloom at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates?

Planting & Care Tips for Your Star Fruit (Carambola) Tree

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On June 14th

The Carambola, also called Star Fruit, is a small to medium sized tree that produces a juicy tropical fruit. The flavor combines those of the apple, grape and citrus and is crisp in texture. The fruit can be eaten fresh and is often used in salads and as a garnish due to its unique star shape.

 Planting & Care Tips for Your Star Fruit (Carambola) Tree

     When selecting a Star Fruit be sure it is fully yellow then allow to ripen on your counter until the fruit becomes golden and the ribs begin to brown. Some of the common varieties of Carambola include: King, Bell, Sri Kembangan, Arkin, and Fwang Tung. Once your Star Fruit is mature it is capable of producing up to 200 pounds of fruit a year.

 Planting & Care Tips for Your Star Fruit (Carambola) Tree

TIPS for Growing Starfruit:

  • Temperature: Thrive in subtropical and tropical climates. Zone 10 to 11, but can be grown in zone 9 with protection from frost. Older trees are more tolerant of frost, but growth stops at 55 to 60 degrees and prolonged exposure to temperatures below freezing could kill the tree.
  • Best Dooryard Varieties: Arkin is the most commonly grown variety due to it sweeter flavor.
  • Avg. Height and Width: Varies with the variety, but Carambola trees range from about 12 to 30 feet tall. They are a smaller tree perfect for the average homeowner’s yard.
  • Native Range: Native to Malaysia, Indonesia and Southern China. Commercial production now occurs in Hawaii, Florida and other tropical regions of the world.
  • Fertilize: 4 to 5 times a year with balanced liquid fertilizer or use a slow release granular fertilizer several times during the growing season.
  • Water: Star Fruit does well with regular watering. Additional watering is not needed during the rainy season.
  • Plant in full sun. Trees will do better in an area that is protected or sheltered from the wind.
  • Soil: Carambola are not too particular of soil of types, but grow faster and produce more fruit in a soil with more organic matter. Needs good drainage and does not like wet feet.

We currently have the Arkin variety for sale in the Garden Shoppe and grow the Arkin and Fwang Tung varieties on the grounds of the Estates.

Visit the Edison & Ford Winter Estates Garden Shoppe to see some of the varieties we have available. The horticulture staff is available to assist you and to answer any further questions you may have.

80 Responses

  1. Tropical Fruit Trees That Grow Best in SW Florida | Tropical Gardens of the Edison & Ford Winter Estates Says:

    [...] Carambola – Also known as Star Fruit, this tropical fruit is a great ornamental tree for your yard. They produce a large amount of fruit from July to September and again in November to February. They prefer well drained soil, a sunny location and some protection from the wind. They have a sweet, citrus-like flavor that is delicious in salads or a garnish in drinks. [...]

    Posted on June 14th, 2011 at 10:47 am

  2. Bret Says:

    I have been growing a Carambola (Star Fruit) which I started from seed. It is about three feet tall now but I am having a big problem with Spider mites and the plant seems so sensitive to any bug spray. It is under attack and need your advice. Thanks, Bret

    Posted on May 8th, 2012 at 11:29 am

  3. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Hi Bret,
    First question I have is-Where are you growing this carambola. I have grown carambola for years without any pest problems. If you are growing inside during the cool months, it is starved for fresh air. It is a tropical and loves humid moist air. Spider mites love dry areas similar to our homes.
    Water the carambola well, and spray with horticulture soap or neem oil. Unfortunately, you may drop all of your leaves after spraying, but this should cause the tree to put out new leaves without the spider mite damage.
    Anything with spider mite damage will fall off anyway. Sometimes a strong spray from the water hose outside is a good idea too.
    Help with humidity.
    Try some slow release granular fertilizer (8-2-12) or equivalent. Any fertilizer labeled for fruit trees is good. Small amounts of fertilizer only-it doesn’t need any more stress.

    Debbie Hughes, Senior Horticulturist

    Posted on May 10th, 2012 at 10:55 am

  4. Evangeline Says:

    A foot tall star fruit was bought from a nursery last year and had grown a foot taller than me. It got a couple of flowers at the moment. How long before I can harvest the fruits? Thanks.

    Posted on May 21st, 2012 at 10:00 pm

  5. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Hi Evangeline,
    The starfruit has flowers throughout the year. The major fruits occur in late summer and winter months. The tree will know how many fruits it can support depending on roots and available nutrients in the soil surrounding. The tree is smart enough to drop what it cannot support. The flowers are formed at this time of year-get pollinated by bees-then form fruit throughout the summer. I say late summer. The fruit must be yellow with a slight green tinge to the ridges. I recommend cutting the ridges off when harvesting to eat. The ridges contain chemical oxylates.

