Your trees. For edibles, ornamental, flowers, or beauty? Pics

meyermike_1micha(5)June 26, 2012

Another thread brought up here got me thinking and even questioning what purpose do my citrus trees serve for me?

We are from three different worlds here when it comes to citrus trees obviously.

1: Some grow their trees in the ground and that is it.

2: Some only grow in containers.

3: Some grow both containerized ones and in-ground ones.

I was wondering if those that grow in both the ground and pots see any difference in the quality of their fruit?

For those that grow in pots:

Do you grow your trees just for prettiness, as an ornamental, as an 'edible', one in which you are looking to eat the fruit and produce as much as possible, for just the fragrance of flowers, or for color?

For those that plant theirs in the ground. Same questions, but do you worry about what to fertilize with and when to water like we do in pots?

Why do you grow your trees? What is your purpose?

It would be interesting to see what your attitude is about your trees and for what purpose you have them:-0)

For me, I will say I have a couple that I grow as edibles to share with my friends, but in most cases, I grow them for as many flowers as I can get for fragrance! I will pick fruit off before it even gets a hold just to encourage growth and more flowering. I do leave a few ponderosa lemons to get huge just for fun, then share.

My lime, I will let fruit for beer for friends.

My calamondin I grow as ornamentals specifically for color on the variegated ones.

One, I keep as small as possible to train as Bonsai.

What about you?

Here is a Ponderosa that could yield me tons of fruit, but I have picked most of them and an orange tree I will let grow as many as oranges as I can to share.

Orange tree that has 35 oranges developing at different stages.

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Nice Ponderosa.

I basically already answered this on the other thread. I enjoy growing exotic plants for the challenge of it, for the pleasure of having something that isn't all that common here. As a way of having a taste of exotic locations. And to have something interesting and just alive in the winter, which is the worst of all seasons.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 10:11PM
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The last photo is a Meyer; but you didn't mention it.

For me, I grow Meyers so that perhaps one day they will morph into Plumerias. Hahahahaha

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 10:15PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Well, good question, Mike. Fruitnut has got us thinking about this for sure. I am growing almost all of my in-ground citrus to eat. I love citrus, so my choices are based on what I like to eat, and what I think I might like to eat (based on friends' opinions and descriptions from others.) The reason I have some citrus in containers is mainly for a controlled growing environment, for varieties I'm finding struggle in my soils. So far, it seems to be citrus with pummelo in it's genes or in fact, straight pummelos. Still haven't identified all the issues. Could be pH, could be too much water and something fungal in my soil causing Phytophthora and these particular varieties are more susceptible. So, I have my Chironja orangelo and my Ortanique tangor in pots. But, also for ornamental reasons with my two Australian Finger limes. They're just for fun. They're a pretty tree with unusual fruit. So, I'm hoping that what I grow in containers will taste as good as they would in the ground. I will definitely see if my current watering and fertilizing schedule will produce less than desirable fruits. I'll give it 3 years and if the fruit continues to be sub-par, then I will re-evaluate how I water and fertilize to see if I can get the fruit to be sweeter by withholding more fertilizer around ripening time as well as restrict water. Fruitnut has done an incredible job with his stone fruits, and I will say I have learned lots from the Orchard Forum from him. For my in-ground fruit, I am constantly watching my water. Very easy during the summer to under-water and get a young citrus tree quickly in distress. The mature ones will tolerate being dry, but a tree younger than 3 years just can't take it. And conversely for over watering, especially in the winter. My fertilizing is pretty straight foward, every 2 to 3 months, depending on the health of the tree (and my Meyer always gets more because it is a fruiting maniac and needs more nutrition) from about February through end of October. Watering is the issue for me for sure.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 11:55PM
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Andrew Scott

Lots of great info there Patty...would love to see your orchard some day. I am going to Florida this Friday so I ama excited to see citrus in ground and hoping to have the opportunity to get advice from diffrent nurseries and garden centers.

Almost tempted to ignore this Mike....I love visiting this forum from time to time. Learning and hopefully being able to practice what I have learned so I can too be successfull with citrus. I think we all have learned so much from each other over the years and I thank all of you for it!

I understand that from time to time, someone may say something here that may hurt someone else's feelings, or just plain make them angry!

What I hate to see is when someone gets offended or angry, and they in turn retaliate and intentially try and hurt other people's feelings.

Isn't this counter productive?


    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 12:03AM
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Anything with a Pummelo ancestor, including grapefruits only thrive in pH of 5-6... Funny that the biggest grapefruit growing area in the US, the Rio Grande Valley in S. Texas has soils over 8. For that they suffer lower yields, lower quality, more diseases; and the much higher cost of having to use chelated minerals.

