Thursday, July 22, 2010

Grow Your Own Citrus

Why should you grow your own citrus if they are so cheap and abundant at the grocery store?  Because it's easy!  You can harvest many different varieties from a few small citrus trees in your own backyard.  I'm currently growing a Bearss lime, Eureka lemon, and Calamondin orange tree in pots.  My lime tree is about 4 years old, no bigger than 3 feet tall, and is currently ripening 28 limes.  Not bad for a potted plant.

Bearss (Persian) lime.
Eureka lemon.
Young Calamondin orange tree.  These tiny citrus are good in drinks and for marinading fish and other meat.
Just a few growing tips.  Place citrus in full sun.  Keep plants well watered during warm months and make sure the pot and soil drain very well.  Provide plenty of organic citrus fertilizer for good growth and fruit.  Prune any straggling growth and branches that cross.  Bring plants indoors when frost threatens the area, keep on the cool side, and water sparingly.  Believe it or not they do very well with temps in the 40s F.  Return outdoors when weather warms again in the spring.

Additionally, the scent of citrus flowers lures people from far and wide.  Not sure if that's a good thing though if you don't want to share...


What Pigs Don't Know said...

I am amazed that that sized lime has 28 fruits! Have you ever repotted it, or is it in its original soil/container? Do you ever just add compost to it? Thanks! -Carrie

.09 Acres said...

It is amazing how many fruits will hang on relatively small potted citrus trees. I have repotted the lime tree 2 times over the years, gradually increasing the pot size. I prefer wider pots than tall pots for citrus because the majority of their roots are near the surface. They don't root very deeply. The key is to have fairly loose, quickly draining soil. Citrus HATE wet feet and they'll let you know it too. This year was the first time I added compost to the lime, but it was only about 2 handfuls. I regularly fertilize in the growing months with Epsoma citrus fertilizer.

SkippyMom said...

I don't know if you will get this comment - if yours go to email like mine do, but just in case I want to say THANKS!

I love lemons and limes, but living in VA I didn't think I could grow them - too far north I thought, although we do get the wilting heat part of the year. We also have an exceptional small yard [townhome] but next year I am definitely going to follow your lead and plant some. I don't expect many, but we get excited if we get even one piece of fruit or a veggie from our plants.

Thanks again. :)