    Debbie Hughes, Senior Horticulturist

    Posted on May 25th, 2012 at 2:38 pm

  6. Paul Sacilotto Says:

    We had a Persian lime that got infected with borers and died. We also have an orange tree with canka that is hanging on. Can we plant a star fruit tree in place of the lime without fear of canka?

    Posted on June 27th, 2012 at 9:08 am

  7. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    A Starfruit tree would be a great addition to your garden. Canker is a disease specific to citrus varieties and won’t affect the Starfruit. As for your existing Citrus, you might want to try a foliar nutritional spray. The University of Florida research station has been doing these types of sprays with very good success against citrus greening and citrus canker.

    Todd Roy

    Horticulturist and Garden Shoppe Manager

    Posted on June 29th, 2012 at 11:05 am

  8. Eugene wood Says:

    We bought a carambola kept it in the pot too long before planting in the ground. It appears dead leaves are brown. Is there anything we can do to revitalize the tree or do you think we lost it.

    Posted on September 5th, 2012 at 9:09 pm

  9. May Says:

    May McFarlane says,
    My Carambola tree is planted in the tropics, gets full sun and enough moisture. I have counted twenty fruits, two edges on two of the fruits are brown and have cracks. Is this familiar to you? What could be the cause of this?

    Posted on October 19th, 2012 at 4:56 pm

  10. LisaCollins Says:

    Hi, it’s lovely that you have this web site. We have bought a house with a big Carambola on it, masses of flowers and little fruits in clusters all over it, it’s gorgeous! Should I pick the clusters to get one fruit in each bunch and prune it a little after it has finished fruiting? I will follow your instructions on fertiliser but is there anything else you can recommend to keep it in good shape, the garden is very neglected so it is like a mini jungle surrounding the tree.

    Posted on January 10th, 2013 at 6:53 pm

  11. Ed Says:

    Mi star fruit tree is 4ft tall as a lot of good size fruit but the fruit shows cracks why?
    Thx
    Ed

    Posted on January 14th, 2013 at 1:48 pm

  12. Michael green Says:

    I have a star fruit tree I just planted it is doing pretty good but it’s only one skinny long branch that wants to bend over. Should I tie it to a long stick and will the tree grow more trees around it it seem like there are new trees growing around it but I’m not sure it’s not a weed the leaves look the same to me. What’s your take on it. Thanks

    Posted on January 20th, 2013 at 2:25 pm

  13. cami Says:

    I start starfruit trees from the seeds once they get to about 3-4 inches they die out what am I doing wrong the soil is well drained it takes awhile for the seeds to germinate

    Posted on January 20th, 2013 at 3:42 pm

  14. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Cracking of the fruit is often caused by an influx of water or inconsistent irrigation. If the fruit tree is going through a period of drought or low water then gets a large amount of water or rain, this will cause the fruit to split.

    Todd Roy

    Posted on January 23rd, 2013 at 4:38 pm

  15. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    We have several Carambola trees growing on the Estates property and we never thin the fruit. A Star Fruit tree doesn’t need any thinning out, but reducing some of the fruit may increase the overall size of the remaining fruit. Pruning should always be done after fruiting and before the tree begins to flower. It is also best to prune during seasons when no threat of frost or freeze are present. We do fertilize our fruit trees several times a year with a balanced fertilizer recommended for citrus and fruit trees. You should be able to find this type of fertilizer at a store like Home Depot. The Carambola is a relatively easy tree to grow. I would suggest you water the tree during seasons of drought, as this will improve your fruit production.

    Todd Roy

    Posted on January 23rd, 2013 at 4:40 pm

  16. Ann Says:

    I bought my star fruit tree in a January sale without knowing what it was. It was very easy to care for and I’ve gotten lots of fruit from it in the past year. It is still in a 15 gal container and has grown to over 12 feet. I would like to prune it back, but am worried I will cut back on fruit production.

    Posted on January 27th, 2013 at 11:54 am

  17. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Yes-if it is one long skinny branch that bends, you should tie it to a stake. Let there be some play in the stake though. Most trees need to feel secure in the ground at root level-if the skinny branch is flaying around, it root ball will have a hard time establishing. At the other end of the spectrum, there does need to be a little play of the root ball encouraging roots to spread out to hold up the tree. Can you see there are always two sides to every situation. There are probably not the little seedlings below the tree. Most weeds tend to look like other desirable plants at the early stages. You wouldn’t want any other trees next to your Starfruit. Most trees want to be a specimen in an area intended for itself. Once the tree starts to grow keep it trimmed to a harvestable size. You don’t want to have to pick on a ladder. Good luck!

