Ajusting to the indoors! What do yours do? How do they do?

meyermike_1micha(5)October 5, 2012

Happy Friday!

Many of mine are still outside, but what I can tell you is about the few that are inside.

My biggest trees while I had a chance over a week ago have been sitting at work in front of huge windows all this time.

So far so good. But I know they are adjusting since they have stopped taking up water as rapidly as they did before.

Now I only have to water every 3 days or so even in full sun. This always happens for about a month, until they are finally acclimnated to the indoors, then they start drinking like crazy. Then I usually have to water every other day right through winter.

The leaves are still looking good and I will be on the watch for spider mites all winter.

I did try putting a couple of smaller ones into my greenhouse for the first time to see how they would do.

Not bad. They are still actively growing and looking veryt happy. I guess most of us would be a bit more happier up north if our homes were nice and tropical.lol

The others are still outside and I will either have to bring them in at night while we get our first frost, or bring them in for teh season. It's always a mind battle at this time of the year:-(

How about your? Do they adjust well? Do the leaves drop? Do they stop drinking for a while? Do they rebel? Do they behave?


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Mine usually put on a burst of new growth, and sometimes begin flowering. Rarely they drop some leaves. Overall they seem happy for the warmth of the sunroom. After a couple months they seem to resent being inside and get overrun with scale. By April or May they are looking pretty sad, and I feel relieved to put them back outside.

I have not noticed any differences in water uptake, although I've always been of the mindset that differences in watering requirements in my potted citrus has more to do with direct evaporation from soil, and not necessarily differences in uptake by the plant. How much I have to water throughout the year seems to mostly depend on the air temperature, sunlight, and humidity levels where the plants are, rather than the seasonal growth cycle of the plants.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 10:56AM
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Hi Mike,

Good to see you keep the forum active. All of mine are outside still. I'm in the city, and all of mine are sitting on an asphalt driveway in the backyard. I've got a mini-heat island/microclimate going on. I've still got tomato plants blossoming and fruiting.

I probably won't bring mine in until the lows are sustained below freezing. My Meyer lemon is pushing out all types of new growth, but some of the lower leaves are yellowing a bit. I gave them all a final shot of fertilizer last week, and will be spraying them before bringing in.

My south facing sunroom won't fit them all...ack! There's a ceiling fan in there that runs continuously, and I'm thinking about putting a tray with gravel/water in there to add some moisture to the air. Trying to leave them out as long as possible, and get them out soon as I can in the Spring.

Take care,


    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 11:38AM
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RyanLo(NC 7B)

I have a small greenhouse that I huddle them all into starting now, they have been in there for about 2 weeks. I probably put them in a few weeks early this year. They are moved from an area receiving about 10 hours of direct sun to the greenhouse receiving about 6 hours, they don't show any signs of stress right now and some are still putting out small flushes. I like to keep the temperature from falling much below 50f and a max of 80f for now.

December through February is when things can get tough and I am changing my formula a little from last year. last year I lost the least amount of leaves I ever have but still some lost at most 50% and some almost none. The trees that lost the least where for the most part, the most shaded or the more cold hardy varieties. The ones that lost most where exposed to the most direct sun. BTW, almost all the leaf loss experienced happened during this time(Dec-Feb). what I did last year is attempted to never let temp drop below 45f and a max high of 70f. This year I am going to tweak it a little by adding a 30% shade cloth or a second 6 to 12 mill plastic covering to reduce the amount to light received. not sure which one to choose yet. This plus a slight temperature reduction (or not, not sure yet either). Also I provide bottom heat which has been a pretty noticeable benefit since I started using it.

I am very interested to hear what others have done. This thread could be quite a resource for many of us.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 11:45AM
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You know? It is very interesting to see how everyone's trees adjust once the colder temps come along.

It seems the majority of us exposing our trees to a comfortable cooler temp, whether in cold rooms, cool greenhouses, or in temps lower than the dry heated 70 or above house temps has better results during the winter.

It seems that those of us that are storing them at cool temps for the short term are pretty much happy with this.

I can tell you that when I was using lights and exposing my trees to very warm temps with the heat on, I was dealing with spindly growth and pests on a continual basis. It was so bad one year, that I threw them all out into a snowstorm, but one.

Ryan, your observence of your trees doing better with shade makes a lot of sense. With very warm temps and limited sunlight, mine would always drop their leaves.
The only way they would hold on was to give 12 or more hours of artificial light all winter, but then came other issues.

