UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA.
Received . . <-^? &4 <z/ ? / gpp
Accessions No.&4*JL Shelf No. UBR^ V
HOW TO RAISE THEM
REVISED AND ENLARGED EDITION, WITH ELABORATE INDEX
JOHN P. MORTON AND COMPANY.
At* <? <r
JOUN P. MORTON 'AND COMIANY
Electrotype and Stereotype Foundry,
In laying the present revised and enlarged edition of
"Florida Fruits and How to Raise Them" before the
public, the writer gives tangible expression to the growing
belief that not in the citrus fruits alone will Florida find
the Alpha and Omega of her horticultural wealth.
While oranges are now, and will probably continue to
be, the chief staple in such sections of our great State as
are best suited to their culture, there are numerous other
fruits making, year by year, rapid strides to the front.
A few years ago the question was, " What can be grown
To-day the question is, "What can not be grown in
For instance, it was said that strawberries could not be
raised in quantity ; already, in the last three years, they
have won recognition as one of the most profitable "quick
crops " that can be raised any where.
"Peaches could not be grown in Florida" was the
assertion only four or five years ago, and now it has been
proven that peaches can not only be grown over nearly the
whole State, but grown in abundance and in perfection.
The peach crop is already a very important item in the
western and central sections, and yearly becoming more
extended both in quantity and area.
And so we might go over a long list of fruits already
proven to be adapted to Florida's soil and climate, but
these examples will suffice to show that in the horticultural
possibilities of our beautiful sunny State we stand yet
upon the threshold.
And as it is with the list of fruits, so it is, in a great
degree, with the manner of their culture ; to a certain ex-
tent we yet grope in the twilight, and must be content to
observe, to inquire, to compare, to study, to experiment,
seeking to avoid the errors of some and to imitate the
successes of others.
To place at the service of the Florida fruit grower the
result of years of patient observation and experience, both
personal and collected from trustworthy sources, in a plain,
concise, and practical form, so that the veriest novice may
make a success of his new pursuit in his Florida home, has
been the earnest purpose of the author. How far and in
what degree this purpose may have been attained, it is
left to the reader to decide.
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
CHAPTER I. PAGE.
KISE AND PROGRESS OF ORANGE CULTURE 9-17
THE VALUE OF ORANGE GROVES 18-26
FROM SEED TO GROVE 27-36
How TO BUD AND GRAFT 37-51
WHERE TO PLANT 62-61
BUDDED TREES OR SEEDLINGS ? 62-69
How TO PLANT 70-75
How TO CULTIVATE 76-80
MULCHING AND PRUNING 81-87
How TO FERTILIZE 88-97
ENEMIES AND How TO FIGHT THEM 98-109
THE RUST MITE 110-127
GATHERING AND PACKING 128-134
ABOUT VARIETIES 135-141
8 TABLE OF CONTENTS.
LEMON CULTURE 152-160
OTHER CITRUS FRUITS 161-166
PINE-APPLES 1 67-1 76
GUAVAS AND BANANAS 177-186
THE SMALL FRUITS 187-200
OLIVES AND PECANS 201-214
OTHER TROPICAL FRUITS 238-240
CHINESE SAND PEARS 250-257
PEACHES AND PLUMS 266-283
JAPANESE PERSIMMON, OR DATE PLUM 284-287
EVAPORATING FRUITS 288-293
ODDS AND ENDS 294-31 1
How TO USE FLORIDA FRUITS 312-332
RISE AND PROGRESS OF ORANGE CULTURE.
Throughout the length and breadth of the horticultural 1
world there is at this moment, and will be for years to
come, no one tree or fruit possessing so all-absorbing an
interest as the far-famed, luscious orange. And good rea-
son there is for this pre-eminence of the "golden apple,"
as we shall presently see its fame is not built upon a
sandy foundation, but upon a gold-bearing rock, and as
such it shall stand forevermore.
