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INDOOR LEMON TREES

Wednesday September 11 2013    |     Views: 2796    |     Comments: 0   |     Print    Bookmark and Share





Lemon dwarf trees are so close to my heart. I absolutely adore them. I can stare at them for hours and I have them all over my home. The joy that I get from them is something that I must share with you all. Is it the amazing scent that comes from the blooms when they are in the fruiting stage? Or the fact that they are small and can produce so many fruits at a time? Or that you can even cook with their leaves?
It doesn't get any fresher than this! Lemon trees are relatively easy to grow, provided that you have a warm enough climate, which we do here in Nigeria. Even if your conditions are not ideal, there may still be a citrus tree for you.
Today, Italy remains the largest grower of lemons in the world. The best pick for homegrown citrus is a dwarf variety, a plant that is grafted onto special rootstock that prevents the tree from growing too large. Many citrus trees can be grown as dwarves, including Meyer lemon, Kaffir lime, and 'Trovita'  which are great for indoor cultivation.
Soon enough, you could be harvesting oranges for marmalade, preparing desserts with Meyer lemons, or picking Kaffir lime leaves for an authentic Thai curry.
Citrus lemon Varieties That Thrive Indoors
•    Kaffir lime- A lime tree that also boasts delicious leaves used in cooking Southeast Asian dishes.
•    Meyer lemon- The lemons are deep yellow and the trees will bear fruit heavily.
Caring for Indoor Citrus
Here is a brief guide for keeping your indoor lemon plants happy and healthy:
•    Location: Make sure your plants receive five to six hours of sunlight. Set your tree in a southern exposure, if possible, or supplement the light by using 40 watt fluorescent shop lights above the plants.
•    Fertilizer: Use an acidic fertilizer during the plant's active growing season in late winter, June and August. Use a high-nitrogen-low phosphorus food (20-10-10) or one specifically for citrus every time you water.
•    Water: Your pot must have good drainage as you water every few days. Mist the leaves and give your tree a shower occasionally.
With the right care and a little luck, your own personal citrus grove will bring you great enjoyment and last for years. Just imagine strolling into your living room or kitchen to pluck a lemon for use in your favourite lemon bar recipe or limes for Tex-Mex dressing.

Harvesting
The time from blossom to fruit harvest varies by variety. In general, most lemons and limes will ripen in six to nine months, and oranges will be ready to harvest in about a year. Citrus fruits ripen only on the tree, and when ready, many varieties may be harvested over a period of weeks or even months. Once the fruit has reached its full colour, test for ripeness by applying a bit of pressure to the rind. A slight softening indicates your citrus is ready to pick.
Try dwarf citrus trees if you are short on space. You can even grow them in large pots, and they open up the possibility of bringing the tree indoors. Even though they are small, dwarf citrus trees can produce a very reasonable harvest.
Enjoy!



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