Eureka Lemon vs. Meyer Lemon

jerry_dJuly 18, 2007

A local garden center currently has a number of small Eureka Lemon trees on sale, and I am considering buying one. Can the Eureka Lemon make a nice container plant which will be a houseplant for the majority of the year with just a few months outside on my balcony during the summer months? Is the Eureka Lemon comparable to the Meyer Lemon as a houseplant? I have never had any success with Meyer Lemons and wondering if a Eureka Lemon might be a bit easier to grow. I currently have a Bearss Lime that is doing well.

Any information or advice on whether the Eureka Lemon is a good choice as a houseplant would be appreciated.

Jerry D

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carmellia(z 4 Minn)

Jerry, are you anywhere near the St. Paul area? My am looking to get a lemon tree and I have reservations about ordering on the internet and having it come to me by mail. I really want to see what I am getting and I want to escort it home myself.

So far I am having no luck finding ANYONE in this area that has a lemon or lime tree.

I wish I could help you with your questions, but I know thing. Carmellia

    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 3:05PM
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Sorry I cannot be of help to you locating a garden center in your area that carries citrus. I live in the Chicago area.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 3:57PM
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Hi Jerry...What nursery in Chicago sells Euerka Lemons?
Have you ever shopped at Jamacan Gardens? They sell some nice citrus, but a bit high priced..
I would think a E. Lemon would do fine as a container plant.. As long as it gets proper light, watering, soil and fertilizer, and as many months of being outside during spring/summer/fall.
What kind of containers are the lemons in now? Do they have other citrus on sale? What size and are they grafted trees?
It'd do much better if grafted.
What happened to your Meyers? Toni

    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 7:27PM
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Hi Toni,

The nursery I am referring to is Schaefer Greenhouses in Aurora (Montgomery) on Route 31. They recently had a small shipment of Monrovia citrus... just Eureka lemons and Bearss limes. Not very big plants but the price was really great ($12.99). I bought a Bearss lime and have that on my balcony... seems to be well but I have only had it for a couple of months... I recently went back to Schaefer's and almost all of the citrus were gone... it is amazing how fast citrus sell when any become available in this area... The local Lowe's has a few Meyer lemons on sale earlier this spring and they were snapped up immediately. So if you happen to run into citrus at any local garden center here, you have to buy right away or lose out...

I have to confess that I have killed a number of Meyer Lemons in my day and not sure why... as I generally consider myself to have a greem thumb, at least with outdoor plants. All of them started out nice but then went down hill from there. I presently have a Meyer from Four Winds that I have outside now. It has lost some interior leaves but looks pretty good otherwise. But as in the case of all of my Meyers, no new leaves or flower buds yet. I was especially careful with this one and amended the soil by adding cedar shavings and sand as instructed by Four Winds and planted in a terra cotta pot. Also I have a moisture meter and am careful not to overwater. I am determined that no. 5 will make it longer than 6 months. I bought Osmocote and fertilized the Meyer... but Four Winds advised against using slow release fertilizers and recommended a foliar fertilizer instead. So I have Miracid and use that occasionally as well. In winter I use a grow lamp and place the plants by the sunniest window in my townhouse... I am determined not to give up on citrus.

I also lost a kumquat tree a couple of years ago. It was such a cute little tree with colorful kumquats, but my dog kept picking the kumquats and would deposit them in her crate. I think I killed the kumquat by not watering it enough as I was told that most citrus in containers are killed by overwatering rather than by underwatering.

Any advice you can give on how I can be successful with my present Meyer will be much appreciated.


    Bookmark   July 25, 2007 at 10:21AM
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Hi Jerry,
Are you near Aurora? Is that how you found Schaefers? Did you ever shop at Jamacan Gardens..there's one in Morton Grove and another in Libertyville. They both sell citrus and a million other tropicals..

12.99 is a good price, especially compared to many other citrus nurseries around.
My brother bought me a small citrus 2 yrs ago, (don't know name of nursery) up north for about the same price, but it's only 1-1 1 1/2' tall..It has baby lemons growing though..I imagine it's a dwarf. I should check if it's the same nursery cause Schafer sounds familiar, even though I've never been to one..As far as Lowe's, there aren't any nearby, not here, sw of Chicago. I think most are up north and west.

