28. October 2008 18:10
So can you grow citrus trees in cold northern hemisphere climates? Of course
Grapefruit growing indoors
They can grow anywhere that has year round natural light and can survive
outside for the warm months of the year (although they will die with a frost).
In the winter they will live perfectly happily in a window or a conservatory and
come the spring they will flower and give edible fruit .
Common varieties include oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit, satsuma,
clementines, kumquat's as well as some more exotic varieties.
Looking after them is relatively straight forward. They don't like to be left
standing in water so you let the soil go bone dry between each watering and then
give it a heavy soaking with a water feed mixture. It is very difficult to
underwater a citrus tree but it is very easy to be too heavy handed and then you
will see a yellowing of the leaves and some may drop. Pruning is done to give
the tree a good shape and to keep it the size you want. They can be kept fairly
small (1-2ft) if space is tight or can be shaped out at any size up to a full
Small pot with flowering lemon tree
If you try and grow them from seed then it can take up to 40 years before the
plant reaches the maturity to fruit. However to save you 1/2 a life time, start
with a mature plant that will flower in the spring and have fruit ready towards
the end of the year. Plants cost from £20 and if you are living in the UK then
there are several specialist nurseries that can sell you the plants either in
person or by mail order.
Lemons and limes make great starter plants and can flower 3 or 4 times a year
which means you can have fruit constantly ready to pick. You will never be stuck
for a slice to go with your gin and tonic again.
New leaf growing on lemon tree
Get one for Christmas and give it a go but be careful it can be
very addictive and you will end up with the house looking like an
orange grove! 8)
Global Orange Groves