Cempedak in the Subtropics?
The aim of the subtropical cempedak experiment is to show whether pure cempedak can grow and fruit in the subtropics. The current thinking is that they cannot. I wanted to find out for myself. In part 1 of the experiment I shared how I had gotten cempedak seeds and successfully germinated them in our subtropical winter. Things went downhill from there.
Subtropical Cempedak SetbacksThe cempedak experiment has not been without setbacks. After part 1 of the experiment I immediately planted one of the nine seedlings in the ground, unprotected as a test. I put the other eight seedlings into a cheap greenhouse from Bunnings. Long story short, that greenhouse sucked. You can read my full review on the greenhouse if you want more detailed info. Basically the plastic joints snapped under very minor winds and my seedlings were left all over the ground for at least half a day. When I eventually found them I re-potted the cempedak seedlings up and placed them on my driveway.
Meanwhile the seedling in the ground was slowly dying. Not from cold but from a lack of humidity (I think). At this point I was left with eight damaged seedlings and very little enthusiasm for the project.
So it was late September and it was getting warm here in the subtropics. I realized that those eight neglected seedlings had been sitting unprotected on my driveway all this time and that some were actually looking ok! At this point they had survived being bare rooted, direct sunlight, minimal watering and the back end of a subtropical winter. This realization spurred me on with the subtropical cempedak experiment and I decided on a plan of action moving forward.
I planted all eight seedlings together into well mulched and watered ground. I then protected the seedlings from the sun and drying winds with shade cloth. I figure those seedlings that survive have earned their place. I may end up with a multi trunked tree with multiple genetics. I may end up with nothing. Let the experiment continue!