    Debbie Hughes
    Horticulturist

    Posted on January 29th, 2013 at 12:39 pm

  18. Werner Eichberg Says:

    I bought a 6 year old star fruit tree from a nursery 2 months ago. The tree looks droopy, a bunch of leaves have fallen off. There some yellow leaves on it. There’s some new little growth on the tips. Is the tree not getting enough water or too much.

    Posted on February 10th, 2013 at 9:45 am

  19. Shanksor Says:

    To the person having the spider mites problem. Consider getting a couple of mantis eggs. The baby mantid will eat the spider mites, and grow to help protect your plants.

    Posted on March 12th, 2013 at 3:16 am

  20. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Hi Werner,
    That is a funny question. Many trees will have similar response to too much water or too little water. The response for too little water is dropping leaves as the tree can’t support leaves when there isn’t water for respiration. The roots pull water up to the leaves for cell processes. The leaves are little factories for making energy from sunlight, and water is needed for photosynthesis. They drop leaves when under stress because they are limiting their energy. Even though leaves are needed to make food, they still need energy from the plant. If this goes on too long the tree will die. It would be called PWD or permanent wilt death. There is no coming back. If you see signs of new leaves on the nodes this is a good sign!

    On the other hand, if there is too much water, the roots will rot. The response of this would be worse because the leaves will drop because of death of the organ in the tree that pulls water up to the leaves.

    Remember when you plant a tree, there is not much root growth yet. You want to encourage the roots to go down into the surrounding soil, but don’t want them to drown. Usually, we water trees well in a trough around the tree then let it soak down for the day. The tree doesn’t need water every day in cooler weather. Probably 2-3 gallons/day for the first week, then 2-3 gallons once or twice a week the second week. Then it depends on the weather the next weeks. If it is above 80 degrees then it may need it more-if it is cool as I said before it won’t need it every day. Over-watering will result in death.

    Debbie Hughes, Senior Horticulturist

    Posted on March 19th, 2013 at 4:15 pm

  21. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Hi Ann,
    You can cut Star Fruit trees hard, without much problem. They are extremely quick to grow gangly stems and branches. Most people cut the
    Star Fruit anyway so they harvest the fruit without a ladder. We have a fruit picker which helps, but keep them at 12-15 feet anyway. Shouldn’t be a problem because star fruits are very fruitful! Usually heaviest in the summer.
    Debbie Hughes, Senior Horticulturist

    Posted on March 19th, 2013 at 4:21 pm

  22. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Hi Cami,
    Sorry I am not sure what you are doing wrong. We do not grow star fruit from seeds-we usually buy grafted varieties so we don’t start from seed. We usually plant named varieties such as Arkin.
    The soil temperature should be around 70 degrees. If the media gets cool, the seeds will die. This is set up by the genetics of the plant because if the soil is not warm, the tree should not be growing. Most people use a propagation seedling mat to keep the seedlings warm while in that first phase of germination. There is no nutrients in the seed mix, and you need to supply fertilizer as in a water soluble solution. Wicking from the bottom at root level is best too.
    Debbie Hughes, Senior Horticulturist

    Posted on March 19th, 2013 at 4:24 pm

  23. Clara Kim Says:

    please give me a information to buy some Carambola or Star Fruit Tree. I can’t find where they are selling.

    Posted on April 6th, 2013 at 1:29 am

  24. Mithun Says:

    I have Star fruit plant which is almost 3 years old when i bought from nursery for couple months it was flowering and also small fruits used to produce but now it does not flower .I fertilize every 3 months . The height of tree is around 4 feet .

    Can you let me know solution

    Posted on April 11th, 2013 at 2:22 am

  25. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Star fruit trees are rarely fertilized. Sometimes when you fertilize you make them too happy and they just grow.
    It will generally flower and fruit every 3 months or so. The biggest bloom/fruit time is in the summer (their best crop)-then again in the fall. It is still small, so maybe it is working on the roots.
    It is just probably in a growing phase now. 4 feet is still small. They will get to a height of 20-25 feet at least, so if you want the tree to stay shorter cut the leader after growing to at least 10 feet. That will keep the tree lower for harvesting fruit. Generally starfruit has two crops. I am assuming you live in a warm climate since they are tropical. If you live in different circumstances let me know?

    Debbie Hughes, Senior Horticulturist

    Posted on April 17th, 2013 at 1:29 pm

  26. Yaye Says:

    My starfruit tree produced fruits the first year I planted. Since then, it’s been 3 consecutive years and no more fruit. What can I do to help it produce fruit again.

