First Time Citrus Grower - Four Winds Growers- Worth It?

lsepoinos(7a Akron OH)June 16, 2011

I'm new to this website, but eager to learn. Here goes nothing.

My question is on the topic of dwarf citrus trees. I have recently become interested in acquiring several (maybe one to begin with) dwarf citrus trees. These I would grow in pots and bring indoors for the winter. For my first I was thinking along the lines of a Moro blood orange, or a Meyer lemon. These are two of my favorite citruses.

Through this website, and other sources, I have been informed, generally, that the highest quality citrus trees can be found at Four Winds Growers. (As I live in zone 5b, in Northeast Ohio, a local purchase is out of the question.) Please correct me if there is a higher quality, more diverse source.

My question is: does size matter in this case? They offer 1- and 2-year-old specimens. Both are ridiculously expensive, but I believe the 1-year-old trees are closer to my price point.

Again- my question:

Is it really worth it to purchase the larger, bareroot trees?

Thank you for your assistance.


Here is a link that might be useful: Four Winds Growers - Prices

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mksmth zone 6b Tulsa Oklahoma(6b)

Hey Leo

welcome to the site. Have you tried any local nurseries or even the big box stores. You might be surprised. Im on the line of 6b and 7a and some of ours here carry 9 and 10 stuff.

anyways many members here have purchased from Four Winds and have been very pleased. Their trees are great specimens. Yes they are high priced but I think the quality is worth the money. On size I would get the oldest tree you can afford. The larger the tree is the more fruit it can support if that is your goal. When well taken care of they will grow pretty quick.

be careful though, you wont be able to stop at one. Eventually youll have a dozen.


    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 5:13PM
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I was in the same situation as you, a novice so I wasn't sure if it was worth the investment. I picked up a Key Lime when I was on vacation in Florida and since I was able to keep that through the winter (a first for me) I decided to give Four Winds a try. I wouldn't say they're expensive but their shipping certainly is. If I were you I'd probably go with the 1 year if they have it in the variety you want. You'll still get a great looking tree, not as big obviously, but it'll be a smaller investment and will get you comfortable with them.

BTW you might want to try Lowes or HD. I'm in zone 7 and to my surprise they did get a selection of citrus trees in. They are beautiful but are $25 per which minus shipping is the same you'll be paying at Four Winds and the same size.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 5:20PM
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lsepoinos(7a Akron OH)

Thank you both so much for your insight! You have confirmed all of my assumptions.
All is still a conundrum though� What I think I will do is just buy one of the 2-year specimens, as a fail-safe. Perhaps as I get better acclimated to citrus-growing, and two Four Winds, I will branch out and buy several more of the smaller (1-year) plants. Who knows.

My next, related, question is to the type of citrus to choose. Really, I am deciding between the Moro and the Meyer. At the moment I am leaning towards the Moro. Does anyone have any advice on a "starter tree"? Both of these are listed on their website to grow well in containers.

Finally, does anyone have a favorite citrus, one that could grow well in a container?



Here is a link that might be useful: Blood Oranges @ Four Winds

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 5:35PM
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redshirtcat(6a MO StL)

4winds is worth it. The plants come healthy and bare-root which makes it much easier to put them into a quality potting medium.

Were I you I would spend the extra few dollars for the 2 year old trees. You are more likely to have a good fruit set. Even some of the 2 year old trees are on the small side but I've been very pleased with 4winds (and I've ordered from a few other places in the past).

Personally I would go with the Meyer. They can fruit basically year round and are, in my opinion, much easier to care for than the average orange tree. I also find that I use lemons far more than I use blood oranges...

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 6:17PM
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mksmth zone 6b Tulsa Oklahoma(6b)

Meyer lemon blossoms smell great. I can smell mine from across my backyard. This year it flowered from February to May and should again this fall. When the fruit is ripe its not real tart like a store bought lemon, which someone correct me if Im wrong, are typically eureka lemons. That would be my pick if I had to choose.


