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blossoms

Posted by nansmans 8b (My Page) on
Fri, Aug 22, 14 at 21:11

I am a newbie to growing citrus as of spring this year. So please forgive silly questions. Husband said my new orange and lemon blossoms won't survive this winter in central MS. Is he wrong or am I gonna be sad ?No one around here to ask questions and I need your guidance. Thanks.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: blossoms

That depends on where you have your trees planted, nansmans. I am assuming you have them in containers, and plan on bringing them indoors. If this is the case, the blossoms will either turn into fruit, or, will drop the fruit if the tree is very young, doesn't have enough light, or is not being watered or fertilized, properly. Now, if you have them planted in the ground in zone 8b, you may not just lose your blossoms, but the entire tree. If you have temps below 32 degrees for any prolonged period of time, citrus will not survive. Now, with a fair amount of care, protection, coverage, proper and thoughtful planting, you might be able to get some certain types of more cold-tolerant citrus cultivars to survive a zone 8b winter, but you need to know what you're doing. Lemons are not very cold-tolerant. The Improved Meyer lemon, more so, since it is a cross between a lemon and what is believed to be a mandarin, and oranges are a little more tolerant than lemons, but not much more so. Can you tell us whether you have your trees planted in the ground or in containers, where are they planted (near a building for protection, out in the open, exposed to winters and colder temps, etc.) Citrus are better grown in zones 9 and up, but with a lot of attention and care, you may be able to grow them in your zone.

Patty


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RE: blossoms

Thank you Patty for the reply. I planted in the ground on the south side of a huge barn. Planting were done around May 2014. I planted Ruby Red grapefruit, Washington navel orange, Hamlin LA orange, Persian lime, and Meyers Improved lemon.There is a lemon, lime, two oranges on Hamlin LA, and very small grapefruit on the trees now. Lemon put on many blossoms without producing, the one on there was on it when purchased it. Would love to learn as much as possible since grandchildren like citrus.


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RE: blossoms

Is the barn heated. You will need a lean-to green house for those to survive a mild winter. If the barn is not heated the wall will need to be insulated and I would go with at least R-30 to the height of the lean-to. I used 4 layers of glass in my lean-to greenhouse with no heat in my zone 6B climate. I got no frost and the extra plant starts I got out of the green house made it worth every penny. 2 of my 3 Sweetlee tangerine trees are planted on the south side of my house. Both trees are similar so I posted one picture

I am now building the greenhouse in its permenant position and will post pictures of it when it is done. There are a lot of experienced greenhouse grower on this web. Listen to any one of them as they respond.

Never forget!
A citrus tree in the ground --- VS --- one in a pot
is comparable to
A ROYAL FLUSH --- VS --- a pair of 2's

Steve


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RE: blossoms

Thank you Steve for the reply. That is a beautiful tree. How long till it begins to bear fruit? Hoping my trees will look that good.


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RE: blossoms

pictures of citrus greenhouse on south side of building. Pics are down a bit. in

Here is a link that might be useful: http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/citrus/msg012356294693.html


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RE: blossoms

Nan, what do you see in your area for low temps in the winter? Are you seeing temps persistently below 32 degrees for days at a time? If so, you're going to struggle to grow citrus. Especially what you've planted. Limes are the least tolerant of cold temps, then lemons, grapefruits and oranges. The grapefruit cultivar you've got planted requires a significant amount of heat units to sweeten up. Does well in Texas, I can't even get that cultivar to produce sweet fruit in S. California. Navel orange trees are probably the pickiest of all citrus cultivars with regard to their growing environment. The most cold tolerant citrus are mandarins, especially 'Gold Nugget' and the satsumas. As well as kumquats. None of which you have. Are there others in your neighborhood growing citrus? Have you discussed your winter tactics with your local garden center? He's the tip - if you don't see citrus growing within about a 5 mile radius of your home, that's a pretty big clue that it may be significantly challenging to manage citrus during the winter. I would suggest you bring your questions about trying to grow citrus in your specific area (I would add your town, not just "southeast MS") over to the Citrus Grower's forum:

http://citrus.forumup.org/index.php?mforum=citrus

Another great resource for how to manage citrus in borderline growing areas is Stan McKenzie, or McKenzie Farms. He is growing citrus commercially in zone 8a/7b in S. Carolina. He is a great guy, VERY knowledgeable, and is growing about 40 different varieties of citrus, some very rare. He is probably the"go to" person for growing citrus in-ground, "on the edge".

http://mckenzie-farms.com/index.htm

Lastly, I think Steve actually has a good idea for you - see about building a temporary lean-to with PVC pipe, and a very heavy gauge plastic film if you can. You have a couple of advantages: South facing (very smart), protection from north winds, and up against a structure (good for radiant heat/micro-climate, as well as useful to build a lean to). I really think this may be a necessity for you, if you want most of those cultivars to survive your winter.

Patty S.


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RE: blossoms

My tree is grown from seed and will likely never fruit because of the size it must reach first. I can't protect a tree of the needed size this far north. I grew it for root stock to top graft with kumquat scions. Thanks for the compliment.

Steve


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