    Posted on May 25th, 2013 at 9:26 am

  27. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Hi Yaye,
    Starfruit produce year after year like clockwork. I am not sure why your tree is not producing. They may not produce if your cut it back severely. But 3 years is a long time. Not sure what to tell you, but don’t give up hope. They are usually great producers. Please don’t give up-they won’t let you down forever. If your weather was cold in the winter it may affect the blooming.

    Debbie Hughes, Senior Horticulturist

    Posted on June 4th, 2013 at 11:07 am

  28. Jonathan Says:

    Hello. I saw your page on starfruit. The page says that starfruit grows in zones 10 and 11 and zone 9 if there is frost protection. I live in zone 8 and I was wondering if it is still possible to grow starfruit in my area.

    Posted on August 3rd, 2013 at 9:14 am

  29. Kate Says:

    How long should I water star fruit with a 1/2″ soaker hose?

    Posted on August 12th, 2013 at 3:30 pm

  30. Glenna Says:

    I received a star fruit tree that was about eight feet tall and was grown in a big pot. I planted it in the ground and it gets plenty of sun.. The top branches started to die and I now have a tree about four feet and I am working hard not to kill it. The local nursery had me buy a spray as they thought it might have bugs. I have never seen bugs but it has stopped the branches from drying up. What am I doing wrong

    Posted on September 6th, 2013 at 12:15 am

  31. chris perry Says:

    I saw alot of comments on care for Starfruit. I did see a question though about a person leavign his tree in the pot from the nursery, and he had leaf drop. Most of my leaves have fallen off, and I need to know if will come back, and will the trees do good in a partial shade environment (4-6 hr sun). Would this condition cause the leaf drop? Will pruning it get new leaves back?

    Posted on September 6th, 2013 at 7:26 pm

  32. June Says:

    Hello, I live in south Louisiana and I was wondering if starfruit trees will survive the winter here. Thanks for your advice.

    Posted on October 5th, 2013 at 12:18 am

  33. Emily W Says:

    My husband & I bought a house that came with a beautiful starfruit tree! It’s a big producer, but I notice a decent amount of its fruit is damaged with fruit flies & ants. Anything I can spray on it that’s safe around dogs? Same question goes with what fertilizer to use around dogs.

    Posted on October 15th, 2013 at 3:42 pm

  34. steve Says:

    I have a starfruit tree that’s about 20ft tall. I live in a tropical climate (Indonesia).

    Because of construction I’d like to move the tree someplace else in my garden.

    Are starfruit trees easy to move? Should I prune before I dig up the tree? Anything else to consider?

    Posted on October 25th, 2013 at 9:07 am

  35. paul Says:

    I’ve had a successful high yielding carambola for years. Suddenly this summer and again in the fall it blooms but they all fall off and there are no fruits where once there were a hundred. Some parts of the tree have shed all their leaves. Any ideas ?

    Posted on October 29th, 2013 at 4:04 pm

  36. Ann Says:

    I have a starfruit tree that we planted about three years ago. This year it is full of flowers but no fruit. Is there some thing I can do to get it to grow fruit?

    Posted on November 7th, 2013 at 1:35 pm

  37. Ken Mooney Says:

    I’m a snowbird arriving late Oct. leaving North Port, Fl. late April. Other than grapefruit & orange trees what fruit tree could I plant that ripens in the winter months that does not require attention during summer months?

    Posted on November 13th, 2013 at 12:55 pm

  38. Jennifer S Says:

    I have had a Star Fruit tree (in the ground) for 2 years now, and it’s produced it’s first fruits…YAY!!! I am having a problem with ants, they are big ones red/brown bodies. They are all over the fruit itself. Looks like they laid eggs on one piece of the fruit some were whitish and other were blackish dots….I sprayed it with an organic insect spray by Ortho….but not sure it will really do anything as ants isn’t specifically listed on the bottle. I wiped the fruit off and it’s clean now. I need HELP!!!! I live in South Florida if that makes any difference….Thanks!

    Posted on November 19th, 2013 at 8:53 am

  39. Karyn Says:

    I have a beautiful star fruit tree about 10 ft tall planted from a reputable fruit nursery 4 years ago. It produced 6 fruit a year ago and one small fruit this year. It has lots of green growth and is very full. I’m using a balanced fertilizer that is a time release I apply every 2 months. I Wonder if I’m over fertilizing. Really want fruit and thinking of buying a second tree. My home is in Sarasota Fl and we see cold nights from Dec thru Feb, although it hasn’t looked shocked by leaf changes. Should I also cover it if the temps go below 30? Thanks for any suggestions.

