By Laurelynn Martin and Byron Martin
Roselle Jamaican Hibiscus (Hibiscus sabdariffa)
Popular beverages, such as Coffee (Coffea Arabica), Tea (Camellia sinensis), and Cocoa (Theobroma cacao), are world renown and easy plants to grow and harvest. A couple more plants that we recommend adding to your favorite beverage list are Yerba Mate’ (Ilex paraguariensis) much like green tea loaded with anti-oxidants, and Roselle Hibiscus Tea (Hibiscus sabdariffa), which is high in Vitamin C.
Let’s start with a well-known plant like coffee. The enjoyment and ritual around a morning cup of coffee has become an obsession, and now people drink coffee throughout the day. Growing your own coffee beans is fun and easy for the gardener.
Check out our video on growing your own coffee and Visit our You Tube channel for more great video’s on growing all types of tasty tropical treats!
How to Grow your own Coffee
By Laurelynn Martin and Byron Martin
Meyer lemons have become a culinary prize for chefs adding their zestful and tart yet floral sweetness to recipes around the world. Meyers are some of the most loved lemons grown in a home environment. In a small pot, Meyer Lemon, or Citrus limon, has the ability to produce an abundance of lemons, which are more flavorful and juicier than the ordinary table lemon.
The exact origin of Meyer Lemon is unknown. Some sources say it is a cross between a lemon and a sour orange; others say it is a cross between a Eureka lemon and a Lisbon lemon. Whatever the exact cross, Meyer Lemon was identified by and named after Frank N. Meyer in 1908. Meyer lemons have thin skins and because of this, they have typically not been used as a commercial lemon crop but with an increased demand for their unique flavor, they are becoming more widely available. However, you no longer have to wait for them to be commercially grown because you can produce an abundance of your own fruit at home.
The Meyer Lemon is the hardiest lemon and it performs well if night temperatures range between 50-60°F in winter. Meyer Lemon can take cool temperatures down to 35°F for short duration’s. It produces an abundance of flowers and fruits year-round even at a young age.
Gardeners have been growing citrus in containers for thousands of years. The attractive and edible fruit combined with intensely sweet flowers makes citrus a prized potted plant. Some gardeners grow citrus outside in pots in tropical zones while others grow citrus inside in pots in northern climates. Whether or not you live in a temperate or tropical climate or live in an apartment or home, growing citrus fruit successfully in containers has a few common cultural requirements.
Sun, Sun, and more Sun
Make sure you have a sunny area. Light level and light intensity have a lot to do with growing citrus successfully. Citrus plants need at least 6 hours a day of sunshine and temperatures above 65˚F is a plus for rapid growth.
Choosing Your Container
Glazed, plastic, terra-cotta (clay), cement, wood are all viable choices. However, if you grow in anything but terra-cotta, you must be careful and accurate with your watering. We recommend using clay or terra-cotta so the soil can dry down between waterings. Otherwise, moisture stays on the inside of the pot and this can invite in root disease. This rapidly turns into root rot and can kill the plant. Also, pot size is something to become aware of. Do not over pot (choose a pot too big, too fast). This also can lead to over watering and again invite in root disease. Also, citrus like to be somewhat root-bound in a pot. We’ve grown some of our most productive Meyer Lemon plants in 8″ pots for years. Read More…