    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 9:22AM
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I am TOTALLY in agreement with Redshirt!

Meyer is a very reliable bloomer!

I know some that have gone with Moro along with knowing many that have them in perfect coniditions in-ground, and they all complain it takes forever for them to bloom.



    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 9:32AM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

For a first tree, you might be more satisfied with the Meyer.

I started with a Moro, which has done well....but it still hasn't bloomed.


    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 12:01PM
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lsepoinos(7a Akron OH)

Mike (both!) and Josh- Thank you for your knowledgeable insight. I have read through Josh's Moro thread, and so this just confirms what I had thought.

Josh- how old was your Moro when purchased? Your pictures look lovely.

Mike- I have noticed that you are sort of an "expert" in this forum. I will definitely take your advice�

I will be sure to keep a log of my tree when I finally get around to purchasing it, as Josh did here�



Here is a link that might be useful: Josh's Moro Thread

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 1:35PM
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mksmth zone 6b Tulsa Oklahoma(6b)

Thanks Leo!!!!

im far from an "expert" but I really appreciate the.....oh wait you probably meant meyer mike, LOL yes he is very knowledgeable and his trees show it.

be sure you show us some pictures when you get a tree.


    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 2:00PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

Hehe...good one, Mike ;-)

Hey, guys, Mike and Mike, and Leo.
Leo, I'm not sure how old the Moro was...two or three years, maybe?
It's been a lot of fun to grow, although I'm still learning about citrus care.
Thanks for the compliments, and thanks for linking to the Moro Thread.
Grow logs are some of my favorite Threads to create and follow.


    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 3:18PM
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Hi folks!

Since you're on the east coast, another vendor that I have used and gotten very respectable trees is McKenzie Farms.

This is my second year with citrus and I decided to buy some from here due to positive reviews on the citrus growers f o r u m.

Shipping was very reasonable, well packaged and the trees were very nice.

I got a 1 Gallon Meyer Lemon, Eureka Lemon, Key Lime, Kaffir Lime and a 3 gallon Moro. The 1G trees were about 12" tall. The 3G Moro was fantastic, about 4-5 feet tall and still had 4 small green oranges on it. The 1G trees were $20 and the 3G was $40.

I repotted all into a 511 mix. I had used CHC+Peat last year, but decided that it dried out too fast inside over winter.

I'll post a picture when I get home.

Here is a link that might be useful: McKenzie Farms

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 5:11PM
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The 5-1-1 mix (5 parts bark and 1 part peat plus some perlite if one wishes)) is pretty much the same as the CHC mix (4 parts CHC and 1 part peat. Just replacing bark for Coconut husks. Actually Coconut husks absorb more water than bark.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 6:37PM
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Here is the picture I promised of these trees:

From left to right: Moro Orange, Meyer Lemon, Eureka Lemon, Kaffir Lime, Key Lime

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 10:20PM
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lsepoinos(7a Akron OH)


Anyone know any citrus tree sources in SE GA? Or any nurseries whatsoever? I will be there on vacation in a week or so. Hope to bring home some goodies� for way cheaper than having them shipped�

    Bookmark   June 26, 2011 at 10:19PM
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redshirtcat(6a MO StL)

It is my understanding that the entire state of Georgia is under quarantine. I believe it will be illegal for you to take a citrus plant out of the state and in some cases even moving them around in-state is illegal.

You can read more about it here:

I'm not sure but it might be possible to buy and move them if you get a phytosanitary certificate but they usually involve a hefty fee.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 4:30AM
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I am looking at the dwarf citrus as well. I'm in zone 6b, so I assume I'll need to keep the plants indoor most of the year (too cold in winter, too hot in summer).

My question is how much light do the plants really need? I'm in a sub-division so I keep my mini-blinds basically closed during the day, and even at that, don't have a full wall of south-facing windows.


    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 9:40PM
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