    Posted on November 27th, 2013 at 8:52 am

  40. Tony Keeling Says:

    My starfruit are doing well year around, however I do have a few that have brown sores on them such as a slug might leave. Any thoughts? Aloha from hawaii on the Kona side of the Big Island. Tony

    Posted on December 9th, 2013 at 1:15 am

  41. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Hi Tony-the brown sores could be from several reasons such as wind scars. Notice how close the fruit is to each other hanging on terminal ends from the branches in a cluster. Usually this is just bruising.
    I bet you have really great production on your trees-we usually get two harvest from June through August and January we have a new crop too. I suggest you either take some of the fruit off early to allow some of the starfruit to get larger in size, or just cut the brown spots off before eating.

    Debbie Hughes, HOrticulturist

    Debbie Hughes

    Posted on January 10th, 2014 at 12:29 pm

  42. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Hi Karyn-You may be fertilizing the fruit tree too much by encouraging growth of the tree without fruit production. Back off the fertilizing unless you want to use a citrus fertilizer. We don’t fertilize our trees at all. They were planted in 2007 and it took at least 4 years before a good production also.
    They don’t like cold weather and Sarasota is fine mostly-I have seen great fruit in Bradenton too near the river and close to the coast. I imagine just like Fort Myers, anywhere east of I-75 is a cold area for growing tropical fruits.
    Many people put Christmas tree lights on the trunk and then cover with frost cloth. Keep the carambola trimmed lower so you can harvest easily. You will eventually get so much fruit you will have plenty to give away to friends.

    Debbie Hughes, Horticulturist
    WE have a garden shoppe that is open daily from 9-5:30 every day, and offer Garden Tours on Wednesday morning at 10:30 focusing on Edison’s Botanical Treasures.

    Posted on January 10th, 2014 at 12:46 pm

  43. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Hi Jennifer-Instead of spraying with chemicals especially if it is not listed on the label is probably not a good idea-with that said, it is fine to use horticulture oil or soap if ants are a problem. The other idea would be to use just a strong hose to knock the ants off. The sugar juices from the fruit are what the insects are after.

    Come see our Carambola or Starfruit trees on the property of the Edison/Ford Winter Estates as we are open every day for tours from 9-5:30 including a wonderful garden shoppe. We also do a garden tour on Wed. at 10:30 specifically discussing these great plants on our 20 acres of lush gardens.

    Debbie Hughes, Horticulturist

    Posted on January 10th, 2014 at 12:51 pm

  44. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Hi Ken-You could try Ficus carica or Fig fruit. Carambola or Starfruit fruits during the winter months, as well as, papaya. North Port can get cold so you may need some cold protection. Another tree I love to grow for my Vitamin C is the Barbados Cherry (looks like a cherry but tart). It is a small tree. Of course you could grow a cold tolerant Avocado called Brogdan and ask for other varieties that can handle a rare cold in Florida. We love to grow kumquats, limequats, and calamondins too for citrus varieties. These are very easy for Florida.
    Come visit our gardens here in Fort Myers-our garden shoppe has many of these varieties of fruit too for sale. We are open every day 9-5:30

    Debbie Hughes, Horticulturist

    Posted on January 10th, 2014 at 12:59 pm

  45. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Hi June-The starfruit tree is really a Zone 9B-10 tropical fruit. The tree has a better chance of survival if you do not go down pas 30 degrees. It will kill the tree is it gets to be 26 degrees. Older trees of course can survive better if it does get a cold spell that is unusual. Otherwise if Louisiana gets colder no way.
    You should know your Zone-if you don’t, check with a local garden center. The best way to tell if it would survive is if they sell the trees in the local garden center. If not it probably wouldn’t.
    Thanks for reading-the fruit is YUMMY, but you may have to purchase in the grocery store.

    Debbie Hughes, Horticulturist
    Come visit the Edison Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers, FL. We are open all year long from 9-5:30.

    Posted on January 10th, 2014 at 2:31 pm

  46. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Hi Ann-You are on the right track. First comes flowers then comes the fruit. The fruit only occurs if the bees visit the flowers so encourage bees in your yard by planting other flowering plants such as herbs.

    Good LUck

    Debbie Hughes, Horticulturist

    We have varieties of Starfruit on the Edison Ford Winter Estates property.
    Come tour the gardens any time from 9-5:30 or a specific garden tour on Wed. at 10:30.

    Posted on January 10th, 2014 at 2:49 pm

  47. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Hi Paul-I have no idea why your tree would shed all it’s leaves unless you had a very cold event last season or a drought through the summer.
    Maybe more info would be helpful. Any possibility there was a wind storm or chemicals sprayed in the area?

