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Monthly Archives: September 2022

  • The Potted Olive Tree

    Growing olive trees are a popular favorite with interior decorators such as the
    This long-living evergreen tree was first cultivated in ancient Israel. Arbequina olive trees are self-fruiting trees that have an enchanting gnarly appearance. The tree’s beauty has been extolled for thousands of years.

    Arbequinas olive tree is typically small with weeping branches and is best grown in loamy soils in a well-draining pot.
    Choose pots for olive trees that are well-draining with drainage holes, never allow trees to sit in standing water as this will cause root rot.
    We do not recommend pots larger than 10 gallons when planting olive trees. Pots can become very heavy and watering could become hard to manage in larger pots.

    Add soil to the new pot. Before removing the tree from the old container inspect the top of the soil in the old pot. The soil you can see on top is your soil line.
    Never break up the soil line and never add soil above the soil line.
    Carefully remove the tree from the pot and set the tree in the new pot on top of the new soil, if the tree's soil line is not an inch below the rim of the pot then remove the tree and add or remove soil.
    Never add soil from the top, the soil must always be added from the bottom.
    Once the tree is in the pot add soil to the sides of the pot until the soil is built up to meet the topsoil of the tree.

    Over the course of time you may notice that the tree's soil line has slowly settled down into the pot, this happens after watering over time as some soil will get washed out and an empty space is created between the rim and the soil line.
    You do not want to ignore a large space between the rim and the soil line, this space can be utilized for the root system of the tree so all the space in the pot is being used for the root system. In this event, you would remove the tree and add more soil, and then re-pot.

    We recommend using a moisture meter to avoid over-watering.
    The Arbequina is semi-deciduous, meaning they can experience some leaf drop in the winter indoors. It is best to place them near a sunny window away from heat vents.
    The tree needs full sun for at least 6 hours daily, or it will drop foliage.

    We hope you enjoy your potted olive tree for many years.

  • What Are The Best Citrus Varieties For Growing Indoors?

    By far, the Meyer Lemon is the most popular. Like all the lemons, it is easy to grow, prolific and does not need a lot of heat to ripen the fruit. The Meyer is slightly sweeter than the classic commercial varieties (Eureka). Its soft skin develops an orange hue when the fruit is fully ripe, and its distinctive, mystical flavor combines lemon with a hint of tangerine. The Meyer lemon can be very productive, even indoors.
     
    Kaffir Lime leaves are used extensively in Thai and Cambodian cooking, and zest of the fruit is an ingredient in some curry paste recipes. Keep your Kaffir lime tree close at hand in a sunny window and you'll be able to create authentic recipes year-round. Calamondin (Kalamansi) is a diminutive tree originating in the Philippines. It's ornamental form, fragrant blooms and small tart orange-colored fruits have made it a favorite for centuries. The sour juice of ripe fruits can be used in salad dressings and other recipes.
     
    How To Grow Dwarf Citrus Indoors & Outdoors?
    Container-grown citrus trees can be kept on patios and decks in warm weather, then moved inside to avoid frost damage in winter. To avoid shocking your tree with a sudden change of environment, move it gradually. Place the tree in partial shade for a week or so, to make the transition from full sun outdoors to partial sun indoors. For an indoor Citrus, you'll need to supplement lighting. If your tree will receive less than 6 hours of full sun per day indoors, it is best to supplement with grow lights. Adequate sun exposure is essential for fruit production. We recommend a 5000K full spectrum bulb (with reflector) which promotes overall plant growth. We recommend that you use the light 10 hours per day
  • How Do I Treat Damage Caused By Frost & Freezing?

    Water the tree immediately as freezing temperatures pull the moisture out of the tree's roots.
    Wait and determine the extent of damage before pruning in the spring or when the possibility of frost has passed.
    Identify the graft or bud union, and make sure the fruiting wood above the graft is still green and healthy.
    Photo of the graft can be found here:
    https://lemoncitrustree.com/store/pest-disease

    If it is viable it should produce new buds in the spring. If all the leaves are brown
    and curled, remove them in the spring and water the tree with a quarter cup of bone meal mixed in a gallon of water for a potted tree.
    It will take a few weeks for the appearance of new buds. After bud break, you can prune the branches if desired.
    Preconditioning helps; trees exposed slowly to cold will fare better than those subjected to a sudden frost. Also, prolonged exposure to cold is more damaging than a brief plunge in temperature. Here are some methods we have used to help protect plants when freezing temperatures may pose a threat.