Good idea, if you have high pH, to grow anything with that ancestry in containers, where you can control the pH; the problem is that most of those fruits grow on large trees, not well suited to containers.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 12:14AM
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Yes Patty.

Boy, did Fruitnut joggle by mind. I thought this to be a good question since it would be nice to see why they grow them and what they can expect from them. How they treat the to get desired results.
Thanks Steve for bringing that thread up. It is was a very deep thought process you had there.

I enjoy seeing what you grow yours for. I can see the many different reasons and goals you have. You know, I was always curious as to why many that can use the earth, use pots in perfect areas. The reasons you gave are certainly good ones!Thanks for sharing. Very nice.

Thank you Andrew for your kind comments and for coming back. You too have been much fun to have around and many things learned from you. All that is missing is pictures of your beauties:-)

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 8:26AM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Mike, I think its GREAT that you grow your Citrus mostly as an ornamental...Nothing wrong with that at all!! You should grow what you like and what you enjoy...if the citrus blooms gives you great pleasure I think that wonderful. Honestly, what's the difference between growing Gardenia's or Roses for the same reason...they don't give us any fruits,lol...So keep growing what makes you happy.

As I have saved many Citrus that was on the brink of death only to make them thrive and healthy again, kind of like being in the emergency room in the "critical unit" and being jolted back to life. You should be very proud as many of us can't make that claim.

I grow my Kumquat mostly as an ornamental...I only use maybe 1/10 or even much less than that to make Jam out of it...the rest goes in the trash as many people don't like them. Yet, to me they are worth growing for the blooms and the pretty orange fruits they have. Much like a Christmas tree :o)

So, whatever the reason you like growing them! You have a right to grow plants you love and enjoy.

Keep on growing my friend!!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 8:57AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I forgot all about my post in a similar thread, hinting at why I keep some citrus going at all times!

It's my utter fascination with the largest butterfly we have in North America, the Giant Swallowtail. I keep my seedlings (some are 5 feet or so) on the back patio so that I can sit within a couple of feet of them. Without fail, I am able to observe the egg laying and caterpillar development on my trees. The cats often go off to pupate elsewhere but I can usually find them. I've witnessed the emergence of the new adult several times over the years.

Yep, my plants can look pretty darned terrible if it's been a good year for the Swallowtails, lol! But it's totally worth it to watch those huge insects fluttering all over the gardens.

hmmmm...something tells me that I will be in the VAST minority with this one, lol.

Here is a link that might be useful: Why I grow citrus

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 1:09PM
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Prickly Ash... the most common food plant for Giant Swallowtail in this area. I agree, they are very fun to observe. Back when I was young oh so many years ago, we never saw them at all, 1960's-1970's. For whatever reason, they have become quite common over the past 2 decades, and I now see them regularly in the summer.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 4:52PM
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mksmth zone 6b Tulsa Oklahoma(6b)

My honest answer is I grow them because they arent supposed to grow here and I like the challenge. Secondary reason is to eat my own grown fruit. Eventually I plan to build a much bigger greenhouse and grow them in the ground, I hope.


    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 5:53PM
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My potted citrus- all two of them, lol- are 100% grown for fragrance. I do not care if I ever see the first fruit.
IMO there is not a better smelling flower on earth than a citrus bloom and whatever I need to do in order to have that in my life is what I will do.

When I lived in Florida and had citrus in the ground I still grew them 100% for fragrance and any fruit was a nice bonus.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 9:29AM
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Hi, Mike, that is a amazing Ponderosa you have, look at the size of the fruits!

I have several citrus trees in container for years. Some fruit, some don't. I grow them mainly as ornament, fruit is bonus.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 1:51PM
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Rhizo. Fascinating! I love it. Who would of thought you would grow your trees for this. Just amazing, fun, and thoughtful for both! Thank you for sharing and the site. It is very interesting. I wish I could watch these just like the humming birds you have. I am not so lucky in these parts. I can not even get a thunderstorm to rain on my

Mike. I great reasons I must say and a good job at it too. I think you are getting over 100 degrees again? Bad storms? I hope all is ok.

Cear..You are 2 I must say the fragrance is my best about these trees too. If you like fragrance, try a Brunfelsia plant! Unbelievable is what I have to say about this plant!

Hi Olympia! Thank you. Yes, I think they must weigh over a pound. You know, I am growing them for fun, for the amazement on everyone's face when they come But if someone ask's me for them, I would gladly share.

Nancy...How are you? You are so right! I am not sure if I should call the ones Ornamentals that I do not allow to fruit and the ones I let fruit, edibles?

You have such kind words and I must say all the information that I have taken in by you and a few others here has to get some credit too:-)
You should see the variegated one I received from my sister that I am in the process of saving. Sheesh, it's a wonder that anyone that lives here even enjoys growing them when so many fail.