    Debbie Hughes, Horticulturist

    Posted on January 10th, 2014 at 2:52 pm

  48. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Hi Steve-I hope you got your question answered. I just started answering questions for this blog. We have moved a carambola tree that was only 6 feet tall, and we root pruned and pruned the tree first to make it easier to move because there wasn’t too many leaves or roots the tree had to support after the move. (less mouths to feed). However, the leaves also provide photosynthesis for that tree to continue to grow. I would do the moving in the summer when the rains come in order to not worry about water during a hot time of season. Use your judgement on the best time to move trees in your area. It can be done.

    Debbie Hughes, Horticulturist

    Posted on January 10th, 2014 at 3:03 pm

  49. Gene Says:

    Hi, I am curious to know if,how, etc you can grow carambola from seed. Does seed need to dry out first or can it just be planted as soon as you eat the fruit?

    Posted on January 11th, 2014 at 7:09 pm

  50. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Hi Emily-We spray at the Edison Ford Winter Estates a Biowash you can get order on the computer. They manufacture this soap in Pine Island, FL. It is a proprietary ingredients, but I think it has coconut oil in it. It keeps the leaves and fruit clean without harmful spray. It is essential a Safer soap. If you can’t purchase a BIOWASH product, try a soap product in your local garden center. It can be sprayed easily with a backpack sprayer or a sprayer that is a pull along with wheels to make it easier on you.
    Soap sprays are made out of natural ingredients that should be safe for pets in the area, as well as, yourself.

    Debbie Hughes, Horticulturist
    The Edison Garden Shoppe usually sells this product at the Edison Ford Winter EStates. We are open every day from 9-5:30

    Posted on January 14th, 2014 at 7:27 am

  51. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Hi Chris-Not sure why your leaves are falling, but could be several different reasons. #1-drought, lack of water, #2-getting root bound int he pot, #3-needs fertilizer. You can grow starfruit in a pot, but it needs to be root pruned to keep the growth on the top of the tree smaller. Bigger roots and the more branches and leaves that need to be support. Prune when necessary for form of the tree and of course they need sun-4-6 hours is just fine. OUr tree here at the Edison Estates does not get full day sun and it flowers and fruits great. It does take around 5 years of age to start making fruit at least.

    Debbie Hughes, Horticulturist

    Come visit our Garden Shoppe we do sell many tropical fruit trees including starfruit. We are open 9-5:30 every day.

    Posted on January 14th, 2014 at 11:03 am

  52. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Hi Glenna-Just a few items of importance-when purchasing any type of chemical to spray on a tree, it is best to know which insects you are dealing with. Otherwise, you are indiscriminately spraying either unecessarily or you could kill the tree. Next time take a sample of your dead leaves into the nursery-if no insects are visualized, don’t use a spray. It may have done well because it would have been fine anyway. It sounds to me that you either had drought, wind, or cold stress. If it was a yound tree, they are more subseptible to all I just mentioned. Hopefully it is growing good now. We transplanted a 8 foot starfruit in the summer (best time to do this during our rainy season); the tree dropped all of the leaves and a few branches died, but it has come back better than ever.

    good luck

    Debbie Hughes, Horticulturist

    Come visit the Edison Ford Winter Estates-we are open from 9-5:30 everyday.

    Posted on January 14th, 2014 at 11:07 am

  53. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Hi Gene-Yes you can grow carambola from seeds, however, usually that is the rootstock for a grafted variety on the top. The seeds don’t come true to type. It is best to plant before they dry out-many tropicals don’t want to be dry before planting. I suggest you grow the rootstock up and graft on a variety that one of your friends may have that you know you like-then marry to two branch and rootstock to get a desirable flavor starfruit.

    Good Luck-
    If you don’t want to wait, I am sure there are nurseries that sell the carambola variety fruit trees.
    Come visit the Edison Ford Winter Estates Garden Shoppe-we may have a variety you may like. WE are open every day from 9-5:30

    Posted on January 14th, 2014 at 11:45 am

  54. Christine Samson Says:

    Hi Im christine from Phils…i have a new starfruit…is it ok to plant in a big plant Pot only?…

    Posted on January 21st, 2014 at 6:28 pm

  55. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Hi Christine-Yes you can grow Starfruit in a big pot, however, you are going to have to basically root prune every now and again, then add good soil mix every few years to keep it smaller. The starfruit can get to be 20-30 feet tall and produces an abudance of fruit. The branches of the fruit should stay smaller to met the small root structure.

    Debbie Hughes, Horticulturist
    Come visit us at the Edison Ford Winter EStates is open every day from 9-5:30

    Posted on January 22nd, 2014 at 8:06 am

  56. Raju Gurun Says:

    Which month is suitable for planting and will only one star fruit plant fruit without other fruiting plants around

    Posted on February 3rd, 2014 at 9:10 am

  57. Gale Slates Says:

    Please tell me how to stop the ants from eating my star fruit. The tree is a great producer, but the ants get many.

