Author Topic: How to keep citrus alive in winter? Zone 8b/7  (Read 520 times)

Pandan

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 169
    • Southeast USA
    • View Profile
How to keep citrus alive in winter? Zone 8b/7
« on: September 21, 2022, 02:43:45 PM »
Hi,

this year I acquired 2 citrus trees: a meyer and harvey lemon. They're about 1.5-2 feet tall and in smallish containers.

How do I keep them alive with coming winter, I don't have a green house.

Can plants like these go dormant?  do I cover them with clear plastic?

I have heard of using christmas lights wrapped around them stems for warmth I think.

W.

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 530
    • United States, Alabama, 7b
    • View Profile
Re: How to keep citrus alive in winter? Zone 8b/7
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2022, 06:00:44 PM »
I move my citrus inside for the winter. It depends how cold your winters normally get, both in terms of the low temperature and the duration of time below freezing. I also do not consider Meyer lemons to be the most cold-hardy of citrus. They are not Key limes by any stretch of the imagination, but compared to the various cold-hardy citrus used by zone pushers (satsumas, citrumelos, etc.), they are cold-sensitive. Harvey lemons are more cold tolerant.

brian

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2546
    • Pennsylvania (zone 6) w/ heated greenhouse
    • View Profile
Re: How to keep citrus alive in winter? Zone 8b/7
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2022, 09:34:18 PM »
Meyer lemons seem finicky, always dropping leaves.  I have a greenhouse and they are still far less healthy than all my other citrus.

You should be able to keep them outdoors until temperatures drop into the 30s, then bring them inside for the winter.  I haven't really tried this, but poeple do. 

poncirsguy

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 487
    • Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, 6a/6b
    • View Profile
Re: How to keep citrus alive in winter? Zone 8b/7
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2022, 10:35:21 PM »
started installing glass on GH to protect the citrus trees here in Cincinnati weather


1rainman

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 200
    • Florida
    • View Profile
Re: How to keep citrus alive in winter? Zone 8b/7
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2022, 08:54:05 AM »
Meyer lemons have good cold tolerance, better than other lemons because it's not a pure lemon. Lemons generally are cold sensitive, more sensitive than oranges. Meyer lemon has better cold tolerance than an orange but compared to satsumas or something not as good.

My Meyer lemon did great in Cincinnati. I kept it outside during summer. When temps went below freezing brought it in. Sometimes it loses leaves indoors. Need to spray with mist, try to keep some humidity during dry winters and keep grow lights on it. It does better outside in the summer but I had it blooming in winter. It blooms all year off and on. It did better indoors than bananas or other stuff. My other citrus got too big but the dwarf Meyer lemon tops out at six foot and will stay smaller in smaller pots. Dwarf oranges and tangerines are 8 feet or 10 feet. The dwarf Meyer lemon is the smallest and perfect for a really large container.

pagnr

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 572
    • View Profile
Re: How to keep citrus alive in winter? Zone 8b/7
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2022, 09:27:19 AM »
Various cheap clear plastic medium duty thick bags are available, such as 200 litre bin liners, to larger mattress protector bags from bed shops ( cost $2 each here ).
These are pretty cheap may to make mini greenhouse covers, for one season.
A 100 watt incandescent bulb ( old style) can be used inside a mini glasshouse etc to warm the air for frost protection.

poncirsguy

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 487
    • Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, 6a/6b
    • View Profile
Re: How to keep citrus alive in winter? Zone 8b/7
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2022, 12:32:54 PM »
These tree has fruits and will be brought inside and placed under strong lights.

New Zealand lemonade on Seville sour orange above, below.

