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LemonCitrusTree | Citrus Blog

Citrus & Fruit Trees, Plants, Ideas & More

  • Successfully Cultivating a Clementine Tree

    Citrus has a certain nostalgic effect, with the fruit associated with both sunny skies and cozy Christmases. Just a few generations ago, access to citrus fruits was a novelty for people in colder climates, but lemons, oranges, and the delightful clementine are standard fare in lunch boxes and kitchens across America today. In addition, more and more hobby growers are taking a second look at citrus. Trees like the clementine are easier to care for than you might think, and there's nothing quite like picking fresh citrus from backyard branches.

    What is a Clementine?

    Clementines belong to the mandarin orange family. They are small, sweet, lunch-box friendly fruits that peel easily for on-the-go enjoyment. The variety is sometimes referred to as a "Christmas orange" because they are in season right around the holidays and many people purchase them as a seasonal treat. Clementines are very similar to tangerines, with a bright, fresh flavor in a pleasingly poppable package.

    Growing a Clementine Tree

    Citrus gets a bit of a bad rap as being difficult to grow. Many home gardeners completely write off citrus trees as too cold sensitive. Though the clementine tree is considered a warm-weather-loving plant, they can be cared for in a warm environment. These fun fruits are ideal for USDA hardiness zones 9-11, they can actually do very well in greenhouses and in pots where moving them out of the weather is possible.
    For growing zones 9-11 The Clementine’s ability to bear fruit consistently is greatly hindered by unexpected frosts during blossoming, so container planting is recommended if you try to nurture clementines in less than ideal climates.

    Keeping Clementines Happy

    When planted outdoors in a sunny climate, clementine trees resemble a standard dwarf fruit tree in size. However, container planting keeps them manageable as the tree can't outgrow the root structure in the container, and most will resemble a shrub or bush in their dimensions. A clementine tree in a container should always have sufficient drainage to avoid bogging down the roots, and it will do best when exposed to full sunlight as much as possible. In fact, it's ideal if you can move the tree outdoors when the weather is mild, only bringing it inside when temperatures dip below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

    The clementine tree is perfect for budding citrus growers, as it is more forgiving than other varieties and can survive challenging growing conditions and inexperienced husbandry. With proper care and smart management, most people can successfully cultivate clementines in a temperature-regulated growing space or container, or, if you're lucky enough to live where it's warm, right in your own backyard. If you're interested in growing a clementine tree yourself, take a look at our website, as we offer many trees for you at great prices.

  • Reality Check. LCT versus competitors online claiming to sell "trees".

     

    Our company has been in business since 2004. Not a whole lot of people realize that when they visit our website. We were the first citrus farm on the internet. We started as a small family farm and even though we have grown some, we are still a small family farm. We genuinely care about all of our customers, some of them have been coming to us for years because they know we sell quality trees. We wanted to share on our blog a recent post by one of our customers to our facebook page. We hear of horror stories like this a lot and feel genuinely bad for our customers who get tricked by super low pricing and pictures of trees that look nothing like the companies actually sell.

    So here is a comparison of one of our customers who purchased a Hass Avocado from us AFTER he purchased from one of our "competitors".

    reality

    That's ours on the right, just after he unboxed it. Can you see the other "tree"?

    We hate that our customers are ripped off by other companies. We sell real trees that are grown by world renown experts that have been doing this for generations. We realize it's time to get aggressive and expose this fraud to hopefully protect others from falling into the same trap.

    If you have already purchased one of these trees from another company and are having a hard time keeping it alive, just send us an email at support@lemoncitrustree.com with a photo of the tree. We will try our best to help, just some trees can't be saved when they are raised in such poor conditions.

    Hope everyone has a great weekend. Take care & thanks for reading!

    Crystal

    Owner

    LemonCitrusTree

    p.s. We have a discount till next Friday! Use the code: nosticks for $8 dollars off your order. Have a HAPPY LABOR DAY WEEKEND!

  • Did I get a Lime Tree? Why is my Citrus Fruit Still Green?!

    We know, waiting for your citrus to ripen can seem like it takes forever. As much as you might be tempted to rush your little citrus buds along, patience really is key here. Let the tree take its time. Try to enjoy the process and pay attention to how beautiful it is. It’s natural to look forward to your fruit ripening, but growing citrus or any of your own food is about more than the end result. Enjoy the journey. More nutrients are getting packed in your fruit day by day while it's still on the tree.