    Hi Gale-the ants are after the sweet juice that runs down the fruit when they get punctured. The ants are really not eating the fruit just the sugars. Pick the fruit early and let ripen on your counter and that should take care of the damaged fruit.

    Debbie Hughes, Horticulturist at the Edison Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers, FL.

    Posted on February 12th, 2014 at 2:55 pm

  58. james laws Says:

    bought house with older star fruit tree fruit has always been sour is there something I can do to sweeten it up

    Posted on February 15th, 2014 at 6:49 pm

  59. Jennifer S Says:

    Hi! Our Star Fruit tree just had it’s second fruiting. The weather got cold while the fruit was growing and I thought the fruit wouldn’t do well. Well we picked the fruit the other day (we had 14 star fruits)they were huge and golden in color. They were the most juiciest and tastiest Star Fruit we have ever had!!! Is there anything they need after fruiting or as the warmer weather comes, ie fertilizer, pruned or anything like that? Also, is there anything we can do so the tree doesn’t grow really big?….is there a leader branch that can be cut to make the tree stop growing height wise?

    Thanks!:) Loving my starfruit!!!

    Posted on February 16th, 2014 at 9:30 pm

  60. Luis A. Martinez Says:

    Hi. I’ve been trying to plant seeds of carambola to get the tree to start growing but for some reason it doesn’t want to grow. I have been waiting for a month and no signs of growth. I live in Puerto Vallarta,Mexico. This is a good climate for the tree because I see an aunt that has this tree she’s even gaven me seeds from her tree. I plant them in good soil. I really don’t see what the problem is. Please respond.

    Posted on February 18th, 2014 at 11:16 am

  61. Susan Tempelman Says:

    Hi….we have a star fruit tree that is in fruit at the moment…Could you please let me know when to prune and how far back can I prune the tree without compromising the next seasons crop?

    Thanks,

    Sue

    Posted on February 24th, 2014 at 2:01 pm

  62. Blanche Tortorici Says:

    We planted our tree last spring and had multiple fruits last fall. The tree looks healthy and is making lots of new branches. I notice yellowing ang fallong off of the older leaves. Is this normal or could it be a bug. We don’t spray it just fertilize a citrus granules.

    Posted on March 9th, 2014 at 2:31 pm

  63. Lauren Says:

    my seedlings are dying at 3 inches, they are in composted soil, not too much water, but drop their leaves, then die, what causes this to happen?

    Posted on March 12th, 2014 at 4:18 pm

  64. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    james-sorry there are varieties of star fruit that tend to be sour. Just enjoy by drizzling some honey over the top-add to apples for pie because they usually use sugar anyway. My favorite is to saute cut up starfruit in a pan with small amount of butter and brown sugar to put over top of my ice cream. YUM

    Posted on March 17th, 2014 at 8:51 pm

  65. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Hi Luis-not really sure what the problem is. I have never planted seeds of carambola because we purchased known varieties grafted to a rootstock. Never started on my own. Too impatient to wait for the fruit. Look to a plant nursery.

    Debbie Hughes, Horticulturist at the Edison Ford Winter Estates

    Posted on March 17th, 2014 at 8:53 pm

  66. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Hi Susan-You can trim your star fruit tree during spring and summer because the trees grows branches extremely fast. We trim ours to keep a nice shape and keep it harvestable and we always have lots of fruit to harvest. The tree blooms and fruits several times a year.

    Good Luck-

    Debbie Hughes, Horticulturist Edison Ford Winter Estates

    Posted on March 17th, 2014 at 9:03 pm

  67. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Hi Blanche-We lose leaves on our carambola also. Trees generally lose and gain new leaves every so often. We may be used to leaves falling in the autumn then regaining in the spring. Many tropical trees will lose their lives periodically during less rain (can’t support all of the leaves), or when fruiting and flowering takes energy to sustain all of the leaves. there really are not many disease or insect problems associated with carambola. I really don’t use much fertilizer either on the Starfruit trees. Excessive amounts could cause problems with unnecessary growth. If you are going to fertilize just make sure it is spread throughout the dripline just dispersing like chicken feed, and I would only do in March or May. Read label for application amounts.

    Debbie Hughes, Horticulturist at the Edison Ford Winter Estates

    Posted on March 17th, 2014 at 9:21 pm

  68. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Yes Raju-any month is fine to plant. We usually plant in the summer when rainy season and then we don’t have to hand water to establish the tree. The starfruit produces plenty without a partner.