An orange grove is at all times intrinsically beautiful,
whether laden down with its yellow fruit glistening amid
the dark green foliage, or standing clothed in the glossy
glory of the latter alone, or dotted all over with its starry
white blossoms, and filling the balmy air with their sweet
Most truly "a thing of beauty and a joy forever" is an
orange grove to its happy possessor, and in using the word
" forever," we do so advisably, for no one who owns a grove
at the present day will live to see its decay, or the failure
of one jot or tittle of its usefulness, rather the contrary.
We remember reading a rather sarcastic story of some
young girls, who, to settle a disputed point, applied to a
maiden lady of eighty years with the question :
10 FLORIDA FRUITS ORANGES.
" How old must a woman be before she gives up all hope
of getting married?"
The old lady (so the story runs) shook her head, and
made reply :
"Girls, you must ask some one older than I am." So
with the orange tree.
At Cordova, that far-famed seat of ancient Moorish
splendor and luxury, there are still remaining a number
of monster orange trees, known to be seven hundred years
old; their trunks are partly hollow, their bark cracked
and rugged, and yet each year these doughty old giants
yield up their seven and ten thousands of large, luscious
golden balls, as though yet in the hey-day of their youth ;
and who knows? perhaps they are! Certainly, as yet,
they show no intention of dying of old age, nor of retiring
on half pay, nor of shirking the active business of their
lives, and doubtless if one versed in their native tongue
were to say to them :
"How old must an orange tree be before it ceases to
bear?" they would shake their great, bushy heads and
" You must ask older trees than we are."
Even in England, at Hampton Court, where the tree is
raised only as a curiosity, and is carefully sheltered under
glass, there are several, the register of whose birth bears
date of over three hundred years ago.
^ "" So you see it is no rash assertion, this of ours, that no
orange grove owner will live to see his trees cease to yield
him an income, and a good one too, if he but treats them
with moderate kindness, unless, indeed, some extraordinary
extraneous cause supervenes to destroy them, such as fire
or flood, which may be reckoned as among the impossibil-
Before referring in detail to the mode of culture pur-
RISE AND PROGRESS OF ORANGE CULTURE. 11
sued in Florida, in raising this justly celebrated fruit, a
brief glance at its origin may not be amiss.
An earnest naturalist, Galessio, was the first to trace its
history with any degree of authenticity, and the result of
his careful researches he published to the world in his
"Traite du Citrus," issued in Paris in the year 1811.
According to this author the Arabs, penetrating further
into the interior of India than any foreign nation had done
before, discovered the orange family flourishing there, and
held in high esteem by the natives.
From this point the Arabs conveyed the sweet, now
called China oranges, into Persia and Syria ; and the bitter
orange, now called the Seville, found its way into Arabia,
Egypt, the North of Africa, and Spain. From these points
the orange traveled into other countries, notably China,
and in this latter empire it so flourished and spread far
and wide, that by and by it came to be a fiction believed
in by Europeans that the orange was indigenous to China.
Galessio shows, however, that the so - called ' ' China
orange" is by no means a spontaneous production of that
country, and his statement is further corroborated by the
absence of all mention of this fruit in the exceedingly
minute and circumstantial account given by the father
of modern travelers, Marco Polo, of the productions of
The orange was not known to the ancients, either in
Europe or Syria, and the palm of its introduction to the
world must be accorded to the Arabians, whose anxiety for
the extension of medical and agricultural knowledge was
almost equal to their zeal for the propagation of the Koran.
The sweet orange which they carried to Spain spread
thence into Portugal, Sicily, St. Michael, and the Mediter-
ranean islands, and the West Indies.
In each and all of these various places has the difference
12 FLORIDA FRUITS ORANGES.
in climate and soil produced varieties and changes in the
characteristics of the original common stock, so that in these
days the Sicily, St. Michael, Maltese, Havana, and a great
number of others are well-known and established varieties
of this noble fruit. To suppose, as many do, that the
orange is a spontaneous production of the soil of the New
World is to make a great mistake ; only where the early
Spanish or Portuguese landed and penetrated into the
country is the wild orange of America to be found.
