Ahh, to live in a citrus grove
To fully appreciate this piece, scent is required. Unfortunately, scratch and sniff technology hasn’t reached the blogosphere yet, so find a lime and scratch the hard green shiny surface of the rind and breath in deeply, and/or find any Jo Malone “lime blossom” product and apply generously. Now imagine the source of that scent sitting next to your comfy chair throughout the long cold winter.
For those in cooler climates a hint of faraway sunny lands can invigorate the senses. At the splendid market citrus trees abound indoors during the winter, outdoors in the warmer months.
The presence of citrus tricks the senses, the fragrance of lime blossoms is so distinctive, but “why do I smell it here?” the olfactory asks. Beneath deep green leaves, kumquats peek out and catch the eye, or a few shiny citrus tree leaves framing a pile of fruit leads the imagination to believe the fruit has just been picked from the tree.
Even if it chooses not to bless you with fruit or flowers one year, how splendid to have a green leafy tree present in your dining room.
To augment the situation, one can easily wire a handful of kumquats to the branches, hiding the green paddlewire behind a leaf or two or just toss a few lemons in the moss to add some color and texture.
It takes a bit of an effort, twice a year, to move the trees to their seasonal homes, but the payoff is great. It can be easiest to have an indoor and outdoor pot for each plant.
Beneath the fluffy layer of moss in these photos, each tree is living in a heavy duty plastic pot (which fits inside the attractive outer container).
As the weather warms up clear off the moss and move the tree to it’s summer home outdoors. Put clay feet under the pot to allow the water to drain well and to prevent unpleasant accumulations beneath the pot! Dress the top of the pot with plenty of moss (bought or harvested). Water generously throughout the summer. The trees will enjoy the extra reflective heat of being placed near a warm sunny wall or window.
The winter job is a little messier – but look at the benefits! In late fall, clear away the moss and clean off the surface of the soil and the plastic pot. Leave it in a covered area for a few days to dry out and encourage any creepy-crawlers to exit.
Visit a garden store to find plastic trays which will help keep your floors safe. Line the inside of the pot with a tall sided plastic tray which your plastic pot will fit into.
The shorter sided tray in this photo is made of a hard plastic and has molded feet, which will allow you to slide your pots short distances easily. This is also the back up tray, it will catch water and provide an alert if the inside liner is leaking from breakage or over watering.
Place the trees inside the container and dress with plenty of moss.
Since the trees have been well watered all summer, light weekly waterings should be sufficient. Monthly feedings with an appropriate citrus food will keep the plants looking healthy (Peter’s plant food is good).
The best way to ensure fruit is to have them “root pruned”.