I currently have a Valencia Orange, a Meyer Lemon and a Clementine Tangerine...and as of yesterday, a Bearss Lime. Say hello...
Some tips regarding successful citrus growing:
- Buy a dwarf citrus...these are regular fruit grown on a special root stalk. They usually range in size from 6 - 12 feet, and in containers even less. Otherwise you may become the owner of one of those 20+ feet citrus that drops grapefruit all over the sidewalk!
- Protect from frost (the easiest, and cutest, method is a string of Christmas lights at the base)
- Prune out shoots from below the graft...this is a knobby area below the main branches where your citrus was attached to the root stock. These shoots won't do you any good and just take away energy from your tree.
- Fertilize with special citrus fertilizer. I've often done the "neglect experiment" with my citrus...not applying fertilizer on the correct schedule, noticing the leaves get "chlorotic" (unable to produce chlorophyll, and thus increasingly less green), baby fruits drop off, etc. Give 'em some fertilizer and Yowza!...new sweet green growth, blossoms...the whole "I'm healthy!" thing.
- Remove your tree carefully from its container. Seems like the growers use a lot of sand in the potting mix and so roots don't hold a lot of their planting medium closely. They do fine, but it bothers me to take a tree out of a 5 gallon pot and have most of the potting soil stay in the container. So, I like to cut the plastic container away, slicing it to it's base and then carefully transfer it to its new home...the ground, your wine barrel or a large pot.
One more picture of my new lime...notice the large lime on the bottom right and all its wee limes!
Tomorrow I'll be posting about Mojitos, the popular Cuban drink that will make a lime lover out of anyone!