    Debbie Hughes, Horticulturist at the Edison Ford Winter Estates

    Posted on March 18th, 2014 at 7:02 am

  69. Edison Ford Winter Estates Says:

    Hi Lauren-Sorry your seedlings are dying when you try to grow them. Sounds to me like the watering is not consistent. The seedlings are like little babies. They must eat when they want it or they will not thrive. I find the seedlings need to be under irrigation or mist bed in order to really get a good start. Too much infrequency causes the leaves to drop then death will occur. Also they need a little liquid fertilizer misted on their leaves probably.

    Debbie Hughes, Horticulturist Edison Ford Winter Estates

    Posted on March 18th, 2014 at 7:05 am

  70. Jinny Gunn Says:

    Hi,

    We are growing our first tree, and it started to show several yellow leaves a few days ago. The leaves turned yellow then fall off, apx 5% of the leaves. Any ideas?
    Thanks, Jinny

    Posted on March 19th, 2014 at 7:37 am

  71. Chris Says:

    Hey!

    I planted a few plants from seeds this winter.

    My question is: Will it flower and give fruit without grafting or pruning?

    After how long time can it flower if grown from just seed?

    /Chris

    Posted on April 20th, 2014 at 5:59 pm

  72. Chris Says:

    My starfruit’s leaves are turning yellow and some branches are dying, but it is getting new growth on other branches. I fertilize every 3 months and water regularly. Too much water?

    Thanks, Chris

    Posted on June 1st, 2014 at 12:58 pm

  73. Bryan Chauncey Says:

    Im in louisiana and i have a starfruit tree in my backyard. It was growing fine until winter and then all the leaves died and the tree was bare as expected due to winter. However its now 3 montgs out of winter and its still bare. Its planted in a spot with barely any sun…tye trees near it block out all the sun. Will it grow back? or could i dig it up qnd replant it elsewhere? i have a perfect spot for it. But if that kills it then i dont want to dig it up. Any suggestions?

    Posted on June 9th, 2014 at 10:06 pm

  74. Adrianne Says:

    Hi: I’m in Phoenix, Arizona — We are zone 9 but arid, not tropical. I grow oranges, apples, peach, cherry and want to add a star fruit. Our winters have a few nights where it might get down to 32 for an hour or 2 at night in December/January We could plant against a concrete block wall to retain some heat and wrap the tree with a blanket on nights when it might get too cold. And we usually deep water weekly with a well around the fruit trees to provide plenty of water.

    Do you think the Starfruit would grow here?

    Posted on June 23rd, 2014 at 9:20 am

  75. Cathy Says:

    We have “reclaimed water” for irrigation. It is not safe to drink. Will the fruit be safe to eat if the tree is watered with this reclaimed water?

    Posted on July 6th, 2014 at 8:52 am

  76. Len Smith Says:

    We bought 1 star fruit tree and my wife wonders if we need a male and female tree or more than one tree to set fruit? We live in Orlando.

    Posted on July 6th, 2014 at 3:48 pm

  77. Pablo Says:

    My Starfruit tree has grown to about 25 feet. It produces sweet fruit every three months. My main concern is that I underestimated its potential growth and planted it about two feet from our neighbors yard. Will the roots invade their property and crack the concrete wall? How bad is it?

    Posted on August 14th, 2014 at 10:58 pm

  78. Rose Says:

    Hi…I planted 3 star fruit trees from seed 3 years ago. They are tall 8-10 ft..wide..healthy..but..NO flowers ever! No fruit! I fertilize them twice a year with fruit fertilizer. We live in Sebastian FL. And the soil is wonderful..well drained. Can you tell me why I have not had any flowers or fruit yet?
    Thanks! Rose

    Posted on August 21st, 2014 at 7:21 pm

  79. Kim Slater Says:

    I’ve grown Carambola seedlings quite successfully. Some time ago I bought a worm farm (Worm Cafe http://www.tumbleweed.com.au/WormFarming/WormCafe.aspx ) which consisted of four levels (or trays. I boought an extra tray and use this as a seedling raising tray on the top of the worm farm. For the Carambolas I placed seeds straight from the fruit (well stored overnight in a glass of water) into a seed raising mix in seedling trays and placed them in the farm. The seeds germinated within 2 weeks. I then took them out of the worm farm and put them in a semi shaded area to grow. I live in the sub-tropics of coastal Queensland, Australia.

    Posted on October 9th, 2014 at 12:57 am

  80. Nathine Says:

    I have a young Fwang Tung, that just put out a small cluster of flowers this month (Oct). No fruit set however, but I would think that the tree is still too young 5,5 feet, to produce anything. If I remember properly, first flowering of most plants may not produce any sets. I hope in the spring it produces something.

    Posted on October 29th, 2014 at 8:27 pm

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