Author Topic: Can citrus survive winter without sunlight?  (Read 678 times)

Perplexed

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Can citrus survive winter without sunlight?
« on: June 27, 2021, 05:38:14 PM »
Question. Cause I have some citrus seedlings germinated around March and I might put them under a tree in total shade so they don't receive any winter sun. Thoughts?

SoCal2warm

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Re: Can citrus survive winter without sunlight?
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2021, 06:38:31 PM »
Citrus does not need any sunlight to survive if the temperature is kept constantly below about 45 F.
Mature plants can survive through several months of dormancy like that.

Very small seedlings are different matter. I think it is unlikely they would survive.

But that depends very much on what your climate is and where you live.

Sun or shade might not make any difference if your small seedlings cannot survive the temperatures outside.

Your post and question is very confusing, for multiple reasons. Are you in the Southern hemisphere? What time of year are you talking about when you say "winter"? Telling where you are might help.

Sorry, but I'm not going to risk wasting effort to try answering your question without more detail, since the answer depends on several details.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2021, 06:43:49 PM by SoCal2warm »

Millet

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Re: Can citrus survive winter without sunlight?
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2021, 06:47:13 PM »
Sunlight, at least 6 hours per day is very beneficial to the growth of young seedlings.  The less sunlight, the less photosynthates,  which is the plants food source. 

Perplexed

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Re: Can citrus survive winter without sunlight?
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2021, 09:52:10 PM »
SoCal, hows the question confusing? Seems pretty direct. But I'm in the North Hemisphere in GA zone 8 10.0 minimum.

Thanks, Millet. Will keep that in mind.

SoCal2warm

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Re: Can citrus survive winter without sunlight?
« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2021, 12:48:45 PM »
SoCal, hows the question confusing? Seems pretty direct.
Did you mean you were thinking about putting them in shade during winter, which is 5 months from now?

It's hard to say. Where you are, putting them in shade might protect them from temporary warm spells and coming out of dormancy.
I doubt the small seedlings will be able to survive the cold in a zone 8 winter. Might depend which variety they are and how close to the house they are, and how much they are blocked from exposure to wind, as well as how much growth they manage to put on between now and then.

I don't think the light itself will be beneficial to them at all during this period when there will be times of cold and frost, but sunlight also has heat effects.

Citrus that has entered dormancy does not really grow and I don't think carries out photosynthesis or can use light. It needs to enter dormancy or it will be vulnerable to cold damage.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2021, 12:53:33 PM by SoCal2warm »

hardyvermont

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Re: Can citrus survive winter without sunlight?
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2021, 02:52:29 PM »
Question. Cause I have some citrus seedlings germinated around March and I might put them under a tree in total shade so they don't receive any winter sun. Thoughts?

In the old forum someone posted about how they had kept plants in total dark and cold for several weeks before they started to lose leaves.  The plants tested were larger than yours.  The evidence goes against our belief system that citrus plants always require sunshine.



Specifically for you, plants kept in shade would benefit from not drying out if there is a long period of freezing sunny weather.

850FL

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Re: Can citrus survive winter without sunlight?
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2021, 04:52:23 PM »
10F minimum?! Pretty cold.. snow too? If youíre growing cold hardy varieties they probably have more dormancy in their genes.I have a calamondin in 90+% shade and itís been growing a few years with bamboo roots very close and hanging on surprisingly well (slower growth and no fruit ever lol). A few navel oranges like that too, theyíre all grafted saplings. I do have various seedlings mostly small that have been very shaded for 1-2 years and they hang on quite well (low percent dieoff) even under Deep shade and colder winters. But I do chop back the canopy every so often (many months between)

Perplexed

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Re: Can citrus survive winter without sunlight?
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2021, 01:28:40 AM »
No I mean 10F minimum as in the cold hardy zone. I've never experienced 10F yet so far..

Gotamas

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Re: Can citrus survive winter without sunlight?
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2021, 05:11:40 PM »
Question. Cause I have some citrus seedlings germinated around March and I might put them under a tree in total shade so they don't receive any winter sun. Thoughts?

In the old forum someone posted about how they had kept plants in total dark and cold for several weeks before they started to lose leaves.  The plants tested were larger than yours.  The evidence goes against our belief system that citrus plants always require sunshine.



Specifically for you, plants kept in shade would benefit from not drying out if there is a long period of freezing sunny weather.

Can you give me more information on this. I am trying to do some testing of my own but if it's already been done, I would be grateful to read such a thing.

Thanks.

Plantinyum

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Re: Can citrus survive winter without sunlight?
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2021, 03:29:54 AM »
I overwinter my citrus in a basement here in zone 7 .
Its has a upper and a lower warmer section. The plants stay in the upper one, next to a very small window which lets some light in, they stay there  if the temps outside are not low enough to start to freeze inside.. When its colder and the walls , glass and plant pots start having ice crystals ,I lower them in the lower section and close a wooden door which traps the heat in. This past winter they stayed there in total darkness for about half a month, maybe more, but it was not an block of time.
I had small cumquat seedlings overwinter fine in those conditions, thought I think sor seedlings they should have their growth been hardened.
I think under your trees they will get light, just not direct light. Thats different from no light conditions of overwintering. U should follow the temp swings that happen and depending of the variety of the seedlings ,take them in a place without heat, thought above freezing , for the coolest of weather.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2021, 03:34:47 AM by Plantinyum »

Sylvain

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Re: Can citrus survive winter without sunlight?
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2021, 04:16:15 AM »
In the old forum someone posted about how they had kept plants in total dark and cold for several weeks before they started to lose leaves.
It is not saying they loose their leaves at the end!
 http://citrusgrowersstatic.chez.com/web/viewtopicdcc0.php
They have been the whole winter in full dark (15 weeks) and didn't loose any leaf.

Citradia

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Re: Can citrus survive winter without sunlight?
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2021, 08:43:24 AM »
A return to the original question: I think I know what Perplexed is saying/asking. He had seeds sprout out of his pots in March. In zone 7, March is still considered winter even though a lot of Asian flowering trees are blooming at some point in March in southeastern USA. He wondered if his new seedlings will be harmed by the sun in March/winter. My concern is not about the sun in March, but the fact that your seedlings, unless they are 100% poncirus will be damaged by spring freezes. We get freezing temps in western NC as late as Motherís Day. I wouldnít leave my citrange seedlings outside unprotected from cold until after Motherís Day.

 

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