New in the Nursery: Patio Citrus


Among our much-anticipated spring arrivals, we’re welcoming a fresh assortment of citrus trees to the nursery. Including varieties of grapefruit, orange, lemon, and lime, our patio-sized citrus trees are between 2-3 years old, making them prime to flower in the spring and bear mouthwatering fruit in fall and winter, whether planted in a container or in the garden.

Senior Plant Buyer Steve H. says, “Citrus trees tend to prefer temperatures that do not exceed 80 degrees or fall below about 50. They thrive in containers, so if you live in a climate that’s prone to extreme temperatures, they are best treated as a patio plant that can be brought indoors during harsher months. Citrus trees love sunshine, so place them near a south-facing window and they will flourish. During the spring, I recommend fertilizing and selective pruning, if needed. In fall, citrus plants should be cleaned, soaped, and brought inside.” Using a loam-based potting soil and a container with drainage is also essential for successful citrus cultivation. Be sure not to overwater, especially during the winter months, and increase watering as the temperatures rise. Citrus trees can bear fruit for 20+ years, making them a beautiful and delicious addition to indoor or outdoor gardens. Learn more below about the citrus you’ll find in our nursery.

Lemon: Lemon trees tend to be hardy, bearing fruit whether grown indoors or out. They require at least 6 hours of sunlight each day and should be watered daily during the summer months. A tip for outdoor growing: choose an area where reflected heat from pavement or walls creates a warm microclimate that your lemon tree will adore!

Orange: Native to China and India, orange trees have been cultivated in the United States since the early 1700’s. Orange trees are cold hardy to 25 degrees or lower, but if you’re planting your tree outdoors, it should be covered with burlap or a tarp when the temperatures start to drop.

Lime: The most important thing to remember when caring for a lime tree is drainage. Never overwater or expose your lime tree to standing water, or it will begin dropping its leaves. Lime trees also need plenty of sunlight and temperatures that do not drop below about 50 degrees. Fertilize every few months with nitrogen-rich fertilizer.

Grapefruit: Grapefruit harvest begins in early fall, when the large fruit turns yellow or gold. The longer the fruit remains on the tree, the sweeter it becomes. Provide your grapefruit tree with lots of sun, and do not prune unless weakened or dead branches need to be removed.

Throughout the season, our plant team highlights their freshest additions to the garden with New in the Nursery. Check in at your local store to take home these newly-arrived greens.

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