Help--can citrus survive in zone 6-7?

earthwatersunwindFebruary 11, 2008

Hello. I currently live in San Diego, and have a satsuma mandarin and a dwarf lemon in pots, and they are both beautiful, healthy, and producing fruit. I am considering a move to South Lake Tahoe, zone 6-7. Can I take my trees? Will they survive in a greenhouse over the winter? Will they live in a garage under lights? Any advice would be appreciated, as I've had these for years and would hate to give them away or kill them.



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yes to both options-
i have a bunch of citrus that are thriving in my basement under grow lights. obviously, if you have them in a garage or greenhouse, you will have to provide some supplemntal heating during the cold winter days

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 4:11PM
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I have several citrus plants that are potted and I also keep them in my basement under grow lights. They are doing phenomenal and last night my husband and I ate the first orange off our tree.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 6:36PM
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I don't know much about grow lights. I began to research them earlier this year but it became far more than my A.D.D. could sift thru. LOL. I've got a small key lime and he's been sitting by a South window all year. Seems to be doing just fine with that. I was concerned that he wasn't going to get enough light there, but so far so good. If you've got a couple of good South facing windows, I wouldn't be too worried. All things are relative I suppose tho.


    Bookmark   February 12, 2008 at 9:41AM
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How many grow lights do you all have , what brand name, what wattage, and how long do you keep them on for your citrus to thrive. How many lights per how many trees are needed? Sounds like you are doing a great job even if your plants are getting no sun. I must be doing something wrong with mine. Please let me know. Thanks...:-)

    Bookmark   February 13, 2008 at 10:41AM
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i have 5 citrus tree under an 800w super spectrum lighting system. if you google super spectrun, you will find a bunch of online places selling them. essentially, its a pre-wired unit that contains both a metal halide and a high pressure sodium bulb- ie a red light to promote flowering and a blue light to promote vegative growth. i have had the trees indoors for about 3 months- doing great so far- ton of blossoms and no leaf drop. the super spectrum lights come in 400w, 600w 800w, and 1000w set ups.

also check out garden webs growing under lights forum. members post incredibly technical posts that are too much for me- but maybe you'll have the patience. the super spectrum lights though are extremely simple to use because they are an all in one package. some claim that are better lights out there but as a package deal, requiring no knowledge of lighting, this is up there. hope that helps meyer.
below are some links to some of my citrus and other plants

    Bookmark   February 14, 2008 at 2:22PM
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dancinglemons(7B VA)


Thanks for info on the lights. I have fluorescent shop lights for my basement "greenhouse". They have worked OK for now but am going to look into these super spectrum lights. Sounds like something I can use.


    Bookmark   February 19, 2008 at 3:47AM
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I use a shop light fixture (8 dollars at home depot) with 2 philips natural daylight bulbs (about 6 dollars each).

The most important thing with plant lights is the color and the "temperature". you want something around 5000K and either red, blue or yellow. there is no true "white" color, it always has a slight tint to it. my lights have a blueish white to them. the only color that will not grow plants is green.

most plant lights are fluorescent bulbs. if you get a CFL (compact fluorescent) you will see them at the store.. they are the spiral, energy saving lights. i have a shelf underneath one and a bay leaf plant that is thriving. plants like to be 6-12 inches away from the lights.

my reccomendation is to keep your plants under lights in the winter but bring them outside in the summer.

also, keep a close eye on them because they are more likely to get bugs. i have had to deal with a few cases of spider mites and mealy bugs.

good luck!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2008 at 11:17PM
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