Growing Tabletop Citrus in pots is easy to do, rewarding and fills the dark days of winter with orange and golden gems of color. Today, we brought 6 different varieties of citrus to the Martha Live show (airing at 10:00am eastern time). Byron will be on camera with Martha. I am behind the scenes, talking to producers, working out details, etc. Behind the scenes will be next weeks blog. However, this week is the citrus that was on the show and the how to’s of growing.
First, is the Varegated Calamondin Orange- Produces tiny sour fruit from Southeast Asia and has spectacular mottled foliage.
Second is the Sunquat-Blooms and fruits throughout the year, is a cross between a lemon and kumquat and this sweet succulent fruit can be eaten skin and all.
Third, the Sweet Lemon- (Ujiktsu)- An amazing fruit that ripens late winter into spring, is a cross between a grapefruit and a tangelo and although looks like a lemon it tastes like an orange.
Fourth, Kaffir Lime- is grown for its foliage and fruit. The foliage is well known for its culinary use in Thai food.
Fifth, Citrus Myrtifolia- This upright grower has foliage like a myrtle and produces tiny oranges, that ripen from late fall through winter. Although sour to eat, the ornamental beauty keeps this citrus around.
Sixth, Tahitain Orange- Also produces tiny bright fiery orange fruit and the fruit can hold on for months increasing its ornamental appeal as well.
In a nutshell, caring for all citrus is similar.
1-Grow in terra cotta pots to allow dry down time because citrus roots are sensitive to cold and wet in the winter time.
2-Grow in full sun, preferable above 60 degrees for best growth, although citrus can take it down into the 30’s as long as it’s only once in a while and not sustained.
3-Water when the soil is visually dry
4-Fertilizer moderately during the active growing season, which is generally spring through fall. Winter time feed is reduced to once a month or not at all.
5-Prune when the plant is young to produce a multi-stemmed specimen. This is necessary so as the citrus grows it has strong branches to support the fruit.
6- Once mature, prune after flowering and then prune selective leads so you will have some fruit the following season.
7-Susceptible to scale and mealybug and sometimes spidermite. Use leaf polishers such as neem oil or cedoflora for control.