Named after its bright, yellowish-green, oblong, star-shaped fruit, the carambola tree (Averrhoa carambola) retains the frequent title of star fruit. This broadleaf evergreen produces dark-green leaves and clusters of miniature, pink-to-lavender flowers, giving it value beyond its sweet-to-sour, fleshy fruit. Gardeners who develop this subtropical, ornamental, shade and fruit tree reap several benefits.
Hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 through 12, a star fruit tree grows best in temperatures from 68 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. It thrives in fast-draining, fertile, loamy soil with a pH of 4.5 to 7. Full sunlight is essential in order for the tree to produce an abundance of sweet fruit. Although air flow is very important to disease prevention, star pornography requires shelter from high end. Planting the tree 25 to 30 feet in a windbreak or building provides the suitable quantity of space while protecting it in high end.
Water and Fertilizer
Moist soil is vital for a star fruit tree, especially during its fruit development. This tree does not grow well in riotous or sloping soil. The frequency of supplemental watering is dependent upon the current amount of rainfall. Generally, keep the tree’s surrounding soil evenly moist, allowing only the very best 3 to 4 inches of soil to dry between watering sessions. Spreading 1 pound of 6-6-6-3 nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, potassium slow-release fertilizer underneath the tree’s canopy each 2 to 2 1/2 weeks during the growing season provides the tree its necessary quantity of nutrients.
Periodically removing debris and weeds from beneath the tree’s canopy decreases competition for soil moisture and nourishment while decreasing the possibility of disease. Utilizing a 3- to 6-inch thick layer of bark or wood chip mulch reduces weed growth and slows moisture evaporation. Don’t enable the mulch to touch the tree’s trunk, though, since it may cause the bark to rot. Sometimes, diseases, insects or weather conditions damage the star fruit tree. Prune broken, broken, dead or diseased limbs as soon as possible to ensure the tree’s health.
Pests and Diseases
Common insect pests that attack a star fruit tree comprise mites, scale, fruit flies, caterpillars and various beetles. Mites, scale and caterpillars feed on the tree’s foliage, and also another insects attack its ripening fruit. Fungal diseases such as anthracnose, sooty mold or leaf spot develop with inadequate tree maintenance and incorrect cultural ailments. Pests and diseases frequently affect a stressed star fruit tree. Good tree care and maintenance is the most effective preventative measure. Treat a pest-infested star fruit tree with a combination of horticultural oils, insecticidal soaps and predatory insects. Spraying the tree using fungicides early in the summer may protect against disease development.