Citrus Indoor Plants - Home Care
Description and types of citruses
Citruses - evergreen trees or shrubs with thorns on stems, strong leathery petiolate leaves with glands containing essential oil, white or externally colored anthocyanin flowers with five petals and a distinctive berry-like fruit spherical, pointedly elongated or oblate-spherical in shape, covered .
The fruit is divided into segments filled with bags of delicious pulp. Seeds in citruses are elongated or oval.
Types of Citruses for Home
There are a number of citrus plants that are most often grown at home. The most famous:
- Citron (lemon).
- Golden orange (fortunella).
- Hybrid of Fortunella and Mandarin.
These plants have an interesting feature - irregular growth.
Citrus fruits are most pronounced during the period of simultaneous fruiting and flowering, when small fruits and flowers grow on the tree. They are grown mainly in the conservatory, as potted trees or on the windowsill.
The period of active growth changes with rest: young shoots and leaves stop growing, and the maturation of wood begins. Then again comes the turn of young leaves. Some indoor trees bloom and bear fruit several times a year.
So different citrus fruits
The range of citrus crops for growing at home is very extensive and diverse. Do not be afraid of exotics - their living conditions and care requirements are largely similar to the usual lemons or oranges, which are often grown on window sills. At the same time, many hybrids unusual for us are much better adapted to life in the apartment, so it makes sense to look at them. However, common cultures have very interesting and promising varieties.
Citrus fruits for growing at home are very diverse.
Want to grow lemon? Pay attention to the variegated form ‘Variegata’ , which is appreciated not only for the unusual color of the foliage, but also for the ability to bloom and bear fruit several times a year. Ripe fruits are light yellow, with pink flesh. Low (1-1.5 m) Meyer lemon differs in early maturity and plentiful fruiting; its fruits taste significantly less acidic than regular lemons. Both plants grow well in room culture.
Like lime? You may be interested in a productive and drought tolerant Rangpur - a hybrid of mandarin and lemon. Its dark orange fruits with a diameter of about 5 cm are very similar to tangerines, but their sour taste is more like lime. At Lime ‘Tahiti’ larger fruits (with a small lemon), very acidic, seedless. They can be harvested year-round. Plants of this variety are sprawling, seedlings grow quite quickly.
From a wide range of citrus seedlings, everyone can choose plants to taste.
Want more sweet fruit? You might like Limetta Pursha - This plant is also called sweet lime. Limetta grows well in containers; its medium-sized bright yellow spherical fruits have a juicy flesh with a pleasant sweet and sour taste.
Do you know kumquat , or fortunellaIs an evergreen shrub that grows well at home? His grade ‘Nagami’ in height reaches no more than 1.5 m and gives an abundant crop of small (approximately with plum) sweet and sour fruits.
A variety of citrus hybrids are very interesting and promising for room culture:
- calamondine - a hybrid of tangerine tree with kumquat (fortunella) - a compact evergreen plant with fragrant small fruits, abundantly flowering and fruiting throughout the year;
- limonella - a hybrid of lime and kumquat - resistant to cold, very productive and decorative small tree, which has an amazing ability to re-bloom during fruiting;
- limequat ‘Justis’ - a hybrid of Mexican lime with kumquat ‘Japonica’ - unpretentious, productive, with very acidic medium-sized fragrant bright yellow fruits;
- greenhouse - a hybrid of unshiu mandarin and the Hawaiian kumquat variety - it is unusual for citrus cold resistance: it is able to withstand temperature drops to −12 ° C; thick, sweet-skinned orange fruits are often used to make marmalade.
A variety of citrus fruits can be grown at home.
It certainly deserves attention kaffir lime , or white-headed papa - an amazing plant of the citrus family, the main value of which, unlike the others, is not the fruits, but the leaves. They are used fresh, dried or frozen for both culinary and medicinal purposes: due to the high content of antioxidants, they have a rejuvenating, restorative effect, and also help to eliminate toxins from the body. This useful plant, reaching a height of not more than 1.5 m, is great for container culture.
Growing citrus fruits at home may seem like a daunting task, but believe me, it's worth it!
