Visit Our Location in Portland, OR
6469 SE 134th Ave
Portland, OR 97236
Seeing ripe citrus fruits hang like bright zesty ornaments from their branches in late fall and winter is surely a pleasing sight. And now with summer on the horizon there’s nothing better than enjoying the fruit harvests by sipping on a nice refreshing glass of OJ or Lemonade under the heat of the sun.
Even though most Citrus trees prefer warm sunny climates outside (Zones 9 or above), they can still be appreciated by being brought indoors for winter, though some varieties have proven themselves quite hardy in our Zone 8 climate. The Yuzu Ichandrin, Sudachi Hybrid Yuzu, and the Flying Dragon are all cold hardy down to 15°F and can be grown outside year round in USDA zones 8 and above.
Since our citrus are all grafted on Flying Dragon dwarfing rootstock, they do well being grown in containers and make a great indoor houseplant.
Growing citrus can be a fun and rewarding experience and we’ve provided some helpful tips below to guide you in getting started on your citrus growing journey!
1. Don’t Overwater! Since these heat loving plants like to spend a lot of time under the sun, it can be assumed they will need to be watered frequently. Quite the contrary is true since citrus trees are very susceptible to root rot and overwatering is one of the main causes of death in these precious plants. For both container grown and outdoor grown citrus, we recommend deep waterings and waiting until soil dries slightly until you water next. Potting media or soils with sharp drainage are recommended to keep your tree’s root system healthy.
2. Don’t pot them up in fall or middle of winter! During fall and winter trees are not actively growing so potting them up at this time creates a wet mass of soil around their roots which can cause root rot. Even though you might be super excited to pot your new babies up as soon as you get them, we recommend potting up in late spring or summer once active growth has commenced.
3. Be sure to feed your citrus! While you can get away with low or infrequent fertility on some plants, citrus require a lot of nutrients to stay healthy and continue producing loads of fragrant flowers and fruit. Especially after flowering be sure to give them a good dose of citrus fertilizer to keep them lush and green.
4. Move tender varieties outdoors once all danger of frost has passed. Plants will require a hardening off period if they’ve been indoors as the light intensity is much lower. When nights are reliably above 40 degrees is typically when we move our indoor citrus outside.
5. Plant them in a well draining and acidic soil. Most potting soils are high in nitrogen and naturally acidic but adding a bit of citrus mix can help lower the pH to the 5.5-6.5 range that citrus plants prefer.
6. Spray off the leaves frequently. For almost any houseplant it’s valuable to spray off the leaves frequently so that dust does not accumulate on the leaves and it is especially important after flowering on citrus plants. That sweet nectar from the flowers drop onto the leaves and can cause a sticky mold to develop if not sprayed off a few times after flowering.
7. Keep an eye out for pests! Citrus plants are as beloved by aphids and scale as they are by us. These little sap suckers are farmed by ants that bring their eggs up from underground and place them on your precious plant. If you see ants then you likely have scale or aphids on your plant, but not to fear! There’s an easy solution. Simply take an old toothbrush and scrub them down with isopropyl or rubbing alcohol or you can make a soap spray to suffocate the little buggers. Outdoors pests are not as much of a problem but still be on the lookout for them!
8. Enjoy the harvest! Don’t forget that citrus isn’t just for fresh eating. Thai Lime Curry, Yuzu marmalade and sake, Chinotto Sour Orange liquer, or Pink Lemon drizzled on salmon or made into pink lemonade are just a few of the creations you can make with your homegrown citrus!
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