On the banks of the Kio Cedeno, in the midst of a great
forest, Humboldt, to his amazement, came upon a broad belt
of wild orange trees, laden with large, sweet, and most de-
licious fruit. " Surely these must then be indigenous to the
soil," he thought ; but subsequent inquiry led to the discov-
ery that those grand old trees had once formed a portion of
extensive groves planted by the Indians from seeds obtained
from their early Spanish visitors and conquerors. And to
this same source does Florida owe her beautiful wild groves ;
only here, whether by the accident of soil or seed, the wild
fruit is sour not sweet.
Ponce de Leon and his successors, but most of all the
unfortunate French colony, barbarously massacred by cruel
Menendez, "not as Frenchmen but as Lutherans," \vere
directly instrumental in introducing into the "Land of
Flowers" the noble fruit that is rapidly becoming the
chief source of wealth and happiness to its adopted home.
Briefly, the orange is not a native but a naturalized citizen
of the United States.
Looking back only a few years from our present point
of enlightenment as to the inestimable value of this once
neglected tree, it is very hard to understand how it is that
the native Floridian did not long ago wake up to the real-
ization of the wealth within his grasp, of the golden apple
lying neglected at his feet. And yet there were, it is true,
RISE AND PROGRESS OF ORANGE CULTURE. 13
several causes conducing to perpetuate this strange blind-
ness. For one thing, Florida, though it contains within its
borders the oldest city by forty years in the United States,
has ever been, owing to a conjunction of circumstances,
one of the least known and most sparsely settled of them
all ; owned first by one European power, then by another,
before finally passing into the Federal States; torn and
distracted by Indian wars and raids, and lying in a remote
corner of the Union, completely out of the general line of
travel, it is not to be wondered at that Florida was, except
to a very few, a sealed book. It is true that there were a
a few intelligent, wide-awake Southerners who held the
orange at an approximate to its true value, but these men
were content to set out and cultivate their trees on a com-
paratively small scale, and they never penetrated further
into the country than the 'St. John's River and St. Augus-
tine, where, too often, a severe frost would injure the ten-
der trees and discourage their owners.
Beyond the points just mentioned few settlers were to be
found, and those few were, almost to a man, of a low and
ignorant class; men who were satisfied to saunter lazily
through their days, existing on ''pork and hominy," or
whatever else was "easy to grow, and could take care of
itself," in which category were included vast herds of cat-
tle, which ever and anon they drove to the nearest sea-port
for shipment to the West Indies. To such as these the
luscious sweet orange of Europe, so well known in the
Northern States, was a boon unknown and undreamed of;
they knew, it is true, that, scattered over the central and
southern portions of Florida, were wild groves of beau-
tiful trees, bearing a large, yellow fruit, but that fruit
was exceedingly bitter and sour, and held by them in no
It was not until our unhappy civil war had come to a
14 FLORIDA FRUITS ORANGES.
close, and the aneien regime was broken up, that a new
people began to press beyond the borders of Florida, bring-
ing in their midst the commencement of a new era in its
hitherto stagnant civilization.
Even then it was some time before the attention of these
new-comers was drawn to the capabilities of the wild sour
orange groves scattered all around them in the rich ham-
mock lands, and the first bold pioneer who ventured to ex-
periment upon their true value, met, as is usual in such
cases, with no encouragement from his neighbors, but
rather determiner! opposition and ridicule.
A case, in illustration, was related to the writer recently
by a neighbor, a lady who is now the proud owner of sev-
eral fine bearing groves : Fourteen years ago she removed
with her family from the northern part of the State down
into the "Great Lake Region," and "Orange Center,"
building a home in the piny woods for the sake of health.
The want of shade was at once apparent ; to supply this
desideratum several large sour orange trees were trans-
planted from a wild grove near by. They flourished ex-
ceedingly well, but their fruit was allowed to rot upon the
ground uncared for. One day there came a stranger, who
argued so eloquently upon the great gain to be obtained by
cutting their tops oif, and inserting buds from a sweet
orange in their trunks, that, sorely against the will of our
informant, her husband proceeded to follow the stranger's
advice. " I scolded and cried, and cried and scolded," she
said, "but it was of no use; the tops of those splendid
trees were sawed off, and the little green sticks the stranger
gave us were put into the bark of the poor bare trunk.