Small tree to left is a New Zealand lemonade grafted to a seedling NZL

Fukushu kumquat on C35. 

hardyvermont

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 141
    • Anderson SC z 8a
    • View Profile
Re: How to keep citrus alive in winter? Zone 8b/7
« Reply #7 on: September 23, 2022, 01:16:29 PM »
This topic has been discussed in this forum and in its earlier version. 
To summarize, in cold weather, citrus go dormant.  They don't need sunlight.  They can be kept in the dark for up to 15 weeks without harm as long as it is cold.
Using covers that let light in can warm the tree up sufficiently that it is no longer dormant, a problem if the heat source is lost and it freezes inside.
Cold soil and warm temperatures inside the cover can lead to leaf drop.
Putting a tree in the basement or garage is sufficient most of the time. 
A dark tarp cover and a heat source can work.
https://tropicalfruitforum.com/index.php?topic=44367.msg437008#msg437008



Vlad

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 227
    • Worcester, MA USDA zone 5b
    • View Profile
Re: How to keep citrus alive in winter? Zone 8b/7
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2022, 10:30:27 PM »
How cold do citrus have to be to survive winter in the dark?

hardyvermont

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 141
    • Anderson SC z 8a
    • View Profile
Re: How to keep citrus alive in winter? Zone 8b/7
« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2022, 10:37:09 PM »
"The temperature is between -2C and 6C degrees (28.4F & 42.8F). I'll keep you udated after every 2 weeks. "

Pandan

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 169
    • Southeast USA
    • View Profile
Re: How to keep citrus alive in winter? Zone 8b/7
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2022, 11:58:20 PM »
Meyer lemons have good cold tolerance, better than other lemons because it's not a pure lemon. Lemons generally are cold sensitive, more sensitive than oranges. Meyer lemon has better cold tolerance than an orange but compared to satsumas or something not as good.

My Meyer lemon did great in Cincinnati. I kept it outside during summer. When temps went below freezing brought it in. Sometimes it loses leaves indoors. Need to spray with mist, try to keep some humidity during dry winters and keep grow lights on it. It does better outside in the summer but I had it blooming in winter. It blooms all year off and on. It did better indoors than bananas or other stuff. My other citrus got too big but the dwarf Meyer lemon tops out at six foot and will stay smaller in smaller pots. Dwarf oranges and tangerines are 8 feet or 10 feet. The dwarf Meyer lemon is the smallest and perfect for a really large container.
mine blooms all year long too, i started cutting the blooms recently due to a concern they might sap the strength itll need for winter

Pandan

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 169
    • Southeast USA
    • View Profile
Re: How to keep citrus alive in winter? Zone 8b/7
« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2022, 12:00:11 AM »
This topic has been discussed in this forum and in its earlier version. 
To summarize, in cold weather, citrus go dormant.  They don't need sunlight.  They can be kept in the dark for up to 15 weeks without harm
Cold soil and warm temperatures inside the cover can lead to leaf drop.
Putting a tree in the basement or garage is sufficient most of the time. 
A dark tarp cover and a heat source can work.
https://tropicalfruitforum.com/index.php?topic=44367.msg437008#msg437008
this is what I was thinking of doing thank you

GFC

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 83
    • High Springs Florida Zone 8b
    • View Profile
Re: How to keep citrus alive in winter? Zone 8b/7
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2022, 12:45:01 AM »
 I live in zone8b and I never bring my citrus inside. I have several varieties of citrus in the ground. They survive the cold really well.

Florian

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 267
    • Solothurn, Switzerland.
    • View Profile
Re: How to keep citrus alive in winter? Zone 8b/7
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2022, 03:39:46 AM »
I live in zone8b and I never bring my citrus inside. I have several varieties of citrus in the ground. They survive the cold really well.

Zone 8b is between -9.4 and -6.7 C (15 to 22 F). How often do you really see such temperatures and how long will they last? If it is more than an hour or two with temperatures rising well above freezing the next day, I would be surprised.

GFC

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 83
    • High Springs Florida Zone 8b
    • View Profile
Re: How to keep citrus alive in winter? Zone 8b/7
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2022, 03:28:55 PM »
« Last Edit: September 26, 2022, 04:37:52 PM by GFC »

1rainman

  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 200
    • Florida
    • View Profile
Re: How to keep citrus alive in winter? Zone 8b/7
« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2022, 07:28:01 PM »
My Meyer dropped a lot of lemons it didn't have energy for and I'd pick a few more small ones off.

 

SMF spam blocked by CleanTalk