Many housewives grow lemon trees at home, but not everyone can boast of fragrant fruits. How to grow a lemon so that it bears fruit? When growing lemon at home, you should choose the following popular varieties:
- Meyer is a stunted variety that does not require special care, feels good in low light, blooms profusely and can begin to bear fruit in a year and a half.
- Variety Pavlovsky - grows up to one and a half meters, propagates with the help of cuttings. It can enjoy the fruits in the third year of growth. Fruits of this variety are seedless.
- Eureka is a frost-resistant variety that can be grown outdoors at temperatures up to -5 degrees. Fruits appear a year after the start of cultivation.
- Genoa is a high-yielding variety that bears fruit year-round. It can bloom and bear fruit even in adverse conditions.
How to care for a lemon tree at home
Acquired or locally grown lemon, it needs care and careful care.
Adapting to your home
The adaptation of the purchased tree is, first of all, the preservation of the plant base - roots and trunk. Excess greens, fruits and flowers should be removed. Lemon should be placed on the southeast window and make this place permanent for it.
12 hour light day for lemon is the norm. In winter, illumination is required with artificial light sources. In the spring, after waking up, the lemon will grow well at a temperature of + 14-18 degrees. In summer, he is able to withstand +27, in winter, the optimal indicators for him are + 12-14 degrees.
Lemon can both bear fruit and bloom
Watering should be adjusted so that the soil in the pot is always moist, but without stagnation of water. To create the right conditions for the plant, it is necessary to take into account the volume of the pot, the size and grade of the tree, the room temperature and humidity level.
Important! The older the plant, the more often it needs top dressing. Young trees are fertilized once every 4-6 weeks. For an adult plant, dressing should be applied every 14 days.
It is best to plant a lemon in a mixture consisting of 2 parts of turfy land, 1 part of sand, peat, humus. It can be diluted with wood ash and vermiculite.
- It can begin to bear fruit only after 6 years of cultivation.
- The tree needs constant care, cutting to form a crown.
- Lemons grown from seed give a richer harvest.
If you want to grow lemon with a seed, take a fresh juicy fruit, get a couple of seeds out of it and stick it into the ground, about 2 cm deep. Put the pot in a sunny place and periodically water it. After two to three weeks, the first sprout should appear. You can also put seeds between wetted gauze layers and after germination transplant them into the ground.
Growing by cuttings
- A stronger tree grows.
- Fruits can appear much earlier than when grown from seed.
- Since some varieties do not have seeds, they are grown only by cuttings.
The stalk should be 15-20 cm high, with several leaves and a keratinized layer. With the help of heat, light and humidity, the plant will begin to bloom very quickly.
Small sprouts can be covered with plastic cups to create a favorable microclimate, just do not forget to water every day. Young plants practically do not need to be fed; the first serious dressing can be done when the seedling is 3-4 years old.
For planting a lemon, it is best to buy land in a store, where it is saturated with special trace elements that are so necessary for good plant growth. Choose a pot with a narrowed bottom, wide top and drainage holes. The more magnificent the crown will develop, the wider the pot should be.
To get a good harvest of lemons, try to acquire an already grafted tree, with a developed root system, from a plant that has already yielded fruit.
Lemon Transplant Rules
Home care includes regular transplants, young plants are transplanted annually, and adults - after 3-4 years. This is due to root growth and lack of nutrition from a small pot. Young plants intensively grow roots, if you do not transplant them on time, the roots will not only braid with an earthen lump, but will try to pierce the drainage layer and get out. With proper planting, at least 1 cm of soil should remain between the roots and walls of the pot. Therefore, fast-growing young lemons (as well as all other citrus fruits) are transplanted more often, and almost grown adult trees are transplanted less often.
For each subsequent transplant, take dishes several centimeters higher in width and height than the one from which the roots are extracted. A feature of citrus crops is the complete absence of root hairs, their role (absorption of moisture and nutrients) is played by a symbiotic mushroom, which forms mycorrhiza. She suffers from a sharp change in temperature, lack of moisture or air, crowding. Therefore, it is necessary to replace the soil more often, but it is necessary to transplant it very carefully so that mycorrhiza is not damaged, as this will lead to its death, which means that the whole plant will die.