In a few months, seeing how fast the buds were growing,
I began to think perhaps there was some truth in the
stranger's words, and in three years, when I saw a fine
crop of splendid oranges, the sweetest I had ever tasted, I
RISE AND PROGRESS OF ORANGE CULTURE. 15
blessed the stranger, and thanked my husband for cutting
off the tops. We succeeded, some time after, in getting a
few sweet oranges from New Orleans, and planted the seed,
and some of our neighbors did the same ; we also budded
a few more sour stumps. But even then none of us' ever
dreamed of making a business of raising oranges to sell.
We knew so little of the North, and were so shut out from
the busy world, that it has only been within the last eight
or ten years that our people have really waked up and
begun to plant out groves in earnest."
Having thus endeavored to show why this great industry
of the future has lain so long in abeyance in a land where
all the essentials of its pursuit, even to the wild fruit itself,
have existed ever since its earliest settlement, we will pass
at once to the practical details of orange culture.
At the very outset the Florida orange grower labors
under a disadvantage ; his business is a new one, and con-
sequently he is, to a considerable extent, dependent on a
series of experiments. The new-comer finds but a limited
store-house from which to draw his practical information ;
his neighbors have bought and are still buying their own
experience, and he must do the same in a great measure,
for the points in orange culture on which all growers agree
are very few. How can it be otherwise with an industry
which is only in its infancy ?
The oldest orange trees in Florida are but babies, as
it were, and comparatively few, out of the thousands of
groves set out, have even as yet reached the age of matu-
rity ; it will be many years still before orange culture will
have reached the perfection of a science, as has the culture
of the older orchard fruits of the North.
We are apt, at a distance, to associate poetry and ro-
mance with the very name of an orange grove, but when
one sets to work in earnest to " make" one for himself, the
16 FLORIDA FRUITS ORANGES.
cold, stern facts that ever beset the business life of man
come to the surface, and he learns that some money, more
time and labor, muscle, patience, and perseverance are
necessary before his embryo grove becomes self-sustaining.
It is not play to plant and conduct an orange grove from
infancy to bearing and paying maturity, and it is because
the idea that it is all play, all "fun," to "make a grove"
has been so prevalent, that there have been so many disap-
pointments, so many discontents returning to the North
with the report that " orange groves are humbugs."
The more thoroughly the incoming settler realizes that
orange and other fruit growing is a regular business, re-
quiring, like other business pursuits, the investment' of
more or less capital, and a good deal of care, time, judg-
ment, and perseverance the more thoroughly he realizes
this, we say, the better prepared he will be to meet and
conquer the various vicissitudes and drawbacks that are
sure to occur during the long years of work and waiting
that must be encountered before he can sit down at last
for the rest of his life in the enjoyment of a good and
steadily increasing income.
Far be it from our wish to discourage the would-be
orange grower, rather would we urge him who seeks health
and competence, aye, more, wealth, to come to Florida
and make unto himself a " Fortunatus' purse" of the
golden orange, but we would have him come realizing that
here, as elsewhere, the great law of nature, which decrees
that nothing that is worth the having can be obtained with-
out toil and patience, is in full operation.
So many have come to Florida full of enthusiasm, full
of the idea that it was only necessary to stick the trees in
the ground, any where and anyhow, and then sit with
their hands in their pockets, as it were, for a year or two,
in order to reap a full grown fortune, that we feel it our
RISE AND PROGRESS OF\QR&^Gpr .UtOrt*K/ 17
bounden duty to give full warning that though an orange
grove is a glorious thing to own, and will give its possessor
competence and wealth, it is not to be obtained without
time, labor, and patience, or their equivalent in money.
The latter, when the settler is fortunate enough to be able
to purchase a grove ready made.
And right here is another point to which we would call
We often hear complaints of the * ' high prices " asked
for bearing groves; now, these so-called high prices are,
as a rule, very low prices in reality, when one stops to
consider the years of toil and care and perseverance that
have gone to " make" each grove, through all the time of
their slow growth; not only so, but what of the actual
money value of said grove?
Why does the would-be purchaser want to buy?