Now with no lights and much cooler temps, they do well with just very little sunlight.

I once accidently turned the heat on which kept temps way above the 70's by day in one room, and within that same week, many of my tree sshed leaves drastically.

Eric, thanks, you are right. All I want to do is leave them out as long as I can too.
I too fertilize heavily until last month, then lighten it a bit for the rest of the winter until Feb.

Fab, every year my trees do the same. The mix takes it's time to dry out for about a month, and then they start responding to indoors again. They will take up water at a much faster rate. I really think trees know when they are comfortable with their new surroundings.

Bugs!!! Bla....I hope you don't have to deal with them this winter!

Very interesting to see how your trees respond once brought inside.

Thanks to all of you for sharing.


    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 1:47PM
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Hi, Mike. It is the time of the year , isn't it. We have to thinking about move the trees inside. I am very interested in your other thread about put the tree in closet which will save up a lot of room in winter time. Did you ever found out what type of citrus works well with closet treatment, or works for all citrus?

My citrus are still outside. They may slow down the growth but no leave drops. My Budda's hand is still flowering and fruiting. I have to pick off tiny fruits from time to time. My Meyer is doing the same, I have to pick off small fruits as well. It have some much large lemons on the branches. My kumquats, one just done flowering and another has a lot of green fruits. Only citrus I have that did not fruit is clementine. For some reasons it is just not happy, not dying , but did not grow much. Maybe it is still try to recover from soil change to gritty mix. I will leave them outdoor till the night temperature in 30s settles in

I remember you have mentioned in other thread about lower temperature requires lower light... interesting and make sense. I might try that this year. My Buddas's Hand is the least hardy citrus in my collection, usually lose all its leaves around Feb. But it put out new grow in the spring just fine... Although it is painful to see it lose leave one by one.
Grow under high density indoor, pest control is a challenge. I wish my trees can just defoliate in winter and grow the leaves back in spring... this, will be the ideal situation that I can just put them in the basement and forget about them till spring...

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 3:13PM
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You are not kidding Olympia! I hate this time of the year when my hands are always cold no matter what I do and the dry air just sucks the life out of me and my plants.

I told that guy to text me and he never hasn't yet. I wanted to see a picture of his tree and wanted him to text me his method exactly. I'll let you know as soon as I do. He told me it is a cocktail tree.

Many of mine are still outside too. It is cold this morning. It's 40 and it is suppose to be even colder tomorrow. Yesterday was the first cold front and today's means business.

Yes, pest control is very easy if you have the set up that will allow you to put your trees in an unheated room that stays in the 50's or 60's. I use a fan on the floor that blows under the leaves and one above that blows at the trees. I also spray them with water quite often. I think the combination between moving air, a bit more humid conditions, a very well aerated mix, and cool temps will make any bug want to run.

So far all the ones that I have brought inside are doing great. No leaf loss and or bugs. The ones at work are actually putting forth some nice ripe lemons and oranges that I have been sharing with people.


    Bookmark   October 7, 2012 at 8:33AM
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Sorry guys, but all the fun excitement that use to be here no longer exists. It use to be a fun place to come to, when many were a part of this forum, but no more.

Boy has this forum lost its punch and a place for an oasis. I think many need to loosen up a bit.

Thanks for your part of sharing.


    Bookmark   October 8, 2012 at 8:00PM
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All outside still, still working on a plan for the indoor move, I have time still.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 1:10AM
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Mike, You are in mid age crisis. Nothing seems pleases you. Again, the citrus forum is one of most active forum in GW... Thanks for the folks in CA.
When winter comes, we, and the plants, are "hibernating" inside, all we can talk about is pests problems... LOL. Be happy .

    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 10:05AM
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Oympia, no need to correct me. My intent is only good and it was a different forum I was talking about. Yes, some stink, but not this one. This forum which I like to spend most of my time on is ok, but, come to think of it, could use a bit more fun. I am not afraid to say that:-)

Believe me, it doesn't take much to make me happy. You would realize that after you have walked in my shoes. Thanks for what seems to be encouragement though.:-)

I was at odds over the sickness of my dad last night and happened to be a bit mistaken when posting on this one and another when I did.

Thanks for your participation when I needed it.


    Bookmark   October 9, 2012 at 11:13AM
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