It all started when…

Citrus trees are not hardy in Indiana and should be grown in containers with drainage holes. The larger the pot, the larger the plant will grow! These are dwarf plants, however, and will bear fruit when they are still small enough to live indoors. Eventually, they will grow 6’-8’ tall.

Citrus trees should be fed, beginning in springtime, with a water-soluble fertilizer. Let soil dry out slightly between waterings; during winter, water sparingly and do not feed. Citrus trees need sun if you want them to flower and bear fruit. Eight hours per day is ideal, although they will survive in lower light conditions.

Keep an eye out for insects and signs of disease; usually an application of insecticidal soap or horticultural oil will control insects and a copper soap spray will take care of fungal problems. A strong spray from the hose will dislodge many pests! Use diatomaceous earth on the soil surface for fungus gnats and other insects that may be living in the dirt. Don’t use systemic insecticides if you plan to eat the fruit!

This year, we have the following citrus trees:

Persian Lime – shiny green foliage; fragrant white flowers. This is the lime most often found in the grocery store. It has a relatively thick rind and is generally harvested when dark green but will ripen to a lighter green color. It is less acidic than a Key Lime, and is seedless.

Eureka Lemon – shiny green foliage; fragrant white flowers. Plants have fewer thorns than some citrus trees, and foliage is sparser. Eureka lemons are similar to the ones you find in the grocery, and typically bear most of their fruit in the spring and summer months.

Variegated Kumquat – foliage is green and yellow striped; fruits are yellow with green stripes when immature, ripening to orange with red stripes! Fruits form in fall and ripen in winter, and the plant holds its fruits for a long time.

Meyer Lemon – shiny green foliage; fragrant white flowers. Fruits are thin-skinned and much sweeter than regular lemons (Meyer lemons are actually a cross between a lemon and an orange). Floral aroma.