    Citrus fruit only ripens on the vine so, if you pick it while the fruit is still green it will stop the ripening process. Citrus ripening times vary significantly which could vary from year to year as it is dependent on the weather in your area. If you have had a lot of rainy and cloudy days this could affect ripening times and cause a delay. Sunshine is crucial for ripening fruit. Your citrus tree should have at least 6-8 hours daily of full sunshine. In the winter if the tree is taken inside use supplemental lighting. There are plenty of growers lights that will work. Nurture your tree while the fruit is ripening and you won’t regret it!

    All citrus variety is the same, as far as starting off as a green bud. Just like tomatoes, except citrus cannot ripen off of the vine while tomatoes can.

    Here are some photos of the stages of the fruit ripening process of a lemon tree from bloom to being fully ripened. My favorite stage is when the tree is in bloom. The fragrance is wonderful! Very light and floral, with a hint of citrus zing. Mmm.

    Green citrus fruit Citrus Fruit Growing from Blossom to Maturity

    Pictured below are some small fruit in the process of growth but premature yellowing fruit (which will turn brown eventually).

    Baby Citrus Fruit Baby Citrus Fruit

    Please do not panic, all fruiting trees go through stages of fruit drop. Fruit drop is when the fruit is still very immature and it begins to drop off the tree while green, yellow or brown.
    The tree has shut off nutrients to the yellow fruit and eventually, the fruit will drop off the tree prematurely. This cannot always be prevented, as the tree is still young and has shut off the nutrients and is reserving its energy for growth rather than maturing fruit.
    It is important that the tree has appropriate nutrients such as nitrogen because if it lacks nutrients it will cause fruit drop that could otherwise be avoided.

    All citrus fruit (including Meyer Lemons ) will be green for about 8-9 months after they bud. It will take an additional 2-3 months to fully ripen and turn to their respective color. The Meyer Lemon ripened fruit color of the yellowish/orangish tint happens in the last month of their maturation process.

    The fruit is the sweetest and has the most nutrients when it has that nice orange tint. Then the fruit is ready to be harvested.

    The fruit picked prematurely will be more sour than normal. Please be patient, as Mother Nature moves at her own predetermined pace.

    Let us know in the comments what you have learned through the process of watching your fruit ripen. We love hearing from you! If you are having problems with your tree, let us know by calling 229-299-5555 or emailing us at support@lemoncitrustree.com

    Happy Gardening,
    Lemon Citrus Tree

    p.s. Our blog readers get 7 dollars off their order until 8/30/2017, use the code: greenfruit

  • Easy Setup Ideas for Indoor Citrus Trees

    Once again this is the time of year when trees are inside for the winter months and depending on how many trees you have, this can prove to be a daunting task.

    I think I made all the mistakes one can possibly make through the years, making it an interesting adventure. From purchasing very flimsy catch trays, to having terracotta cumbersome heavy plant trays. I found out the hard way that it is better to purchase good quality trays that are large solid hard plastic and lightweight.

    To make the job easier I have recommendations for set up.

    Purchasing  20" (outside diameter) catch trays and a small plant stand is the way to go, even if you have the tree still in a small pot. As your tree grows and transplanting into larger pots, eventually you’ll need the larger trays.

    To save money, I would recommend a tray that can hold a lot of water and the tray in the photo can hold over a gallon.

     

    plantstand

    Plant Catch Tray with Plant Stand

    After doing the deep watering method, the water pours from the holes in the bottom of the pot into the tray and any water in the tray will just add humidity in the air.
    When the trees are placed outside for the spring and summer, the trays can be cleaned and stacked one upon another to make storage easy, until you need them again in the fall/winter.

    Having the plant stands situated inside of the trays will make watering so much easier, without the worry of the bottom of the pots sitting in standing water.

     

    meyerlemononstand

    The dimensions of the tray in the photo:
    Diameter of TerraTray is 17.05 Inch, made to fit Fiskars 20 Inch TerraPot

    Product Dimensions: 17.05 x 17.05 x 2.80.

    Iron Plant Stand
    Measures 9" diameter by 5" height.

    Advantages

    ○ prevents the trees from sitting in standing water
    ○ prevents overfill if you water with a gallon of water
    ○ prevents having to move trees around, just to water.
    ○ durable, lightweight and stack-able for easy storage.

    Remember you will probably water far less in the winter than you do in the summer.
    Normally I water a few times a month when following the fertilizer recipe.
    It is very important to rely on a moisture meter. I recommend one that reads from 1-10 (water when meter is on 4).

