Enter the front door of my home this week and it’s like walking into a citrus orchard in full bloom. I have two Meyer Lemons that are so covered in blossoms, I feel like I’ve been transported to Florida – minus the tan, tourists and mosquitoes of course.
As many of you know I lived in Southern Florida for several years and in that space of time learned a little bit about citrus trees in your backyard (I planted mine not knowing if they were illegal I confess – citrus canker is a problem in S. Florida, but my neighbors had trees so I went for it). I’ve tried to translate some of this information back to potted plants but it’s been trial and error for a bit. I had always gotten a moderate flower show and some fruit, but this year they’ve really gone crazy. I already have a few immature lemons on the trees from their summer vacation in the backyard, but I have high hopes of a truly abundant crop this winter.
So what did I do this year that’s different from prior years? Fed them like crazy, that’s what… Every time I watered I fed, not as much as a standard feeding but definitely above the minimum I’d normally do. It worked like a charm. I’d been told many times that citrus are heavy feeders but I shied away from it in my containers. Our Florida soil was so porous I reasoned that I needed to continually supplement, but that I wouldn’t while they we’re living in pots. Wrong!
How else do I care for my trees? I’m a believer in clay pots for one. Yes they’re heavy, and they dry out quickly, but I like that. It prevents root rot. I also top them up with compost every spring when they’re moved out to their summer residence, hose the leaves down regularly to prevent little critters taking over, and try and keep the humidity up around them (they’re set in plastic trays with water in the base). I’m guessing eventually I’ll need to root prune, but I’m not there yet. They still have room to grow and pots to be transplanted into. Oh, and I hand pollinate to make sure I have fruit.
Has anyone else tried growing citrus at home? I’d love to hear your stories!
And as long as I’m focussing on home fragrance, this is my new, most favorite candle scent…
It’s supposed to smell like Grandma is cooking quince jam in the kitchen. Mmmmm….
Thanks as always for reading EG. Remember to subscribe if you like us!