The only way to transplant a lemon is to carefully reload the entire earthen coma into new dishes. First you need to water it abundantly, then knock on the pot from all sides, turn it over, remove the roots with all the soil, carefully clean the drainage layer if it is attached too tightly, and then put the whole earthen lump with roots in a new bowl with bottom drainage layer, sprinkled with new soil. Then carefully cover all the voids on the sides with new nutrient soil.
The roots are washed, freeing them from the ground, only in case of their diseases, this procedure is very dangerous, since the vulnerable mycorrhiza should be exposed. By the way, it is better to use clay pots for growing citrus fruits, because clay lets air through and regulates humidity - it absorbs excess water when the earth is wet, and then gradually gives it away when the soil dries.
Tangerine tree can also be grown with seeds or cuttings. For planting, choose hybrid varieties, they sprout earlier and bloom faster.
The main varieties of tangerines for growing at home:
- Unshiu broadleaf
The most familiar climate for a tangerine tree is tropical, subtropical, so you will have to provide it with similar conditions. This can be achieved through humidity, lighting and high temperature. High humidity should be both in the soil and in the air. Pay attention to the equipment of a suitable place for a tub with a plant. Mandarin does not tolerate the presence of pathogens and mold. Watering the plant is necessary only when it is slightly dry. In the heat, try to water the tree more often, maybe even several times a day, and be sure to spray the leaves. If the sun shines brightly, slightly shade the plant. Remember that the plant can not be left in the draft, it does not like this.
The process of seed germination is similar to lemon, the sprout appears within 2-3 weeks. After 4 leaves appear on the sprout, seedlings are transplanted in separate pots. Young mandarin is transplanted once a year, usually in the spring. After reaching 10 years of age, the tree is left alone, only updating the upper extract.
Seeds for growing are best taken from fully ripened fruits, round in shape. The bones are washed in warm water and soaked overnight. After that, you can plant in the soil to a depth of 1-1.5 cm. Popular varieties for home cultivation:
- Citrus aurantium
- Washington Neville
There should be enough holes in the pot for planting, do not forget to lay the drain. Put the pot with the seed in a warm place and create a greenhouse effect. After the first leaves appear, rearrange the pot in the sun. Take a small transplant pot, as a young orange has almost no roots, it can become acidic in a large bowl.
Remember, an orange loves bright rooms, but not direct sunlight. Drafts are best avoided. Humidity in the room should be about 40 degrees. Keep an eye on this during the heating season. From over-dried air, the plant may die. Do not use chlorinated water for irrigation; try not to fill the seedling.
Subject to these rules, the plant will not die and will soon begin to delight you with its flowering. Feeding 1 time in 2-3 weeks. Be patient and after a few years the plant will surely delight you with its delicious fruits. And the joy of growing them yourself will make them even more aromatic and tasty.
As you have seen, growing citrus fruits at home is not so difficult, the main thing is to pay attention to the condition of your tree in time, take care and carefully treat the plants with love. The result will surely please you!
Conditions for sprouting an orange seed
Description - home care and plant varieties
The optimal time for sowing an orange is the end of winter or the beginning of spring. By the time the shoots appear, daylight hours will increase and will contribute to rapid growth. To germinate a seed, one must take into account the following key points:
- The temperature in the room should not be lower than +18 degrees.
- It is important to protect the pot from draft, cold glass on the windowsill.
- After the first leaves appear, the sprout needs a lot of diffused light.
- When germinating, it is important to maintain an optimal level of humidity - not lower than 40%.
Stages of germination of an orange seed
The first stage is washing the seeds and soaking for a day in water with the addition of any root growth stimulants. At the second stage, the seeds are sown in separate pots or in a common box. The distance between the seeds should be at least 5 cm.
Note! When the sprouts have 4-6 real leaves, they will be ready to dive into individual pots and change the substrate to a more nutritious one.
Small shoots should be protected from drafts, cold, temperature changes. After the emergence of sprouts, an orange needs a lot of light. It should be remembered about an important growth factor - the same temperature both in the pot and around it.
For the first planting you need a mixture of peat and sand in equal quantities. With the beginning of active growth, you will need a mixture for both adult citrus plants.
