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How to keep citrus alive in winter? Zone 8b/7

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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.

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.

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. 

started installing glass on GH to protect the citrus trees here in Cincinnati weather

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.


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