Hurricanes Complicate Citrus Flowering

Josh McGill All In For Citrus Podcast, hurricane

In the latest episode of the All In For Citrus podcast, Tripti Vashisth discusses the citrus flower bud advisory system. The service is provided by the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). The advisories on flowering generally start before Thanksgiving and run through the end of February or early March.


“The goal of the flower bud advisories is to let growers know about existing conditions in their orchards and what stage flower bud induction is at,” said Vashisth, UF/IFAS associate professor of horticultural sciences. “Flower bud induction is very important during this time of year. The trees are perceiving the weather and are deciding when to flower. The weather can also decide the intensity of the flowering and how long it will be.”

This information can help growers time their pesticide sprays. If rain is in the forecast, the information can alert growers if postbloom fruit drop might be a concern.

“Flower bud advisories are very important for your growth management plans for the upcoming spring,” she said. “The hurricanes (this season) have also added another wildcard to the situation. The trees already are stressed from HLB, and the hurricanes added another layer of stress on top of that. The wind was quite significant in some areas. That complicates what will happen with the flowering of the trees.”

Vashisth said she is elaborating in more detail in the advisories about the potential effects the storms have on flowering. She added she expects to see prolonged blooming this year.

To hear more about the flower bud advisory system and how to use it, check out the latest episode of All In For Citrus. The podcast is a joint partnership between UF/IFAS and AgNet Media.

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Frank Giles