A pot for one seed is suitable for a volume of not more than 100 ml. It should have a drainage layer and at least 3 holes in the bottom. With each subsequent transshipment of orange, you should take a pot 3 cm larger in diameter.
The underdeveloped root system of the sprout from the bone is not able to actively absorb water, so overflows will lead to decay of the sprout. From a lack of moisture, the seed will die. Regular watering in small quantities is needed.
Grapefruit - a tree at home
The grapefruit tree is sensitive and capricious, with minor changes or holes in the care, but discards leaves, fruits, or even dies.
The purchased grapefruit seedling should be protected from sources of cold and dry air. The conditions of detention closer to the required - heat, humidity and lighting. The substrate for grapefruit is a mixture of turf land with sand and humus in a ratio of 2: 1: 1.
If the daylight for grapefruit is less than 12 hours, he will not live long. In the summer, young leaves should be hidden from direct sunlight.
In summer, the temperature for grapefruit is +25 degrees, in winter, it is + 5-6 in good light. With the beginning of spring, the temperature should be gradually increased.
Citrus flowers exude a pleasant aroma
In winter, the plant should be watered at least 2 times a week. On hot summer days, watering can even be every day. Grapefruit should be fertilized with mineral complexes containing iron, since without this element the plant does not grow well.
Citrus indoor plants are usually grown by experienced growers. With proper care, the incredible aroma and juicy fruits thank them for their care and attention.
Florists are actively engaged in the domestic cultivation of citrus hybrids. The following grades deserved special attention:
- Sweet lemon (Limetta Pursha) - the plant in external parameters resembles a lemon, but only with spherical fruits;
- Limequat - a cross of lime and kumquat.
- Clementine is a hybrid of mandarin and orange.
- Ponderosa is a hybrid of lime and pomelo.
- Calamondine is a hybrid of kumquat and mandarin.
- Orangeish - crossing an orange with kumquat.
Citrofortunella calamondine: home care
Citrus calamondin was bred exclusively for indoor cultivation. The tree bears fruit for a long time with small edible fruits. It is resistant to low humidity in Russian apartments, and in summer it grows well in the open air.
Kalamondin - what kind of fruit is it?
It can also be called a golden orange or indoor mandarin. Both names are fully consistent with this wonderful tree. A hybrid of mandarin and kumquat is citrofortunella, home care for it begins with adaptation.
Features of growing Citrus
In addition, they are important for the presence of mycorrhiza in citrus fruits, which is located in the mother soil in the roots of each citrus plant, since they grow in community with micro fungi that live on their roots. Microgribs will die - the plant itself will die. Therefore, you can not use pesticides or too bright a solution of potassium permanganate (potassium permanganate) for watering the soil in pest control. For the same reason, it is forbidden to use fresh manure during top dressing or to make large doses of mineral fertilizers.
Seedstaken out of a ripe fruit should be warmed up in warm water, this will accelerate germination. The seeds are buried in the soil by 2-3 diameters of the seed, that is, a little deeper than the nail. Sometimes several plants grow from the same seed at once, since polyembryony is characteristic of citruses. Only one plant should be left, cutting off the rest with scissors. Citrus seeds have good germination. Plants grown from a seed usually bloom and bear fruit in the 10th year, while the quality of the fruit may be low.
You will get a much better result if first grow seedling from a grapefruit seed or pomelo, and then graft on it any other citrus plant in the early stage, when the seedling will have a match-thick stem (2-3 years after emergence). The grafted plant develops faster, as the root system of the pomelo and grapefruit are more powerful than other citrus fruits. This significantly accelerates the entry of the plant into fruiting. In this case, you need a stalk of the fruiting plant (you can contact the greenhouse, nursery or friends). From the grafted graft, the plant blooms and starts bearing fruit already in the 2nd – 3rd year.
Cropping and shaping the crown
Young plants need the formation of a crown, therefore, before the beginning of the period of intensive growth (mid-February), their shoots are cut off. If citrus has grown from seed at home, then in the first year of life, it usually reaches 25-30 cm. Pinching the upper kidney will slow down growth and activate the side kidneys. Then you need to form skeletal branches, for which several are selected from the side shoots, and the rest are cut off. Skeletal branches are gradually strengthened, they are shortened to make them branch, to form as many small stems as possible.
