Indoor/Potted Citrus Trees: What’s you’re experience in northern climates?

humblehillsfarm

Crazy chicken lady
Mar 27, 2020
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Southwestern Pennsylvania
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I am in gardening zone 6, in southern Pennsylvania. This spring I bought a potted meyer lemon and a potted lime tree. I nearly killed them twice when I forgot to water them. I’m intensely annoyed at how ridiculously tiny the pots are and want to repot them. They are still in my greenhouse where temps have gotten to 29* F toward the early morning hours. Is it too late to bring them in? When do I repot them? How do I train them?

What’s your experience with growing them?
 

Bird_Lover_17

Birds are life
Apr 9, 2020
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@humblehillsfarm
I have a lemon tree too! I'm in zone 4-5 (along those lines) , (Upstate NY)- near PA and I keep it inside all winter long and then bring it outside after May 17, then bring it inside when the temps go under 40 degrees F

I repotted mine easily, i just gently dug around the roots and put it in a bigger pot

what do you mean by train them?
 

humblehillsfarm

Crazy chicken lady
Mar 27, 2020
3,664
7,205
461
Southwestern Pennsylvania
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@humblehillsfarm
I have a lemon tree too! I'm in zone 4-5 (along those lines) , (Upstate NY)- near PA and I keep it inside all winter long and then bring it outside after May 17, then bring it inside when the temps go under 40 degrees F

I repotted mine easily, i just gently dug around the roots and put it in a bigger pot

what do you mean by train them?
Training is to shape the branches so they extend out instead of up. I've never tried it myself, but it's what makes bonsais look unique, and how fruit orchards are managed to ensure they can bear the weight of the fruit.

What time of year did you repot yours?
 

Bird_Lover_17

Birds are life
Apr 9, 2020
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Training is to shape the branches so they extend out instead of up. I've never tried it myself, but it's what makes bonsais look unique, and how fruit orchards are managed to ensure they can bear the weight of the fruit.

What time of year did you repot yours?
I haven't trained my lemon tree :oops: , so I don't know what to say about that.

I repotted mine in the spring, when the soil was warm.
 

greenwos

Songster
Oct 23, 2020
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Northern Ontario, Canada
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You should look into self-watering pots which will make watering less of an issue.


We made a bunch of these for our tomato plants. They work quite well outside, but I would not recommend them if you are planning on bringing your plants inside. You have no way of knowing exactly how much water is in there, so it is easy to over fill, and that drain hole works very well.
 

TooCheep

Crowing
Feb 23, 2019
841
5,770
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Indiana
We made a bunch of these for our tomato plants. They work quite well outside, but I would not recommend them if you are planning on bringing your plants inside. You have no way of knowing exactly how much water is in there, so it is easy to over fill, and that drain hole works very well.
That is pretty easily handled. Firstly, if you intend to bring them inside (generally for the winter), then first you tip them and let most of the water out before moving. Water is heavy. If you are keeping them active over the winter with artificial lighting, then just have something for them to drain into when watering. Unlike outside, you tightly control those times. If you do that, I recommend adding a tube or screw-in drain fitting to better control the overflow.

I live in a northern climate and grow a couple of fig trees in self-draining pots. They can't handle our winters, so I bring them into the garage when they go dormant and water them much less. I don't even worry about the drains.
 

Decoyman

Crowing
11 Years
Jun 30, 2010
196
798
261
Central Virginia
Potted dwarf citrus have been part of my life since childhood when I was growing up in Pennsylvania. Now residing in central Virginia - I still find them fun to grow. In my earlier years, it was the Ponderosa lemon that produced fragrant flowers and tasty fruit year after year. Now it is a Meyer lemon and I picture it here in this post. It summers outdoors in semi-shade and finds the sunniest window indoors for the winter. Since it can bloom indoors without the benefit of pollinating insects, it is easy to pollinate to set fruit as the stamens and pistil of each flower are easily recognizable. I highly suggest any dwarf citrus as a great addition to your potted plant collection!

Lemons Ripening 003 (2).JPG
 

Decoyman

Crowing
11 Years
Jun 30, 2010
196
798
261
Central Virginia
That is an EXCELLENT flower bud set - looks like you are in line for a nice potential future harvest! You will also enjoy the flower perfume. CONGRATS! No flower buds showing here at all.
 

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