A UF/IFAS Tip of the Week maintains the time for gibberellic acid applications is fast approaching for Florida citrus growers.

The mounting research shows that gibberellic acid applications are beneficial to Florida citrus trees, according to a UF/IFAS Tip of the Week. Applications of gibberellic acid (GA) can improve the growth of both the trees and their fruit, and also reduces flowering intensity and fruit drop. The Tip of the Week article maintains that the research is also showing that “repeated application of GA is needed to induce the desired positive effect on fruit growth and tree productivity. See the application recommendations for both Valencia oranges and sweet oranges below.

Recommendations for Gibberellic Acid Applications

Valencia Oranges

According to the article, a multiyear field trial of gibberellic applications on Valencia oranges applied GA monthly from September to January showed these benefits:

  • “Improved yield on average by 30%”
  • “Reduced fruit drop”
  • “Elicited enhanced plant defense response.

GA application recommendation: monthly GA applications from September to January.

Sweet Oranges

The article maintained that grower trials in 2021 on early- and late-maturing sweet orange varieties showed the “preliminary information on Hamlin is promising.” Benefits for sweet oranges included:

  • “Benefits the growing fruit.”
  • “Can reduce fruit drop.”
  • For November sprays: flower suppression that improves the source-to-sink ratio.

Growers saw the most benefits on Hamlins with starting the application at the end of August and continuing the sprays to November and that “three applications of GA were better than two applications.”

GA application recommendation: Have a two- to three-month gap between the last GA application and the anticipated harvest, and getting in three sprays 30 to 45 days apart, such as starting at the end of August and not spraying beyond Nov. 15.

Growers are encouraged to reach out to Tripti Vashisth at UF/IFAS CREC with question about GA applications.

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