Be Silly. Be honest. Be kind.
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
Growing Citrus in Containers
Citrus trees are terrific for
sunrooms. The glossy foliage looks great year round, and
the scent of the blossoms can fill a room.
Citrus can be grown from seeds, but it will take several
years to get fruit, and the overall results may be
disappointing. For better results, buy healthy plants that
have been grafted onto special rootstocks. Before you
invest in a citrus tree, make sure you have a place in
your home where the plant will be happy. It needs a long
day of sun and good air circulation. Placing the tree near
a heating vent will cause the leaves to dry out and drop.
In warm climates, place the tree on a rolling platform so
that it can be left outdoors most of the time, bringing it
indoors only when frost threatens.
The most common problems with citrus grown indoors are
scale insects and leaf drop. Watch the plant closely for
scale, since it is easiest to control when it first
appears. If there are only a few, you can remove them with
a sharp knife or fingernail, or you can rub them with a
Q-tip soaked in alcohol. If you have too many insects to
handle this way, spray the plant with an insecticidal soap
at 5-day intervals, or alcohol spray (4 parts water to 3
parts rubbing alcohol.) Any time you use an alcohol spray
you should shade the plant for the day.
Leaf drop is usually caused by wide fluctuations in
temperature. Try to maintain a constant temperature, both
day and night.
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