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How To Grow Delicious Citrus Fruit At Home
What would the world be without the wonderful selections of fruit classified as Citrus? Since the Chinese began cultivation of various varieties of Citrus around 500 BC, the world has welcomed the numerous Citrus fruit types introduced from Southeast Asia and Japan for over 1000 years.
"After You Harvest the Last Apple, Start Harvesting Citrus"
Citrus holds the unique distinction of being a sub-tropical evergreen fruit tree that ripens mostly in the fall and winter. The fruiting cycle of the majority of popular Citrus is harvested between October through March. This makes Citrus an important addition to any fruit growers collection.
Citrus trees come in a variety of fruit types including Lemon, Lime, Orange, Mandarin, Grapefruit, Kumquat, Tangelos, Pummelos and Citrons. As well as a number of unique selections, such as the more recently popular Australian Finger Lime.
All of these Citrus selections appeal to a wide range of tastes and cultures and have worldwide distribution. Juice-laden Citrus fruits can be eaten fresh off the tree, squeezed for fresh juice, added to drinks, used for zest, dried for use in scented potpourri or even preserved in marmalades.
Citrus are small to moderate sized trees with thorns and fragrant flowers. Citrus trees bear fruit with a tough rind, known as the zest. The fruit is bold and colorful, and the flowers are bright white, delicate and fragrant.
The Home Garden is a Perfect Place to Grow a Citrus Tree
Whether grown in the ground or in a container, Citrus play a dual role as a wonderful fresh fruit or culinary delight as well as a beautiful evergreen landscape plant.
In the ground in more mild climates citrus works as a specimen tree, a screen tree or a perfect edible hedge. If the weather is not suited to Citrus or you just don't have the space, these plants are perfectly adapted to being grown in a container. It's good to know that Citrus can be maintained to any height with regular pruning.
Grow Citrus in Containers
Only a few varieties of Citrus trees tolerate freezing temperatures, and most should be protected from the cold. Enjoy your patio Citrus outside in the spring, summer and early fall. They require direct sunlight, good drainage and should be placed in an area protected from high winds.
In late fall, move it to an indoor protected location for the winter The key to enjoying a citrus tree indoors is to make sure it's in front of a window with direct sunlight or given supplemental lighting Be careful not to over water, citrus likes to be grown on the dry side. Citrus can struggle with the dry air indoors, you can also use a humidifier to create a humid environment around where the citrus tree is being ground during the winter.
Train Citrus as an Espalier
Have a small yard? Use a time-tested pruning technique called "espalier". Citrus makes a wonderful espaliered plant against a flat wall or heavy-duty trellis. Citrus are long-lived, so ensure the location is good with well-drained soil. You also need a sturdy trellis structure because this plant will be around for a long time.
Lemons are particularly popular grown vertically. The display value is incredible with the dark green foliage of the Citrus contrasted with the bright yellow of Lemons just waiting to be harvested. But don't stop there - for those with limited space Oranges, Mandarins and all other types of Citrus make great espaliers too.Read the #ProPlantTips blog on how to Espalier Fruit Trees
Nature Hills offers a wide selection of Citrus for your home permaculture garden. Order today!