    Listen for news of cold fronts, and be prepared to take action!
    Water all garden plants thoroughly before a freeze since freezing soil will pull sustaining moisture from the roots.
    Use antitranspirant sprays. Common brands: Anti Stress and Cloud Cover.
    Put old fashioned, heat-producing Christmas lights in the trees or in landscape lighting under the trees. This method often yields excellent results for cold-sensitive lemons and limes.
    Hot bulbs can scorch leaves, so take care to angle them so that they directly touch foliage as little as possible.
    Use frost cover blankets, also known as floating row cover or Remay. This is a spun polyester material designed to cover trees and plants. It can be draped directly on the plants and secured at the ground to trap daytime heat. Unlike plastic covers, it can be left on during the day without fear of overheating the plants. Used in combination with lighting, it is a great way to protect cold-sensitive plants.

  • Why Should I Prune My Citrus Tree?

    Citrus may be pruned to any desired shape. Pruning is fine any time of year, except in the winter for outdoor trees. Pinching back tips of new growth is the best way to round out the trees without impacting future fruit.

    Citrus will look fuller with occasional pruning to shape leggy branches. Very leggy branches indicate the need for more light. Some trees may develop erratic juvenile growth above the graft. If so, prune for shape and balance. Any growth above the graft can eventually bear fruit.

    Pruning to Optimize Fullness & Fruit Production

    Any branch with fruit is putting its energy into fruit production. Prune the other branches now, make the pruning cut just above a leaf without leaving a stub. If you take off more than 1/3 of the length, the tree will make multiple branches at the pruning cut, thereby making the tree more full.

     

  • What Is The Productivity & Ripening Time For Citrus?

    All of our Citrus are fruit producing ages. But like all fruiting trees,  the citrus also go through stages of fruit drop. The tree is dictated by mother nature in determining whether it has enough energy to fully take its young fruit to maturation. Sometimes it will drop its fruit to ensure it has enough energy to maintain the primary life systems such as its canopy and roots. As the tree matures, gets stronger and becomes more established, its fruiting capacity will increase.

    Once the trees are about 3 years old, they are mature enough to handle fruit production without impacting branch and foliage growth.
    For lemons and limes, the time from bloom to edible fruit is generally 6-9 months. For winter
    oranges and other citrus, it is generally 12 months. Keep in mind that all citrus fruits only ripen
    on the tree. The best way to determine ripeness is to pick a fruit and sample it, since rind color
    can be an unreliable indicator.
    Average Crop Yield
    In appropriate climates, a mature Dwarf Citrus tree planted in the ground can produce about 2/3 as much fruit as a full-sized standard citrus tree in the ground. Some varieties "hold" fruit well on the tree for extended periods, while others need to be picked promptly because fruit quality will deteriorate quickly after ripening.

    Can I Determine Ripeness By The Color Of The Fruit?

    Cooling nighttime temperatures trigger the appearance of orange and yellow hues in the rinds of citrus fruits. In temperate climates that have gradually cooling nighttime temperatures toward winter, fruit coloration is generally a good indicator of ripeness.

    In tropical climates and also in many indoor growing situations, fruit coloration may not be the best indicator of ripeness because the tree is not receiving the necessary climactic cues for fruit coloring. This is why the Key lime is harvested green in the more tropical areas of Mexico and Florida where it is grown commercially. These limes are ripe when picked, even though they are still green. Limes in California and other areas that receive cooler temperatures during the ripening season will turn yellow when ready to pick. Like most citrus, lemons are green as they develop, then turn gradually to yellow when ripe. (Extremely ripe Meyer lemons take on a lovely orange hue.) Once mature, most lemon varieties will hang on the tree for several months, slowly growing larger and developing thicker skins.

    When coloration is not a reliable indicator, ripeness can be determined with other methods. Look for the development of a dusky appearance on the rind of ripe fruits. The final determinant of ripeness will be how the fruit tastes. Sampling is often the most reliable indicator of when to harvest. Remember that citrus will not ripen further once picked.

    More information on green fruit and fruit drop here:  https://lemoncitrustree.com/store/citrus-blog/2017/08/23/did-i-get-a-lime-tree-why-is-my-citrus-fruit-still-green

  • Killing My Citrus With Love

    Friday Afternoon:

    Oh, that beautiful lemon tree you sent me. I am so excited about this tree
    I can hardly contain myself.
    It’s the dead of winter and the weekend is here.
    I pull you out of your packaging and you make me smile.
    You are blooming like it's a warm spring day.
    This grower's pot is not worthy of you!
    This weekend I will find you a new pot.
    Here you go, have a drink of water.