Thank you so much for your kind words again. Sorry it took me a while to get back, but I have been sick and not able to access the forums on another computer. Boy, would life be a lot more boring if we didn't have a forum to talk about our trees with. I am sure many can relate!


    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 5:47PM
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timsf(CA Z8B/Sunset17)

Hi guys!

Sorry I've not been around lately - been a busy Summer. Shortly, will be heading to the Northeast for a coupla weeks to experience REAL summer!... For comparison, it's been hovering around 64F all season in my part of SF with intermittent fog and sun and CONSTANT breeze/wind, so looking forward to some warmth in the Hudson Valley!

Mike, interesting question you pose (and again, gorgeous trees!!!)!

(As you know), I'm trying to grow both in-ground and potted citrus. It started I would say, after a visit to Hearst Castle and seeing how Mr. Hearst himself grew a variety of citrus for their ornamental value. A bit of research led me to identify the Meyer as the ideal citrus to grow here, so I planted 3 on the right side of my driveway - I also figured they'd eventually serve good wind-screens. The 1 potted Meyer I have was a rescue that then became an experiment. I wanted to see how it did in the 511 mix AND on a much cooler-summer + wind-exposed (but very well lit - approx. 12 hrs sun(!) - area. I can't yet tell you if there's a difference in fruiting/flavor with these, but I hope to get back to you in a few years. What I can tell you is that wind is definitely a factor, since the potted Meyer in an exposed location has much less healthy looking (smaller, slightly curled) leaves. I may yet be forced to try to grow this Meyer year-round in the house(!).

My 4 other citrus are also experiments, you could say.

Trovita orange/Cara Cara orange: In-ground and both planted in the same planting hole, since I read this is possible AND I'm out of garden space to plant. In the sunniest part of the garden, but also most exposed to cold summer winds! Orange supposedly cannot grow in SF so am giving it a try to see. Both Cara Cara & Trovita hang long on the tree and need less warmth to ripen they say, so we'll see.

Gold Nugget mandarin: In-ground. Mandarins are rumored to grow here, and I LOVE the taste of GN's!

Bearss lime: Latest (and hopefully last!) acquisition - thanks for the recommendation, jkom(!). Potted in regular potting soil with wicks; resides indoors. Am testing my NE/SW facing window to see if it can sustain citrus indoors year-round. I'm also seeing how well the wick system does as compared to 511/gritty mix.

So what basically started off as passing interest has morphed into a little obsession (and a bit of experimenting). But I'm sure none of you can relate... :-)


    Bookmark   July 3, 2012 at 5:43PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hi Mike,

Just wanted to say that i grow my citrus for the same reasons that you do.

I love the look of the trees..

The blooms smell wonderful and i really get excited knowing that i am growing in containers since i cant grow outside in the ground.

If i am pleased with the fruit that is given to me from my tree. i do want to use the lemons and limes.. All to good use i might add! : )

So if that is considered "ornamental" well then i grow trees for my pleasure because it is so hard to grow these types of citrus in my area.

I am just pleased to see little fruit appear and watch them grow.

Thank you for the post and that everyone..well, some seem to be nice about their post!!! I have learned a few things over here...

Beautiful trees and wonderful information about citrus. Some different information about people tho... i have learned about a few... interesting thread...

Take care Mike,


    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 3:01AM
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Laura!!!! Hello, I thought you would never return again! I am so proud of you for overlooking things and still coming here to visit your many friends and share. I really appreciate your company and input since you know this is my favorite hang out spot and many a favorite people!

I will be by the ones you hang on soon. I have so many plants of yours yet to see that I am missing out on:-) Sorry to hear your weather has been like that. Yikes. I hope it has improved since you last wrote.
OOO,,,Please let us know how your Meyres do, especially the one you saved.\
It sounds like you have some fun ahead of you and that you know what you are doing with such varieties. I hope you have great success with these. Please keep us update. Like maybe make a journal and post here. Once you plant them or get started, you know?

I wish you all the luck and please don't be a stranger:-)


Looks like you and I are on the same page! I guess the choice is in the grower whether they want their trees for fruit, flowering and or just looks. I choose all three! I have been letting the fruit on my Ponderosa and Orange trees go wild since many have asked me for a share of them. So, it's off to the races with my trees putting out fruit.

I can only imagine the amount of fruit you could get on yours! Hey, wait until you see what little 'Rosa' is capable of providing you!:-)))

I hope that you, your Mom and your Daughter are ok these days:-)

Tim! What's up? How's your stripped tree doing these days? Do you have a photo? Mines are coming back strong and full!

Thanks for your concern buddy! I have not had the heat the rest of the country is in although it is 87 today! I did have 3 days into the 95 degree range. It is going to be in the low 80's all week with temps into the 50's at night. September weather in which my trees will frolick in for sure!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 3:19PM
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