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My citrus tree list! (long post)

Posted by starlady 8/SC (My Page) on
Sun, Mar 20, 11 at 17:02

Would you believe that until today I didn't entirely know what citrus trees I was growing? ;) I've moved several times in the last 2 years, acquired trees from a few places, lost a couple here and there to ailments, and gave some away as gifts, so I wasn't sure exactly which ones I'd wound up with in the end. Most of them lived at my parents' house for a few months while I got settled in here, but now I've finally got them all here and, for the most part, into nice pots (I'll be moving again in the next couple of years when I buy a house, so I want them portable). All are potted in a mix based on tapla's 511 and fertilized weakly weekly with Foliage Pro (thanks to whomever posted that ebay link here a couple of weeks ago - before that I was using Miracle Gro) and a bit of vinegar.

So, in order from largest to smallest, here we go... (no pics yet but I will post them as soon as I can get my camera battery charged and have a nice sunny day to take some photos)

- Washington navel orange*, 4ft tall, 7 gal container
- Key lime limequat**, 2ft, 3gal; about to flower
- Variegated Pink Eureka lemon**, 1.5ft, 3gal
- Key lime**, 1.5ft, 3gal; lots of new growth so I expect it to shoot up quickly
- Olinda valencia orange***, 1.5ft, 1.5gal; one flower is open and the scent is absolutely heavenly, so I can't wait for the other 4 buds to pop!
- Three other Olinda valencia oranges***, 1-2ft, 1-1.5gal
- Frost Owari satsuma***, 1.5ft, 1gal
- Cara Cara navel orange***, 1.5ft, 1gal
- Moro blood orange***, 1.5ft, 1gal; lots of new growth
- Tarocco blood orange****, 1.5ft, 1gal; lots of new growth
- Moro blood orange***, 1ft, 1gal
- Oro Blanco grapefruit***, 1ft, 1gal; yes, I got this one on Mike's recommendation!

The following are potted in 4-6" decorative pots; I'm not sure of the soil volume.

- Eustis limequat***, 1.5'; this one came with tiny fruit started which I knocked off when I potted it, after which the plant went into a sulk and dropped all its leaves. It's coming along, but seems finickier than the others, as its leaves are a bit yellowish despite being in the same soil mix and getting the same fert regimen as the others.
- Frost Owari satsuma***, 1
- Smith red orange***, 8"
- Cara cara navel orange***, 8"; total leaf drop but is putting out new buds
- Meyer lemon*****, 6"

Sources:
* Gurney's sale
** Roadside stand
*** Citrus TreeSource
**** Four Winds
***** Cutting

I also have Meyer lemon, key limequat, and Washington navel cuttings going in my kitchen window. I know not all of those are ideally suited to growing from cuttings, but I had to prune them and figured, why not?

The navel from Gurney's has been a bit of a disappointment. I generally don't shop from them but there was a coupon which made it basically free - this was about 4 years ago. It's flowered a couple of times but hasn't set fruit. However, it's been at my folks' house for the last couple of years and though I love them, they were pretty bad at following my directions on how to take care of it... when I got home, it was practically bright yellow and had been munched half to death by leafminers. So, I'm giving it another year or two to rebound.

The three I bought from the roadside stand (about 2 months ago) were $15 each and are absolutely gorgeous, if a little bushy for my tastes. I'd been wanting a variegated Eureka for a while, so I pounced on that when I saw it, and then couldn't decide between the key lime and the limequat, so I had to have both! The key lime's trunk is almost 1" across at the base despite being fairly compact, so I'm thinking it's going to be very hardy.

My experience ordering from Citrus TreeSource was interesting. They're actually a wholesaler who sell to nurseries, orange farms, and the like, but I came across them in a google search and contacted them to see if they would sell to the public. They usually custom propagate orders but will put together liner orders from what they have on hand, and the office staff was very helpful to me even though I wasn't a Big Customer. At $6 a tree, I figured even if a couple didn't make it, it was still a good deal. There was a minimum order of 25, plus shipping (which was reasonable) and, in fact, a couple of trees have perished, but overall my cost-per-tree still came in under $9 (including shipping) and I was able to get a good variety, including some for gifts. The quality, however, was extremely variable - for example, the Cara Caras and Smith Reds came in on very thin rootstocks, whereas the Moros and Oro Blancos were over 1/2" thick. Still, I'd recommend them if you're looking for variety and don't mind putting in the extra work to get the trees established yourself as they're quite young. They're apparently now keeping liners of their 20 most popular trees propagated at all times, so you don't have to put together an order from whatever's lying around their greenhouse anymore. ;)

The Tarocco from Four Winds is lovely, as one would expect from their reputation. Interestingly, I ordered two when I lived in California (to take advantage of lower shipping) and moved them both back east; one did quite well on the trip and the other died (not leaf drop, DIED) about four days in. No idea why as they were in identical conditions.

Whew! That's enough for now... I was typing the list up for my own records and thought y'all might be interested. Pics as soon as I can, I promise! :)


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: My citrus tree list! (long post)

Thanks for sharing! I knew I was addicted when my credit card magnetic strip started wearing out the year I started buying up all the sweet citrus I could find. I'm sure it was coincidence.

I numbered all my trees and started spreadsheet and religiously keep it up-to-date (with repot, pest, and general health info) so I know what's what.

Of the two trees I've given as gifts, only on is alive and *barely*.

Happy citrus growing...


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