Thats too bad about your Kumquat..I feel they're one of the easist citrus to grow..and fruit often. You're doggie was a bad girl, huh? LOL..nibbling on fruit..shame on her.

I've never had luck w/4winds citrus. I admit, I ordered from them some time ago, but what they sent were 2 bare-root citrus that were super small. They didn't last more than a few months..they didn't look well upon arrival, but perhaps 4Winds are now sending better looking trees.

Meyer's seem to be ever-flowering and fruiting..I grow all my citrus about the same much light as possible, well-draining soil, citrus fertilizer, a summer outside. In winter they're kept on the cool other words, a room that is semi-heated..No heating vents. South windows, w/some west. Artificial light at night.
Before bringing plants indoors I spray foliage w/Fish prevents scale and since it's sold as an organic fertilizer, used as a last foliar feeding.
While plants are indoors in winter, mine are misted daily. Better yet, if managable size, taken to sink and hosed or showered..No fertilizer in winter..
Since you're in Il, you know humiidty decreases once the heat is turned on..Buy a humidifer..they work fantastic, Jerry. And like I stated above, humidity is also the reason I mist foliage..If your tree is small, you can also place a humidity tray under pot..Place stones/rocks on a larger saucer and keep filled w/water..don't let water touch roots though...
To check if soil is moist or dry use the finger method..stick finger in soil as deep as it goes..if it comes out dry, then it's time for a drink..if your finger comes out wet then wait a few days and recheck. Or you can test by lifting pot..dry soil ='s a light weight pot..if heavy it's still moist/wet. I wait until soil looks crumbly before watering.
One problem in winter is bugs. Do you use insecticides? I don't believe in using (most) chemicals so make up my own concoction for mites..But that's jumping the gun..
I believe you said your citrus are outside now, right? Keep out till temps are about 40F. Before bringing indoors, hose off thoroughly. You can either bring in gradually, to adapt to lower light conditions or all at once, as long as you have a bright window, and heat isn't yet turned on. Because of the change, a few yellow leaves are inevitable, just pluck them off.
Anyway, Jerry, like I said, I grow all citrus the same way. The only citrus I've yet to get to fruit is my Orange Navel..I believe it needs longer summers, something we don't have here in IL. I can't keep a Buddha Hand either..
I planned on ordering another this spring, but w/the ban in Fl, the two places I order citrus from cannot ship..Briteleaf and Harriscitrus Their trees are fairly tall, bug-free, and inexpensive..15-20.00 per tree..Well, there's always next yr..hopefully by then the ban will be over. That darn canker has caused so much damage..u know?
What is number 5? LOL You don't use Citrus fertilizer? I don't see any problem with it, and most here who grow citrus use some form of time-release citrus food. What type of Osmocote do you use? Does it contain nutrients like iron, mag, etc? Also, isn't Osmocote a form of time-release?
I think I'd look into citrus food if I were you..though, Jerry, don't think I'm telling you what to do..okay? This is what I'd do w/my own citrus.
I don't knowi if Hoffman has a website, but that's the brand I use..check it out when u have time.
I also picked up a box of citrus food at Jamacan Gardens..Price wasn't bad. I'm sure Ebay sells citrus food, too. Are u going to buy the Eureka? Good luck Jerry..Toni

    Bookmark   July 25, 2007 at 2:26PM
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There was just something about those bright orange Kumquats that was too much temptation for my dog (now a 3-year old whippet, but just 1-year old at that time that the Kumquat picking occurred). She didn't eat the Kumquats but just picked them and took them into her crate. One of my previous Meyer lemon trees that died a year or so ago had a lemon that Shannon (my dog) must have tried to pick too because I could see her teeth marks on the lemon. However, once the fruit got a bit larger she did not bother it. Now that she is getting older and no longer a puppy, I hope that she won't bother my citrus this coming winter...