When the main shape of the crown has already been established, annual pruning is reduced to harvesting broken or disease-affected branches growing in the middle of shoots that are fattening branches. In spring and even in summer, branches are usually shortened, stimulating the formation of fruits or simply maintaining the shape of the crown. This is the general pattern of crown formation, but all cultures grow in their own way, which means they need an individual approach.
The lemon does not like to branch, no pinching or shortening of the branches will cause it to form many small shoots, you will have to tinker to form a compact round tree out of it. Usually it looks angular, its crown consists of several large shoots, is well penetrated by air and light.
Orange is distinguished by the desire for the ceiling, it grows upward all the time, so orange trees have to annually shorten the trunk and main branches. Mandarin constantly forms many new twigs; you have to cut them to prevent thickening of the crown. The least trouble with the crown is when growing kumquat and calamondine. They are not so common among fans of exotic plants, although they are always very attractive in appearance, and caring for them is somewhat easier.
Trimming should always be carried out with sharp clean tools to avoid the risk of infection, as little as possible to injure the shoots. Twigs are cut above a bud located outside the crown so that the new shoot is not directed inside the tree, but away from the center of its crown.
The introduction of root dressing is carried out only during the period of plant activity, that is, from early March to mid-September. During dormancy (in winter), citrus fruits do not need additional nutrients.
Fertilizer options for citrus trees:
In nature, citrus fruits grow in hot places, they are constantly under the scorching rays of the sun. But at home, such conditions for a flower cannot be created. The plant must be placed in the bright part of the room, but it is important to ensure that the bright rays of the sun do not fall on its surface.
The lack of light citrus fruits are very difficult - the leaves on the trees begin to turn yellow and fall. If it is not possible to provide the plant with natural light, then it is necessary to provide it with artificial light.
Citrus trees need moderate and regular watering. Be sure to have a claydite layer on the bottom of the flowerpot; moisture must not be allowed to accumulate at the roots.
In the winter season, watering is reduced, but drying out of the soil should be avoided. If the plant is located next to heating appliances, then it should be regularly sprayed with warm, settled water.
Recommendations for the summer period:
- moderate watering;
- the exclusion of drying out of the soil;
- regular spraying in the evening.
How to protect a tree from diseases and pests
If you create comfortable conditions for plants, properly care for them, they will grow healthy and strong, be able to withstand attacks of pests and not respond to pathogens. But you need to know about the possible risks.
Fungal diseases rarely disturb indoor citrus fruits, they are more often found in large greenhouses. It can be powdery mildew, anthracnose, leaf spot, gum disease, they should be combated with fungicides. A sooty mushroom can be found at home, which in itself does not cause harm, but indicates a pest infection that emits sweet nectar. It is enough to drive away the aphids, wipe the leaves with a cotton swab dipped in a soap solution, wash with water.
Viruses such as mosaics, alas, cannot be treated.
A change in the color of the leaves often indicates not a disease, but a lack of certain elements. Leaves turn yellow with a lack of iron, magnesium, sulfur, nitrogen or with an excess of calcium, violations of the light regime. Brown spots can appear with sunburn or a large dose of fertilizer, irregular watering.
Aphids, spider mites, scale insects, false shields, mealybugs are pests that can get a citrus tree even in an apartment. It is advisable to inspect your plants more often in order to know exactly about their condition, you need to control the reverse sides of the leaves, it is there that the first signs of pest damage often appear.
So the appearance of sweet secretions, the accumulation of very small dots (green or black, brown) on the tops of young shoots indicates an aphid attack. Powdery plaque on the lower side of the leaves, yellowish dots on the upper side, and then the cobweb - this means that a spider mite appeared on the plant. If white lumps appeared on the branches, in the axils of the leaves, these are traces of the mealybug. If a scabbard or a false scutellum encroached on your plant, then on the trunk, branches, leaves, sweet secretions and small growths resembling drops of wax will appear.
With small amounts of insects (if noticed on time) they can be washed off with a stream of water or collected with a damp cotton swab. A regular shower can get rid of them. If such a measure is not enough, you can treat the plant several times with a soap-ash solution or, in the most extreme case, with special tools purchased in a store.