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Best citrus for windowsill culture

Auburn Four Corners, PA(Zone 5a)

Hello All -

I recently had success growing, fruiting (and eating) fruit from a passiflora edulis 'Possum Purple' vine, and now want to try my hand at citrus. The space is an office windowsill with full southern exposure. A look at the Logee's site lists all sorts of citrus plants. Could anyone with a comment let me know which have been the most successful plants for this type of environment? I'm hoping to find varieties than can either be cut back when they get too big, or stay dwarf-ish to begin with.

Thanks!

Auburn Four Corners, PA(Zone 5a)

In doing some research, it's looking like the 'Meiwa' kumquat, the 'Meyer' lemon, and the "sunsquat" are my best choices. Anyone have an opinion?!

Saint Petersburg, FL

I've got both a Meyer Lemon and a Meiwa Kumquat, and I'd recommend the Meyer. They're fairly vigorous plants, with really nice smelling blooms, and tasty fruit.

Auburn Four Corners, PA(Zone 5a)

Thanks for the input, Carolyn! Could the Meyer withstand being kept at 2 feet or so in a windowsill pot, do you think? I imagine where you live you could grow them outdoors.

Saint Petersburg, FL

It'd be easier to keep dwarf if you had it on a dwarfing rootstock. Logee's isn't grafting its citrus, if my buddha's hands are any indication.

Which means your Meyer would be forever trying to attain its full growth, and there'd be a constant struggle. This will be annoying for you, and not particularly good for the tree either.

You might want to try acquiring a Meyer grafted onto a dwarf rootstock. Four Winds growers does this, as probably do others.

Mine are kept outside, yes, so this isn't really an issue for me.

Auburn Four Corners, PA(Zone 5a)

Again, thanks for the advice. I will give Four Winds a try!

(Zone 6a)

You can also try Stan McKenzie in SC. Web site is terrible, in my opinion, but he has great plants (emailing him is best). I love the Meiwa and have several. Almost all citrus you can buy is grafted onto Dwarf stock.
Meyers are also great, but if you're looking for fruit to pick and eat, you can't beat Meiwas.
Website: http://mckenzie-farms.com/

Four winds is also a great place, I have bought quite a few from them, but with shipping it gets expensive!
http://www.fourwindsgrowers.com/

This message was edited Feb 16, 2010 3:18 PM

Auburn Four Corners, PA(Zone 5a)

Thanks for your input, lakesidecallas. It is appreciated!

Apopka, FL(Zone 10a)

When you get your citrus potted, use Miracid fertilizer:

http://www.scotts.com/smg/catalog/productTemplate.jsp?proId=prod70218

Auburn Four Corners, PA(Zone 5a)

Thanks, ApopkaJohn. A question: is it possible to acidify the soil too much when using Miracid for a potted plant?

Apopka, FL(Zone 10a)

Rule of thumb for fertilizer:
IF the NEW leaves come out yellow its lack of micro nutrients and usually acid fertilizer with trace elements like iron will make them available.
IF the OLDER leaves turn yellow it could be fertilizer burn, or not enough moisture available, so use fresh water to flush out the excess.
Citrus needs the trace elements more than most other plants. Just read the fine print on a package of citrus fertilizer.
Also try to avoid perlite in the mix, because it may contain the wrong trace elements.
Keep in mind that slow-release fertilizer may release nutrients according to the temperature, which may or may not be conveinient for the plant.
If you want to invest in the best soil for picky plants, you could use african violet mix. Don't worry because even the best growers need to experiment especially if the environment conditgion changes.

Auburn Four Corners, PA(Zone 5a)

Wow, thanks for all the tips, ApopkaJohn. I've been looking at the leaves, and so far, they look good -- a nice green with no yellowing. It has had some good growth spurts, so I will pick up some food and keep an eye out for the trouble signs you mention. Thanks again!

Have you grown any of the kumquat or kumquat cross varieties?

Apopka, FL(Zone 10a)

yes here in Florida most plants grow hog wild, however my kumkwat tree stays only 6' for many years. Never have to spray and get fruit every spring. Kumkwat is probably the best citrus plant to grow in a pot. Many years ago in Iowa we grew one for many years in a 5 gallon pot in the lobby of the bank, and put it outside in the shade for a summer growth spurt, and always had heavy bloom in the winter and fruit in the spring. Sorry no pic. We just picked the last of the ripe fruit last week.

Auburn Four Corners, PA(Zone 5a)

Wow, that's a great endorsement for Kumquats! I just might try one. Do you remember what variety you grew? I've seen 'Meiwa' and 'Nagawa' offered. Plus, there seems to be a whole bunch of crosses of kumquats with lemons, limes and other citrus.

(Zone 6a)

Sticking my nose in, I love Meiwas! Yummy-yum-yum-Yum! LOL

Tamworth, NH(Zone 4b)

I just ordered an Improved Meyer Lemon and a Mexican Sweet Lime from Four Winds (2-3 year old trees). I have a Meyer Lemon from Logee's that I bought over a year ago. Actually I bought two. I was a bit confused as to how they pruned them for shipping. They cut the main part of the plant, including the leader, all the way back and just left one lower side branch. Made for odd looking plants, but I assume they know what they are doing. Unfortunately, only one survived, probably due to my inexperience, however it's still not looking that good.

I'm have better hopes for the new trees that should arrive next week.

Auburn Four Corners, PA(Zone 5a)

Just thought I'd update . . . I have 3 lemons on my Meyer tree! AND a Persian lime just now coming into bloom.

(Zone 6a)

Yay! I have a good recipe for lemon bars....

San Marcos, TX(Zone 8b)

Good job.

You should order some Miracle Fruit tabs off Ebay. The Miracle Fruit makes everything sour taste super sweet. It is great experiencing certain fruits in a brand new way. I have a small Miracle Fruit plant but it hasnt produced berries yet.

Auburn Four Corners, PA(Zone 5a)

Thanks! Lakeside, I LOVE lemon bars . . .

Jujube, yes, I've heard of Miracle Fruit; I think Logee's had plants for sale. Sounds interesting.

San Marcos, TX(Zone 8b)

The plants are very hard to grow so I encourage the tablets instead.

Portage, WI(Zone 5a)

I have 3 Limequats. Grafted, about 2 foot tall, 8" pots. Covered in flowers and fruit. Wonderful.

Croton-on-Hudson, NY(Zone 6b)

I have had great results on my dwarf Patio Citrus Tree Meyer Lemon, with the Espoma Organic Citrus-tone 5-2-6 for For Citrus and Avocado. Got it from Larry's Orchard and Tropicals. They have many of the citrus plants and I found them quite helpful. Maybe they can tell you what is best for a window sill. looking at the site again, they say "This lemon will quickly grow to a height of 2 to 3 feet when grown as a container plant. The size of the plant is determined by the size of the pot. These plants will happily spend their entire life in a 1 to 2 gallon pot indoors." Don't know what will happen if you keep it pruned to 2 feet. My lemon always benefits from being outside in the summer.

The only problem I have had is right now as described at http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1344326/

Hope for an answer soon. I recommend Meyer Lemon for it's incredible taste and smell if it can be grown to the size you mention without harm to the plant.

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