No. 5 is the current Meyer lemon tree I bought from Four Winds; my previous 4 Meyer Lemons did not survive. No. 5 was really very nice, full of leaves and healthy when it arrived. As I stated in the previous thread, it has lost some interior leaves but still looks nice. I will definitely order some citrus fertilizer from an online source as I am not aware of any nursery around here selling fertilizer specifically for citrus. The Osmocote I bought is just the general slow-release fertilizer for garden flowers and vegetables; so I assume that a specific citrus fertilizer would be better for my Meyer and Bearss.

No I am not going to buy the Eureka at this time. Actually all of the Eureka lemons were gone when I went back to Schaefer's. I live in Aurora and visit Schaefer's on a regular basis as they are about the only local greenhouse that carry tropical houseplants and orchids plus occasional citrus. If I get another citrus, it will be another Kumquat for sure. But I am in a small townhome with limited space and lighting for citrus. I have a couple of orchids and will try to winter over a beautiful tropical hibiscus with peach-colored double blossoms that I bought his past spring. So I don't have room for much else. As you recommend, I will make sure that the Meyer lemon and Bearss lime get plenty of humidity this winter. Both are small enough that I can carry them into the bathroom and mist in the bathtub. I already have trays with pebbles for the Meyer and Bearss to sit on once I bring them inside. I already have a humidifier, which is really essential to get through a dry Illinois winter.

Thanks for your advice.


    Bookmark   July 25, 2007 at 3:48PM
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Hi Jerry,
I now understand what #5 means..Were the other 4 bought at the same nursery? What happened before Meyer's died?
Ironically, one year Home Depot had a huge citrus sale. Lemons, grapefruit, oranges and limes for 9.99..that was a one time deal though because since, they never again sold citrus other than Calamondins..And Cal's are getting harder to locate..Have you noticed? They even had standard gardenia trees at the same price..

Yeah, pups get into everything..Hopefully, Shannon will steer clear of your plants now that she's older..Does she still munch on foliage? Fruit? I guess you'll have to move her crate away from plants to be one the safe side.

Which Kumquat will you buy?
Did you purchase the 1 or 3 yr old citrus from 4Winds? I think the 3 yrs are nicer..I bought the 1 yr..
Yeah, check online and Ebay for citrus fertilizer..Wish I knew where I got the Hoffman brand..the other came from Jamacan wasn't high priced considering it's almost impossible finding citrus food in IL.

Your hib sounds lovely..I adore double flowers. I've got 8 Hibs, one standard tree, the others still young..they're fed w/special Hib food bought at ..This food works wonders, and only meant to use on Hibs..Stokes Tropicals also sells it but shipping prices are outrageous. In fact, shipping is more than the fertilizer..LOL.
How many orchids do u have? What type? Do they bloom? I've only a few orchids..den, vanilla bean, variegated vanilla bean and Ludisia.

Yes, set up humidifer when plants come indoors or once the heat's turned on..our homes dry out like a desert during winter months..Dry air doesn't matter if you grow cactus and succulents, but when it comes to tropicals, it causes problems..especially if soil is kept wet..bugs suddenly appear for one. Overwatering also causes root rot, especially if your soil isn't well-draiing.
Jerry, I meant to say you can spray citrus in shower, or if you have a hose on kitchen sink, take plant to sink and spray foliage. For one, it keeps leaves clean, releases dust so pores aren't clogged, and helps w/humidity.
Sorry, I should have been more specific.

I haven't a huge home either, but when I see a plant I like and don't already own, think, well there's room for one more..LOL.. Especially when plants are outside in summer and the house looks w/the internet, there are a zillion places to order from, most selling plants we here in IL can only dream of...

Okay Jerry, again I wish you luck, and hope your citrus do well this winter..w/a little work they should be fine..Toni

    Bookmark   July 25, 2007 at 4:24PM
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Thanks, Toni, for all of the advice. I just ordered a bag of Rite Green Citrus fertilizer from a company called Edible Landscaping. No plan to get a Kumquat right now, but when I do, it will be a 3-year old tree from Four Winds.

For right now, I just want to have some success with my Meyer and Bearss. I will let you know how all turns out.

Thanks again.


    Bookmark   July 25, 2007 at 4:45PM
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Good luck, Jerry..Hope the plant food helps..Think I've heard of Edible Lanscaping, maybe on GWD..Okay, take care. Toni

    Bookmark   July 25, 2007 at 9:56PM
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