Greenhouse grown Citrus in zone 6

blazeaglory(10 SZ22/24 OC Ca)June 13, 2012

Hello. I was wondering if I were to build a nice glass greenhouse (Or if any better material could be used) and kept it heated during the coldest parts of the year would I be able to grow nice Citrus trees in say Zones 5-7? If needed I would also supplement with grow lights. Would double windowpanes filled with a certain type of gas work for insulation? I realize it will get cold but in a well built double paned greenhouse that is heated I am hoping to get away with growing some nice trees:-)

Does anyone have any experience growing Citrus trees in outdoor greenhouses in these zones? Thanks

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krismast(6 S.E. PA)

Well I definitely know that it's possible. Here's a crazy thing that I found locally. There's an Amish owned greenhouse near me that has a citrus tree (maybe an orange?) that appears to be planted in the ground (possibly in a raised bed) in a small room that is contained within a large greenhouse. It is a decent size tree, maybe 6-7 feet tall with a trunk diameter of 3-4 inches. The only reason I even noticed it was because it was a very hot day and they had opened the vents. Otherwise I never would have seen it. Maybe next time I'm there I'll try to grab some pics with my phone when no one is looking.

Kristopher

    Bookmark   June 13, 2012 at 8:37PM
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blazeaglory(10 SZ22/24 OC Ca)

Sounds interesting. Amish and oranges...heheh

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 12:36AM
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justfigured(6)

Krismast,

Where in SE PA is this greenhouse, if you don't mind me asking. I frequent Amish greenhouses and you have me curious if I have been to this one. There is a garden center in the Lionville, PA area that has 2 trees inground; a grapefruit and a lemon. And of course if you every go to Longwood Gardens, they have some beautiful container trees that they will occasionally display.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 11:29AM
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denninmi(8a)

Well, if you can afford the inputs, you can grow things almost anywhere. Iceland grows some of its own produce, and has conducted trials of citrus, bananas, and other tropical and subtropical fruits in greenhouses, because they have a virtually unlimited supply of free geothermal heat, which they also use to produce inexpensive electricity for supplemental lighting during the long arctic winters.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 12:25PM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

Just stopping by to day hello! How are things across the pond Blaze?
How are your trees coming along.?

Take care :)

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 1:33PM
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krismast(6 S.E. PA)

Justfugured,

The greenhouse is located in Honey Brook. The address is 2162 compass road (route 10) honey brook pa. What is the address of the one in Lionville? I would be curious to visit it if I'm ever in the area. I've been to Longwood many times. I'm actually a member so I try to get down there a lot. They have some really cool container citrus trees, especially their huge oro blanco grapefruits. I'm also a huge fan of pipe organs so I've been to a few of their concerts already.

Sorry to hijack your thread blazeaglory! :(

Kristopher

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 5:54PM
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justfigured(6)

Kristopher,

I have never been to that one, I will have to make a point to do so. Thank you for the head's up. My mother in law lives right off of Compass, just south of Compass (I bet you know what I mean). I like to stop into Griffins when I am in Honey Brook.

I googled the nursery that I was referring to and it is actually in Chester Springs. On the other side of Rt 100 from Lionville. The address is 535 E. Uwchlan Avenue Chester Springs, PA 19425

Yes, blazeofglory, sorry for the intrusion. As denninmi wrote, it is certainly possible; cost effective may be a different story. The UK at one time had many prestigious orangeries. If I had the land and the money, I would have one. Even if I only had the land and no money, I would try on a tight budget to make something work. Good luck in your endeavors.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 10:34PM
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blazeaglory(10 SZ22/24 OC Ca)

Hey Mike. My trees are doing so-so. Ive just begun to see some good new growth on my in ground IML and my Lanes Late Navel. Both trees are green and strong but still only about less than 2 years old. I had an issue with STERILE soil and grass around the root zone as well as high Ph and micro lock out but things are picking up as the trees have been in the ground for almost a year and a half now and Ive been layering organic amendments from the top and composting/mulching. My Ph is finally starting to get down to a manageable level (It was at 7.7 now its about 7.1) but my Mandarin is still showing signs of micro deficiency but is still producing many new flowers/fruit but only a small percentage are holding. Other than that things are good. No fruit on the Meyer or Navel this year but last year I had two FAT oranges. Ask me in another year how things are going...heheh

How are things across the pond on your side??

No problem Kris about the threadjack I would like to see that greenhouse as well! I have head about the UK and France, especially louisxiv, who had many good greenhouses full or citrus and tropical fruits. Pretty interesting.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 11:30PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Citrus does great in my greenhouse in a warm Z7. All I do is keep it from freezing at night. Temperatures of 30s night and 50s day will work in winter. That's what they have in the central valley CA commercial orchards. That's not much heating here but could be in a cloudy cooler climate.

My Washington navel:

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 7:16PM
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blazeaglory(10 SZ22/24 OC Ca)

Wow! That'll work!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2012 at 1:05AM
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curlygirl(5-6 Massachusetts)

Yes, you can do it but you have to design your greenhouse from the outset to make it resist freezing and/or need fossil fuels. I just wrote a lot about this in the Greenhouse forum:

http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/strucs/msg0608413532534.html?2

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 4:25PM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

Fruitnut! First off, welcome back and what a beautiful tree you have there. Is that tree planted in the ground? It's amazing, from my whole family. I have been tempted to plant one in the ground in mine too.

Hey Blaze. Good to hear they are doing good. Now, I suppose you just might try this method, I just might. I have been debating it for days.

Talk about encouragement to do so. Hoping you are ok on your side of the world:-)

Mike

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 9:41PM
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cebury(9)

Ignore fruitnut and his pics. He doesn't have a greenhouse, he has a greenmansion.

Sincerely,
Jealous

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 2:21PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Mike:

Yes, that tree is in-ground. It's much more productive than any of my potted trees even allowing for the larger size. But what really counts is fruit quality. I'm still working on getting that right. The fruit has been good to even excellent. But I think with more water deficit it can do even better.

cebury:

My greenhouse is bigger and better built than my home. I may have to correct that some day.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 7:21PM
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blazeaglory(10 SZ22/24 OC Ca)

Is the greenhouse glass or a kind of plastic? What works best?

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 9:39PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

The sides are polycarbonate and the top double poly. In a mild climate like mine I'd go all polycarbonate if I did another. Mainly so that I won't have to replace the poly and fight the wind.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 10:37PM
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denninmi(8a)

Ah, who gives a rat's behind about their house if they can spend all of their time in a greenhouse like that. If it were me, I'd put a little bathroom off to one side, get a lazy boy, a fridge, hook up internet, and a couple of changes of clothes and just live in there when it wasn't too hot.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 6:09AM
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blazeaglory(10 SZ22/24 OC Ca)

Yeah me too. Dont forget about the hammock attached to two huge palms...heheh You can start to sway and grab an orange off the tree real quick without even getting out of bed...just like the lazy boy. Recline to full length, grab an orange and relax!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 12:58AM
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