     

    moisture-meter

    Moisture Meter

    I hope these suggestions make winter set-up a little less daunting.
    Nancy

  • Delightfully Delicious Meyer Lemon Roasted Turkey Recipe

     

    This year you can use those Meyer Lemons that you've grown to perk up the flavor of your Thanksgiving bird! This recipe will work with other types of sweet citrus too or you can use more than one type of citrus to come up with your own version of this delicious recipe. Cooking should be fun and experimenting with cooking makes it even better. I have included substitutes for every ingredient that's easier and/or healthier to find or use.

     

    Our Ingredients:

     

    Approximately a dozen Meyer Lemons (Or your favorite sweet citrus fruit)

    8 Cloves of Garlic (You can substitute 1 Clove with either: 1/2 teaspoon garlic flakes; 1/8 teaspoon Garlic Powder; I do not recommend using Garlic Salt as a substitute but if that's all you have then you can substitute 1/2 Teaspoon to equal 1 Clove then use half as much salt than our recipes calls for below)

    1/4 Cup Fresh Rosemary (You can substitute dry herbs for fresh but you need to use half of what the recipe calls for. So 1/4 becomes 1/8 of a cup)

    1/4 Cup Fresh Thyme (You can substitute dry herbs using half as mentioned above)

    1/4 Cup of Salt (You can substitute with the potassium chloride if desired)

    1 Stick of Butter (You can substitute with 6 Tablespoons of Olive Oil)

    1/8 Teaspoon of Black Pepper (White Pepper can be substituted with the same measurements or a pinch of Cayenne Pepper can used)

     

    Directions:

     

    1. 1. Prepare your oven per the package directions of the Turkey that you are using for this recipe.
    2. 2. Zest Six of the Meyer Lemons, Finely Chop your Garlic Cloves & Fresh Herbs then set aside.
    3. 3. Cut Four of your Meyer Lemons into quarters and set aside.
    4. 4. In a medium saucepan melt the butter (or warm the olive oil) then remove from heat.
    5. 5. Add the Zested Meyer Lemons, Chopped Garlic, Salt & Fresh Herbs into the butter/oil and mix well. Allow the mixture to cool.
    6. 6. Rinse the Turkey and dry with clean paper towels. Rub the turkey with the butter/herb mixture completely covering the entire turkey.
    7. 7. Place Seasoned Turkey into a roasting pan, stuff turkey with the quartered lemon pieces. Then roast per the directions on the Turkey label.
    8. 8. Use the remaining Lemons to garnish your turkey after cooking is complete.

     

    Additional Tips:

    Typical roasting times are 20 minutes per pound at 350 Degrees.

    Roasting the Turkey upside down for the first 45 minutes of roasting can significantly improve the moisture retention of the meat.

    Adding an inch of Turkey or Chicken stock to the bottom of the roasting pan can improve the taste of the turkey and help maintain moisture in the meat.

    Using a meat thermometer can simplify your roasting. Just remove the turkey when it reaches 170°F.

    Using Food Service plastic gloves during the preparation of the turkey especially while rubbing the seasoning can keep your hands clean and prevent abrasions from the salt which can be very painful.

     

    All of us at LemonCitrusTree wishes you & your loved ones a very HAPPY Thanksgiving!

     

    mlt_turkey

  • Health Benefits of Citrus

    Eating citrus and drinking the juice is more than just a yummy treat. The health benefits are immense. In fact, when I looked into it I was blown away by how good for your body citrus really is. Citrus lowers blood pressure. Sweet oranges and tangelos are the richest food sources of hesperidin. Hesperidin helps lower blood pressure along with a vast amount of other benefits. It is also found in most other citrus as it is a Citrus Bioflavonoid.

    Boosts immunity, and digestion: Great for cough and sinus issues. Helps with dandruff, acne and overall skin health. All of these can be attributed to the high levels of vitamin C found in citrus.

    Reduces “bad” cholesterol: Limonin helps clean out all of the unwanted cholesterol

    Good for vision: help prevent night blindness and muscular degeneration. - Carotenoids are to blame for these amazing side effects.

    Anti-aging and beauty treatment: Phytonutrients help eliminate free radicals which in turn keep your skin young.

    Soluble Fiber: An anti-inflammatory and helps with pain of arthritis etc. It also helps cure inflammation of the blood vessels, providing protection against heart attack, strokes, and heart disease.