    Saturday:

    Let me pull you right out of that black grower's pot my little darling, and place you in some beautiful container. Oh, I know you traveled a long way to get to me and you had a rough journey.
    I know you cannot wait, a beautiful tree deserves a beautiful pot.
    I’ll pay no attention to the long journey you traveled or be critical of the pot I have planned for you, or the soil I plant you in.
    Who needs to bother with the small things like drainage?
    This pot is just too nice to pass up and it will make you look incredibly beautiful.
    Let me fill the pot with rocks at the bottom so I can impede your drainage over time.
    For added beauty, I’ll place rocks on the top of the soil to keep the soil from drying out correctly, or maybe I'll add some more plants!!!
    You look lovely, let me set your pot inside this catch tray in a corner as you become part of my decor, you are so beautiful and you smell heavenly.
    I think you need a cup of water.

    Sunday:
    Oh beautiful Citrus, let me get you a cup of water.
    Where oh where did I put those tree care directions?

    Monday- Wednesday:
    I think maybe I should have read those tree care directions, I wish I knew what I did with them?
    Oh beautiful Citrus, let me get you a cup of water.

    Thursday:
    Oh, my citrus tree you’re looking a little depressed today!
    I think I’ll go to my local nursery and ask someone what to do about it.
    Here, let me water you with just a little water, just enough so I don’t have to worry about water messing up my wood flooring.

    Friday:
    It’s been a week and some of your leaves have yellowed and green ones are on the floor.
    Why are you misbehaving? I have done everything for you.
    I think I’ll call the company this week.
    You poor thing. This should fix the problem, have a cup of water.

    Saturday & Sunday:

    :(

    We agree at Lemon Citrus Tree that dwarf Lemons, Limes, and Orange trees can beautify your decor but they cannot beautify your space if their needs are not met.
    Trees are living plants and they have special needs.

    The photo above of the lemon tree would look fantastic in any corner of a living or dining room if it were just a fake tree with silk flowers, but it’s not and it can’t be treated like a fake tree or plant.

    Let's go through each of the mistakes in this story:

    First of all, let’s not transplant. The tree has traveled some distance so it's best to give it a bit of a reprieve from the journey and just set it in a bright sunny area so it can get direct sunshine and leave it alone.
    Before transplanting, make sure to check the potting instructions, located on our website.

    If it is in shock it needs some time to adjust to the new environment.
    Do not place the tree near a heat vent or against a wall or in a corner of a room with no lighting.
    Wait at least 2 weeks before attempting to transplant the tree into a new pot.

    When shopping for a new pot, look for one that is double in size, and don't go beyond a 10-gallon pot. Flip the pot over and look at the drainage holes, if you see no holes, it's the wrong pot for the tree.
    Make sure the pot has good drainage and purchase a well-draining soil without moisture retention additives.

    A moisture meter is a simple tool to let you know when to water and it also lets you know if the tree, once the water drains, whether it needs more water than what you have given it. So, always recheck the soil after water drains.

    A cup here and a cup there for a large tree is not going to work out well.
    If you have to take a tree indoors for the winter a drainage tray is not a splurge. Lifting heavy pots can be a chore and when the soil is wet the tree is pretty tough to pick up.
    Choose a tray for the long term that can hold at least a gallon of water.
    A small plant stand would be great (It will save you a lot of work) so the pot won’t be sitting in standing water.

    PERFECT!

    If you have the tree sitting in a drainage tray, then you are not watering it correctly.
    Citrus trees need DEEP infrequent watering, not a few cups every few days but more like a gallon (if your pot is large) normally you should be watering indoors every other week.
    Check the moisture level with a meter BEFORE and AFTER watering, this will ensure you’re correctly watering it. NEVER leave the meter in the pot when not in use.

    When you grab for the water jug BE LIBERAL with the water, drench the soil.
    Correctly watering your tree will be a mess if you don’t have the correct set up to start with.
    Citrus hate wet feet, so the pot sitting in standing water is not good for the tree. If you water correctly then water will pour out of the holes into the catch tray.
    It is definitely worth the time and effort to get the tree set up correctly.
    NEVER ever plant other plants with the tree, plants will rob a Citrus of water and nutrients.

    Think Florida - Citrus trees love the Florida weather, it’s sunny & humid.
    Sitting the tree near a heat vent will turn a happy tree into a sad tree.
    If you live in an area where the tree needs to be taken indoors in the winter, please keep in mind the light requirements and supplement lighting.

    For indoor lighting, use full spectrum high lumen lighting ONLY

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