Because he expects a good income, from his grove ? Ex-
actly so. And now we will ask one more question :
If he went to an office where annuities were sold, would
he expect to purchase an annuity, annually increasing in
amount, for a mere nothing ? Scarcely !
Yet that is just what these men who are not willing to
pay a fair price for an orange grove are seeking to do.
18 FLORIDA FRUITS ORANGES.
THE VALUE OF ORANGE GROVES.
Having pointed out the rock on which so many fair
barks have foundered, let us now look at the other side of
the picture and see what has been done and may be done
again by those who start aright, and regard orange growing
not as a pleasant pastime, but as a serious, earnest busi-
ness, to be carried out faithfully, carefully, and intelli-
gently, like any other business in which success is desired,
and to be learned and studied as such.
What reasonable man would expect to be successful in
a pursuit entirely new to him, without seeking such
sources of practical knowledge thereof as might lay open
And yet there are men who would bristle all over with
indignation were it to be hinted that they do not possess
common sense, who yet embark in a new life as orange
growers, and think they will succeed, while they scorn ad-
vice, refuse to seek counsel of those whose experience is of
many years' standing, and turn their backs scornfully upon
the books and periodicals written by practical men familiar
to the business so new to them.
Such self-sufficient egotists as these will fail as orange
growers, and either leave Florida, pronouncing her noble
groves humbugs, or else turn back to the beginning and
wisely seek the course they before despised.
The man who meets with as few drawbacks as possible,
and pushes forward his grove to its utmost capacity, is the
man who is not too proud to confess that he does not know
more about astronomy than the astronomer, more about
geology than the geologist, more about farming than < the
THE VALUE OF ORANGE GROVES. 19
farmer, more about orange culture than the life-long
Therefore, ask opinions and advice from older settlers ;
do not take all you hear for facts nor all for fiction ; take
notes and compare them ; weigh conflicting opinions and
strike a balance ; look about you with a view to learning
something useful for you to know ; do not trust entirely to
hearsay ; find out all you can by actual trial and experi-
ment ; study reliable books relating to your new business ;
take one or more weekly papers devoted to the same cause ;
be energetic, persevering, careful to do your best and
make the most of the advantages you possess ; never use
nor practice those three most reprehensible words in the
English language, "too much trouble."
Do these things, and in eight or ten years from the day
you set foot in Florida a penniless man, perchance, you
will be in comfortable independence ; aye ! more than in-
dependent for all your life to come, and your children and
grandchildren after you.
Every man who has succeeded in raising a grove has
done so by pursuing just such a course as we have sug-
gested ; and no man will fail who is content to follow in
One of our earliest pioneers in orange growing was an
Englishman, John Eaton by name. He served in our
army during the Seminole war, and when discharged at its
close, in 1837, accepted the offer of the Government to
give one hundred and sixty (160) acres of land to any sol-
dier who would settle on and cultivate a portion of it.
We, in these enlightened days, know how to envy this
man the grand opportunity for selecting choice lands that
lay before him, but he had not our knowledge. The won-
drous value of the wild orange tree was a sealed book to
him ; he was a plain working man, and at that time an
20 FLORIDA FRUITS ORANGES.
invalid ; all he sought was a quiet place in a mild climate,
that "his days might be prolonged in the land;" so he se-
lected his homestead on the St. John's River, in Orange
County. He built him a little hut on a small shell-mound,
where about fifty wild orange trees were growing, and
there, with fish and game at his door, and a small garden
patch by his side, he dwelt alone for twenty years.
Some one came along after he had been there a short
time, and initiated him into the mysteries of budding ; and
then, more from curiosity than with any thought of profit,
he budded his fifty wild trees.
He " builded better than he knew ;" in a few years these
hitherto despised trees brought him all, and more than all
the cash he needed.
When the lonely recluse died no heir came forward to
claim his property, so after due time the State stepped in
and sold it to the highest bidder. And thus John Eaton's
grove became the property of the Hon. W. W. Woodruff,
for the sum of three thousand dollars.
The property would have brought much more if it had
not been that the soldier had made so very poor a selection
of land that only a few of the hundred and sixty acres
are good for any thing, and these are only a few feet above