    Arthritis: The citric acid found in limes and lemons works wonders, helping move pesky uric acid through and out of the body. Uric acid is what causes arthritis.

    Muscle spasms and cramps: Citrus is high in potassium, this will help your muscles get some rest.

    Hydration: Just like our bodies, citrus contains lots of water and is extremely hydrating.

    Weight loss: The acids and vitamins found in citrus work as an appetite suppressant as well as helping break down fat.

    These are just some of the vast amount of benefit consuming citrus fruit has on your health. Drinking a glass of citrus water, eating your favorite citrus as a snack or just finding a way to get it into your meals will benefit more than just your taste palate. Citrus is truly one of nature's many magic medicines! It’s so wonderful having fresh citrus on hand!

  • LemonCitrusTree's Annual Mother's Day Sale



    Mother's Day is very special to us at LemonCitrusTree. We care that your mother receives a beautiful tree that she will love and enjoy. Traditional gifts of cut flowers and chocolates are fleeting, lasting only a moment; While our trees will last for many years. Citrus Trees are especially known for their long life spans (up to 50 years or more) when properly cared for. We are so confident in our trees that we back them up with a 3 Year Warranty. Along with our warranty we also provide expert tree care guidance unlike other companies that only care about making a sale. If you ever need us just send us a message or call us at 229-299-5555 and be sure to pass that phone number on to your Mother. From all of us at LemonCitrusTree we wish you all a very Happy Mother's Day!

    Sale runs till Mother's Day.

    http://lemoncitrustree.com/store/mothers-day-sale-2016.html

  • Holiday Citrus Garland Decorations

    Elegant Citrus Lemon, Lime, Kumquat Holiday Garland with Pomegranate door decoration:
    Things you will need.

    ☼ 1/2-inch-diameter rope
    ☼ Evergreen (Citrus Leaves smell wonderful) or salal leaves or any natural looking leaf garland found in craft stores.
    ☼ Small oranges, lemons, limes and/or kumquats
    ☼ Fake cranberries found in craft shop
    ☼ Cinnamon Sticks
    ☼ 30-gauge florist's wire
    ☼ Scissors
    ☼ Pine cones

    Whole fruit will last one to two weeks, possibly longer if the room is on the cool side.
    Or you can dry out the fruits prior to usage and this will last the whole season.
    To do this, slice the fruit and bake in an oven at 200 degrees to dry them (be sure to dry out on a cookie sheet, flipping them every so often) or you can dry them using a food dehydrator. Follow manufacturer's instructions on drying the fruit.

    Cover the rope with leaves by attaching them with wire. Run the wire through off center of large fruit and then back through fruit and attach to garland. Run wire up through one hollow of the cinnamon stick and back down through another hollow of the stick. Add 3 or 4 cinnamon sticks to a cluster.

    Secure the fruit to the rope leaf garland where you would like. Add the cinnamon sticks.
    Attach the cranberries throughout. Small pine cones can be added by screwing in c hooks on the bottom of the cone, and attaching them. To make it more secure and position the cones  I recommend cutting small wires and bending the wire into the shape of a U . Situate where you want the cones, slip the U shape between the garland and push both ends of the wire into the bottom of the cone, this helps hold the cone in any position you want.

    Pomegranate Door Decoration:
    Make a Pomegranate door decoration by making a ribbon loop around a door knob pushing wire through both ends of ribbon into the Pomegranate, add a nice floppy bow.

     

    Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

    All of us at LemonCitrusTree

    Citrus Garland

  • Winter Recommendations For Inside Citrus

    Winter can be hard on everything, including the trees that need to go inside for the winter.
    It is so important to have a good fertilizing program during the spring and summer months so the tree is hearty for the winter. A good fertilizing recipe is found on our blog here: http://lemoncitrustree.com/store/citrus-blog/2015/08/11/feeding-recipe-for-a-happy-tree/

    Trees taken inside for the winter can continue to be fertilized, because there is no fear of frost damage.

    Good lighting is a requirement for all citrus, and this can be daunting task when sunshine is rare in the winter months. Trees taken inside for the winter are considered to be in a partially sunny environment throughout the season.

    Citrus need FULL SUN 6-8 hours a day. Anything less than 6-8 hours of full sun, is considered partial sunshine. So a tree placed near a window that gets full sunshine a few hours, in NOT full sunshine. Any real sunshine your tree might receive in the winter can be very limited, unless you have a sunroom and that will also depend on the location of your sunroom. So a good rule is, unless you have a sunroom any sunlight your tree may receive is minimal. Without a sunroom, additional lighting will be required throughout the winter months and possibly even with a sunroom you may find you need to supplement lighting.

    My main concern is to help the winterized citrus get through the winter months, and I also tried to be conscientious of costs. I wish I could recommend a metal halide (MH) as it is the best choice for citrus, but I can’t recommend them, due to the costs involved. So my second choice ( to keep costs low) I recommend a compact fluorescent light (CFL) 5000k grow bulbs, which  is full spectrum bulb which promotes overall plant growth. This should be screwed into a reflector, so the light is directed onto the tree and not used just as a bulb in a standard lamp or overhead light. Without the reflector the light is too dissipated to be of much use.

    The lights can be purchased as a full set, bulb with reflector at http://www.littlegreenhouse.com/accessory/lights.shtml

    If you chose the above option, the reflector can take up to a 150 watt bulb, so you can increase the wattage from a 40 watt that comes with the reflector up to a 150 watt, if that is your preference.

    You can also purchase the grow bulbs through Amazon with higher wattage bulbs than what is offered with the reflector at littlegreenhouse, just be sure you also purchase a reflector. Make sure whatever reflector you buy, you don’t go beyond the wattage recommended for that reflector. Please don’t inadvertently buy a reflector that takes up to a 150 watt bulb and screw in a 200 watt bulb.

    Another choice is the  MarsHydro 2PCS Mars Ⅱ 700w LED Grow Light 320W Power Draw 5W Full Spectrum Panel. Because it is an LED light, it is a great choice and will not gouge you with a high electric bill every month. These have been found on Ebay and Amazon, just copy and paste the light in your browser.

    The grow lights should be left on a minimum of  8-12 hours at least. If the tree gets good sunshine and the sunshine is shining directly on the tree a few hours EVERYDAY, then you may be able to turn the lights off after 6 hours.

    I also recommend Dyna-Gro DYFOL008 Foliage Pro. Used during the winter months.
    Dyna-Gro is suppose to help plants thrive in low light environments and that is exactly the concern in the winter. Dyna-Gro should be used an hour BEFORE lights are turned on in the morning, at least once a month (or not more than the package directions.)

    When lighting is supplemented, turn lights out at night. Plants require day and night.

    Misting trees with a spray bottle will help with humidity, adding water to the catch tray also helps, just don’t allow the bottom of the pot to sit in standing water. If you mist the tree to add humidity, only mist about an hour before the lights are turned on, as wet leaves might cause burning.

    When watering trees in winter, keep in mind the water coming out of the tap is a lot colder in the winter. Water the tree with warm water ONLY.

    It’s important not to place the tree near a heat vent, this will dry out the tree. Turn off the vent if possible or redirect the heat away from the tree.

    If you have green leaves dropping off the tree after you have placed it inside for the winter, it is more likely a lighting issue. You will need to keep the grow lights turned on longer, or may need to up the wattage of the bulb.

    Happy Winter Growing,

    Nancy

  • Bugs on Citrus; Friend or Foe?

    Most people who see any bug in the garden automatically assume that it is a “bad bug" or harming their plants.

    It’s really important to know the difference between the good, the bad and those that aren't quite so attractive.

    I always recommend people wash their trees a few times during the summer when they fertilize, as a pest preventative.

    Washing with dawn dish soap and warm water with a washcloth helps if there is honeydew on the leaves.

    Presently I have a spider that has decided to make himself a home in my Meyer Lemon. He popped out of the thick foliage and introduced himself in late spring, when I fertilized the trees and was doing the normal washing of the trees.

    I named him Eli and decided he can stay as long as he wishes. I left Eli’s home alone and moved on to washing the other trees. Eli is protecting my tree from predatory insects.

    Interesting enough, of all my citrus trees, the one tree that Eli has taken residence in, is the healthiest of all my trees.

    I made the right decision in allowing him to stay, so he gets free room and board. I just wish the rest of his family would have joined him in moving into the trees next to him.

    Right next to Eli's tree, is a tree that had a recent visitor,  the infamous leaf miner.

    Although admittedly Eli's family may not have been able to prevent the mining operation that is ongoing,  one can hope Eli was on his toes, because no mining operation is occurring in his home.

    The little guy you allow to live, could be the best of all preventatives.

    Please make certain the bug you kill is your enemy, because predators can do a better job of protecting your investment, because they are on guard 24/7.

    Moral to the story, distinguish between Friend and Foe.
    Nancy

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